Updated: Aug 11
Your feathered friend wants to socialize as you do. We thrive in a community similar to how birds in the wild are at their best when flying and twittering about with their flock. Without regular interaction, they can get deprived, depressed, and antisocial. Here's how to keep your parrot socialized and content.
Interaction day-to-day will help you learn your bird's temperament. Birds can be shy like humans. It can take some time to help them warm up to you and others. Shy birds can easily be anxious if the surrounding environment is too loud. Play calming music and ensure it's just the two of you, pet the top of his head or neck to learn how he responds to touch.
Additionally, practice whistling in different cadences until he repeats your whistle. Train him to sing a short song too. You can reinforce the lyrics by playing them as you sing. Practicing these small gestures daily can be incredibly rewarding over time. Don't give up even if your parrot struggles at first. Your parrot's bird care starts at home with you. But watch your language because parrots, well you know–parrot.
"Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip."
You can start with short greetings as you talk to them– call their name, and ask them how they are in gentle, sweet tones. Parrots and other bird species like to repeat, so the more often you talk, the more language skills they'll begin building. Invite them to use your finger as a perch or put them on your shoulder. When teaching your parrot to perch on your finger, place your index and middle fingers below his chest just above his lower abdomen so he can step up. Coax him by rubbing his tummy and communicating that you want him to step up. He will slowly associate your fingers at the position of his abdomen and "step up" together.
This human-to-parrot touch time builds trust. As your bird becomes more comfortable, you will find opportunities to pet him and adapt him to your touch. He then learns you're gentle and not here to harm him. Whenever you're having your own self-care time and sitting down to watch a show, pop on a bird program and bring him snacks like peanuts or treats. Treats encourage bonding.
While you have your parrot out of the cage, begin to reinforce his efforts positively. Like the treats we mentioned before, reward him with Zupreem tropical fruit treats. This treat has a yummy pineapple, papaya, coconut, and nut mix. When you bring your parrot along for daily downtime, be intentional about hand feeding, it helps him relax with people.
Parrots can be anxious and temperamental when they are unfamiliar with hand feeding and lack experience. Your parrot could desire to return to the cage if you've brought him out into an open area. It will take time for them to become accustomed. The more you practice hand feeding, the more opportunities they have to acclimate. Don't get disheartened if they bite or nip. It will be their instinctive response when they feel threatened or afraid.
Cage Out And Flight Time With Other People Around
Your parrot doesn't want to stay stuffed in his cage all day. Give him plenty of time to come out and flap his wings. Leave his castle door open if he's not used to this yet or perch him on your finger to initiate cage out time. You may even want to close his cage door, so he understands it's time to play. If he's initially skittish, let him out in increments and increase that time out of his cage as he gets more fearless. You can potentially distract him with a toy or two.
When he is less anxious, cage out time is suitable for introducing him to other people, but not all at once. Similar to how a puppy needs to smell a person first, parrot kiddos want an equal opportunity. This might look like watching and talking at a distance. Ask your friend to speak and acknowledge your parrot from a distance. And if he's graduated to shoulder time or is comfortable jumping on your finger, invite your friend to try, but very slowly. Be ready with sweet treats to reward your parrot's social skills.
Birdie Play Dates And Bird Care With A Bird Sitter
If you're heading out of town or want to give your parrot a sleepover to make new friends, parrot boarding is just the solution. Birdie daycare is like heading to the playground for the afternoon. They'll have time to flap their wings, play with toys, and communicate with exotic birds who look like them and plenty who don't. Talking up a storm with other birds will cause them to be even more vocal when they are at home with you. Even ensuring you schedule regular bird grooming will help fill out some healthy socializing with other humans.
It could take time to socialize your bird, especially if you weren't his first owner. And if you work long hours and cannot interact with him daily, factor in a parrot boarding expense with a bird sitter. If he doesn't get opportunities to socialize with you, he can at least have a balanced social life between other humans and parrots.
As your parrot vocalizes more frequently, he demonstrates a desire to be received into your household. Increased conversation and mimicking are instinctive and how they would behave if they were in the rainforest. Your voice is like home, and socializing is the validation they need to feel like they belong. A chatty, squawking parrot is a well-socialized, cheerful parrot.
Schedule time with a bird sitter for regular daycare, bird grooming, and social interactions. If your parrot needs to carpool, the parrot limo offers door-to-door service. Your parrot is welcome to play and board for the day.