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Thread: HELP! My Tiel is scared of fingers.

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Exclamation HELP! My Tiel is scared of fingers.

    O.k so i got this adorable male cockatiel named Chachi. He's 5 months old and i got him august 9 2011. o anyway, a couple days ago, my little cousin came over, and Chachi was out, and my little cousin starting poking him with a barbie, I didnt notice it till about a minute then i yelled at him to get out, wich he did, But evers since that my tiel doesnt like my finger in his cage., I mean before that he was Great, he came to me, and didnt have a problem with my finger, but now, he'll peck me for a good 10 sec, Whistle, and climb on top of his cage, But then i make him step up (on my finger) and after he pecks me, he sings happily. And he wont let put my finger by him, but once he's playing with me, he's fine.Im also worried because saw someone say that if a tiel goes on ur shoulder, they think they have dominance over you, and that has happen about 3 times, And as of right now, my bird is singing happily, but if i try to touch him, he will peck me, but he wont hiss. And he also stay's in this one spot on his perch 24/7 singing, when he's not eating, drinking, playing etc, And i dont know if thats bad or if that's normal. So basically im just scared if he gonna stay scared forever? should i cover his cage? should i "re-tame" him again? Im really worried, and he's a happy tiel, just looks lke he's afraid of finger's.... And i also taught him how to kiss ( And he kisses me ) and he'll kiss me and sing to me, but he looks like he's TERRIFIED of my finger. Im not sure why but im almost positive it was my little cousin.... I really wish i still had that bond with him but i feel so bad that i let my cousin poke him, will my tiel get over it? D:

  2. #2
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Re: HELP! My Tiel is scared of fingers.

    Be patient with him and reteach him that fingers won't hurt him. He should get over it, but it will take a lot of time and work on your part. For now, you could try nose or chin scritches since he won't let you use fingers. And shoulders are fine, unless they start showing dominance behaviors, but my tiel sits on my shoulder all the time. If he starts nipping, bossing you around etc while on the shoulder restrict it, but little birds are usually OK for shoulders, the dominance thing is more for larger parrots or parrots with aggression issues while up there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    San Francisco,Ca
    Thanked 61 Times in 61 Posts

    Re: HELP! My Tiel is scared of fingers.

    For now don't use your finger for your bird. Later on, just be casual about putting your finger there to give it another try. May or may not work. Just keep trying now and then. Also, try new things to see which ones your bird really likes.

  4. #4
    Brand New Egg
    pat d
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    san jose ca
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    Re: HELP! My Tiel is scared of fingers.

    Chaci, Wow, it's sad but i, too, think you can help him recover. I would not cover him. It's not good for him and he can't understand what it's all about. For now, if he were my bird, i would not "make" him deal with fingers...yours or anyone elses. I would just work on building his trust of you by talking to him and letting him know what a great bird he is. Think of it like this. Lets pretend you picked up a spider becuz you had b4 (and they are very interesting) and this time you got bitten. Now, if i (pretend mother) MADE you handle another spider to get over your fear, how would YOU feel? It most likely wouldn't help. You might get close and look at them on the ground but i'm guessing you'd be pretty nervous about holding one again.

    So, if he were mine, i would be extra sensitive to him and not force fingers on him. Then a week or so later if he seems to be calmer and more comfortable i would put a little of his favorite treat in the palm of my hand and see if he would eat out of my hand. If he's nervous, stop when you can tell he's nervous and just repeat the exercise several times over the next couple of days. Once he seems to be more comfortable you can try to feed him a little treat right from your fingers. Again go slowly. This process is called desensitization.

    I have had several experiences with kids deliberately or otherwise doing something that scares the bird. I have become VERY protective of by birds when around anyone i don't know. I love to have them around people cuz it's such a great "teaching" opportunity. But, i do not hesitate to intervene and even stop someone from getting close to the bird or it's cage if i think it's stressing the bird. Tiels are very resilient birds. And with your love and attention he will regain that trust. Good luck. pat

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