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Old 01-06-2016, 11:56 PM
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Unhappy Lovebird is afraid of me?

About 5 months ago we adopted a Lovebird from a store called "Magnolia Bird Farm" They told us she was hand fed but I'm pretty sure she wasn't since she was hard to grab from her cage by the assistant at the store. Her name is Tiki and she is a Peach-Faced Lovebird. I've tried with her for a long time for her to trust me, but I finally gave up. She runs and jumps from one end of the cage to another as I try to even change her toys or bowls. I leave the cage open every once and a while and let her play but she always hops down to the floor and it becomes a problem to get her. I feel bad for not letting her out as I have tried everything to gain her trust by using millet, seeds, treat etc. I even got a perch for her to step up on to me but she refuses and runs away. ( I believe she sees it as a weapon) I have another bird whom I got from a neighbor (was moving away to another country) a parrotlet named Luna and she also doesn't trust me also. I've done about the same to both and I feel like since they both saw me trying to hold them, they formed a secret pact to hate me. Maybe I'm just not cut out for little birds. They are both only about a year old. My Parrotlet freaks out to the point it scares me and she bites REALLY hard. I'm afraid im going to hurt my birds the more I try to hold them (Since they attempt to jump from the top of the cage to the bottom) I have two other larger birds, A Sun Conure from Omars Exotic Bird store and My senegal was from a Bird show. They both trust me, (And BEG for my attention 24/7) But the large birds do not get along with the little ones. Any ideas on gaining my little birdies trust?
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Old 01-07-2016, 06:25 AM
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Re: Lovebird is afraid of me?

Time and treats. Cage them separately, and you should be the focus of any interactions.
Sit quietly by the side of the cage and talk softly to them, heck read Crime and Punishment to them, but softly and often. Treats when they come closer to you.
Trying to tame 2 birds at once may be hard. Me, I'd concentrate on getting them used to you first before any stepp up training. G/L
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:10 AM
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Re: Lovebird is afraid of me?

I got my little ones when they were down to 2 hand feedings a day. I really think that helped as far as their bonding with me. They would jump into my hand at feeding time, sometimes all of them at once.

Do you try to handle her every day? Maybe remove some of the toys / obstacles from the cage so you can catch her easier, but the interaction has to be consistent. They revert to being wild relatively quickly.

Also, I think some of the big aviaries don't do quite as good a job at hand feeding / taming as individual breeders. They just don't have the time. So any hesitancy on your part once they are yours in keeping up interactions with them will cause you to lose ground very quickly.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:26 PM
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Re: Lovebird is afraid of me?

Parrots aren't like dogs that may readily accept a new home and new people when socialized right. Just because your sun and senegal did great doesn't mean your lovebird and parrotlet will, even if hand raised.

If your little guys are avoiding you and trying to get away, you're probably moving too fast and you're too close. If they show a fear response, as in, looking for an escape route, try stopping where you're at and if they relax, take a step back. Let them know that you aren't a predator and they don't need to be afraid of your presence.


Working with Fearful Parrots: A Study in Videos | Learning Parrots
Parrot Behavior Myths: Building Trust | Learning Parrots


It sounds like you are trying to go slow and take things easy, but it's still too fast for them.
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Old 01-17-2016, 04:42 PM
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Re: Lovebird is afraid of me?

Your lovebird probably was hand fed if they say she was. They go "wild" really quickly if not handled a lot after weaning, more so than even parrotlets, for some reason. Hand fed lovies left with their siblings even a few weeks without extensive daily handling are almost indistinguishable from parent-raised lovies. My pet lovebirds are my absolute favorite parrot. They can be such wonderful pets when raised correctly. Trouble is, few breeders are willing to do that for such an inexpensive bird. That said, I've seen "wild" parent-raised lovebirds eventually come to be really, really tame. Not by my hand (I haven't the patience for that, truthfully) but people I know. If you really want to accomplish it, it can be done. Every bird is different, some naturally more trusting than others, but at the very least you'll improve the relationship from where it is. It would probably be super rewarding, too. Good luck with your project.
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Old 03-17-2016, 02:16 PM
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Re: Lovebird is afraid of me?

Yep. My lovie was "hand-fed" but not really "hand-tamed" and housed with her siblings. When you get them home it's like starting over! Patience, patience, patience. And millet...and sticks to step up on...I started by sitting next to Ollie's cage and getting her used to me being there. Then opening her door. Then putting in the stick for her to step up on (since she STILL is not crazy about hands and never will be - whatever). After that, she was cool with me getting her out of the cage on her perch. Then we started trick training which has been the best thing ever! So fun to bond with her and treat her. She now begs to train. I'm not saying it's perfect - she would rather hop up on my arm than hand - and I still get a bite every now and again, but I work with her comfort level and we're happy.
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