My parrot is terrified of me

by Shannon Geddis
(Ontario, California)

My red bellied parrot climed of his cage and was roaming around on my carpet. I went to pick him up to put him back of his cage and he went flying and hit the ground. I tried again to pick him up and he flew all the way down the stairs hitting a wall. He was screaching and yelling and I thought he was hurt. The only way I could pick him up was with a towel. The bird is now terrified of me and screams whenever I get close to his cage. I'm really worried that he is terrified of me and I messed up our bond. Please help

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Mar 08, 2010
My parrot is terrified of me
by: Linda

First of all new birds are ALWAYS scared to death of us, their new cage, their new home and any other family members. If you see it from your bird's point of view, we are giants who, if we want to, can hurt them very badly. Birds are prey animals, and they have few if any defenses. They can bite if the encounter is close or they can fly away, and those are the limits of their defenses.

If his wings are not clipped, take him to an Avian Vet and have them clip ONLY THE 6 PRIMARY WING FEATHERS. These are the long feathers at the end of each wing. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO CUT UP ANY HIGHER AS THIS HURTS THE BIRD FOR A LONG TIME, AND WHEN THEY FALL, THEY FALL LIKE A ROCK AND CAN BE SERIOUSLY INJURED. Also have the Avian vet give him a good exam for infections of the bacterial/viral nature and some general bloodwork to make sure his organs are healthy.

After that, use a stick to pick him up instead of the towel. If he refuses to get on stick, then you may have to use the towel. He will come around in time, and he first needs a clean bill of health BEFORE ANY TRAINING CAN TAKE PLACE. There are some training materials here you may wish to look at. Your bird may not be tame, and they are especially frightened of us if they are wild, so this will take some time. Having his wings clipped will keep him from flying into walls, windows or other hazards in the home, so make sure he is healthy and has a wing clip as described above. Make sure you stay with your bird at the Avian Vet's office so they can show you how to correctly clip the wings and toenails. When clipping the nails, always have some styptic powder or pads right next to you in case of cutting into the quick. Cutting wings is fairly easy, and you'll need someone to either hold or cut as it takes two people for the larger birds. Never cut a feather that is purple looking as these are called blood feathers, and birds can bleed out from cutting a blood feather. Just look to see if all the feathers are clear or all white as these are okay to cut. Your Avian Vet can go over all this with you while you watch.

Once your bird has a clean bill of health, limit training sessions to no more than 10-15 minutes at a time. You can do this a couple of times a day, just no longer than that for ANY training as birds have short attention spans and become bored and tired quickly.

Let us know how everything goes as we are always interested in helping you take the best care of your bird. The only dumb question is the one not asked, so feel free to ask anything, anytime.

Very good to chat with you, and talk later...


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