Are we bonded? - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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Post Are we bonded?

We rescued a 16 yo African Grey named Budweiser about 5 months ago. His adjustment period was slow slow to start, he didn't leave the safety of the top of his cage and no one was allowed to touch him at all for months. Throughout the first months he was vocal, active, and eating well he just didn't want to go further than on and around his cage. Within the last month he has become a completely different bird. He will walk around the house (he is not clipped but it seems he prefers walking over flying) and follow us room to room. A few weeks ago I actually got him to step up and get on my shoulder! This was an incredible achievement and from then on he will follow me around until I pick him up, then he will nuzzle into my face and bow his head to be scratched and coo in my ear (he can stay there for hours with me scratching his head). My dad is the actual owner of the bird, I live and work an hour away and visit on the weekends. Considering greys live to be 65+, it is my dads intention to give Bud to me down the line.

Bud doesn't seem to have the same relationship with my dad even though he works from home and is with him 24/7, feeds him, showers him, etc. He has only stepped up for my father one time and as soon as he felt a bit unsteady on my father's shoulder he bit a chunk out of his hand. My father remained very calm and simply set him back down. He has never let him pet him or scratch him (it's more like bud just "tolerates" him). When I leave for the week Budweiser will apparently walk to my door and knock his head against it hoping I will come out.

I give you this background because I am not sure how to know when he is officially "bonded" to one of us. I have heard that you must establish a bond before attempting to begin training any new behaviors. I have heard that greys can be one person birds and am concerned that he may have already chosen me as his "person". As much as I love him and wish I could have him, my dad really has the resources and time to take care of him right now. It wouldn't be fair to bring him to my house when I work 8-5 and he has been used to being out all day. So by the information I have given, is Budweiser now bonded to me? When I am there on weekends is it a good idea to try and reinforce new behaviors? Am I doing permanent damage by only seeing him a couple of days a week?

(side note: my dad says he doesn't pluck or act depressed when I am gone or anything, just kind of searches and calls for me and hangs around my room)
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:01 PM



 
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Originally Posted by cowgirlchan View Post
We rescued a 16 yo African Grey named Budweiser about 5 months ago. His adjustment period was slow slow to start, he didn't leave the safety of the top of his cage and no one was allowed to touch him at all for months. Throughout the first months he was vocal, active, and eating well he just didn't want to go further than on and around his cage. Within the last month he has become a completely different bird. He will walk around the house (he is not clipped but it seems he prefers walking over flying) and follow us room to room. A few weeks ago I actually got him to step up and get on my shoulder! This was an incredible achievement and from then on he will follow me around until I pick him up, then he will nuzzle into my face and bow his head to be scratched and coo in my ear (he can stay there for hours with me scratching his head). My dad is the actual owner of the bird, I live and work an hour away and visit on the weekends. Considering greys live to be 65+, it is my dads intention to give Bud to me down the line.

Bud doesn't seem to have the same relationship with my dad even though he works from home and is with him 24/7, feeds him, showers him, etc. He has only stepped up for my father one time and as soon as he felt a bit unsteady on my father's shoulder he bit a chunk out of his hand. My father remained very calm and simply set him back down. He has never let him pet him or scratch him (it's more like bud just "tolerates" him). When I leave for the week Budweiser will apparently walk to my door and knock his head against it hoping I will come out.

I give you this background because I am not sure how to know when he is officially "bonded" to one of us. I have heard that you must establish a bond before attempting to begin training any new behaviors. I have heard that greys can be one person birds and am concerned that he may have already chosen me as his "person". As much as I love him and wish I could have him, my dad really has the resources and time to take care of him right now. It wouldn't be fair to bring him to my house when I work 8-5 and he has been used to being out all day. So by the information I have given, is Budweiser now bonded to me? When I am there on weekends is it a good idea to try and reinforce new behaviors? Am I doing permanent damage by only seeing him a couple of days a week?

(side note: my dad says he doesn't pluck or act depressed when I am gone or anything, just kind of searches and calls for me and hangs around my room)

It sounds like Bud likes you a lot!

Some birds tend to like the opposite sex for some reason, I've heard a bunch of women members say they have a hen bird that tolerates them but adores their husband or boyfriend despite the fact they are the caregiver and are home with the bird all the time. This is the same for men who have a cock bird in the home and are that birds main caregivers.... the cock will tend to gravitate to the girlfriend or wife.

Who knows why it happens. Bud likes you and this is great you have a hand up when it comes to dealing with this bird should he become yours anytime soon. Enjoy his attention to you its a big compliment to you that he trusts and follows you around.





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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:19 PM



 
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Personally I do not think that birds bond to us. While we may see behaviours that indicate a bond, I don't feel that it is a true bond like they would have with one another. I used to think they did but having seen birds I believed were bonded with me interact with others there's definitely a difference. I feel they just fill the gap with us. He has most likely just chosen his favourite person to hang out with. I've found all of my birds have preferred somebody over me except for Darwin (black capped lory) and it can be a bit annoying, especially when you spend a lot of time with them! Holly (Alexandrine) prefers my nan over everybody on this planet and she's petrified of birds haha!

I would encourage your dad to work on training with him so that he can build a positive relationship with him. Once he associates your dad with good things he will soon want to hang out with him too. As you've said, your situation wouldn't be ideal for an individual companion parrot so it's best he stays there. It's great he wants to chill with you though

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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