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Finger Taming Your Lovebird

You have just brought your new baby Lovebird home. Once you put him in the nice new cage you bought, you are ready to play with him. But your little bird is afraid of you – what can you do?

First you have to step back and spend some time Getting to Know Your Lovebird.

When your bird is comfortable with you being near his cage and responds to you by getting close to the side of the cage you are near, it is time to introduce him to your hand.

Offer him a small piece of millet or a broken sunflower seed but do not try to touch him if he moves away from your hand. Hold your hand in the cage doing nothing, just to get him used to your hand. He will start to realize that the hand will not hurt him, but this may take a day or two.

When your Lovebird stops trying to get away from your hand, you can slowly move closer until one day he allows you to gently stroke his breast.

Continue to quietly talk to him when you are doing this. When he seems comfortable with your hand touching him, you can gently press against the abdomen and push up a bit. There is a good chance that he may put one foot onto your finger.

If this does not frighten him, you can give another slight push and he may put his other foot up and be standing on your hand. He will probably jump off immediately – but remain calm and try again if he is not frightened.

Although it is very exciting the first time your Lovebird steps up for you, please stay calm and continue to talk quietly to him. A Lovebird will usually test a branch (or a finger) before stepping up by grabbing with his beak. This is not a bite, does not hurt and is very normal. Be ready for this to happen, and don’t pull away if he does test your finger before stepping up.

Please do not rush to take him out of the cage when he first steps onto your finger. Your Lovebird is still getting to know you and although he is now comfortable with you while in his cage, he may become frightened when you take him out of the cage.

Before you take him out of the cage on your finger, you must be certain that he can not be injured in the room. If you have other pets, please remove them and close the door. Close the curtains over the windows so your bird does not crash into the glass.

After he has been stepping up regularly, you can move your hand towards the cage door to take him out. Your bird might panic when he is outside the cage and begin to fly wildly around the room.

If your bird flies, he may not know how to land properly and you may have to go and pick him up by having him step up on your finger. Do not chase him or throw things at him to try to get him to stop flying. Just wait patiently until he lands and slowly go to pick him up, talking quietly to him.

Return to Hand Taming Your Lovebird for the next step.

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