Trained Parrot

By Diane Burroughs

Revised 9/10/2022

You'll be wowed by your feathered friend. Train your bird to wave to you so you can build a stronger bond with him and astound your friends with tricks he'll do for you. With the Step Up Command down pat, it's time to teach your bird how to Wave Hello. It only takes a few days, so he will soon be ready! 


Prerequisite Bird Trick: Step Up Command

Important Bird Training Supplies: 

Bird training perch


Bird treats

What Bird Tricks Follow?  Picking Up Object with Foot

Set Your Bird Up For Success


Keep your bird's attention for as long as possible. Prepare for a training session by finding a space that's free of distractions. After all, you want your bird to get the most out of every session.

Pick a neutral space away from the bird cage or kitchen area. Place your other pets up so Fido isn't begging for treats the entire time.


We LOVE the classic t-shaped, round bird stand we use for bird training. They're free of toys, food bowls and other clutter so you get the most bang for your buck during your short training session.

You want your bird about chest high so that you both can keep an eye on each other and you can quickly give treats for a job well done.


Many years of tried-and-true bird training research has shown that one of the best bird training techniques is clicker training for birds.

That's right, you CLICK a small device called a clicker every time the desired behavior happens. Then you IMMEDIATELY give your bird a treat as a reward.

Your bird will quickly associate both the sound and the treat with the behavior they just completed.


Your bird has the attention span of a two-year-old child, so plan to have 2-3 minutes of quality training time.

  1. Identify just 1 thing that you want to accomplish that day.

  2. Any negativity will cause your bird to lose interest.

  3. Your job is to elicit and watch for anything close to the behavior you're trying to each. Immediately reward any approximation.

  4. End each bird training session with a treat for desired behavior, so your bird looks forward to each training session and is ready to go when you put it up on its training perch.


Teach your bird to wave hello!

It's time to set up the scene for bird-training to begin. Gather your supplies and get your bird to their designated bird-training area.

  • Step 1: Give the Wave command. Facing your parrot, say "Wave!"  or "Hello!" in the same voice tone that you'll use when you want your bird to perform the trick.

  • Step 2: Present the visual "Step Up" command. Usually, this is a finger for a smaller bird and a forearm for a very large bird. Once your bird lifts one foot, pull away - Click - Treat!  

  • Step 3: Repeat, repeat, repeat! Repeat steps 1-3 for 5-10 minutes or until just before your bird loses interest. 

A lot depends on the individual. Most parrots are able to wave within one to three training sessions, but don't get discouraged if it takes longer. Just the fact that they are being trained is a huge energy booster for their bird!

Related Posts:

The surprising benefits of teaching your bird to step up  

How To Choose A Bird Training Treat

Teaching Your Bird To Stay Put

How Aggressive Bird Training Methods Backfire With Worse Behavior

Choosing Bird Training Supplies For Best Results


Johnson, M. Getting Started Clicker Training for Birds. (2004). Karen Pryor Clicker Training.


Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #BirdTraining #BirdTricks