If you just brought home a conure, you may be wondering how to bond with your new bird. Some birds have little experience with humans, and others—particularly those who have been adopted or rescued—may have had negative experiences with humans. As a result, it can take some time for a new pet bird to settle in and feel comfortable with you. In this article, we have put together a list of proven tips that you can try in order to create a bond with your bird.
4 Tips for Bonding With Your Conure
1. Start Slow
When your conure first comes to your home, it will likely take a few weeks for it to fully adjust to its new environment. You shouldn’t completely ignore your new pet, but it’s important for you to give it plenty of space to acclimate. One easy way to help your conure get settled in during its first few weeks in your home without too much direct contact is to place its cage in a busy area of the house. That way, your conure will have opportunities to start spending time with you and your family from the safety of its cage.
When you do start to approach your conure for more up-close interactions, make sure to take it slow. While conures and other types of parrots are naturally social creatures, they can be easily startled, especially at first. Never reach into your conure’s cage to grab it when you want to take it out; you will likely frighten your pet and as a result, it will learn to fear you rather than trust you. Instead, try to work your way up to handling your conure, paying attention to your bird’s comfortability every step of the way.
2. Socialize With Your Conure
In the wild, conures and other birds live in flocks as large as 30 birds. As a result, they are social creatures by nature that will crave plenty of interaction with you. Once your bird has gotten used to you, try to make an effort to sit with and talk to your bird on a regular basis. If your conure still seems nervous around you, you can start with small intervals of time and work your way up to longer social visits.
One of the best ways to win over your conure is by singing and dancing. Birds communicate with their body language and their voices, so a little music and movement is a great way to speak their language. You might be surprised to see your pet bird joining in on the dance party!
3. Offer Treats
If it seems like your conure is taking some time to warm up to you, a little bribery can’t hurt. One of the best ways to show your pet that you are trustworthy is by offering it some food. Of course, over time, your conure will learn that you are a reliable source of shelter, clean food, and clean water, but sometimes directly offering something tasty can help your bird think of you as a friend.
There are lots of different types of treats you can choose from, but the best options will contain whole foods. Choose fruits, lightly cooked vegetables, and grains such as oats or millet. You can even share some of your own food with your pet as long as it is free of oil and seasoning. You might be surprised to learn that birds love pasta! Some treats, such as millet spray and treat sticks, are great because they take some time to eat, offering your conure some mental stimulation as well. However, the best way to bond with your bird using treats is to give it something small that it can eat directly out of your hand. This will help your conure associate your hand with something positive whenever you put it into the cage.
4. Set Aside Time for Your Bird
You might already know that it is very important for your conure to get out of its cage on a daily basis in order to get some exercise and mental stimulation. Generally speaking, you should aim for about 2 hours of out-of-cage time per day. You can use this time to play with your bird using some of its favorite bird toys. If you want your bird to think of you as a safe haven, try bringing it into a different part of the house that is less familiar than the room where its cage is. If it gets nervous, it will likely go to you in lieu of going to its cage. When you comfort your bird in situations where it feels uncomfortable, it will not only make your bird feel safe, but it will also help you build an important bond with your pet.
Overall, the conure is a very friendly and social animal that is sure to warm up to you and your family in no time. However, it’s important to recognize that your pet may not feel comfortable with you from day one. By taking things slow and actively working on your bond, you are more likely to build the relationship you want with your pet.
Featured Image Credit: Aekotography, Shutterstock
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.