That's it - you've decided to adopt a bird! So that your newcomer feels comfortable and that adaptation is smooth, here are some useful tips to consider!
Adopting a bird
First things first, try not to get your hopes up too much that your bird will play with you immediately. Or be easily trained. Remember that they have just changed environments and may be afraid of what is going on. They also don't know you yet so don't forget to give them time. This will require you to be patient.
Building the relationship
During the first few days, your new bird will observe you as you will them. Every interaction counts so take it slowly and gently as they become familiar with your voice and presence.
Our best bit of advice during the first week? Don't leave them alone too much otherwise they may learn to ignore you in return as they adapt to not having you there. Instead, be around as much as you can, be reassuring in your voice and tone, and talk to them regularly and softly. Also try to avoid sudden movements, loud noises or nearby commotion.
Opening up the environment
If you've chosen a bird that you want to bring out from the cage to build a close relationship with you, the next step will be to open up your environment to them.
Ensure that all doors and windows are closed and gently open the entrance to their cage. Don't try to grab them or encourage them to come out with your arms. Some species are fiercely attached to their territory so may bite you. Instead, leave the door open and step away allowing them to come out when they feel secure and ready.
If your bird bumps into walls and furniture when flying in the house, this is normal - this is their first time exploring a new space! To help guide them to a safe perching place, hold out your finger to show them they can perch on it. You might need to wait like this for a while, or even a few times, but this will be far more reassuring for your bird than attempting to grab them with both hands.
Over time, they will realise that your finger is a safe place and that they can land there with confidence. You may then begin to find they come to your shoulder, head, or leg if you're sitting down. Continue to speak softly to reassure them throughout the process.
With time, your bird will develop full confidence in you and learn that you are a part of their territory, that with you they are safe. This will be a matter of patience and respect from your end; it's incredibly important to remember that you should never rush them.
Fresh is best!
While it's a given, don't forget to pre-prepare your new bird's cage with fresh food and water. A climbing ladder will also make them very happy!
Following these tips should help you in building a great friendship with your new pet bird!
What was your experience during the first week of having your new bird?
Photo credit: Yummypets