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Tmarshall

Member
Oct 13, 2021
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69
Parrots
Sun conure and parrotlet
I am a new owned bird mom of a sun conure I have had him since he was a baby he is now 6 months . My issue is he is hand fear of anyone when he is in his cage , yet craves touch even holds a finger but if you reach to scratch him he moves almost like doing pull-ups on the bars. I know this sounds weird even when he holds you finger an all. I have tried doing click training and he is receptive for like 15 minutes, he has touch point down but anything else not interested. I am trying to show him by stepping up close to his cage that there is nothing to fear. Suggestion because I am feeling frustrated and don’t want to give up.
 

Littleredbeak

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May 27, 2020
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From what I read about clicker training is you do it in short bursts, I'm thinking 15 minutes is too long. I'm sure someone with more experience on clicker trainingwill chime in. Associate finders with lots of good things(treats toys) There is a great article on finger/fear I'll find and post it.
 

foxgloveparrot

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I would do 2-5 minute training sessions instead of 15 minutes, and all throughout the day. Offer a favorite treat or toy from your hand. But don't give up, birds are little beasts and it's easy to be discouraged if they don't do what you want. Just keep trying and you will eventually have a friendly, hand-tame bird!
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Many birds are cage protective. Its actually easier to work with them outside of the cage.

You can attach perches to the outside sides and top of cage . If you never had him out of the cage, then you might take tge cage into a bedroom to work with him. And limit panic. Letting him learn he can come out and climb around cage. And tins of hand fed treats
 

kme3388

Active member
Sep 17, 2021
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Minnesota, USA
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Jenday Conure, Eclectus parrot
Hi there,

Parrots can become very possessive of their cages as the above person stated. When I volunteered at a shelter I learned very quickly to respect all parrots personal space especially when it comes to their cages. It’s their “safe space”. Yes, I was like Lilo from the movie Lilo, and Stitch (Yes, I got bit, and I was at fault).

What the lady did who ran the shelter was open the cage doors, and let the birds come out on their own terms. Regardless of the type of parrot none of them particularly liked hands in their cage. Yes, they let people change their food, water, and clean their cages.

Do you also have issues getting your parrot to come out of their cage?
 

Skarila

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Apr 19, 2021
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✻Csillam the rescued budgie
✻Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
✻Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
✻RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
✻RIP -Sunny the budgie
Conures will be conurin'!

As mentioned before, 15 minutes is very long for a training, do as much training as the bird has the focus for it. As soon it gets distracted by something or waddles off, stop and try again later. My little Pascal will sometimes work actively for those 15 minutes, but more often it is about 5-10 minutes, dependa what's his mood.

Try to keep hands out of cage. Does he let you scratch him through the bars? Also, is this fear of hands only when in the cage or a constant and general fear of hands even when outside?
 
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Tmarshall

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Oct 13, 2021
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Sun conure and parrotlet
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See I am not sure it’s cage aggression because he canes to me for scratches, grabs my finger and curls into my hand , comes down from perches and gives kisses but if I was to reach for him he would back up or do like a pull up to get away from hand so I have been respecting his need to go slow with my hand , it’s getting better but still not keen on it.

to answer the other person’s question his cage is always open first thing in am and stays open all day foe him to climb in and out of there are times he flies out for some one on one attention so I think his issue is hands not necessarily his cage .
We still learning each other he is only 7mnths old
 
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Tmarshall

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Oct 13, 2021
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69
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Sun conure and parrotlet
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This is what he does
 

Laurasea

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so you are inconsistent with what you are doing with your hands, and what you are asking of him, like switching from trying to step up to petting. Its confusing to him.

Its also better to not chase them around with your hand. But to have them moving towards you.

Its late for me, so I'm not explaining great. I'll have to try and fo a better job later

Very lovely parrot. Looks very interested in you
 
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Tmarshall

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Oct 13, 2021
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Sun conure and parrotlet
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so you are inconsistent with what you are doing with your hands, and what you are asking of him, like switching from trying to step up to petting. Its confusing to him.

Its also better to not chase them around with your hand. But to have them moving towards you.

Its late for me, so I'm not explaining great. I'll have to try and fo a better job later

Very lovely parrot. Looks very interested in you
Thank you I knew I was doing something wrong and wanted to learn how to help us both
 

Skarila

Supporting Member
Apr 19, 2021
512
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Hungary
Parrots
✻Csillam the rescued budgie
✻Pascal the Emma's (Venezuelan) Conure

Previous owned:
✻Archibald the cockatiel (fostered 6 months)
✻RIP - 28 YO Zeleni the mischievous IRN
✻RIP -Sunny the budgie
Avoid open palms toward the bird. It is really scary to them. As Laura mentioned, you need to be consistent in what you are doing. Also, timing is everything.

For example, if I want my bird to step up, it is always an offered finger in front of his belly ( not pressing) and asking to step up. Headscratches are a completely different hand gesture - relaxed but closed hand with index and thumb closing and opening quickly or a finger wiggle - my bird learned that this is a headscratch. See what works for you.

