Guest Author - Diana Geiger
This article is primarily about taming smaller birds like cockatiels and parakeets.
Taming your new bird depends on your bird learning to trust you. The first day you bring your bird home don't try to handle the bird. He will be very frightened. Think how scary it would be! If he is overly frightened, cover the cage with a cage cover. If the cage is covered or not, spend short amounts of time getting the bird use to your voice. Sit near the bird and talking softly and gently.
On the first day it is best to leave the bird alone. You can softly and gently talk to the bird for very short periods of time. The second day is the time to spend a bit more time, short intervals, but more frequent. Talk to the bird, tell him anything and everything (except for what you don't want the bird to repeat). How beautiful he is, tell him about your day. This is also a good time to introduce him or her to its name. Repeating it frequently. When sitting near the cage don't sit lower than the bird to your chest level. You must remain dominate.
Soft soothing music (not loud) will also be good for the bird.
Each day you spend more time with your new companion bird. Soon he will enjoy the time spent with you. You will see him moving closer to you. Soon he will get as close as he can and watch you intently.
This is the time to introduce your hand. While talking to your bird slowly place your hand on the cage near where the bird watches you. After a while place your hand in the cage and rest it on the perch. After a while, when the bird is use to your hand being in the cage, is the time to introduce finger training.
Place your finger against the chest above the legs. Apply gentle pressure. This will cause the bird to naturally step forward, hopefully onto your finger. Continue to do this until the bird perches comfortably on your finger. Once he does it is time to bring it out of the cage.
Make sure all dangers are eliminated before bringing the bird outside the cage. If you aren't against clipping wings it is time to do so.
Once the bird is on your finger, while continuing to talk in a soothing voice bring him out of the cage. Bring him to your chest level, always below your head and simply talk to the bird. It is important to always keep a bird below your head level, at least during the training experience.
After doing this for a little while return the bird to the cage. Repeat coming in and out of the cage with a rest period in between sessions.
If your bird is a biter try the same method. Just slow down through the pre-finger part. if the bird just won't stop biting (after several days) use a perch instead of your finger. You will follow the same steps. You will probably have to cut the perch to easily fit into the cage to perch train the bird. Once he trusts you he will stop biting. If your bird is a biter it is even more important to always keep the bird and your chest level or lower.
Plenty of love, attention, and dominance is usually the only thing need to turn around a behavioral problem bird. If the behavior continues it could be a health issue. Get the bird checked out by an avian veterinarian.
Now you can bring the bird out and then use the finger on your other hand until the bird comfortably will switch fingers. Once the bird will stair climb between your two fingers is the time to introduce more training. I will attach more advanced training articles to this article.
Cockatiels For Dummies [Paperback]
Parakeets For Dummies [Paperback]