Birds have a flock mentality and are out of their element in a domestic environment. Bonding with your pet helps to ease the transition and is an essential but often ignored aspect of bird care. In any case, it would be nice to have the same relationship with your bird as other pet owners have with their dogs or cats. There are a few simple but effective tips that you can use to create and strengthen the bond with your pet bird.
Share some of your meals
Sharing your own meals helps activate the bird’s flock mentality and to perceive you as a friend. Birds bond in the wild by regurgitating food for each other. Sharing food off your plate can have a similar effect. Ensure that the food is safe for birds and does not contain any salt or seasoning. Fruits are a safe bet in this case.
The bird may be hesitant to try the food at first. Simply put a small portion in his food bowl and eat yours directly in front of him. Your bird should warm up to the idea of sharing food in no time. Encouraging the bird softly as you eat can help to move things along.
Create time to bond
This is especially important for rescue birds or birds that have been rehomed. Some of these birds have unfortunately had traumatic experiences with humans or simply haven’t spent much time around them. Schedule time every day to simply sit next to your bird and speak to him softly as you would to a child. Rehomed or rescue birds can get nervous around people so it may take some time for your bird to warm up to you. Sit next to the bird for 5 or 10 minutes daily while avoiding any sudden movements. You can increase this time as the bird grows more accustomed to your presence.
Consider grooming sessions
Grooming is an essential part of bonding for most animals including birds. Grooming is a great way to create a strong relationship with your bird provided that he allows himself to be handled. Gently scratch the back of the head to remove pinfeathers. With time, consider investing in a shower perch to enjoy quality bath time with your feathered friend.
Be creative with food
Remember that a proper diet is an integral part of bird care. Birds generally do well with fresh seeds, pellets, vegetables and fruits. Find out as much information as you can about your particular breed’s feeding habits and quantities. Hide some of the food in your bird toys, cardboard box or around the bird cage. This lets the bird forage for food as he would in the wild and provides much needed entertainment while you are away.
Listen to music together
Birds in the wild mainly communicate through their voices and body language. Mimicking this is an effective way to bond with your pet. Sing to your bird or listen to music and dance for him. Most pets cannot resist the temptation of joining in. It may feel awkward or silly at first but it will come more naturally in your bird care routine.
Try bribing your bird
Bribery works magic with shy birds. Note your pet’s favorite treats and offer them every time you spend time with him. You can also make a few homemade bird toys to spruce up the bird cage and give him something to do while you are away.
Respect your pet’s decision
This is in respect to birds that are let out of the cage and is especially important for a bird that just arrived. Getting the bird out of the cage can be challenging at first but it is best to allow him to do as he likes. Simply open the cage and wait for him to come out on his own. Physically removing the bird from the cage can frighten him or create mistrust. Most bird species want to feel control over their environment so this is a good way to allow your pet that privilege.
Bonding with your bird is just as important as with any other pet. Ensure that you have a good avian veterinarian on call in case of any health issues or questions about your pet. These tips should help you create a mutually rewarding relationship with your pet bird.