gcc flies away so he won't go to his cage


New member
Aug 22, 2021
green cheek conure
Hi, we have had Tao, our GCC, for about 8 months. He does not have trimmed feathers and spends about 50% of his time free flying in the house. He does not bite and his very affectionate. However, he has started to associate us holding him to going back to the cage, which he does not like. Whenever we approach him or call him, he now flies away and stays out of reach. It is getting impossible to manage, especially at night - sometimes we are unable to put him to bed! What are strategies we could use to 1) stop him from flying away we want to him to get on our hand 2) go more naturally to his cage. NOTE: I think a mistake we are making is that when we catch him to take him to the cage, we hold him, rather them having him perched on our finger. Now he thinks each time we call him, he will get caught and sent to cage. Any tips or link to specific training videos will help! Thanks!


Well-known member
Oct 27, 2016
Lincoln (Eclectus), Apollo (Cockatiel), Aster (GCC)
start picking him up, giving him a treat, and setting him back down so he starts to associate being picked up with treats rather than going in the cage. when you do put him back in the cage give him a high value treat like a sunflower seed so he associates going in the cage with something good


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Full house
lol I've gone through this. But above is great advice. Also I would do tons of trips to cage but not put them up. Lots of going to cage and only be locked up fir a couple of minutes. Lots of praise and treat bribes. Always have something special waiting in cage when it's time to go back. That fixed it right quick for all of mine.

They are smart and active and independent of course they hate to be locked in cage. but making it their special retreat can help a lot. Plus lots of positive Association


Well-known member
May 8, 2017
Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
Bribery and conditioning. I have worked on this and it has paid off. It has now become embedded in Syd and he understands the procedure and always complies. I have a pot of Sunflower seeds - his favourite treat - on the side. The only occasion that he gets one of these is when he goes in his cage. So when he sees me collect the pot or hears the rattle he immediately comes to me. He has to be in his cage before he gets it.

I started as suggested above by holding the seed inside his cage so the only way he could get it was by going in. I would say the words go in your cage but leave the door open. He would spend the time eating the seed then come out again and I would repeat say half an hour later. He is a bright button and it didn't take too long for him to get the idea. Syd is out a lot of the time but at regular intervals I will do this process during the day when I need to cook or do jobs that he can't be involved with or am going out. He has got to the point now where he will almost go in by himself saying 'ok' and loves the praise as much as the seed.

He is well aware now that he will be let out as soon as I can and I think he now trusts the system. I very rarely hold him unless we are cuddling, mainly because I feel that he should always have a choice and holding him would remove that. It takes patience and a favourite treat to work but I have been gratified that he responded so well.

I guess with your little one flying away you have to change the mindset so a bribe to come to you would be a good start then build from there.


Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
Greater Orlando area, Florida
JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
All great advice! My JoJo was this way in the beginning!! Holding a piece of walnut, I would walk him to the cage! Sit him on a perch, give him the treat! Take him back out! Rinse and repeat!β€”OOPs, no rinse! Do this many times a day! I also made it a point to walk up by his cage, holding him, without putting him in! You are re-associating the cage with good things only!

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