One-person bird training help


New member
Nov 16, 2015
Nanday Conure
Thanks in advance for reading :)

I have a (approx) 5 year old Nanday Conure named Mort and she has decided I am her human. She's always been very wary of hands and humans (I know nothing about her life before me & I believe she wasn't socialized with humans at all). She used to like my bf but after he quarantined with us, then went back to his apartment and only visits, Mort began to be mean to him.

She will get very territorial, puff up, lunge, hiss, and the worst part is yell non stop until he leaves the room. My bf and I want to move in together but she is preventing that. I read a long post on here about how to train birds to avoid a one-person bird but many of the suggestions would be difficult for her.

For example: The #1 person should stick train the bird. She is terrified of sticks and not very food motivated, especially once she feels threatened (we've tried to win her over with treats from my bf already) I've only just gotten her to step up recently and most times I cannot use my hand, she steps right onto my shoulder.

Another/next step is to have the other person (my bf) train her in a different room but she is very attached to her cage/ my room where she is kept. It is her safe space and she knows it very well. If her cage is within sight she will fly back to it. She also endlessly flock calls if I am not in her sight and will pace around staring at the door, waiting for my return.

Does anyone have suggestions or maybe other reasons why she could be so loud when he visits? It definitely seems territorial over me or her cage/space but she almost has too much to overcome to take on this training right now.


Supporting Member
Parrot of the Month 🏆
Aug 30, 2021
Indiana, USA
Jasper (yellow-naped amazon) Lilla (senegal parrot) Ziggy, Kai, and Seiji (budgies) Cricket (parrotlet)
Go slow and ignore any negative behavior. Get your bf to work on some basic tricks with her, offer treats, etc. Let the two of them work alone in a room without you around. And do it away from the cage or anything she is protective of.
Best of luck 🙂


Active member
Oct 19, 2014
Chicago, IL
(Birdie - Jenday Conure) (Elby - lovebird) (Bitty & Stormy- Cockatiels) (Gorou & Liberty - Ringneck Doves)
I have a bird who's terrified of sticks as well--not being food motivated is an issue, but perhaps you just haven't found the right treat? Be sure you're using her #1 favorite treat when you're training. Millet, nuts, safflower seeds, sunflower seeds, try a large variety. But regardless of her fear of sticks you'll want to target train her.

To do this, you'll need to acclimate her to the stick in a controlled way. Approach with the stick until she first starts to show signs of discomfort. Freeze, hold the stick there until she relaxes, then click, treat and pull the stick back. Then, begin to approach with the stick again, freezing when she very first starts to show signs of discomfort, and just rinse and repeat... as she relaxes, click and treat and pull the stick away. You should gradually be able to get closer with the stick until eventually she's able to touch it.


Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
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Also if the treats you are trying to train her with are constantly available, say in her seed, she probably won't take them for training.


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Full house
Hello and welcome to you and Mort!

You have so much going on here with Mort and all the changes and past history he has had@ but first off big thank you for taking him in!

I'm going to write and then edit as I re read your issue.

First off he was learning to trust and forming an attachment to BF. Then poof BF was gone ( rejected him Mort might have thought ) and kinda broke his trust and routine changed . Now he has already been through big changes and likely un trust worthy no consistency humans. So this could have set him back a little. Plus burds like routines. And he could have hurt feelings about BF not being around. My burds are plenty mad abd peeved at me after I have spent weeks in the hospital. Acting out by bites and screaming. But I apologize and bribe tge heck out of them till all is forgiven.

My suggestions. Do a big re entroduction of BF. Next time they come over, take them to the cage ( with plenty of treats) and talk it out. Introduce them by name give a treat, explain they will be coming back keep feeding treats. Have BF apologize and explain and give a treat by hand if nice or use a treat only dish in cage if not. I can't say if birds can understand, read our minds, or what, but something seems to get across to them. If BF stands for boyfriend do not get all PDA in front if burd right now, be sneaky. Now every time BF comes over they go right to burd and say hello give treat, and every time they leave they go say goodbye to bird and give treat. You can work taking that further later.

Next is having Mort in a good calm mood and on you, then have him step to BF and step right back to you for a treat. If goes well just repeat once. Then repeat a few times after a break ( half hour) off and on. Do everyone tgey come over but after tge hello and after they relax about having a person over. When he is good at thst and always goes well. Then you can have him step from you to BF abd BF gives the treat . Then right back to you for treat. Repeat off and on during their visits till he is very good at that . This us pass the birdie game. Also BF can say hi and give a treat then walk away at random times while there.
This method has worked for all my burds and visitors.
Because I have all my visitors say hi and give treat while they are caged and bye and treat while caged. They look forward to new people. I only get them out if a visitors stay awhile and everything has calmed down, and burds are good. Then I have them step from me to the person for a treat. Then right back to me. If I have family that will be staying for a few days , I can work up to more interaction if the people are good

On target training as
mentioned in previous post. You can postive associate the chop stick first. Here in this thread by another member I linked a you tube video and some examples

Mm.. sorry so long
Last edited:


Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
Full house
[IMG alt="Laurasea"][/IMG]


new home and burds can act out its a big change. They miss their previous home.

Also birds who haven't been given a lot of attention and now are can at first become over excited and hormonal, usually calms down after a few weeks.

But it's a little more rare to become hormonal after a move, as that kind of stress normally knocks them out of it except as sbove

Weigh and make sure hasnt lost weight due to diet change.

I purposely took on a round the clock all day light hours screaming quaker. Whew! It was rough going....took about 2 months to rehabilitate.
I had to prevent the first morning screaming from getting started. I got her out got her foraging , then encouraged a bath by splashing in a bowl. That would lead to preening and a shirt nap. Before she could get going again I'd do short target training, then keep moving her to different perches areas in my home. Then a foraging toy with popcorn or a treat stick or millet spray. All day id say hi give treat when quiet many times a day. Anytime a screaming session was getting started I try to interrupt and re direct her. She definitely did not care if I ignored screaming, because at this point it was a self fulfilling activity. I had to prevent or interrupt, gradually the amount of time not screaming got longer and longer . Until it was no longer her go to activity.

Also Anytime caged she would be screaming. So I worked hard to recondition that. I planned short cage time for when she normally napped , and placed a high value time consuming treat. Like a big hunk of apple. I git her back out and praised before screaming started again. I was able to gradually make a routine and stretch that time of not screaming in the Cage to about 2 hours . To thus day I out done kind if treat in cage before asking her to go back.

There are also people who pattern to soft music. You play soft music as they are about to go to sleep st night. You keep doing this as a routine. Then you try to play the soft music any time they are quiet. Once a pattern is made, you play the music as they start to scream and the hope is they will calm down as they associate that with quiet time.

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