A parrot can be one of the most fun and rewarding pets you can own, but also the most challenging. Parrots are social animals, that live with huge flocks with hundreds of other birds n the wild. As you can imagine, that natural environment may be difficult to replicate in your living room. Taking the time to form a successful relationship with your parrot will fulfill its primal instinct to bond and greatly increase your birds quality of life!
Overcoming Bad Human Experiences
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for parrots to hop from owner to owner, and store to store. Parrots get purchased impulsively, with the owners not doing research or not understanding or accepting the avalanche of responsibility that comes with parrot ownership. They are then neglected, sold or surrendered to pet stores or rescues. If a parrot has had enough poor experiences with humans in the past, he will not trust you. The bird may be suffering from feelings of abandonment, and you will have to earn his trust back. This type of behavior problem is more commonly found in adopted parrots from rescues & shelters. Don't worry, parrots love to love and will eventually learn to love you back! So, how do you start to form a strong relationship with your bird?
Spend Time Together
After taking home your new parrot for the first time, chances are he is wondering just who the heck you are! If your bird is visibly nervous when you are around, slowly come around 10-15 a day to sit next to your bird and talk. Talk to your bird in a high pitched and animated voice, it will help your parrot feel more comfortable around you. If your bird will allow you to, gently massage the back of your feathered friends neck. Grooming is the first thing in nature that forms a bond between families in nature. With time, you may even want to invite your buddy into the shower with you! Pisces recommends: Super Bird Creations Fold Away Shower Perch. Be careful not to make any sudden movements that could spook your bird.
Dinner for Two
Eating together and offering your parrot a portion of your meal is an excellent way for you to appear to be a part of his flock. Sit down with your bird on the couch or at the table and indulge in a fresh fruit (like banana) together. The old "one for you, one for me" technique works well to establish a trusting bond. Parrots love to mimic, whether it is vocal or in their actions. A parrot will be more likely to take food from your hand after watching you eat some yourself. be wary, not all fruits are safe for parrot consumption!
Safe Fruits Include: Apple, banana, oranges, peach, pineapple, pears, mango, cranberry & apricot.
Unsafe Fruits Include: Avocado, rhubarb, as well as the seeds & pits of apples, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, cherries, or any pit fruit.
Basic training with your parrot is a great way to bond and should be done to establish rules and boundaries to the parrot early. Simple training techniques like "step-up" will get your parrot accustom to you and your voice. Just like it sounds, the "step-up" training is teaching your bird to hop from one target perch to another (usually your hand or finger) on que. Consider picking up a clicker for your training (Pisces recommends: Clix Multi-Clicker), the "click & treat" has been a proven effective method for training dogs, cats and birds! For example, when practicing step-up, click your clicker when your bird has performed the actions well, and follow with a reward. The click sound acts as an audible indication that he has performed well, and a treat immediately following will show the parrot that this action earns rewards (Pisces recommends: Real Rewards Tropical Mix for Large Birds).
Do Your Research!!!
Large parrot species can easily live between 30-60 years in captivity. Adopting a pet parrot is a life-long commitment with many responsibilities that will change your life. Pisces Pet Emporium urges potential parrot owners to do as much research as possible and consider the pro's and cons of parrot ownership before adoption. Parrots can grow with you to be lots of fun, endless entertainment, and most importantly, friends. However, they are also an extremely loud, destructive and time-consuming pet. If you are interested in being a parrot's companion, please ask as many questions in-store or online!