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How to: Know if you've been chosen.

Gussy

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I have read many forums and online articles that claim birds will choose their owner. I know each bird is an individual and each type of bird tends to have certain characteristics people expect from that specific species. I was thinking it might be interesting for people to share just how they knew, when picking their companion, that their bird chose them back. What did you notice that made you say, "Yep, that's the one?" I've rescued dozens of animals over the years and had many people tell me (mostly about dogs) the exact moment that they knew. I have never been in a situation where I went out to choose a bird and was chosen, but I'd love to hear other's stories. I also figure this might help future bird owners to know just what to look for (other than just good physical health) when picking a new friend.
 

jmfleish

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I have a lot of birds and I don't know if any of them really chose me other than the one who recently came into my house, Cisco BFA. This little guy is totally in love with me and had he not chosen me, I would probably still be looking for a home for him. I saw an ad for him on Craigslist along with a little TAG who also stole my heart and we found a home for the TAG right away or I might have kept him too. Absolutely stunning little sweethearts, both of them! I am now totally banned from Craigslist forever!

Cisco didn't start out liking me and, in fact, the previous owners said he was a "man's bird". We picked him up and he rode home in the car with my husband and talked a lot. We had to leave him with a friend of mine in a different city while we took the cages that came with the birds to our house so we could come back and get the cages she was going to donate to the cause because the ones they came with were pretty icky. When we got back and loaded up the new cages, I wanted to ditch the travel cage he was in because it too was kind of icky and I tried to be as gentle as possible in taking him out and he seemed very afraid of hands and I got bit a few times in the process and he was not a happy bird at all.

When we finally got back home, I set him up in a cage that was bigger than the one he had come from and he cowered in a corner on the bottom of the grate all night and the next day and I was very concerned that he might be sick, so we got him in to see the vet right away and did a physical and tested for all the diseases and had him DNA tested as well. I also moved him to a smaller cage with all rope perches because he had the beginnings of pressure sores on his little feet. He started to settle in after his vet visit and was deemed healthy and after that, really just started coming out of his shell and I think he decided that I was the one he loved on the third or fourth day in our house.

We have really bonded and he's been with us for about three weeks now. He lets me pet him and loves to talk to me and will sit on my shoulder and is just a really great bird to have around. He's not demanding but seems to always be in a happy mood. I just think he's the sweetest little guy I've ever met...even sweeter than my Amarillo DYHA who I truly thought was the sweetest bird ever! He totally chose me, albeit not right away but it didn't take long!:) We are best buddies now and he just loves to hang out with me. I'm glad I could give him a good home and he's happy and I hope I can give him a lot of really happy years. Here's a video I took a week or so ago.

 

aooratrix

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Morgan chose me. I kept going to a neighborhood pet shop, and she insisted on jumping on me and demonstrating her talking repertoire for me. It happened enough that I realized what was happening. 22 years later, here we are. :)
 

Tyrion

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Tyrion chose me ..I was at the pet store my son works at and I was checking out all the baby Greys ...all of them kept to themselves except this lil one who followed me around the cage and pressed his chest against the bars for me to pet ..so I pet him and stroked his head and tried to move to another baby but he kept moving in the way of any other babies and called and called when I left ..my son said he called for hours after I was gone ..the next time about a week later I was in the store that same baby saw me coming and started calling and calling ..I walked to the cage and he rushed up to the front of the cage and pressed himself against the bars of the cage again for me to pet him ...again when I left he called for me ..the third time I went to the store he saw me and got frantic calling and rushing to the front of the cage and I took him out and he cuddled into my chest and I took him home that day and we have been the best of friends ever since :)
 

Jaguar

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I have never been in a situation where I went out to choose a bird and was chosen
Honestly? I haven't either. Phoenix and Miles I both purchased sight unseen as they were both reserved as hatchlings from breeders. I met Puffy before I got him, but he was petrified in the corner of a tiny budgie cage. There was no connection - he needed help and I had the means to give it to him.

There are some people who genuinely visit rescues and such and pick the parrot they connect with, but a lot of others get so caught up in the "oh my god I gotta get a parrot RIGHT NOW" craze that they'll believe ANYTHING is a sign that it chose them. :p
 

Gussy

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Oh my gosh! I'm loving these stories. Lucky Cisco has found a safe and loving place with you and your family. He is gorgeous!

The other two stories of the pet shop birds are so cute! I remember experiencing something similar when I met my dog. His gaze followed me and he sat right at the edge of the kennel moving his head side to side as I talked to him.

It's such a great feeling to have an animal decide you're theirs.

A good friend of mine has Grey. I am going to have to share that story with her. She'll just love it. Thank you to all of you who have shared so far.
 

Ark

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I am an animal lover by nature, but I had zero interest in having a pet bird. I had other pets to keep me busy, so I wasn't missing out on anything... or so I thought. Then I met Rowan. I hadn't even noticed him at first, but at the pet store, it was pointed out to me that he was going crazy trying to get my attention. I knew very little about parrots, but I spent a good half an hour interacting with him. He loved me from first sight, ignored anyone else walking past, and I understood without a doubt that he wanted to come home with me. Knowing how crazily impulsive that was, I don't think I slept for the next few days while I researched endlessly, but I was his and he was mine after that first day. I visited him daily until I brought him home, but every interaction had that same sense of "being right" that is hard to explain. I honestly believe that leaving him at that store would have been one of, if not the, single biggest regret in my life.

