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Hi Matt.

Ozzie offered some excellent advice in another post I read (I thought it was yours but I guess not) suggesting that you make the outside of the cage look similar to the inside. Their cage is their territory and you have to remember that, as wild birds, they feel at risk when they are out of their cage. In the wild, there would be many predators hunting them. If you attach some perches, some food dishes and some toys to the outside of the cage, it may appear less intimidating. I thought that was pretty clever.

Two weeks really is not a long time so try not to be discouraged. I don’t think you are going backward at all and you should try not to judge your progress on the basis of one thing. Overall, your relationship has improved and it is clear trust is being built every time you interact with her. She is eating from your hands!! That is huge - prey eating from a predator! Don’t discount that because you are struggling a bit more with getting her to come out of her cage. And if you consider what the outside world means to a bird, you might find that you are able to be more patient and innovative.
 

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Wow she’s a beauty! I took a peek at those videos - she sure does chow down! Breakfast stuck to the beak - nothing better!

I think many people choose rehoming during this time … which is better than just leaving them in their cages. They are such social creatures, not being able to be out with their human is really hard on them. Happily, being aware of it in advance and having a supportive forum like this likely saves many of them from this fate.
I totally agree with all of this - and welcome! when my little one was young, I found that she would was more comfortable stepping up and trying new things after I spent a LOT of time with her out of the cage. Like, we would let her walk around out of her cage for an hour or so in the morning and then start with the steps ups and other training. That way she could be social on her own terms for a while, which seemed to help. I also had some luck teaching her to step up with a dish towel wrapped around my finger, but I am unsure if that is the best approach for all birdies - I would defer to the other experts on the site for that one. Lastly, and this may not be the issue here, I have found that she can react differently to stepping up depending on and what was on or around my hands (rings, nail polish, bracelets, etc.). For example, a step up with bright nail polish is still a huge no for Ava - she will fly around terrified!
 
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