What am I doing wrong or do I just need to be more patience?

LoveOfallAnimals

Active member
Jul 17, 2022
88
209
Parrots
Female eclectus
Tito is no longer afraid of me. He comes running up to the side of the cage when he sees me and makes a little chirp.
He will take treats from the palm of my hand and foot toys. However, he will not step up. If I place the palm of my hand next to him without a treat, he screams.
I know that he probably doesn't know step up, so am I approaching this wrong?
I do show him a treat in hopes that it will entice him. I have only had him a couple of months. So am I just expecting too much too soon?
 

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ravvlet

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Jun 25, 2019
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Are you giving him your palm for a step up? Mine don’t love palms for anything except treats - they don’t feel secure stepping onto a flat surface like a hand (especially since hands are grabby).

You can try offering the fingers of one hand as a perch, while holding a treat over them with the other (that he cannot react without stepping up onto your hand). If that doesn’t work, or if he still seems reluctant about your hands, you can ask him to step up onto a dowel rod first; I find that is a lot easier for hand-shy birds.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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Are you giving him your palm for a step up? Mine don’t love palms for anything except treats - they don’t feel secure stepping onto a flat surface like a hand (especially since hands are grabby).

You can try offering the fingers of one hand as a perch, while holding a treat over them with the other (that he cannot react without stepping up onto your hand). If that doesn’t work, or if he still seems reluctant about your hands, you can ask him to step up onto a dowel rod first; I find that is a lot easier for hand-shy birds.
Good point. My bird would probably be confused if I asked them to step onto my palm.

Bird books used to instruct you to press your index finger under the birds breast to put him off balance so he “has to” step up. This seems a bit coercive but it’s still a stable and easy to grip hand position.

I’ve gotten that “Egyptian” grip to work in stepping up owls who were being rehabbed. It’s all about giving the bird a stable safe place to perch. Was easy to swap dirty old perches for new as well. Just made the old perch less stable and new one as firm as can be.
 
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LoveOfallAnimals

LoveOfallAnimals

Active member
Jul 17, 2022
88
209
Parrots
Female eclectus
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Are you giving him your palm for a step up? Mine don’t love palms for anything except treats - they don’t feel secure stepping onto a flat surface like a hand (especially since hands are grabby).

You can try offering the fingers of one hand as a perch, while holding a treat over them with the other (that he cannot react without stepping up onto your hand). If that doesn’t work, or if he still seems reluctant about your hands, you can ask him to step up onto a dowel rod first; I find that is a lot easier for hand-shy birds.
I have been offering him my palm as that is how my eclectus prefers to step up, so without thinking I just went with it. Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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