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I am trying to teach Sweetie to let me pet her or tickle her while she's perched on my finger but every time i go to tickle or pet her she thinks i am putting my finger up to her so she can perch on my other finger. What are some techinques i can use?
 

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I think each bird will probably respond differently.

In Daisy's case, she felt that putting a finger up close to her was an invitation to chomp me and it took a fairly long time of trial-and-error before she would consent to me scratching her neck. It took an even longer time for her to trust me to pet her back (like petting a dog or cat) but now does both easily.

When I was trying to teach her the joys of scritches and pets, I had her perch on my finger, facing away from me. Then I slowly and as quietly as possible, would move a finger up behind her (out of sight) and lightly touch her neck or her back. Once she got used to that, I tried a light rub around her neck and she was instantly addicted to scritches.

To get her to accept me petting her back, I again had her perch on my finger, facing away from her and would slowly rub her back against my cheek. "Hugs" I would say to her. Once she got used to that, I slowly moved my hand up (instead of my cheek) and ran it down her back just as lightly. This was more of a challenge for her and took her a while to trust that a pet was the same as a hug, but now she will ask for a hug by turning herself around on my finger and waiting until she gets what she wants. :rolleyes:
 

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Saffron would chomp down on me originally when she would perch on my finger. I would also sneak up behind her at first with my other hand, though would ask her if she wanted "scritches" that usually got a good response from her and she stopped trying to chomp. Now she'll nip me if I DON'T give her the attention she wants. It just takes time to get them used to it. I also started to try to pet her with my thumb so she couldn't wiggle away/jump to another finger, though it does give easier access to chomp down!
 

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I think every bird responds differently, for instance most people say that you should never approach your bird from above because they see is as a predator but Melody is not always that way.
If I slowly or from a few inches away hold my finger just front/above her head she will fluff her head feathers if she wants a scratch. If not sometimes she will lunge but I don't force it so I don't usually get bit.

I also work on **very** slowly approaching her beak with my finger and saying "Gentle". Eventually I touch it lightly and if she lunges I just back off and keep saying "Gentle" and trying again.
 

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When I am asking Tumi to step up, I approach with a straight finger every time. When I am trying for scritches, I slowly approach from slightly above his head with a bent finger. Those differences help him to understand the different requests. He still chomps when his answer is no to either of those, but that is another story. :rolleyes:
 

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I am trying to teach Sweetie to let me pet her or tickle her while she's perched on my finger but every time i go to tickle or pet her she thinks i am putting my finger up to her so she can perch on my other finger. What are some techinques i can use?
I don't know if it's instinctive with a tame bird or learned, but our birds have always associated a finger held in front of their heads or faces, and wiggled as though you were scratching their heads with an offered scratch, and they will put their heads down or in position for that scratch-usually unless they just don't want a scratch at that time.

Really funny, our little Orion, our six month old Pacific Blue little boy, has turned out to be quite the talker and he will actually say "scratchy-scratchy", or "scratch-scratch-scratchy da bird" as he's being scratched, and sometimes he will say that to ask for a scratch as he puts his head down.
 

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If find that most birds have moods when they want scritches and moods when they do not, and I honor that. Something you can try, when your bird is relaxed and settled, get her to perch facing out, away from you, and gently try and pet the back of her neck and head so your finger/hand comes from behind rather than in front, not implying a step up to her. This is how I've often taught my birds to accept affection...just stroking them here and there in handling sessions when there was an opening and the mood seemed right. Beware, though, for they may become addicted to the affection and become quite offended if they believe they are not getting enough :D
 

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I think every bird responds differently, for instance most people say that you should never approach your bird from above because they see is as a predator but Melody is not always that way.
If I slowly or from a few inches away hold my finger just front/above her head she will fluff her head feathers if she wants a scratch. If not sometimes she will lunge but I don't force it so I don't usually get bit.

I also work on **very** slowly approaching her beak with my finger and saying "Gentle". Eventually I touch it lightly and if she lunges I just back off and keep saying "Gentle" and trying again.
This is how we started off with scritches. Basically went from gentle beak to beak rubs to head rubs to velcro bird. There was also a nut game thrown in for good measure. I would never try to come from above and or behind. Too scary, especially at first. Always, slow, steady, and where I can be seen. Remember, what you are asking, for a 5 inch tall creature that basically everything wants to eat to allow a 5 foot plus tall creature that is a predator to get near them in a compromising position is a lot of trust on the part of the bird. It has to be earned over time. Let your little one dictate the pace. I know it is frustrating but it is the best way.
 

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At least in our case , this is something that starts much earlier and is part of bonding. We have always held our birds to our chest and petted them. This is something hubby has shown me that seems to have a calming effect with most birds (at least ours) . I don't know if it is the heart beat , or the warmth or a combination of both. When they are calm in this position , being petted and talked to quietly they seem to come to realize we mean them no harm , and a trusting attitude seems to develop which helps in all aspects of their training . Just something that has always worked well for us .
 

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This is a bit off topic, but in addition to the scritching hubby taught Melody how to be picked up from a flat surface. She loves to sit in what we call the "hand cave". She perches on his thumb while he makes a little " cave" around her back. Since she's used to being held like that, we can just pick her up by cupping our hand over her back and lightly scooping our fingers under her feet. Of course, this only works if it's a hard surface and you move fast.
 

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This is a bit off topic, but in addition to the scritching hubby taught Melody how to be picked up from a flat surface. She loves to sit in what we call the "hand cave". She perches on his thumb while he makes a little " cave" around her back. Since she's used to being held like that, we can just pick her up by cupping our hand over her back and lightly scooping our fingers under her feet. Of course, this only works if it's a hard surface and you move fast.
Sky likes the "hand cave," or "hand nest" as I call it; I've made a point of training her to let me scoop her up in my hands in a playful way so that in an emergency situation it should not be an issue. She's funny when in my hands, she has a play growl and often chatters with happiness. :)
 

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You mean like this ?



Or like this ?



Sorry , just teasing we took a bunch of Paco and Taco pics last night and updated their album if you want to go look .
 

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I checked out the new images to your album, LOVE them both! ❤
 

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Ha-ha! That's a cave with a tree branch lol
 

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Sky likes the "hand cave," or "hand nest" as I call it; I've made a point of training her to let me scoop her up in my hands in a playful way so that in an emergency situation it should not be an issue. She's funny when in my hands, she has a play growl and often chatters with happiness. :)
I have trained Jules to be used to the "hand cave" for the same reasons. She does not like it but will now tolerate it and not panic when I have to handle her in such a way. It is sort of funny, when she is in the "hand cave" she puts a meaty part of my hand in her beak but does not bite down. I have always taken it as her indicating "ok, I am trusting you with this but am not happy about it, so if this goes bad I am taking a hunk of your hand with me."
 
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