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How To Regain A Parrot’s Trust

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2023)

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 a parrot’s trust, you must work hard to regain it.

To regain a parrot’s trust, spend time together, moving quietly and speaking gently. This will show the parrot that you’re not a threat. Observe and copy the 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 a parrot, it’ll start behaving negatively toward you. Until you rebuild trust, you’re likely to experience the cold shoulder from a parrot.

Parrot trust issues can manifest in the following ways:


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


Screaming signifies the parrot’s annoyance with you. Most parrots make loud vocalizations when annoyed, but larger parrots will be even louder. Parrots also make the following sounds when unhappy:

  • Hissing.
  • Screeching.
  • Crying.

Note the sounds the parrot makes each time you approach because it reveals its mood.

Decreased Vocalizations

Some parrots stop vocalizing as often as usual. While decreased vocalizations are easy to ignore, they indicate a parrot’s unhappiness. If you’ve upset the parrot, the unhappiness is likely due to you.


Crouching is among 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.


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

According to Avian Biology Research, captive parrots engage in feather picking when stressed. This behavior isn’t seen in the wild because 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 a parrot’s trying to scare you away because it’s attempting to make itself look bigger and scarier so that you back away.

Frightened parrots hold their wings and feathers tightly to their bodies. They also hold them horizontally and quiver them, indicating the parrot’s ready to fly away from you.

How To Get A Parrot To Trust You Again

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

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

Regain a parrot’s trust with these steps:

Spend Time Around The Parrot

Even though you might have upset the 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 the 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 the parrot in a quiet, gentle tone.
  • Give the parrot the occasional treat.

As soon as the 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 English.

Communicating with a 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 the parrot’s movements and copy them. The parrot will make some more than others, so they’ll respond more favorably if you copy them.

If the 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 a parrot to trust you again.

Feed Treats

Nothing builds trust quicker than feeding a parrot its favorite treats. If you need to forge a strong bond with a 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 The Parrot to Step Up

Teach the 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 the parrot doesn’t respond, nudge its legs with your finger.
  5. Continue pressing if the bird doesn’t get the idea. It’s normal for it to step back once or twice.
  6. Eventually, the parrot will step up on your finger instead of backing away.
  7. After some steady nudges, the bird feels compelled to step up rather than back away.
  8. Give the parrot a couple of treats.
  9. Encourage the bird to dismount and try the process again.

If the 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 A Parrot

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

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

Once you’ve regained the parrot’s trust, it’ll display several signs:

  • Nuzzling against 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.

The 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 the parrot’s trust. Learn from your mistakes, and don’t do anything that makes the parrot scared or wary of you.