And please please don't touch your bird or ask anything while it's eating. No animal likes it. If the bird is eating, let it be. Don't even attempt to pet, not even the cuddliest birds like that. You have to see if the bird wants to interact or not. If the bird is avoiding your hand, give it a break, it just doesn't feel like being pet or held at that moment. Pressing and chasing could result in biting which is hard to correct. Rather stay at the part where the bird avoids rather than bites. If you already offered him food, it mean it's breakfast - I know I would bite my partner's fingers off if he offers me some nice ham and eggs, already got my stomach rumbling and then asking me to do things or just simply keeping me away from the food because he wants to cuddle. Heck no, give me my food!

Have an aim what you want to do with the bird. Stepping up - do you want to actively train him now or just replace him somewhere? In the first video what you've shown is a good example where the bird is like "nah I don't wanna step up, why would I step up". In the end you proceed to pet him while he's trying to wiggle his head away somehow. try to be gentle and slow while giving headscratches. You will know if the bird is enjoying it by puffing up the head feathers, even having closed eyes. Rubbing around the ears/cheeks can result him in yawning, then you really know you hit the spot. Take it slow with your friend. If you really want to cuddle him, try in the evenings when he is relaxed. See what he likes!
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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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
In your first video when he stepped briefly to your hand that when you praise , praise! You want to be consistent in the shape if your hand, I use the pointer finger straight thumb straight the rest of my fingers curled hand held sideways.

There are always a few different ways to accomplish the same goal. So watch you tube, I like many of the free Bird Tricks ones. And try what other tips members share

For me I don't really teach step up as a command, I don't even use the words. The hand shape is the request and 99% they are going to move to my hand . But I've had many years of reading bird behavior . Also parrots are extraordinary at reading us, and because I'm not worrying or nervous or hesitant that makes them more confident.

With a new young bird, this is accomplished kind of organically. I scoop em up and head to the couch ( better than a chair, they have room to explore and easier for me to observe) with treats ready. I place them on my chest , and then if i offer a finger under them. They want to stand on it because it feels natural to them to have something to hold and perch on. We just hang out and I let them explore and step on and off fingers, I give treats . I might move them to the back of the couch and then offer my finger as a bridge back to me and cuddling and treats.

Or you can pull you a comfy chair mushed up sideways to the cage open the door and hang out letting them come and climb on you and get treats, the hand just becomes a great place to pet h and see you get kisses and treats. Both of the above are repeated as much as need to build trust . And I always praise when they do stuff I like. Whenever they step on my finger I tell them how good and brave they are.

If I'm working with an adult bird that us hesitant or hand shy or even all out terrified of hands. I work with building trust first. I feed millions s of treats by hand. I can usually still do the above ideas as well.
Will come back come back and edit add. I've got to run some errands.



I'm going to go back look at videos again turn come back and edit this post.
 
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Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,840
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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
A link to reading burd behavior. If new or nit new to parrots a good refresher. Birds communicate with their whole body
 

kme3388

Active member
Sep 17, 2021
133
229
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Jenday Conure, Eclectus parrot
Everyone above gave wonderful advice. Your sun conure is so cute! What is his name? Do you know if he was handled a lot prior to you getting him? The reason I ask is he may be very shy if he wasn't handled a lot. That takes some time. Birds aren't exactly trusting like other animals. Once they do trust you they won't leave you alone :ROFLMAO:
 
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Tmarshall

Member
Oct 13, 2021
40
69
Parrots
Sun conure and parrotlet
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Everyone above gave wonderful advice. Your sun conure is so cute! What is his name? Do you know if he was handled a lot prior to you getting him? The reason I ask is he may be very shy if he wasn't handled a lot. That takes some time. Birds aren't exactly trusting like other animals. Once they do trust you they won't leave you alone :ROFLMAO:
Thank you, his name is JJ and the only handling he got before me was when he was fed formula but what I tried to do was visit often and handle him to allow him to her used to me and that way the transition would not be. So harsh. Although it was hard as he was 2 hours away from where I lived .
 

kme3388

Active member
Sep 17, 2021
133
229
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Jenday Conure, Eclectus parrot
It may take some time for JJ to get used to you. I am not sure where your cage placement is. I put both of my parrots in my livingroom. They hear all the noise, tv, cooking, and so on. They are apart of almost every activity that is in my house. I did this because I didn't want them scared of everything, and it helps them adjust to the business of my house.
 
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Tmarshall

Member
Oct 13, 2021
40
69
Parrots
Sun conure and parrotlet
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It may take some time for JJ to get used to you. I am not sure where your cage placement is. I put both of my parrots in my livingroom. They hear all the noise, tv, cooking, and so on. They are apart of almost every activity that is in my house. I did this because I didn't want them scared of everything, and it helps them adjust to the business of my house.
Things have improved actually with Martyna around JJ is still hand shy but near as much and I see him stepping up without me asking or promoting him to because Marty just comes lol so maybe he is running off on JJ some
 

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