Of all the categories in a parrot guide, this is one of the trickiest, given the variety not just of parrot species, but the also the diversity of parrot personalities. There are, however, several general points to be made.
This Maroon-Bellied Conure owner has tricks up his sleeve!
- Rule number one is to start training as early as you can. Young birds pick it up very quickly, while older ones are set in their ways and reluctant to learn anything new.
- Rule number two is to establish familiarity. Your pet birds need to get used to you. After changing their food trays a few times, they will become accustomed to your hand and arm, and it’s a good idea to linger after filling the bowls, allowing your hand to rest against the bars of the cage. In this way your parrot, being a clever bird, will quickly realise that the large five-fingered creature that changes the food and water poses no threat.
- Rule number three is to be consistent - daily training sessions, at roughly the same time, carried out by the same person, will speed up progress.
- Once you’ve reached this early stage of routine and mutual respect, you can take it to the next level.
Sun Conure - happy to be handled
Note: For smaller parrots, including Cockatiels, refer to the Taming a Budgie and Training a Budgie sections in the Omlet Budgerigar Guide. Many smaller parrots can be hand-trained using the methods described there.