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Good morning everyone, I have posted on here how my new Sunshine tolerates me. I have been trying to go slow and steady and be very patient with him. Trying to move at his pace.

Sunshine is a hand fed boy who is almost 7 month old. I have had him for 4 months. He does not play or chew on his toys he is a picky eater and I have not found that treat that he loves. He licks new foods and literally makes a nasty face lol. He sits on his perch and chirps away. He occasionally will climb out and sometimes he will fly away. I can handle him until he sees his cage. I closed the door to his cage the other day when he was out and then I was able to interact with him for a longer time as he couldnt get inside. He has just begun to come out in the evening. I think the time change has helped that.

I was explaining to an owner of the bird store where I bought him from and telling her how slowly we were progressing.
She suggested since we already had a bond and he would step up outside of the cage and step up 1 foot inside cage just to grab him and take him out and cuddle him. She assured me he would calm right down.

Sunshine really does not bite and if I see him looking like he will I say no bite and he stops. He is not a fan of beak rubs so I have not gotten very far with gentle beak.

I figured what the heck, she handles birds all day long Ill give it a try. All I can say is WOW our life has changed.

So on Sunday I did it, just gently grabbed him and took him out. I got bit but not badly. I had my hand over him and put him on my belly giving scritches. Monday I put my hand in front of his feet and he stepped right up! I was moving slowly towards the door but he kept climbing off. There was a bit of figuring out on my part as he had perches that I have to maneuver my hand around. I figured out what I thought was the easiest path to the door. On Tuedsday I grabbed him again (no biting) and let him climb through the tunnels of my hands, he climbed to my shoulder then saw his cage and flew back. Wednesday I just tried moving my hand to the cage door with no luck he kept climbing off. Last night I was talking to him and moving my hand trying to keep his attn while moving towards the door. I got close three times. Then I just had him step up and I just moved my hand to and out of the door! He flew away towards my hubby then over to the floor where I had him step up and gave scritches till he saw his cage. He flew right into the cage onto a perch and let out a happy chirp (I think he is proud of his skills lol).

I am beyond excited on our progress. While I firmly believe patience is key, I now know that sometimes, with some birds they need a push. I would not recommend this to someone who has a new bird, but I have always had my hands in his cage since day I and he is not afraid of them. Every bird is different, I am hopeful that he will begin to see how much fun the outside of the cage can be.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That is good to hear that you have had progress with Sunshine. Grabbing or forcing a bird out of their cage is not recommended unless for an emergency or urgent need. Patience and persistence are key with our pet birds.
I understand what you are saying sometimes as in my case I needed to push him. If I had an emergency he would not come out on his own. He has now learned to come out on my finger. This will be most beneficial in an emergency.

We will also be traveling starting in a month, he needs to be put in the travel cage and into the new cage in our camper. It is either grab him now or grab him later. Since I did it now, we have a month to work on him coming out on my finger. This will make it easier in a month.

I was patient for months now I am persistent.
 

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There are birds that need the persistence that you talk about. Since you knew the bird and he allowed your hand inside his cage, grabbing him in a simple and gentle way and then giving him rewards with some scritching can be highly effective, and it was! But it is always wiser to start with the no-grab way.
When I went to an exotic bird show a few years ago, I saw a demonstration given by a parrot expert. This lady was wonderful and she talked about relationships between parrot and human. She said, point blank, that sometimes the parrot may be the type of parrot who allows a human to gently grab them and control them, even with a little bit of a protest, ( like your bird did) .

I have had to grab a budgie or two in my life and it always worked out for the best. But, I did this sparingly. I never had to grab my parrotlets ( to control them), thank God! I never grabbed a new bird.

David🦜
 

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We all know you well enough Lin to know that you're not a "bird grabber". I would say of anyone on the forum you probably have developed more patience than anyone and the patience and acceptance you have always exhibited with Huey. I know he was never a cuddler and you were fine with that although I know deep down of course we all want our birds to be hands-on with us and you never forced Huey to do anything that he didn't want to do.
Occasionally there are outliers it sounds like sunshine is one of them. I'm so glad the two of you found a successful even if not the most traditional way of bonding. I know I tried this a couple times with Tobie after months of just letting him chill out. He didn't really respond like sunshine did and that's fine I didn't force him but the point is occasionally every once in a blue moon a bird will respond to that. I mean really at the end of the day it's not like you're going to ruin them, we're talking about a bird that already has a very specific level of trust in you It's not like you're bringing them home and then immediately grabbing them out of the cage. Like you said he already trusted you in many ways, and had a routine. If he hadn't responded well to it you could have just put him back in the cage and continued on and he would have forgiven you and gotten over it, no harm done.
I do things all the time with Lilly I'm technically not supposed to LOL
I come at her from above, I point my finger at her beak, I let her ride around on my head or in my pocket, she actually loves it when I place my hand over her back and just scratch her head with my thumb she will just nuzzle right down and take a nap. I know that I can do these things that maybe not every bird would handle well because she is MY bird. No one knows your bird better than you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There are birds that need the persistence that you talk about. Since you knew the bird and he allowed your hand inside his cage, grabbing him in a simple and gentle way and then giving him rewards with some scritching can be highly effective, and it was! But it is always wiser to start with the no-grab way.
David🦜
I agree 100% I would not have done this with a new bird. My Hubby can not believe the difference in this bird this week.


