How to Socialize Your Parrot: 8 Tips
The Social Life Of Parrots
If you're wondering how to socialize your parrot, you're on the right track. For most animals, being social just comes natural due to their makeup and the amount of love and affection they receive starting when they are babies. Parrots are no different, only, that parrot socialization needs to be fostered and maintained on a daily basis.
It's hard to resist playing and loving on a cute little puppy or kitten. However, lot of people are afraid of birds, especially the larger ones such, as African gry parrots, Cockatoo's and Macaw's
With this being said, being socialized to people is something that doesn't come natural with all birds. Their natural personality is to be weary of danger, so new things and new people may be scary. Never the less, in the wild parrots live in large flocks and their entire instinctual makeup is geared toward highly social flock behavior.
In order to have a healthy connection with your parrot, socialization with people is a crucial part of what you must teach them. It is common for your parrot to bond with her caretaker or to someone it is familiar with but show a weary side towards everyone else. That is unless you work at socializing your parrot.
To a bird, the caregiver is safe and predictable, whereas strangers are anything but predictable. For the under-socialized parrot, strangers, or guests in the home are seen as a threat to either the parrot itself or its mate-like relationship with you. The bird will typically feel as though its territory has been invaded or it's mate is being stolen. The bird may feel helpless or protective.
Taking a few steps to reassure your parrot that not all people are mean or dangerous will benefit you both in the long run. Teaching your bird to be social will not only help her feel less stress, but it will allow her to experience more of a "flock lifestyle."
Eight Ways To Socialize Your Parrot
- Taking your parrot on outings can be a great experience for both you and your bird. There are places that are open to you bringing your pet for them to socialize with other animals. Consider taking your bird to the park in a bird harness, of course, or letting a harnessed bird ride on the handlebars of your bike.
- If your bird is shy, getting her used to being out and about can start with private, quiet places such as going to family and friends homes. Especially if there are other birds there for socializing. Never take a shy bird to loud, boisterous activities. Start off small in a calm, confined area with very few people around. Remember, you are teaching her to like people and feel safe with them around. Make sure the group understands that if they are rowdy, chances are your bird will become upset
- Private outings with a few friends can be a fun start. Begin taking your parrot on separate outings with a small group of calm people who appreciate birds as pets. Places such as a family members home for dinner or to a friend's house for a quiet evening.
- As your bird becomes more comfortable being around people, start having them scratch your bird on the head or the side of the face, just like you do. Clicker Training for Birds may be a great way to reward your bird for being a social butterfly.
- Once your bird Is predictably comfortable around people start going public: Its time for the big leagues, going public in places such as beaches, an out door mall, bird club meetings or any outdoor activity. Typically people will want to touch or handle your parrot.
- Many pet stores are a welcoming place to take your parrot for fun times visiting with pet loving people. If it is a bird store that you visit, make sure to bring some hand sanitizer to avoid spreading any disease.
- Bird clubs are a great place, too. Bird owners can feel safe as they watch their pet learn to play and fly all while being around other birds as they socialize with one another. There is also bird clubs where owners get together to socialize with one another while their little loved ones get to know each other.
- Find bird loving friends on Facebook or even start a Meet Up! These are very fun bird friendly social gatherings where the others share ideas and tips. It's also an excellent outlet for gaining trust for bird sitting while out of town or in an emergency situation.
Getting your bird out and about and being outdoors will not only allow her to feel the freedom, but it also is great for her health. Remaining cooped up in a cage all the time is unhealthy for any animal. BirdSupplies.com has a bunch of bird training supplies and they ship world-wide, too
The better socialized your bird is, the farther you can go and the longer you can stay away. You might even start taking your bird on daily outings and vacations.
Once she learns that people can be fun and not harmful, she will enjoy establishing friendships along the way. Teaching her to be friendly will not only make her an excellent conversation piece, she will also gain a lot of attention, and that should make any parrot happy.
Birds are just like other pets when getting to be outdoors for special outings or if they are learning how to fly. Take plenty of time to meet and mingle with other parrot owners. Not only for your parrot's benefit, but for you as well.
- Diane Burroughs, LCSW