Scaly Breasted Lorikeet - Wants to "Mate" with my Feet!

by Pam
(Australia)

My pet Scaly Breasted Lorikeet (2 Years old) is very tame and he can talk too! Whilst he is IN his cage I can pet him, talk to him and he talks back.
He whistles tunes and dances when I sing to him.
Just recently, he has "Fallen in Love" with my FEET!
When I let him out of his cage, he frantically tries to get to the floor. Once on the floor he stays by my feet…even when I'm walking, he follows me everywhere, even outdoors.
He won't let me pick him up at all and I CAN NOT get him back into his cage. Even when I offer him treats he still won't let me touch him and walks quickly, backwards away from me as if he is frightened of me.
When near my feet, he bends his head down, fluffs up and makes a PPPPHHHHT . . . PPPPHHHHT . . . PPPPHHHHT sound as he bobs up and down.
Is this a "Mating Ritual" and he wants to "Mate" with my feet?
I have tried sitting on the floor for over half an hour, and patiently coaxing him with treats to get him to "Step Up". But still no way will he let me touch him.
I have tried putting his ladder near him, also a small blanket that reaches from his cage to the floor, so that he can climb up, but he just backs away from anything I put near him.
I know that I am NOT supposed to do this but, it is the ONLY way I can get him UP again . . .
I have to get a towel and drop it over him, much to HIS and MY displeasure.
What can I do to get my little buddy out of this. I am almost in tears!
I don't want to frighten him further with the towel ordeal . . . PLEASE HELP ME

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Jan 31, 2012
Lorikeet obsessed with feet
by: Tracie

I am so glad you wrote. There are several things that need to be done here, so you can start training the bird.

You need to take the bird to get it's wings trimmed. If your bird has not seen an avian vet, then this would be a good time to Find an Avian Vet to trim the wings and make sure your bird is healthy.

You need to NOT let the bird down on the floor, or to go anywhere there may be toxic items or where it could get trapped, or stepped on. Birds have hollow bones that break easily, so you certainly don't want the bird on your feet when you walk or on the floor at all.

Your bird should not "follow you" outside. Wild birds carry diseases, and your bird can get these diseases by going where other birds have gone and also by playing on your floor because you have gone outside and stepped where the wild birds have been. Also, your bird could fly away or be attacked by a predator.

Once you have the bird's wings trimmed, and determined that the bird is healthy, then you can start training your bird.

Please read the training articles on our Parrot Training page for information on training your bird and developing a positive relationship with the bird.

You already have a head start, because the bird has spent a lot of time with you. Now you just need to help the bird learn to step up on your or a training stick. The bird will not be able to fly away, and if it heads for the floor, you just pick it up and put it back in the cage with a low firm, "noooooo" so that it knows this is not acceptable.

It will take some time for it to learn the floor is off limits, since you have allowed it to play there. In time it will learn, it will just take some persistence and patience on your part.

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