Perception by TAG of human face vs hand


Supporting Member
Aug 21, 2010
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
My last remaining TAG was born in my home about 25 years ago. ET was hand-fed, and even had extra attention as some of his toes were malformed. All through the years he has refused to bond and remains skittish of hands except when they are used to "rescue" him from the floor, (not a great flyer) or to receive food from said hand!

I've noticed an interesting behavior as ET sits in an open door that was designed for nest-box access. Sometimes he'll face outwards (tail in cage) and just as frequently reverse facing inward. While I can't touch him in this position, he seems to enjoy my face and nose gently touching the back. No rush to force me away!

Somewhere I heard parrots bond to the person as represented by the face. Surely they understand the hands are part of the same body? Of course the hand can catch or grab while the face is a very passive feature!


New member
Sep 19, 2012
Lewisville, TX
Alexandrine Ringneck,
about to be getting a Jardine's
My alexandrine is much more accepting of faces than hands. It took me two years before I could let him with my hand, and even now, the letting is on his terms. But I could always snuggle him with my face or feet from the second I brought him home.

These are all just guesses of mine, but I think birds have a predatory avoid hands type instinct. On top of that, hands also are what grabs birds, and outside of super cuddly individuals, birds don't like to be grabbed.

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