Bringing a New Bird Home!

Bringing a parrot home for the first time can be one of the most exciting and amazing experiences. We have a new feathered friend that we are eager to bond with, introduce to the world, share our home with and train all those fun tricks we see online.

It’s very easy to have high expectations and get carried away with it all, as we love our home and feel comfortable there, so why shouldn’t our new bird?

However, often the experience of joining a new household can be a very scary and uncertain time for a parrot. They get used to an environment growing up and they often have their flock mates for company. Then they are relocated to a totally difference place with different people, and often no other parrots for company.

It’s the equivalent of us moving to a totally different country alone and mixing with an unfamiliar culture in unfamiliar places. It takes time to adapt and find our feet (or wings) in this strange new world. It’s no surprise that often parrots are nervous, anxious and sometimes initially aggressive when coming home for the first time.

One of the most frequent questions we get asked via emails and our personal social media channels is “I just got my parrot home, but he/she is biting and doesn’t want to interact!”

The reasons are often obvious due to the above. However as humans we sometimes find it difficult to see things from an animal’s perspective; it’s only natural in many cases. We feel happy and love our home, so again why shouldn’t our new bird?

This is where it’s so important to set aside our expectations and take a step back. Our new parrot may be hand reared and totally happy with humans and change. Or they may be a rescue with a difficult past; they may also be used to a large flock and find initial human contact threatening. It’s also important to remember that just because a parrot is comfortable around the breeder or humans at a rescue; it doesn’t mean that they will be comfortable with every human immediately. There are so many factors that come into play when initially bonding with a parrot and all of them will determine how they react to us.

Regardless of the parrot’s past or reaction, it can be helpful to take a step back and think about how we’d feel in a similar situation. What would make us feel more comfortable and allow us to settle in?

Being allowed our space and some time to get used to things usually helps us when we have a big change. It’s similar for many parrots. This is why we always recommend holding off on getting a parrot out of the cage for a while, and only working on passive bonding during the first few days of a parrot’s introduction to a new home.

Once they are settled, you can begin working on more active techniques such as feeding through the bars, target training and even beginning step up training.

Allowing our parrots that initial bit of time to settle can really help set them up for success in the future and ensure we start our relationship with them on the best possible footing.

If you’d like to learn more about any of the topics mentioned in this blog post do check out our Instagram and our YouTube channels, or if you’d like 1-1 bespoke and affordable coaching, consider booking a consultation with us – drop us an email to find out more!

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