Right next to my ailing birdie I have another cage where Patch, a peachdronted conure lives I got patch to try and give Birdie company when I'm out at work. Birdie was a gift - I'de never had a bird before and was angry first then nervous and now absolutely besotted. Finding a second bird when you live in the wilds of South Africa was not easy. After months of searching I found a breeder in a town within driving distance. The bird she had available was Patch and she said he was hand reared. No way -the only hands he had met were nasty ones. I think he is a very loving bird and is always flicking his wings at me and when I'm out of the room he clings to the part of the cage which is nearest the door I went out through. How can I persuade him that I'm nice and that coming to me won't be bad. I've had him 2 years already and love him dearly. He is happy to take titbits from my hand through the cage but biting the fingers feeding him is much more fun. Any advice
is he happy to come out the cage? the most tried and tested method of training a bite happy birdie to be a friend ive ever done is to let the bird out and sit in the place he/she most likes to perch/play with a favorite titbit just in front of you (either on the arm of the chair, or on floor in front of you if sitting on floor), any birdie that has a soft spot for the treat you have will eventually come get it. do this every day and as you feel him getting bolder, put it slightly closer to you. repeat this until it is on your knee and then gradually your hand. by getting him to take nicely from your knee first, it retracts the instinct to nip as there isnt any digits to get hold of - crafty eh!! #norty#
all our members have their own tricks to get their birds to stop biting etc, so im sure there will be other tips for you to try too
Sounds like good advice. BUT his wings are not clipped so how do I get him back to his cage? I've thought of a mosquito net over the cage and me but, besides being entertaining to the spectators, i dont know if it will do much good. Catching Patch requires gardening gloves and he sulks for months afterwards. But he is a honey of a bird so i will persevere with your suggestion
Maybe consider clipping his wings so that he can only glide rather than fly away. In my experience most birds will step up from being on the ground if they cannot fly. This way he can practice stepping up and then sit with you for an hour or so. He sounds very very insecure more than aggressive (at least that's what I get from his reactions) so perhaps even sitting by his cage with the door open in a room where he can't hurt himself or get too far away from you and eating a piece of veggie or fruit that you both enjoy will help bond the two of you. Even sitting there and reading a magazine, book, or singing along with music (outloud) will get him further accustomed to your presence.
And I realize raptors are completely different but when training our rough legged hawk it took her approximately 3 weeks just to feel comfortable enough eating in front of me and then another month or so to eat off my glove. It took her quite a while to trust that every time I came into her enclosure she wouldn't get grabbed for examination.
A firm confident hand and no positive reinforcement for the insecure behaviors may help?
Best of luck and please keep us updated on your progress? Patch seems as though he has plenty of potential!