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Looking for Ideas to Help Build Trust

Hoshi

Meeting neighbors
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57
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Iona
My entire experience of having a bird has had more downs than ups. From him coming from an abusive breeder, being deathly afraid of me, and barbering his feathers off to well.. he's cute. Please don't misunderstand, I love him to death. I got him at 3 months and he will be one year old next week! I'm getting a second job just to cover his vet bills. No matter how far back he sets me financially and won't bond with me, I'm still going to be there for him.

The little guy is still afraid of me. I've tried literally every tip from every website online on how to bond with your parrot, but to no avail. My vets keep pointing me towards Barbara Heidenreich, which I have checked out her website , but I don't have a ton of money laying around to buy her videos, nor am I interested in her forum pages-- which brings me back here to Avian Avenue. I've posted several threads about my journey with Hoshi (my indian ringneck), so if you'd like more background information, check them out.

Progress has been very slow, but it's there. He sometimes takes food from my hand, so far Nutriberries are the only food that's temping enough for him to go near my hand. I've tried offering fruits and seeds from my hand but he won't go near it. He's in the living room, with his cage door open to give him the option to come out (he always does). I've been holding him every day, trying to get him more used to me, but so far it hasn't made a difference as far as trust goes. Recently I've put some towels over the back of the couch and set him on top so he's closer to me whenever I've had work to do on the computer or are just watching TV. Haven't seen much of a difference there either, he's always on the opposite side of where I'm sitting. I've tried sharing food with him too, which I've had some luck with. I'll get a banana and tear a small piece off the top and set it on top of the towel. He occasionally has taken a nibble, but never actually picks it up and eats it.

In a previous post I talked about his falling issues. I took him to the vet and they decided to imp him. He was doing great until the anesthetic wore off. The first day he had his new feathers he ripped all of the tail feathers out and several wing feathers. A couple days after that I was able to get a hold of the vet and they said they are going to be looking for new feathers. The ones that used last time were from cockatiels, a green cheek conures, and sun conures. Yes-- he was very colorful.

I apologies for all of the rambling on. I was just trying my best to give a good idea with what I've tried so far, as far as bonding techniques. If anyone here has had a scared bird and has some tips please let me know!





 

pawfectly

Walking the driveway
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Hoshi is SO cute!

Have you tried target training with him? It seems to be effective with most birds. You can look up some videos on Youtube about it.

I have an IRN as well and he is a wildcaught rescue. I’ve had little to no success training him / getting him to do anything because he’s terrified of hands and will not tolerate it if you come too close to him.

I’ll be following this thread closely to get some tips for my own IRN.

Hope you’re able to resolve this!
 

Peachfaced

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JOLLY-PATROLLY
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I would use positive reinforcement and use hands-off methods with the bird until you can build up your relationship in other ways. Things like target training, sitting on a T perch, and getting the bird to dance or vocalize with you. Encourage any positive interaction you have between you and your bird, so that you become the one that's fun and safe to be around.

Maybe try a new treat delivery system. For instance, with fearful or nippy birds, I will pinch the treat between a clothespin and then offer it to the bird. The clothespin provides distance so that the bird feels safer.

Believe it or not, that's HUGE progress if he's taking food from you, even if it's just occasional. Keep at it. Whatever he likes the most, be really dramatic when you eat it (or pretend to eat it). Smack your lips, and say "Mmmmmmm this is delicious! Want some?" And when he reaches for a bite, react to him eating as well. "Yum yum! That good?" Sometimes I make a slurp noise, too, and Rupert's picked up on it. He'll slurp and do his little excited shuffle when he wants something that I've got. :lol:

Do you have wide perches for his balance? Like platform perches so he can maneuver through his environment easier?



Rupert was scared out of his mind when I brought him home. He's made some serious strides, but he's still got a ways to go. We're working on it.
 

