As as rescue we get many questions about birds. I think some of the questions we see the most have to do with taking a new bird in and stopping unwanted behaviors. It’s important to remember..the bird is around new people…it’s in a new environment…’s scared and confused. You can’t force a bird to be comfortable with a situation. You have to let them come to terms on their own…at their pace. Some birds will test you to see what they can and can’t do…much like a toddler will another relative or babysitter. Start slowly…start by giving them a day or two in his new environment before pushing yourself on him..then stand next to the cage and start talking to him. When he’s comfortable with that, start feeding him food through the cage with your fingers…get him used to your hand. When comfortable with that, open the cage door…sit in a chair outside the door and feed him the same food. Eventually that will progress…but you have to do it in a manner that they are comfortable. You can’t rush or force it. Some birds take months or even years to come around. But they generally do…on THEIR terms. You aren’t working with a dog who will learn a command with food in a few hours…birds a wild animals. It takes more work than that…and it’s well worth it in the end…but you have to be willing and patient.

Some birds will scream in their new environment. Please remember…do not yell back! Birds feed off excitement and that only reinforces the behavior. Some screaming is normal and should be permitted…if it carries on…try covering him for a few minutes and when covering him say “no scream” or “no” but don’t yell it..when he’s calmed down…remove the cover. You may have to do it several times before they understand but again…a little patience goes a long way.

Some birds have a “honeymoon” period too…they will come in unsure…looking for affection because they are scared…and then one day…BAM! They start biting…that’s when you will need to start working with them. This is not uncommon and doesn’t mean the bird doesn’t like you. They are just comfortable enough to express themselves at this point.

Please do some research before bringing a bird into your home…one species may be better suited for your environment than another. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the bird.

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