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hay! i recently acquired a pair of female parotlets, a little backstory, a friend of a friend has quite a few animals, i was told they knew a lot about birds but didn't want this pair anymore as they prefer female/male pairs as they 'get along better' (their words not mine), but that these two females had attached to each other and wouldn't leave each others sides, hence wanting to re-home them.
now just so you know, i have not had any birds before, but have tried to do as much research as physically possible and brought them, according to my friend 'way to much stuff!' but i just wanted to make the transition as easy as possible.

now to the issue, the move went fantastically, we saw a vet who specialises in exotic birds and they said that other than a slight disforming of one of the pairs toe (which shouldn't cause and issues) that both were in good health. they seemed to settle in well and started eating within the day, they explored their cage quite a bit and seemed happy. but i noticed very quickly that they are very scared any time i move...even if im the other side of the room, one more cautious than the other (as in one seems a little more tolerant of movement, they both seem to argue about it when i move to quickly on occasion). if i stay still they fly around the room (quite large for them to stretch out in), its been over a month and they will only tolerate movement if im extremely slow and don't actually put even a hand within 3 feet of them (except when im clearly putting in fresh food)

i'm happy with not ever having them close to me, i understood when i got them that they would be much more attached to each other than to me in any way. but im home a lot, and i try to give them a lot of room to feel comfortable, and i really hate scaring them, so when i move and they rush to hide in the corner of their cage it scares me. i want them to be comfortable whilst here, they eat well and fly well, i just don't want to scare them anymore.

p.s. sorry for the long post, its mostly just my hands themselves they seem afraid of, more than me. i just wondered if anyone had experienced the same thing, if i should just give them time or something else.
 

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Parrotlets are very much their own bird with their own distinct personality so when we speak we have to be talking generalities. Still as a rule parrotlets are social creatures and want to be loved and be friendly. Depending on their past, they may have bad experiences to get over. Mostly the best thing is to not scare them too much and just be around them a lot as they observer and make some decisions. Being a pair it would not hurt to separate them a bit and spend some one on one time with them. Also these guys are very empathic, so they can tell how you feel so the more uptight you get around them the more they see that and respond so try to loosen up and be relaxed with them. Be around them a lot and get them used to you in their world. Routine and normality is your friend here. As for hands, avoid grapping if you can but put your hands around them alot. They have to see that you and your hands are not scary parrotlet eating monsters. They are bright birds and will figure it out. If you watch them you can see them observing and thinking about it. Eventually they will make a decision.

My experience is that back in 2013 my wife went to get finches from and over extended bird lady and ended up rescuing a pair of parrotlets. This was against my will but wives are wives. She brought home male/female pair of parrotlets that were cage bound, fearful of people and terrified of hands. It took months for them to warm up to us but they did. Sadly we lost one to his past treatment (malnutrition) after about 9 months. Just lost the other bird this year. They were a puzzle box but they turned out to be the best pets I have ever had. It takes a bit of effort and work but you should be able to get your guys to be friendly toward you. How much is yet to be determined but with rehomes it takes a bit more time to get them to trust you, a bit more work but are well worth the efforts and with my guys I was so proud of every win we had and how much they ended up trusting us after their past that it made the effort worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Parrotlets are very much their own bird with their own distinct personality so when we speak we have to be talking generalities. Still as a rule parrotlets are social creatures and want to be loved and be friendly. Depending on their past, they may have bad experiences to get over. Mostly the best thing is to not scare them too much and just be around them a lot as they observer and make some decisions. Being a pair it would not hurt to separate them a bit and spend some one on one time with them. Also these guys are very empathic, so they can tell how you feel so the more uptight you get around them the more they see that and respond so try to loosen up and be relaxed with them. Be around them a lot and get them used to you in their world. Routine and normality is your friend here. As for hands, avoid grapping if you can but put your hands around them alot. They have to see that you and your hands are not scary parrotlet eating monsters. They are bright birds and will figure it out. If you watch them you can see them observing and thinking about it. Eventually they will make a decision.

My experience is that back in 2013 my wife went to get finches from and over extended bird lady and ended up rescuing a pair of parrotlets. This was against my will but wives are wives. She brought home male/female pair of parrotlets that were cage bound, fearful of people and terrified of hands. It took months for them to warm up to us but they did. Sadly we lost one to his past treatment (malnutrition) after about 9 months. Just lost the other bird this year. They were a puzzle box but they turned out to be the best pets I have ever had. It takes a bit of effort and work but you should be able to get your guys to be friendly toward you. How much is yet to be determined but with rehomes it takes a bit more time to get them to trust you, a bit more work but are well worth the efforts and with my guys I was so proud of every win we had and how much they ended up trusting us after their past that it made the effort worth it.