RachelB

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Rachel Bennett
Hi there, I am very new to the whole bird owner thing! I found a budgie in my garage and things went off at speed from there. So alongside 4 budgies I also rehomed a Conure, who was very traumatised when I had her, having been kept in a travel cage, with only a peach, water and food bowl containing wild bird seed. I have joined this forum as all the posts are really helpful with the learning curve I have been on. So the advice I would like to offer based on my experience of rescue dogs and recent birds ( all animal behaviours I think are similar) time is the key. Trust is earnt and does not happen over night. It takes a long time for animals to get passed previous negative experiences. Be patient and you will get the reward and satisfaction of what you accomplish. I am taking baby steps with my girl, I can get close to her and touch her but that has taken 5 months so you are way ahead of me. As long as she is happy that’s my priority and I hope at some point in the future we bond. So stuck with what you are doing and you will get there in the end!
 

Hoshi

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Iona
Hoshi is SO cute!

Have you tried target training with him? It seems to be effective with most birds. You can look up some videos on Youtube about it.

I have an IRN as well and he is a wildcaught rescue. I’ve had little to no success training him / getting him to do anything because he’s terrified of hands and will not tolerate it if you come too close to him.

I’ll be following this thread closely to get some tips for my own IRN.

Hope you’re able to resolve this!
Thanks! Yes I have tried target training. That's the one thing I forgot to add in my post. He was scared of the stick and the sound of the clicker scared him.. so it didn't work out.
 

Peachfaced

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Thanks! Yes I have tried target training. That's the one thing I forgot to add in my post. He was scared of the stick and the sound of the clicker scared him.. so it didn't work out.
Well, can you make a clicking noise with your tongue? The point of the clicker is just to help mark the specific instant the good behavior happens.
 

JLcribber

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tka

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Well, can you make a clicking noise with your tongue? The point of the clicker is just to help mark the specific instant the good behavior happens.
You can use any sound, as long as it's consistent and only used to indicate that he's doing the thing you asked him to do. You can click with your tongue, make a "beep" noise, say "good!" (as long as you can keep it consistent), or anything else.
 

Hoshi

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Well, can you make a clicking noise with your tongue? The point of the clicker is just to help mark the specific instant the good behavior happens.
Okay, we will try that! Also I forgot to reply to your other question in your previous post:facepalm:

Yes, he does have several platform perches in his cage, as well as a little wooden bridge that spans across the cage:)
 

Hoshi

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This is how I approach birds. The bottom line is communicate on their level using their language. Mimic your bird. Be a bird. :)

Connecting and Communicating with your Highly Intelligent Parrot. | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
Absolutely loved this post! I always have tried to not make eye contact with him. As far as communicating on his level, I try to play "eye games", "mimicking games" and "head bobbing games". So I will blink whenever he blinks, attempt to copy whatever sound he makes (little tongue clicks and words he says, not screams lol!), and bob my head down and up when he does. He doesn't bob his head at all when I do, so I usually just look like an idiot. He does sometimes play peekaboo with me. I'll put my head down, pop up and say peekaboo, then he does the same.

He runs to the far corner of his cage when I get closer than 3 feet/1 meter, so I will attempt to play these games from the couch, which is about 10 feet/2.5 meters away. When going over to his cage and asking him to step up, 95% of the time he will fly off the cage and splat on the ground:headsmack: Once he's on the ground he will right away step up. Once I pick him up though, there's a 50/50 chance that he will try to fly off of my arm and splat on the ground again... such a strange bird.
 

katebf38

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Phoenix, AZ
I think time is on your side. Let him come to you. I watched my grandfather tame wild birds outside on our ranch with nothing but bread crumbs and patience. Wild birds literally landed in his hands and ate the bread. I never asked how long it took to accomplish this, but I know it was a long time. He spend the whole winter as a 9 year old boy out on the plains as a immigrant sheepherder from Denmark. There wasn’t an animal alive he couldn’t tame and communicate with. Relax and wait. Best of luck.
 

simon777

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An interesting game I play with Simon is tapping/counting. It started with a drum, he would use his beak to tap the drum and I would copy him by tapping the exact number of times he did. Very quickly I noticed that Simon would count, by using his shoulders, the times I tapped. He counts to make sure I tap the same amount of times that he does. He now instigates the game on almost anything that will make a noise; a cardboard box, a paper bag, a table, the floor. Simon has counted to 22 a couple of times. He has even progressed to air tapping sometimes, with no noise. I think he likes the counting and the fact that I will mimic him.
 
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