Brightly-colored, affectionate, and easy-going, parrots are wonderful pets for bird lovers of all ages. Whether you’re a new parrot parent or you’ve had your parrot for a few years, here are a few easy ways to show them extra love and attention.
1. Let them make the first move
As it is with many other animals, parrots unaccustomed to their surroundings, a new routine, strange noises, or a new owner might be skittish and nervous. Whether your pet parrot is new to you or not, before you try to step up your bonding game, let them come to you. Make yourself available by sitting nearby when they have out-of-habitat time, but don’t approach them right off the bat. Let them get used to your presence first. Who knows? Maybe, after a while, they’ll feel comfortable approaching you.
2. Share a Meal
In the wild, parrots often share meals. When you do the same with your pet parrot it shows him that you are part of his flock. Make sure that what you’re offering your pet is safe for them to eat and low on salt and seasonings. Avoid chocolate, junk food, large amounts of dairy products like hard cheeses and yogurt, avocado, processed meats, onions, sprouted lima, fava, and navy beans, fruit pits, apple seeds, and rhubarb. If your parrot is too hesitant to take a bite, try our next recommendation.
3. Talk and sing softly to them
Parrots communicate in two ways – through their voices and body language. You can communicate using the methods they prefer by speaking softly, playing music, and singing softly to them.
4. If they like music, try dancing
As we mention in #2, parrots communicate through body language and sound. So, how to combine these methods of communication? Dancing! Turn on something catchy with a good beat, and you and your parrot can dance together. If it sounds silly, just Google “parrot dancing.” If your new parrot is a cockatoo, dancing should surely win them as they have a natural love for dance!
5. Give them treats
You know that feeling you get when someone gives you a warm, home-baked cookie? Parrots feel that way, too, about people who give them treats. We’ve got a ton of yummy treats for parrots and macaws, but we’ve found that our Yo Dips® are always popular.
Check out our full selection of parrot and macaw treats here!
6. Hold and pet them
Please note that new pet owners will need to work up to this form of affection. Once your pet parrot feels comfortable with you and is happy to be in your presence, start by lightly touching their beak. If that goes well, try petting the sides of their head gently. From there, you may be able to pet the back of their head and neck. We’ve found that many parrots love having their ears gently stroked … if you can find them! Don’t rush things and be patient with yourself and your pet.
Looking for more info? Read our more general starter guide to bonding with a pet bird and read about the importance of patience here.
Parrot parents – good luck with bonding, and thanks for taking the time to show your pet some love!