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Is this the right path?

Outstrech

Walking the driveway
Joined
12/31/20
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179
Real Name
Erica
hello. i have a 7 month old 'tiel who's name is sunflower, and to be completely honest with you, I think he's a boring bird. all he does is sit in a corner all day, in the same spot (he's not sick) except for eating in drinking. he doesn't scream so i assume he's not stressed, he doesn't pluck, or have any other behavoiral problems. i've tried:
-new cage (rn hes in a spacious cage but he doesnt use like any of it)
-toys (doesn't play with them)
-step up (nips and hisses)
-clicker training (doesn't work.)
-keep cage door open. I keep the door open with a perch that's on the door so he can hop onto it but he only goes if there's millet and finishes the millet and goes back and squats for the rest of the day
-target traning (no response to target)


so...i'm considering getting a "hand tame" cockatiel so that can show sunflower that hands aren't scary, and toys are fun. is this the right way to go? i understand 2 cockatiels = double responsibility and costs but honestly i feel kind of bad for sunflower, and that he needs a friend.
i know this is wrong but whenever i see a social media 'tiel or a friend's hand tame 'tiel i get a little...jealous. i hate to say this but sunflower has let me down. people on youtube just "push their finger into their tiels chest" and boom now they step up. it almost feels like magic that i dont have, or i lost the genetic lottery when picking my bird.

thanks for any help!
 

Outstrech

Walking the driveway
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Erica
and yes i know i posted about this a while ago but i'm seriously considering getting another tiel

everytime i look for youtube tutorials its like somebody is screaming at my face "Look how tame THEIR tiel is! Now look at your tiel, who is probably depressed and hates you and everything! Wow, you're such an AWFUL bird parent! Should just drop him off at an animal shelter, he'll be happier that way"

and its just these guilty thoughts that make it mentally taxing to even look at him. i'm so sorry, sunflower. this is all my fault. i shouldn't have bought you. i should've done more reasearch. i should've let you out before. i should've given you better toys. i should've given you a better cage from the start. i should've introduced you to new things sooner.

now things are hopeless :sad1:
 

Outstrech

Walking the driveway
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Erica
yes, as he has no other symptoms.
 

Gigibirds

Sprinting down the street
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Also don't worry! Things aren't hopeless! I'm sure that there will be someone who can help you!! You are trying really hard with him! I wish I had experience with cockatiels so I could help you!!
 

Greylady1966

Rollerblading along the road
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I have volunteered at parrot shelters, helped foster parrots from rescue and hoarders and had parrots in my life for 44 years and never once have I seen a parrot let a person down. But I've seen how people fail them.
 

Outstrech

Walking the driveway
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Erica
I have volunteered at parrot shelters, helped foster parrots from rescue and hoarders and had parrots in my life for 44 years and never once have I seen a parrot let a person down. But I've seen how people fail them.
maybe it is my fault, then
 

Outstrech

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Erica
my mom keeps saying "its just his personality" and that "she never let out her birds when she caught them from the wild" but i know, deep down, i'm not doing bird-parenting right.
 

Greylady1966

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Than read up and change what you need to. Be relaxed around him.
 

Sylvi_

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I absolutely understand and emphasize with wanting to bond with your bird. It can be difficult when it feels like they don’t want anything to do with you.

First I want to say, you are doing good by Sunflower. Please be kinder to yourself. He has a spacious cage, an owner who’s looking out for his best interests and also willing to learn. Sadly many birds don’t have that.

Every bird is going to have their own “journey”, per say. Some may come around in a month, some a year. Others, far longer or not at all. Many factors come into play here but as long as you go at his pace and keep things positive - your relationship will improve.
Maybe he won’t ever be crazy about humans, and as frustrating as this answer is, that’s okay. You’ll learn to love him for who he is, not who you expected him to be. It will just take time.

About the original question, I think most birds benefit from having other birds around them. Mainly because they’re naturally flock animals.

Seeing and hearing a second bird can provide security, but there is a possibility that they won’t get along. Always make sure you can adjust your environment if that is the case. (Second cage, account for double the expenses and possibly separate out of cage time.)
 

Outstrech

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Erica
So would it be okay to adopt another tiel?
 

SeñorBirb

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Ella
Don't feel bad. I really like that you are trying to do the best for him, a TON of birds don't get that type of attention or care.

Have you tried holding millet and seeing if he will come to you and just eat out of your hand for a while everyday? (and not just in the cage?) Maybe, first thing in the morning, instead of him eating in his cage as he normally would, have the food right by you or in your hand. Maybe he will realize that You=Food=Good. Try playing aviary noises for him, see if he responds to that. Try this for a few weeks, along with the other advice you got, and if it doesn't work, I think it would be ok to adopt another tiel.

I really hope this helps. Good luck!
 

AussieBird

Rollerblading along the road
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@Outstrech if you think another tiel will help AND your ready for another responsability, do it. Don't just go out and buy a hand raised bird expect it to be like those birds on the internet, trust must be earned. Even think about adopting.
There are a few of us on AA who decide to not train our birds. We let them live their lives as best we can provide for them, i know i am open to them deciding they want to hang out with me, but am also content to let them be.
@Khizz i feel is a wonderful person to tag for you.
 

