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How to Form a Bond With Your Pet Bird (5 Proven Methods)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Getting a pet bird is an exciting experience, no matter the type of bird they are. They are fun to watch, they do not need daily walks outside as dogs do, and they can live in a small habitat that does not take up much space inside the household. However, bonding with your pet bird can be tricky. Even birds born in captivity are not naturally sociable and affectionate with humans.

It is up to us to figure out how to properly bond with our beloved birds to ensure an enjoyable, healthy experience for everyone. Luckily, there are proven methods to create a loving, lifelong bond with your pet bird. We outlined the most effective options to help make the process of bonding easier.

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Make Socialization a Priority

parrot with its owner in the background
Image Credit: suju-foto, Pixabay

Socializing with your pet bird is essential if you want to create a strong bond. There are several different ways to socialize with your bird and get them used to interacting with you and others living in the household. First and foremost, it is important to take the time to speak to your bird several times throughout the day. Stop at their habitat, and carry on a short conversation with the bird as often as you can while at home.

Make sure that you speak in a soft, sweet voice so as not to scare your bird. They take better to calm demeanors than loud, intense voices. Say the same things to your bird each day to encourage mimicking, which can help teach your bird how to talk as time goes on. At the very least, it will get them used to your form of communication and help set you apart from other household members that interact with the bird.

Other ways to socialize with your pet bird over time include:
  • Blow kisses from afar after getting your bird’s attention.
  • Let your bird stand on your hand or shoulder for a few minutes at a time.
  • Put your fingers up to the habitat bars, and let your bird follow your fingers around.
  • Sit and read books to your bird while the rest of the house is quiet.

Any opportunity to speak with your bird will help you bond with them until eventually, your bird wants to take initiative and communicate with you first.

Take Advantage of Treats

a woman hand feeding a parrot
Image Credit: Free-Photos, Pixabay

Offering your bird treats regularly is a great way to gain their trust, ensure optimal nutrition intake, and enhance the bonding that you do in the coming months and years. Feeding your bird treats will allow your bird to trust your hand and get close to you when you reach out to them. Your bird can enjoy a wide variety of different treats as part of a nutritionally balanced diet.

Try the following options to see which your bird likes the most:
  • Carrots
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Papayas
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Strawberries
  • Figs

However, it is important to make sure that fruits and veggies make up only about 10% of your bird’s diet. The rest should consist of a high-quality commercial food that includes grains and seeds, as well as protein sources such as insects, eggs, and small fish.

Practice Preening Occasionally

a hand preening on a white bird
Image Credit: Ersin D, Pixabay

Birds enjoy cleaning themselves and other birds, which is referred to as preening. During the preening process, a bird removes dirt, dust, dander, air contaminants, and even parasites from their feathers. This is an essential task that all birds engage in for optimal health as they age. You can use preening to help build a bond between you and your bird, even if you do not have a beak.

Use your hands to gently brush the fingers of your bird’s head and mimic the preening that they do to themselves and that other birds would do to them. This will create comfort for your bird and give you both the opportunity to bond. The act should also help your bird better trust you so it is easier to bond and interact in the future.

Regularly Introduce New Toys

a grey parrot playing with a toy
Image Credit: jaanasaksman, Pixabay

Another great way to bond with your pet bird is to regularly introduce new toys into their habitat and where they spend time in the house when outside their habitat. Toys encourage birds to get active and expel pent-up energy, which helps relieve stress and enable peace of mind. The more peaceful your bird feels, the more likely that they will engage with you.

You can interact with the toys at the same time your bird does to increase bonding and interaction at any given time. Mirrors are great options because they allow the bird to practice interacting by talking to themselves. Hanging toys that can be perched on and clanged together are effective for shy birds that need to learn how to come out of their shell.

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In Conclusion

Getting to know a pet bird and growing a bond takes time, so be patient once you get started. It can take a bird a few days, weeks, or even months before displaying comfort around their human family members. Stay on course and do not get discouraged, as any day that you skip is another setback when it comes to bonding.


Featured Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.