Can I still tame my parrot?


New member
Aug 7, 2022
The parrot whith the red cheeks
2 pale heded rosellas
I have had my cocatile for 7 years now and I still haven't been able to tame it. When I first got him, I didn't know how to properly tame him, so I used to grab him even if the bird tried to bite me (I praticaly used my parrot as a toy). Now when I am older, I have realized that the way I tried to tame him wasn't right and most likely was traumatizing. Now when I want to finally become a better person, I'm not sure if it could even work. I have watched multiple videos on how to tame a cocatile and some of them say that it may not be possible to tame them if a bird has experienced some trauma with you. I've tried now to tame him by giving him these long millet sticks from my hand and holding the sticks from the stem, but I have been doing it for several months now and I feel like I'm not making any progress. The bird eats the farthest part from my hand but never gets any closer. I'm scared that I ruined my friendship with my bird from the beginning and now I'll never be able to tame him.

Is it still possible to tame my bird after the rough beginning with him.


Well-known member
Apr 12, 2022
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Its kind of up to the bird. Sure, you can tame it, but this will NOT be an overnight process. Unfortunately, your bird is probably scared of you already and knows what you are capable of (grabbing). Considering the duration of the not-so-great handling, your bird may very well be traumatized. The way you described the millet eating sounds like he may still be utterly terrified of you. Can you blame him really? I would think about his quality of life with you and decide whether or not to rehome him so he can get the proper out-of-the-cage time and bonding with someone. Birds remember things, especially scary events, very well and will generalize you with these assumptions. We all KNOW you won't go about grabbing him again, but considering how long that went on for, your bird doesn't know that.
I would look into potentially rehoming him. I know it's easier said than done, but you really have to think in your bird's best interest.


Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
I’m thinking of the birds I had when I was a kid. I grabbed them and in general did things I wouldn’t do now. They didn’t get taken care of very well, because I didn’t know any better. People weren’t very kind to little budgies 30 years ago. But I loved them and I WAS doing the best I could at the time. There was no one to tell or show me different.

So now you know you need to be more gentle with your cockatiel. You need to start over both for him and yourself. I do this every time I make a mistake with my birds, too. I don’t think you need to find your bird a new home, unless you don’t want to keep him. You just decide to do better from now on.

An example: When I was in high school I was away from home for a summer. My older sister taught the baby to poke my cockatiel with toys. When summer was over and I came home, my bird was completely wild. That wasn’t what I wanted to happen to him. But I just had to start over. And after some months he was friendly again. (And I kept him high up, away from the baby, from then on.)


Staff member
Super Moderator
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Feb 20, 2022
Welcome to the forums! It sounds to me like you love your cockatiel a lot after 7 years together and I agree with Heather, you can do this.

It's always possible to change a relationship with an animal. Anybody that rescues an animal with a troubled past starts in the same spot you're starting now. Yes, your cockatiel will have to learn you're always going to be kind now, but he'll get there!

Is there a way for you to spend time doing something next to where he hangs out without looking right at him? Like a chair that you sit to read in, or a little table or desk you use a laptop at? Especially if this isn't something you've done before, it can be a really good way to be around him in a not scary way and getting him used to your presence. Reading out loud, or watching a show. Is there a certain kind of music he likes?

I have a little metal bowl in between where I sit and my parrot hangs out, and will drop little treats in there for him when I walk by. My rule for myself is that the treat bowl is always always a good thing and a positive happy situation, so I drop the treat and move away. At first I'd leave the room for a while. Then when he figured out the bowl always meant something tasty and started going to it right away, I'd leave for only a few minutes. Now I can sit right next to his cage with the door open, and drop a treat in the bowl and just stay sitting there while he goes straight for the treat.

The basic goal is think of things to do that are a little different than how you've done before, so that you don't accidentally repeat a pattern he might think is going to lead to something he doesn't like, but also making it always a good association with you being there.

I'm going to be working on taming my parrot for quite a while still, so I understand how it can feel like you're making no progress - but every day that only good things happen is a day that makes Good Things the new pattern in his mind and memory. Please keep asking questions and updating us with how things go! 🥰


New member
Aug 7, 2022
The parrot whith the red cheeks
2 pale heded rosellas
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Ok. Thanx for the advise I apriciate it a lot. I'l try my best to continue taming my cocatile, and I'l try to make updates on my and my cocatiles progres :D.

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