Darwin's Story (I Think We Just Had Our Bonding Moment!)


New member
Aug 16, 2018
Talent, OR
1 Senegal parrot (Poicephalus senegalus)
Darwin is a 2-year-old male Senegal parrot who my husband and I adopted 3 weeks ago.

We adopted him from a couple who lived in a tiny, very dirty (sorry to say) apartment. It was on the ground floor so the blinds were always drawn (a thick coat of dust on the blinds told us that they had not been opened in a long time). He lived with 2 cats and a dog- 1 of the cats was trying to attack him which is why the previous owners parted with him. He probably had not been exposed to sunshine in a long time. His cage was in a corner of the apartment, slowly being buried in poop. He only had a desk lamp as lighting, shining straight into his cage. Needless to say, he loved bathing in natural sunlight when we brought him to our house.

Darwin was very afraid when we first brought him home. He came out of his cage on day one but did not want us to get close to him. Over the course of a couple of days, he allowed us closer and we taught him to step-up on a dowel. It looked like he had not been taught step-up before and was quite uncomfortable doing so at first. He did get comfortable with it fairly quickly (a couple of days) and began stepping up on our fingers when we asked him to. He now knows 'step-up', 'turn-around', 'wave' and 'target', all of which he has learned in the last 3 weeks that we have had him.

Darwin, it turns out, is a friendly little bird. Except for 2 bites delivered to my husband and I each during the first few days (out of fear), we have had no problems. We can move him around our house as he steps up nicely now, he rides around on our shoulders, has learned a few tricks and he lets us shower him in the bathroom. He has not bitten us since and shows an encouraging level of bite inhibition now. I can tell that he does not want to bite.

I am writing this because I think we just had our bonding moment and my heart might explode! I have read about people having that defining moment with their bird but I knew it didn't happen for everyone. I was not sure if it was going to happen for us.

Well, I just came home from running errands and took Darwin out of his cage for some one on one time. He was happy to see me and soon settled down on my shoulder. Up until this point I have only been able to scratch his head and beak for a couple of seconds at a time (he tolerated it but did not seem to like it). Anyway, the settling on my shoulder turned into snuggling (he got very comfortable) and then he started asking for scratches by lightly pushing his beak into my hand and then turning his cheeks toward me as if asking for pets. I started off by scratching his beak and to my surprise, he let me really scratch his cheeks, his chin and his head! he was making cute little noises and looked like he was really enjoying all of it! I couldn't believe how he was suddenly accepting me and trusting me, as if a light switch had flipped! I could just feel the awesome energy between us. It may not sound like a big deal but it almost brought a tear to my eye. This had to be the moment people talk about!

I just had to share this! We are so proud of Darwin and love him so much!

~Darwin's Mom~ :gcc: (wish we had a Senegal parrot emoji!)


Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
awesome! That's how it was for me---beware, there will be "off" days, but just remember that you can always get back to that relationship.


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Yes!!!! So happy for you. So thrilled that he can thrive with you, and no longer has to live in a dark dungeon surrounded by Lions! How did you come to decide on a parrot, and how did you find him? I'll go read again in case I'm asking you to repeat yourself.. ;)


Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
Isle of Long, NY
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Congrats! That first real head scratchin' is a seal the deal moment. Make sure hubby gets some one on one too, Senegals can become 1 person birds. Videos are always appreciated here !


Well-known member
Mar 20, 2017
Everett, WA
Bumble - Pacific (or Celestial) Parrotlet hatched 02/19/17
Ahhhhh I remember the first time Bumble asked for skritches! That was the moment I knew she trusted me. The best part? It was only the first of many amazing bonding moments. I hope your relationship with Darwin continues to be amazing.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


May 23, 2018
NL= the Netherlands, Europe
Sunny a female B&G macaw;
Japie (m) & Appie (f), both are congo african grey;
All are rescues- had to leave their previous homes for 'reasons', are still in contact with them :)
BIG smile here for you!

yup, now you are his/hers


New member
Aug 16, 2018
Talent, OR
1 Senegal parrot (Poicephalus senegalus)
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Thank you everyone!

Yes!!!! So happy for you. So thrilled that he can thrive with you, and no longer has to live in a dark dungeon surrounded by Lions! How did you come to decide on a parrot, and how did you find him? I'll go read again in case I'm asking you to repeat yourself.. ;)

I am an aspiring Wildlife Biologist and my husband is an aspiring veterinarian. We love all kinds of animals. We never thought that we would own a bird though.
We just started paying attention to the birds at pet stores that we visited for supplies and eventually decided to add a bird to our family. After a lot of research, we thought it best to find a bird that was up for adoption.

I was actually chosen by a pineapple Conure at Petsmart. The staff could not handle him/her but when I tried to interact with him/her, he/she came right up to me and stepped up. It was a sweetheart. We could have loved that bird. Unfortunately, we did not want to buy a bird from Petsmart and support the sale of them like that. Parrots are also overpriced by hundreds of dollars at Petsmart and Petco. I had to say goodbye to the little guy/girl, which was very difficult. How could I walk away??? I had to :( . He/she was sold shortly afterward (I really hope to a good home).

We found a Craigslist post about Darwin and went to meet him (he was previously named Mango-new home, new name!). He did not seem aggressive and was kind of interested in us (from a distance). He looked like he had potential as a bird whom we could take on as first-time bird owners. He came home with us and the rest is history. He did not choose us but we felt that he needed us. He is actively choosing to accept us now; I think he knows that we care about him a lot. Darwin is a great little bird. We are glad we found him and that we could give him a FOREVER home. We find things to love about him every day.
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