We all know you well enough Lin to know that you're not a "bird grabber". I would say of anyone on the forum you probably have developed more patience than anyone and the patience and acceptance you have always exhibited with Huey. I know he was never a cuddler and you were fine with that although I know deep down of course we all want our birds to be hands-on with us and you never forced Huey to do anything that he didn't want to do.
Occasionally there are outliers it sounds like sunshine is one of them. I'm so glad the two of you found a successful even if not the most traditional way of bonding. I know I tried this a couple times with Tobie after months of just letting him chill out. He didn't really respond like sunshine did and that's fine I didn't force him but the point is occasionally every once in a blue moon a bird will respond to that. I mean really at the end of the day it's not like you're going to ruin them, we're talking about a bird that already has a very specific level of trust in you It's not like you're bringing them home and then immediately grabbing them out of the cage. Like you said he already trusted you in many ways, and had a routine. If he hadn't responded well to it you could have just put him back in the cage and continued on and he would have forgiven you and gotten over it, no harm done.
No one knows your bird better than you.
Thank you, already he is now coming out more and hanging outside of his cage. I was able to bring him out of the cage a few more times last night on my finger. I am working on bringing him to my chair which is next to his cage and have him stay there. Back to both patience and persistence lol.
 

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Grabbing a bird creates a negative association with your hands and patience is best in all cases
No negative association with my hands at all. He was not afraid of my hands before and he is not afraid of my hands now. He has blossomed this week the transformation is unbelievable.

Not every bird responds the same way. This forum has shown that thousands of times. While there are suggestions regarding training and bonding I feel it is important to also show that sometimes a non traditional way can also be beneficial.
 

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This is great, Rizzie! I do not see that you have broken tradition by picking up Sunshine at this point, because he is allowing you to do it. He did not go into panic mode, try to get away from you, or bite the holy crap out of you. As you said, you know that if he were a new bird that was afraid of everything, and not used to hands before, then this would be entirely different thing altogether. If Sunshine is okay with you taking him out his cage this way, then I see nothing wrong with it. What makes all the difference in your case is that Sunshine is not afraid of hands, and that you have had a lot of patience with him (4 months’ worth) to help get him to this point. Therefore, this is working, and even though you are/were picking him up in his cage, he trusts you to allow you to do it. You are not grabbing him but picking him up loosely and gently. Being able to pick Sunshine up is a good thing; it would be a great if we all were able to pick our birds up without them being frightened. I sometimes need to pick Cleopatra up to get her INSIDE her cage or off the floor. I pick her up in a similar way you do with Sunshine and she is perfectly fine with it. So, congrats to you getting over this hurdle. And way to go Sunshine! You have made your mommy proud! Woo Hoo! :)
 

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This is great, Rizzie! I do not see that you have broken tradition by picking up Sunshine at this point, because he is allowing you to do it. He did not go into panic mode, try to get away from you, or bite the holy crap out of you. As you said, you know that if he were a new bird that was afraid of everything, and not used to hands before, then this would be entirely different thing altogether. If Sunshine is okay with you taking him out his cage this way, then I see nothing wrong with it. What makes all the difference in your case is that Sunshine is not afraid of hands, and that you have had a lot of patience with him (4 months’ worth) to help get him to this point. Therefore, this is working, and even though you are/were picking him up in his cage, he trusts you to allow you to do it. You are not grabbing him but picking him up loosely and gently. Being able to pick Sunshine up is a good thing; it would be a great if we all were able to pick our birds up without them being frightened. I sometimes need to pick Cleopatra up to get her INSIDE her cage or off the floor. I pick her up in a similar way you do with Sunshine and she is perfectly fine with it. So, congrats to you getting over this hurdle. And way to go Sunshine! You have made your mommy proud! Woo Hoo! :)
Thanks!
 

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Grabbing a bird creates a negative association with your hands and patience is best in all cases
Very few things are absolute, this is certainly not one of them. There are many areas of bonding and training where experimenting with different methods and responding to the birds individual needs are required, there is no one size fits all.
 

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It is definitely not something recommended for a new parrotlet owner, but being grabbed by a tissue is Tumi's favorite way of being picked up. I think some birds enjoy that type of experience. Most don't, though, which is why it is not recommended for most people to try it. Every bird is different, and I'm glad that you found something that works for Sunshine. For Tumi, I have always thought that he enjoyed being cuddled this way when he was being handfed and so he associates this way of being picked up with being cared for as a baby bird. He was slow to wean because he enjoyed the experience too much. :) For most birds, being grabbed is like their are being attacked by a hawk and quite scary. Tumi steps up voluntarily sometimes, but mostly he wants me to put a tissue over him and pick him up.
 

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It is definitely not something recommended for a new parrotlet owner, but being grabbed by a tissue is Tumi's favorite way of being picked up. I think some birds enjoy that type of experience. Most don't, though, which is why it is not recommended for most people to try it. Every bird is different, and I'm glad that you found something that works for Sunshine. For Tumi, I have always thought that he enjoyed being cuddled this way when he was being handfed and so he associates this way of being picked up with being cared for as a baby bird. He was slow to wean because he enjoyed the experience too much. :) For most birds, being grabbed is like their are being attacked by a hawk and quite scary. Tumi steps up voluntarily sometimes, but mostly he wants me to put a tissue over him and pick him up.
The lady at the bird store said that babies who are hand fed are used to being picked up. That is so cute he loves his tissues.

We are working hard with step up and trying to get him out of the cage-- its a process lol he is quick to calmly walk off my finger. This is our new adventure.
 
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