Your E-mail:
Will your bird get a holiday gift this year?

Printer Friendly

Everyone Earns A Bird’s Trust

Everyone in the family must work on building a trusting relationship with a pet bird before they try to pet their parrot.

By Liz Wilson, CVT, CPBC

Subscribe to BIRD TALK Magazine

Even if your pet bird or parrot loves being petted by you, do not expect it to be comfortable being petted by everyone else. It is, in fact, a very small prey animal, and humans are very large predators. To offer the back of one’s neck takes tremendous trust, and most parrots do not grant such trust easily — it has to be earned over time. I, too, am not comfortable being touched by just anyone, and I would be quite angry if someone felt they had the right to make such demands. Consequently, I totally empathize with parrots that feel the same way.     

Not All Bird Relationships Are The Same
It is also quite normal for a parrot to have different relationships with different people in its flock. People often complain to me that a parrot allows some flock members to pet it but not others. It is as if they perceive the bird as doing something wrong by not having identical relationships with multiple people.

My usual response is to comment that no animal I have ever known — human or otherwise — has had identical relationships with several people. After all, none of us have identical relationships with our mothers and our fathers, or each of our siblings. Even our dogs have different relationships with all of the humans with whom they live.

To expect a parrot to do otherwise is not reasonable. For instance, when you think about it, you will realize that no, perhaps your parrot won’t let you pet it like it lets your husband, but there are other things the bird does only with you. This is quite normal for intelligent life forms. For example, my sister was entranced when her grandson (whom she never sees often enough) developed specific games that he will play only with her. This does not mean he does not love his parents. It just means that he loves each person in a different way and has special things associated with each one.

For monlthy information about pet birds and parrots, subscribe to BIRD TALK Magazine by clicking here.

 Give us your opinion on
Everyone Earns A Bird’s Trust

Submit a Comment or
Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments
Some great points!
C, Methuen, MA
Posted: 3/29/2011 7:26:50 AM
Interesting article.
Cheryl, North Fort Myers, FL
Posted: 2/25/2011 4:57:20 PM
When my daughter came to visit, she asked me if she could pet my Green cheek conure. I told her to ask him. She did, and he lowered his head. Stunned, she asked if that was that a yes? And she asked again and he lowered his head again and let her pet him. Actually I was surprised too at how well it worked.
Wendy, Stamford, CT
Posted: 10/21/2009 6:58:51 AM
I agree with this article. I have two African Greys. One of them let me pet him in about two weeks, with the other it took almost one year! Waiting was worth it!
Daniela, Monterey, CA
Posted: 7/3/2009 10:11:11 AM
View Current Comments
Top Products
BirdChannel Home | Bird Breeders | Bird Species | Related Links | BirdChannel Editors and Contributors
                       | Birds USA |  
Disclaimer: The posts and threads recorded in our message boards do not reflect the opinions of nor are endorsed by I-5 Publishing, LLC nor any of its employees. We are not responsible for the content of these posts and threads.
Copyright ©  I-5 Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.
Our Privacy Policy has changed. Your California Privacy Right/Privacy Policy
Advertise With Us  |  SiteMap  |  Contact Us  |  Terms of Use  |  Community Guidelines | Bird eClub Terms
BirdChannel Newsletter Signup | Link to Us | About Us | More Great I-5 Sites
Gold Standard

*Content generated by our loyal visitors, which includes comments and club postings, is free of constraints from our editors’ red pens, and therefore not governed by I-5 Publishing, LLC’s Gold Standard Quality Content, but instead allowed to follow the free form expression necessary for quick, inspired and spontaneous communication.

Become a fan of BirdChannel on Facebook Follow BirdChannel on Twitter
Get social and connect with BirdChannel.

Hi my name's Zeus

Visit the Photo Gallery to
cast your vote!
Information on over 200 critter species