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How To Regain A Parrot’s Trust

Parrots are affectionate, friendly pets when socialized from an early age. However, it takes time and effort to build a special bond. If you break your parrot’s trust, you’ll need to work hard to regain it.

To regain a parrot’s trust, spend time together, moving quietly and speaking gently. This will show your parrot that you’re not a threat. Observe and copy your parrot’s body language to communicate with it.

Getting a parrot to trust you again requires time, but it can be done if you work on the relationship.

How To Know if a Parrot Hates You

If you’ve done something to upset your parrot, it’ll start behaving negatively toward you. Until you rebuild your trust, you’re likely to experience the cold shoulder from your parrot.

Parrot trust issues can manifest in the following ways:

Aggression

Distrustful parrots become angry and aggressive, even more so when they see you approaching. Your parrot may bite you, which is a sign of stress and fear, or it may lunge at you to protect itself.

Screaming

Screaming is a sign your parrot’s angry with you. When annoyed, most parrots make loud vocalizations, but larger parrots will be even louder.

Parrots also make the following sounds when unhappy:

  • Hissing
  • Screeching
  • Crying

Note the sounds your parrot makes each time you approach, as it reveals its mood.

Decreased Vocalizations

Some parrots stop vocalizing as often as usual.

While decreased vocalizations are easy to ignore, they indicate that your parrot’s unhappy. If you’ve upset your parrot, the unhappiness is likely due to you.

Crouching

Crouching is one of the most extreme signs of anger and unhappiness and is reserved for owners who have upset their parrots. The neck feathers will also become ruffled.

Stereotypical Behaviors

In the most extreme circumstances, when your parrot’s unhappy with you, it may start to develop stereotypical behaviors, including:

As described by Avian Biology Research, captive parrots engage in feather plucking when they’re stressed. This behavior isn’t seen in the wild, as parrots aren’t exposed to the same triggers.

how to gain your parrot’s trust

Negative Wing Posture

It’ll hold its wings away from its body, which is a sign of aggression.

Similarly, opened wings indicate that your parrot’s trying to scare you away because it’s attempting to make itself look bigger and scarier so that you back off.

Frightened parrots hold their wings and feathers tightly to their bodies. They also hold them out in a horizontal position, quivering them, which indicates that your parrot’s ready to fly away from you.

How To Get A Parrot To Trust You Again

Building your parrot’s trust isn’t easy, as parrots have good long-term memories.

Parrots have medial spiriform nuclei, which gives them advanced intelligence. So, your parrot likely remembers the reason for the lack of trust. 

Learn how to gain your parrot’s trust with these steps:

Spend Time Around Your Parrot

Even though you might have upset your bird and lost its trust, parrots are social creatures that enjoy companionship. Without it, they become bored and stressed.

That’s why you should spend as much time around your parrot as possible, sitting next to the cage so that it becomes more comfortable in your presence. You could:

  • Quietly read a book
  • Speak to your parrot in a quiet, gentle tone
  • Give your parrot the occasional treat

As soon as your parrot realizes you don’t mean it any harm, it’ll begin to trust you again.  

Communicate with Body Language 

Even though some species can mimic human words and phrases, parrots don’t understand languages.

Communicating with your parrot through body language is something it’ll understand, allowing you to regain trust and build a strong bond.

While some parrot behaviors are universal, note your parrot’s movements and copy them. Your parrot will make some more than others, so they’ll respond more favorably if you copy them.

If your parrot greets you by bowing its head, lower your head. If it lifts its wing to get your attention, raise your arm. These actions will go a long way in getting your parrot to trust you again.

Feed Treats

Nothing builds trust quicker than feeding your parrot its favorite treats. If you need to forge a strong bond with your parrot, pay attention to the foods it likes.

Hand-feeding is an effective way to build trust. Parrots are vulnerable to predators when they eat in the wild, so accepting food from their owners shows trust in them.

Teach Your Parrot to Step Up

Teach your parrot to step up to get it comfortable sitting on your hand.

To teach the step-up command:

  1. Choose a quiet spot in your home that’s free from distractions.
  2. Put your index finger in front of the parrot.
  3. Say, “step up.”
  4. If your parrot doesn’t respond, nudge its legs with your finger.
  5. Continue pressing if your bird doesn’t get the idea. It’s normal for it to step back once or twice.
  6. Eventually, your parrot will step up on your finger instead of backing away.
  7. After some steady nudges, the bird will be compelled to step up rather than back away.
  8. Give your parrot a couple of treats.
  9. Encourage the bird to dismount and try the process again.

If your parrot seems comfortable around you, you can progress to other tricks, such as:

  • Shaking hands
  • Waving
  • Talking
  • Playing dead
  • Dancing
  • Fetching
  • Turning around

This is a fun way to build and improve your bond.

getting a parrot to trust you

How To Maintain Trust with Your Parrot

Once you’ve regained your parrot’s trust, you must maintain it. That’s why you shouldn’t:

  • Force your parrot to do anything it doesn’t want to do.
  • Shout or scream at your parrot.
  • Using physical force as a form of discipline.
  • Trick your parrot.
  • Use unclear commands.
  • Refuse to give your parrot space, especially if it’s upset.
  • Ignore your parrot for long periods.

As mentioned, parrots have good long-term memories, so they’ll likely remember how you lost their trust. If you make the same mistakes too frequently, you may lose your chance to rebuild trust entirely.

Signs Your Parrot Trusts You

Once you’ve regained your parrot’s trust, it’ll display several signs to show you:

  • Cuddling up to you.
  • Shrinking or enlarging irises.
  • Positive vocalizations (Singing, talking, and whistling).
  • Preening your hair.
  • Wing flapping, which indicates happiness.
  • Tail flapping.
  • Head bowing to make you scratch its head.
  • Mimicking your words and actions.
  • Relaxed postures.

Your parrot may not display all of these signs, especially not at once, but as long as it shows some of them when it’s around you, you can be confident that it’s starting to trust you.

Following these steps lays a solid foundation to regain your parrot’s trust. Learn from your mistakes, and don’t do anything that makes your parrot scared or wary of you.