MC_Hahn's

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I've dealt with a similar situation with my cockatiel, Colby. The humane society that I adopted him from had no background information on him. I had intended to get another 'tiel, but I saw that the other bird had serious medical issues, and so I decided to take home a different bird. I've found that Colby is very mellow and not interested in many toys either. However, there are a few that he can't resist. Try putting millet within his favorite toys, and possibly lower the perch that he sits at all day. I've found that Colby doesn't like rope perches as much as wooden ones, and so I have two long rope perches at the top of his cage. He will perch on them at night and sometimes during the day, but he moves around a lot more now. I arranged the wooden perches in a staircase-type style, where he can hop from one to the next. This might not be possible for you, depending on the cage. Try offering a wooden bird kabob at his favorite perch. All of my birds love them.
Does your bird like swings, ladders, or shredding perches that are stuffed with paper scraps?
Also, since you haven't been able to take him out of the cage for very long, has he had a proper bath or shower?
Another thing to try is moving the food bowls around the cage or placing a comfortable platform perch near the front or preferred area. Attaching a perch to the front door of the cage might help so that he can perch there when he wants to hang out.
Have you tried putting scraps of paper in a bowl and mixing millet in? Colby likes this easy foraging activity.

As for getting another bird, I have two parakeets as well. They mostly just annoy Colby. However, he does like to watch them play and fly around.

One of his favorite places to sit is a tall play stand. Does your bird have a safe space to perch when he's out of the cage? Some birds love perching on a high shelf or birdie play gym.

There are so many fun ways to include him in your daily life. Fold laundry while you talk to him, read him stories or articles, listen to music with your bird... Anything enjoyable for both of you.

Best of luck to you and your fid! :)
 

Tiel Feathers

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How long have you had him? I feel like you haven’t had your bird long enough to allow your relationship to really blossom. It takes work, time and patience. He probably cares for you more than you realize and I feel like you should wait to get another bird. Tiels are generally very laid back and often don’t play with toys. Every day try playing with a couple of toys while he watches. Eventually he might try playing with one. Save millet just for training, and try some foraging toys. If you got a new bird, that bird may not want the kind of interaction that you’re expecting either, even a hand raised bird. If you stick with it, the relationship you have with your current bird will be completely different in a couple of years. Also, don’t look at YouTube. That’s a huge factor in all the unrealistic expectations people have for their birds and not a true account of how many birds behave.
 

Outstrech

Walking the driveway
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Erica
Thanks for all the support everybody. I've had sunflower for around half a year. He won't take intrest in anything unless it has millet in it, and even then he jus takes the millet and leaves.
 

Khizz

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My Jeff was quite similar for a while, and he still isn't big on playing with toys to be honest, unless I get him a wicker ball them he goes nuts :rofl: But at first he just stayed on the one long dowel perch I had in my cage, and walked up and down that, and that's it. It changed quite dramatically when I got rid of that perch and moved his food bowls. The previous set up was too easy and gave him access to all he needed, so when it changed he was forced to go around the cage and soon he realised that it isn't so bad! I only use natural perches now, and make sure that food and water is placed further away from their sleeping areas.

Another point is that many tiels tend to enjoy shredding stuff rather than what some might consider "playing". Jeff will literally just stand in front of the wicker ball pulling branches out and twiddling them with his beak, dropping it, then picking it up again.

Some may come around in a month, some a year. Others, far longer or not at all.
Maybe he won’t ever be crazy about humans, and as frustrating as this answer is, that’s okay. You’ll learn to love him for who he is, not who you expected him to be. It will just take time.
It takes work, time and patience. He probably cares for you more than you realize and I feel like you should wait to get another bird.
These points are very important to listen to. 6 months aren't that long. Jeff took at least a year to be fully comfortable with me, and both of them are still hands off birds. I'd hold off on getting a new bird until he is fully settled in.

Also, it's worth considering if you will ever be satisfied with a hands off bird, or even two. I have two of them, and I bond with them in other ways:

Having a relationship with untamed birds

There's never a guarantee with birds, and I feel that sometimes breeders promise too much when they sell "handtame" babies, because handtaming by one person is no guarantee for the next owner. If anything, an older bird is more predictable.

If you feel that you'd not pay as much attention to an untamed bird, there's no shame in considering rehousing to somebody who would be ready for that. If you do decide to try, we're all here to offer advice and help. :)
 

Outstrech

Walking the driveway
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Erica
Today I think I might go to the store and see if its trustworthy, and I probably wont buy anything. The sad truth is, I would kind of think rehoming sunflower (thus giving more attention to new bird) qould be an okay option but I dont want to admit it. It sounds like i'm treating birds like objects but thats not what I mean...anyways i'll think about this. Thanks @Khizz!
 

Sunni Tiel

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I can see how this would be frustrating. Sunni came to me from a trusted local parrot store that takes great care of the birds and is great at hand feeding and taming. They made hands a positive experience from the start of his life so he loves everyone. Begs to get out of the cage and play. Even some "hand tame" birds aren't that friendly. It depends on how they were raised, if it was hand feeding but negative and forceful, I would understand them being still scared and cautious of hands. Don't be surprised if you get another bird and they aren't much fun either.

I would not get another bird in your situation, you might get disappointed when that's just how birds are. If you still feel you should, that's OK, but I'm just warning you.

Sunni didn't know how to play with toys when I got him, The store didn't give him anything but a faded rubber ducky on a string with beads. (the one thing I didn't love about that store) But after I showed him this toy, https://www.amazon.com/Super-Bird-Creations-2-Inch-Mexican/dp/B002JANWI6 He opened up and played with all his toys. Another thing that helped was a varied diet. Weird, but it worked. I feed him now 3+ different pellets and multiple seed mixes a day. Now he's used to different foods and tries anything. It really could be just your 'tiel's personality, but the more positive time you spend with him the more open he will become. Good luck!
 
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