Bonding is going backwards!

DaleC

New member
Nov 4, 2021
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1
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Fischer’s Lovebird
Three weeks ago I got a little Lovebird named Casanova. Bonding started off really slow and he wanted absolutely nothing to do with me but lately things have been progressing so fast.

Within a span of three days (this past Sunday to Tuesday) he started eating Millet from my hand, he started exploring outside of his cage a lot more, he even flew from his cage onto my bed and let my finger get like 2cm away from him when he was eating the millet. But the past two days, for some inexplicable reason, he has been avoiding me and the millet.

BUT, he will sit at the front of his cage and chirp or chatter as if asking time to open his cage or he will just stand in the corner closest to me and watch me.

I’m so confused by all of this. He’s sending very mixed signals in terms of whether he wants to spend time with me or not. It’s my first time having a pet bird and I’m trying so hard to be patient and take everything at his pace because I know how important that is. But it’s getting really hard and disheartening when all the progress we have made these past three weeks has seemingly come undone literally overnight

Does anyone have any advice for me? Why is this happening and how do I deal with it?

Thanks!
 
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LaManuka

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Fang (10yo (ab)normal grey cockatiel), HRH Crown Princess Lilly Pilly (purple-crowned lorikeet Jul '18-Jan '22 💔) & Valentino (budgie, gotcha date 14 Feb 2019 at approx 6mo)
Welcome to the Forums, DaleC and Casanova - what an awesome name for a lovebird that is, by the way!

I am not an expert with lovebirds, having never had one myself, but it really does not sound to me like you are doing too much wrong. It's always important to allow the bird to be the one who sets the pace, and progress can feel a lot like three steps forward, two steps back in the early stages. Three weeks is a very short time in the mind of a little birdie, and he has very likely gone through numerous pairs of hands between his breeder, a possible retailer or two, before arriving with you. He does not know that he won't be moved on from you one day either, just like he was from the breeder or the shop, so he is still working out whether he can trust you or not. It can be very disheartening, my tiny lorikeet took a long time before she truly trusted me too and it broke my heart to see how scared she was of me when she was a baby - now however she is my little velcro-bird :) But patience and consistency are key, that trust will build little by little over time, and I do believe that you are on the right track with him :)

We have a large contingent of lovebird owners among our membership so I trust that one of them will pop by soon and give you some more specific advice. In the meantime, we would love to see some pics of your little guy...


Once again, welcome Dale and Casanova, it's a pleasure to have you aboard! :D
 

Emeral

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Sep 16, 2021
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Hanhs Macaw
Hello DaleC and little Casanova, communication with out words take a long time to perfect. He is probably watching and observing you very closely, picking out clues from your tone of voice or the smile on your face. Trying hard to learn as fast as he can. But it looks like he figured out how to ask you to open the cage door already. This is cute.

In no time, once he know that you mean no harm, he will take a slice of apple or perch on your shoulder with out a second thought. Until then, he will keep acute observation, conducting all kinds of trial and errors.........

As the two of you are getting to know each other, teaching a few simple command will help speed up trust and bonding. For example, saying good boy to give positive reinforcement and saying No to tell him to stop doing undesirable behavior.

You might find this useful

 

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