Training a Bird with a Sad Past

Sometimes, birds purchased from a pet shop situation or birds from an unpleasant or abusive home need that extra TLC. They come with scars, big and small, that are not visible. It’s up to you to try to teach your bird to trust again.

The two most important training qualities you can give your bird are time and patience. Some birds respond sooner than others to kindness. So please give your bird all the time necessary even though it may take months, to build trust.

Birds see the world differently than we do. They only feel that a human that has been unkind to them represents all humans. A bird that has experienced hard conditions will take time and lots of patience to understand that you mean him/her no harm.

Your bird may not want to be touched and won’t accept food from your hand. Let him/her watch you place it in a dish and then put it within easy reach either in or out of the cage, wherever you intend feeding the bird on a regular basis.

Sit by the cage each day for a time. You can read or just relax. Use gentle tones when talking to your bird. Your bird will begin to be comfortable with your presence after a time.

Quick, sudden movements or placing unfamiliar objects in the cage can be frightening for your bird. Slow down your movements. Introduce anything new slowly. If it upsets your bird, try again at another time. Leave the object where the bird can see and become accustomed to it, helping him/her to realize it’s not a threat.

Allow your bird some freedom in a safe room where you can close the door. Open the cage door and sit quietly nearby. Flying about can use up excess energy. The bird also has the opportunity to return to the cage if s/he feels uncomfortable. Eventually your bird may become curious enough to perch on or near you. Keep treats handy for the occasion.

When your bird is ready for some training, try to determine what his/her favorite food is. If your bird does something that pleases you, offer the food as a reward.

Depending on their past situation, abusive or neglectful, some birds may always be a little shy. But most birds shown love and attention, will eventually heal. And they are certainly worth the extra effort.

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