Before, I would have thought that a bird picking someone was silly or at the very least anthropomorphizing to an absurd extent, but birds just KNOW who they want, and possibly even more who they don't want, and they make it very clear. My second bird, Elliot, was rescued by my mom... but he hated her from day one, :laugh:. He was neutral on me at first, but now he is as loving as Rowan. I think that being chosen and growing a bond with a bird are both equally wonderful experiences. But when you do meet a bird and can feel that instant connection, there is no doubt whatsoever. You just know. Unfortunately it then falls to the human to uphold their part in the bond that was formed, and many humans aren't able to meet those demands for animals as intelligent and emotional as parrots. :(
 

JLcribber

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After coming here and meeting my wife for all of about 20 minutes, Tika was already trying to mount my wife's hand and giving me dirty looks. He had chosen. :imok:
 

Gussy

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Ark, what a beautiful story! It was love at first sight. I really hope I someday have this instant, unexpected connection with a bird. Tomorrow I'm going to a Bird Mart and plan to get nothing but supplies, that being said, if something like this were to happen I may make an exception. I know I want a bird, but I want to wait until it really feels right.
 

Mizzely

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In my opinion, a baby bird can't choose you. They like everyone.

I've been chosen once. I had brought Gizmo the Hahns home expecting a bird who could just be a bird, wouldn't need a lot of human contact etc. Because that's how she was at her other home. Within 3 days she flew at me, and landed on my glasses. After getting to my shoulder, she never really left. She was a totally different bird than I expected to have, in the best way possible. We had a connection I can't explain.
 

aooratrix

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I have witnessed multiple baby birds that have gravitated to specific people repeatedly, so I disagree. I also think that just about anyone can form a relationship with a baby. Only one of mine chose me; the rest are working out fine, so far. ;)
 

zoo mom

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Jason, my Senegal, chose me. Later he changed allegiance and chose my husband, but that is a different issue. Jason was 9 months old and had been sold by a breeder to the pet store. When I first saw Jason I was captivated. I asked if I could take him out of the cage. I was told he wouldn't come out for anyone but I could try. I opened the door and he boldly jumped onto my hand and ran up my arm to sit on my shoulder. The pet store staff was shocked. After 45 minutes on my shoulder it was time to go back to his cage. He refused to. Allow any of them to remove him from my shoulder. He did did step down nicely for me and let me put him away. I then when to the library and a book store and did some research on pet birds and a few hour's later I was back to put down a deposit.
 

fluffypoptarts

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finchly

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Ernie picked me. I went to the local rescue to look at a ringneck -- so pretty! Ernie was behind me, a small quiet boy in a loud room so I can't explain but I felt him looking and turned around. He squawked and strutted for me. I went back and asked if I could hold him, zero parrot experience, they said he bites. The minute she opened the cage he raced to my shoulder and stayed there.

They require you to visit with the bird for some hours plus a home visit. Then hubby said no way to a parrot.so I convinced him jus to go look. That day some lady had showed up, got angry cause they wouldn't adopt her a bird that day (she was from another town, and had never been there before). As she left she let Ernie out of his cage. So I came in, here's Ernie on the floor. The workers both said he would bite them if they tried to get him... I reached down and Up he ran to cuddle on me.... hubby sighed and said ok. We just celebrated our 3 year gotcha day.
 

Mizzely

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Jason, my Senegal, chose me. Later he changed allegiance and chose my husband, but that is a different issue. Jason was 9 months old

This is what makes me feel like babies don't truly choose. Jingo also "chose " me right out the gate and then switched allegiances to my husband about 9 months old.

I'm not saying it's impossible, and maybe I'm biased, but I feel that an adult choosing you is more likely to "stick" than a baby. Not trying to offend anyone.
 

aooratrix

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I definitely agree that parrots' affections can change. And an older bird that chooses you is much more likely to be a smoother relationship.

I guess instead of "choose" I should say that babies, and all parrots, can be interested in/fascinated by certain people, almost like a crush in humans. For instance, I've known birds that literally lit up for blondes, men with beards, etc.
 

fluffypoptarts

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I have seen baby birds that people tried to strongly encourage to choose them go and choose someone else instead (birdy was just waiting for someone more preferred, it seemed). So far, I've not had any baby lovebirds that bonded to me change allegiances, though. (I wonder if anyone has lovebird stories of this.) Actually, I keep getting chosen by lovebirds who aren't supposed to choose me! Babies and adults alike. :headsmack:

Baby birds are tough. The signs can be very subtle, even after holding them often several days in a row. The way they look at you, the way they seem to nestle into your hand, the way they close their eyes because they're at ease with you - those can be signs.

Sometimes it's more a feeling than anything. I brought Turnip home primarily because he needed a home - but I felt like he would choose me. I later thought I'd been wrong when he seemed so leery of me for a while, but it just took longer for him. Plus he's crazy, so that complicated things. :)
 
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