How to Bond with a One Person Bird

Posted by Bird Tricks on

Q: I am the third person to have Chip-Chip. He has about fifteen words he says. At first he loved me and kissed on my cheek-rode on my shoulder, then one day he was on my knee and I leaned over to talk to him and he flew up and bit my lip. About two days later he bit through my shirt and made my arm bleed. Now he wants to bite me every chance he gets. He takes food from my fingers but refuses to come to me. Now he has bonded with my husband and even lets him pet him. Also I have never been able teach him any new words. I did teach him to whistle like a quail. I love him, but the feeling isn’t returned.

– Lois Thomas

A: I’d highly recommend starting out with trick training with Chip-Chip. You need to do something that is “hands off” right now since he doesn’t have a desire to be with you, only with your husband.

You should also make sure you are doing the training alone. Tricks like the “spin“, “touch training” and the “wave” are easy tricks to train and are very hands-off so you don’t have to get bit or pass that safe zone with your bird.

If you touch train your bird (which is the very first thing we teach in all of our courses) you can easily train him these tricks afterwards using the target stick.

Our parrot Cressi absolutely loves Dave and although she likes me, I can tell it’s not as much. Once I took the time to train her to wave and spin, she wouldn’t stop flying to me over him! I was more fun and stimulating to be around and she was excited to learn more with me. It really strengthened our bond and I feel this will do the same for you and Chip-Chip.

Once you develop this type of bond with Chip-Chip, I am sure you will be able to move on and teach him new words, too, as he will be more interested in learning and listening to you.

Jamieleigh Womach has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots with whom she shares the stage.


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3 comments

  • Can you help me i want to train my ringneck parrot(i have your training package)but the second i take him out of the cage he goes strait for my shoulder and becomes very agresive when we try to remove him.

    Richard on
  • Hi Richard,

    I have a hyacinth macaw of a client’s right now who does the exact same thing and it totally sucks.

    But… the first thing we teach in the course is “touch training” which you can find here too; http://jamiesparrothelp.wordpress.com/2009/01/10/teach-your-bird-to-step-up-without-getting-bit/

    And if you teach that, you can actually teach it from INSIDE the cage so the bird literally cannot get to your shoulder. Once he understands touch training from inside the cage (and is on a training diet we tell you about in the course too) then you can target him off your shoulder if he goes there. Just make sure he’s on a training diet otherwise the shoulder is more reinforcing than the food.

    Good luck!

    Jamieleigh on
  • Thanks Jamieleigh!

    I started the clicker training from inside the cage and in just a few days my little mate olli is now playing fetch the paperclip.This is powerful stuff i think ill try it on my wife!!

    PS Thank for takeing the time to reply.

    Richard on

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