thank you, that makes me feel quite a bit better, i care for them a lot and want them to be happy with their new home. i will try my best to be more relaxed around them and just act normally. i never thought that my pause in movement or internal worries might effect them when they get scared, making the problem worse. i will try keeping my hands visible around them as well, when changing toys or water ect, hopefully they will notice that i have no interest in grabbing or hurting them.

im so sorry to hear you lost one this year, they must have been quite hurt or older when you rescued them, im glad they had a friendly and happy home for the rest of their time.

just having them around is well worth any effort needed, i will take your advice and hopefully they will feel more relaxed as time passes.
thank you again
 

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thank you, that makes me feel quite a bit better, i care for them a lot and want them to be happy with their new home. i will try my best to be more relaxed around them and just act normally. i never thought that my pause in movement or internal worries might effect them when they get scared, making the problem worse. i will try keeping my hands visible around them as well, when changing toys or water ect, hopefully they will notice that i have no interest in grabbing or hurting them.

im so sorry to hear you lost one this year, they must have been quite hurt or older when you rescued them, im glad they had a friendly and happy home for the rest of their time.

just having them around is well worth any effort needed, i will take your advice and hopefully they will feel more relaxed as time passes.
thank you again
we are coming to understand that they were considerably older and more abused than we thought when we got them. Our new guy is a baby named Rio. Rio is our first baby bird and through him we are coming to understand that Bo and Jules was much older and more mistreated than we originally thought. Still as I said they were great pets, wonderful family members loved by us and all our family and friends. They are missed, especially Jules that was with us for 9 wonderful years. Her parting gift was to help us train Rio, our parting gift was to get her Rio so she had a bit bird companionship toward the end of her life. She mothered him until the end.
As for your guys. What are their names? Post some pictures. We love Parrotlet pics. Come here with your questions. We have lots of parrotlet experience and can usually provide some good suggestions to address your concerns.
 

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Parrotlets are notorious hand-haters.

My parrotlet is very skittish and nervous around people. We started going about our daily business around her, vacuuming, watching tv, having guests over and after 6 months of being exposed to things she's better but still not perfect don't want to scare her but I try to think about it like having little kids- when you're tiny everything is big, scary, and unknown but if you try to avoid everything that upsets them you also cant keep their cage healthy and clean for them. It's kind of like exposure therapy. I drop a little millet in her bowl when I have to put my hands around her to clean and she knows that if she tolerates the hand she gets a snack. Now she still is not happy about it, but also doesn't freak out. It can take a very long time.
 

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Parrotlets are notorious hand-haters.

My parrotlet is very skittish and nervous around people. We started going about our daily business around her, vacuuming, watching tv, having guests over and after 6 months of being exposed to things she's better but still not perfect don't want to scare her but I try to think about it like having little kids- when you're tiny everything is big, scary, and unknown but if you try to avoid everything that upsets them you also cant keep their cage healthy and clean for them. It's kind of like exposure therapy. I drop a little millet in her bowl when I have to put my hands around her to clean and she knows that if she tolerates the hand she gets a snack. Now she still is not happy about it, but also doesn't freak out. It can take a very long time.
That reminds me of when we first got Bo and Jules. They were very fearful of hands even hostile at one point and Jules would attack them. So to start I went out of my way to put my hands in their cage. Regularly changing stuff around. Sometime just siting and talking with my hands in their cage. My wife thought I was crazy. But eventually hands became part of their world to the point I knew I won the day they playing when my hands were in their cage and while chasing each other jumped on my hands going from perch to perch.

BTW-if fearful of hands start with having them get on arms with shirt sleeves. then arms without shirts. then back of hands and just fingers. Anything you want to accomplish with a skittish parrotlet is to break it down to baby steps and do a little at a time, getting them closer and closer each time. Also you do not want to scare them but that does not mean you do not want to make them uneasy or uncomfortable. Example.
If they get uncomfortable with your hands a foot away then keep putting your hands a foot a way till they are comfortable. That is a win. Then start moving your hands until they are uncomfortable again and keep doing it until they are comfortable again. Then that is the win and go closer.
 

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Welcome to the forum! Your female p'letts will take a while to settle down..if they ever settle down. It seems like they are feeding off each other's actions. One flies and the other sees this and off they both go. The parrotlets I had were only one at a time, but I have had plenty of budgies in pairs or flocks. I found that in a 2 or more bird setting, they copy each other's behavior ( birds of a feather, stick together ). When I needed to have some peace around me, I only let out one budgie at a time until he/she became adjusted to my movements. Then, at a later date, I would let two out at the same time. This worked most of the time! It seemed like I earned the trust of one jittery bird and the rest followed suit, for the most part.
With parrotlets, it may be different. Like Ozzie said, these suggestions are written in generalities. Maybe one thing will work or maybe it will take all the suggestions to make things work for you and your birds. Just be persistent and patient. I think your birds are in good hands!

Dave
 
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