A nervous parrot may require some time, effort and the right treatment techniques to allow these birds to lose their fear and become tame. This process may take weeks or even months regardless if they are wild-caught birds or captive-bred birds offered for sale.
Before you attempt to tame a nervous parrot, you will need to be aware that you need to be patient to go through a gentle and slow taming process.
First of all, you should place the cage higher than your eye level to reduce the view and contact with people coming close to the bird. This will reduce the bird’s fear of people coming in contact with them.
Next, sit down below the nervous parrot while it is in its cage but not too close that it shows any signs of being afraid of you. A better option is to sit alongside with the nervous parrot to avoid looking directly at it. Then spend a few minutes in this position doing quiet activities, such as reading, eating a snack, or singing a light song.
You can let the nervous parrot see you eating but do not look at the bird for the first few sessions in order not to upset it. For parrots, eating is considered a social activity and so when a bird sees another human eating, it feels more reassuring.
Repeat this process several times until the nervous parrot shows that it is comfortable with your presence sitting beside it, and then gradually, you may want to sit closer to it but observe that it does not show any signs of fear. This may take several days.
Once the nervous parrot gets accustomed to these sessions, it will either eat its own food or show some interest in your food. If this happens, start offering the nervous parrot some portion of your food through the bars of the cage.
When the parrot’s confidence increases, you can open the cage door and offer the food directly with your hand placed just below its beak, provided it appears to accept this. If the bird has climbed down its cage to investigate the food placed in your hand, it means that its confidence has improved.
Then proceed to reward the bird for this behavior by offering a food treat in its food bowl, with its cage door opened and encourage it softly as it steps closer to the open cage door. Remember to regulate the speed and any movement based on the parrot’s reactions and nervousness as you carry out this taming process.
How long this process takes will depend on how nervous the bird is, how much fear and phobic experiences it has previously been subjected to and also how careful you are advancing through the taming process.
Aggression is displayed by the nervous parrot when it raises the feathers on its back and neck and will stare at the source of the problem indicating that something has stimulated aggression. If you also see the parrot’s eyes ‘flashing (also known as ‘pinning’ of the eyes where it contracts the pupils rapidly but briefly), it could mean either an aggressive intent or the parrot is excited by something. It is best to back off for a while when this happens and come back again later, when the parrot is more relaxed.
However, when the nervous parrot is seen taking some food treats from your hand, you should continue to reward it to encourage the positive behavior and reinforce the trust between the carer and the bird. Make sure you give the reward without delay and give verbal praise, for example, by saying “Good!”, or “Excellent!” and reward at the same time so that the bird can associate the two things together.
It is very important to use positive reinforcement (rewards) to motivate the kind of behavior you are asking for. Parrots can learn very fast, so once the nervous parrot is used to this reward and has understood its association with its behavior, you can start to teach the bird some of the more formal requests and commands.
I hope you find this information on how to tame a nervous parrot useful.