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How to make my birds braver?

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by datlamb, 7/9/18.

  1. datlamb

    datlamb Sprinting down the street

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    Hello. I own two lovely cockatiels who are two years old and are very friendly towards me.

    I've figured how to get them used to new objects, by introducing it slowly, and it works!

    However, can I somehow help them be braver in general? I keep seeing people with their birds in different parts of the house, on the table or sofa, or interacting with different objects like plushies or silverware.
    Mine are terrified of going to new places and although I can slowly introduce and make them more comfortable in different parts of the house it is still very uncomfortable for them. They are scared when they see anything new.

    How can I help them become braver with new situations?
     
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  2. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Mine are like yours. They are 2 or 3 years old, friendly, but timid. They're great in the bird room. They'll come out to the main part of the house if you go verrrrrry slowly. They fly away if I open the doors to the screened porch, where there is a play area I'd like them to use. I'm going to keep trying; I think just showing them more and more new things will de-sensitize them.
     
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  3. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    I don't know if this will help at all but with sun Tikki and gcc Beni I'll tell them what is going to happen. If I'm going to bend over to pick something up off the floor, I'll tell them "hold on" or if I'm opening something (door/window) that will make a noise or be a different movement to what they're used to I'll say "Noise" or "Door".

    I realize it sounds stupid in writing but they no longer fly away when I'm closing venetian blinds, windows or the sliding/fridge door. Things like the ice dispenser or grinder get the "noise" warning.

    My tiels on the other hand will go anywhere they can but we've been in this house for 7 years so the younger ones will follow the older ones.
     
  4. datlamb

    datlamb Sprinting down the street

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    oh wow this is actually a great tip, i didn't think of this!
    whenever i had to turn on the light after dark in the birdroom i started to say "light" and i noticed they were less spooked. i'll try being more verbal with them . thank you so much!
     
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  5. Dona

    Dona Jogging around the block

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    When I introduce something to Gigi that I think might be scary to her, I speak really quietly, move slowly, use a very calm demeanor and tell her what it is. I say a soothing "shhh, it's ok" over and over while repeating what it is like "It's just a paper towel." She's sometimes hand shy like most Linnies, so I can't always comfort her by petting or holding her, but maybe your tiels would like that.

    Oh, I just read the above. I actually warn everyone in the vicinity including Gigi when I am going to use my Vitamix blender.
     
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  6. Lady Jane

    Lady Jane Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Great topic for discussion. Although my two budgies were hand raised from 10 weeks of age one does not want to be touched and the other one is ok with touch. Both of them very seldom leave the area around their cage. They have yet to land on anything other than the top of the cage. Many birds fear something new, "is it going to hurt me"? Being a prey animal could be part of that. It sounds like you are introducing new ideas, places and things into their world slowly. That is a good thing. Socialization is very important and often neglected with a young bird. Good luck and let us know how things are going.
     
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  7. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I also warn my tiels whenever I think something may startle them. Since my birds feel safe when they are on me, I can take them into new surroundings when they are on me. They act a bit leery at first, but if I sit down and talk to them they start to relax. In fact, the more family members there are around chatting away, the faster my birds become comfortable. Also, I always make sure my house is never too quiet, because that seems to put them on edge. I always have the radio on at least.
     
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  8. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    I do this too! I say let’s go outside, or ‘big noise’ as a warning before machinery starts. Also “hang on” before I bend or lean, and “up up” when I need them up quickly like if the dog comes toward them. I talk about what we’re doing and they also understand “You’re not going out there if we can’t get your harness on!”
     
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  9. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    "Go" in our house means to fly away back to the cage or a bird area.Usually preceded by "I need you to"
     
    Last edited: 7/9/18
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  10. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    I need to borrow that one! I have “fly to me” but not “go away silly bird.”

    ETA: Oh - but I do say perch and they go to a perch. If it’s not too far away.
     
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  11. Barbara jasko

    Barbara jasko Strolling the yard

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    I have always taken my birds out of their comfort zone. When they get home, they learn that they survived the experience and will live to see another day. When we moved from another place into this condo, if I was going to be more than a few minutes I brought them along to "help me". So when we actually moved in permanently they were ready. I always talk to the birds and explain what we are doing. I have a birdie backpack and will take, one at a time, a bird to Home Depot, art fairs, music festivals, out for a walk around the neighborhood, friends homes, outdoor restaurants, they really do like the adventure. My Green cheek conure, Angel, gets motion sickness in the car, so I often stick closer to home or walk with him. But he loves to get out.

    Keep working at it, they will get more confident with more experiences.
     
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  12. datlamb

    datlamb Sprinting down the street

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    thank you all so much for this advice! it's all very helpful.

    right now i am waiting to receive a play stand i ordered. i'm planning on having it near the bird room so they can get used to it and if they want they could go on it when they feel comfortable. after a while i think i'll move it to the living room so they will understand it's safe there too.

    it is absolutely adorable how much you all talk to your birds. i need to start doing it too!

    i also think that maybe i am at fault as well. the few times i took the birds out of the bird room to be with me they got spooked very quickly and started flying in circles. instead of taking a step back and doing it slower i stopped altogether, thinking that maybe the only place i could be with them will be the bird room.
    but i started taking them out to be with me again. and they love it! Hopi is getting lots of scritches and happy enjoys destroying my chair, haha.

    today they even climbed down to explore my desk! i was delighted. when they had enough they flew off and clung to the bird room net until i opened it and let them in. i'm so happy with their progress :)

    i also bought a birdie backpack! this one: Amazon.com : Prevue Pet Products Soft Sided Bird Travel Carrier with Perch Large, Multicolor : Pet Supplies

    i do hope we'll get to enjoy it together
     
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  13. Dona

    Dona Jogging around the block

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    I have that exact travel carrier and really like it. Gigi has been in it twice to vet and once last week when I did a deep clean of her cage. She seems comfortable in it. A plus and a minus is that it's hard to see her in there. The mesh is a little dark. But I think that's great when she's in the waiting room at the vet with all the dogs and not so great when I'm trying to show my neighbor my little cutie as I come home from the vet. :)
     
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  14. Barbara jasko

    Barbara jasko Strolling the yard

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    I also have 3 playgyms/stands, 1 for each bird, and they go with me on the stands into each room as I do chores. I put the stands on my screened in balcony so they can get some fresh air and sunshine. Always under supervision. They enjoy watching wild birds flying around and vocalizing. I belong to a parrot club and we are allowed to bring our birds. Most of the members birds are large macaws and cockatoos but my guys love all the action and they join in the squalking. So they get a big adventure 1X month.

    My birdie backpack is another brand also at Amazon and it is a bit dark inside.
     
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