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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've had Ergo for a few months now and we've made SOME progress, but not much. I can get him to sit on my hand, sometimes ride around on my shoulder over the house, but he doesn't LIKE me. Or anyone in the house, for that matter. He seems miserable, to be honest. I talk to him, encourage him to come out of his cage, but he hates being taken out and when I reach my hand in to pick him up he flies out to get away from me. I can leave his cage door open, walk away for hours, and he'll be there when I get back, not even making a move to the door. When I put my hand up to him he steps up, but usually shaking and sometimes trying to back off before he steps up with that 'there's no escape' look -.-. I don't want him to suffer through sitting on me, I want him to -like- it and right now it doesn't seem like he's ever going to.

Nobody here has EVER mistreated him. We talk to him, change his food and water every day, bring him native plants and toys, and yet he's still terrified of us. He even makes a show of promptly stepping away from his food dish as soon as someone passes near his cage and then stepping back up to it to eat as soon as the person is gone. He's had one run-in with the dog a few days ago, that's the only thing that's happened, and he's acting the same as he did before now. The dog wasn't trying to hurt him, just to sniff and play, but he did get very scared. He seems to have gotten over it only a little while later, though.

He does chirp sometimes, he also screeches loudly when he hears birds outside. I read that a cockatiel is likely to not tame as well or at all if it has a bird companion, but I've been thinking that maybe it'd be better than him being miserable on his own and not trusting any person at all. Unfortunately getting another bird is out of the question - I don't own this house and it would not be allowed.

Right now he's sitting on my left, on my medusa lamp by the window. He seems fine. Once he's perched somewhere outside of his cage he relaxes and seems to enjoy it, but it's a struggle to get him there initially because he keeps flying off. I do not want to get his wings clipped as I know he is unlikely to injure himself in my room, I made sure of that, and I don't want to take away the only thing he might actually -enjoy- doing from him. As soon as I move to get up, he starts shaking. When I sit back down he relaxes within a few seconds. He doesn't hiss at me as much as he hisses at my mom anymore, but still does when I pass by his cage sometimes. He's under a year old right now, I'd say around 9-10 months if the information I was given at the pet store was correct. I haven't seen him play with any of his toys in a long time. All he does is eat, drink, and sit there when he's in his cage.

What else can I do? There has to be something I haven't tried, right? Do you think I can ever get Ergo to enjoy my company? Also, what about music, do different cockatiels have different preferences when it comes to music? Can music soothe them? I'd be happy to try and find something he likes and play it for him on my laptop. Also, possibly a stupid question, but what to tiels think about Television shows and movies :S >.>

I apologize about the rant, I'm very upset at this point, I don't know what else I can possibly do to make him happy.
 

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I'm sorry you're having a tough time with him. I think it could be worth getting his wings clipped, as horrible as it might seem. When i got my rehome tiel, Gracie, she wouldn't stay near me preferring to fly away to dad or more often on top of high cupboards. I had no chance of bonding with her if she wouldn't even sit with me. I clipped her, even though she'd been fully flighted for all her 2.5yrs of life, and now she's much happier to sit on or beside me. Her flights are growing back in and she can fly further but she's still happy to stay with me.

If you really really don't want to clip him, maybe find a treat he loves (millet?) and only feed him that when he's out and sitting with you. That would make being with you more enjoyable for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your suggestions. He had his wing clipped at the shop (at the time I didn't know that you weren't supposed to clip only ONE wing, and apparently the people at the shop didn't know or couldn't be bothered either :S). Either way, he couldn't fly and was unbalanced for quite a long time, even though he tried, and I made him sit with me then.

He eventually learned to fly with one wing clipped (not sure if he got used to it or if the feathers started growing back in?) I actually seemed to make more progress with him after he learned to fly. I doubt it's BECAUSE he started to fly, but I just figured if I can make a bit of progress without having to clip, I may as well not clip, right? He never flies high up (actually he seems to be a bit afraid of heights :S) so I think him flying around and realizing that I can just follow him kind of got something in his brain to 'click' because he started stepping up, however unpleasantly. I'm just worried that if I go and take him to a professional to get him clipped, he'll associate the act with me and become even more afraid and distant :(

I spent a lot of time with him out of his cage today. When he's sitting on the Medusa lamp and sees me watching him he starts shaking. I took him to the bathroom, where he couldn't see his cage, and he ran around my sink and then up my arm to my shoulder. He ate a tiny bit of seed from a small cup I offered in my hand, but I'm pretty sure that's because he was trying to bite the cup or me >.< and got a mouthful of seed instead.

I also gave him a gentle spray shower (I was worried about it being too stressful on him but seriously, he was becoming smelly, he hasn't had a bath in his life, I'm sure). He didn't really enjoy the shower, but wasn't completely terrified either. He was just trying to get away (and always trembling, he trembles 24/7 unless he's alone in his cage or dozing off on a perch by the window).

I then put him back in his cage for a couple of hours while I took care of my dog, walked her and such, and when I got back I opened the cage fully expecting him to hiss and fly out to avoid my hand. I don't know if it was just chance or not, but he actually stepped up without flying off for once. He's now a bit closer to me on the Medusa lamp (just climbed from one perch to another to look out the window), again, trembling.

Do you think he could be ill, with all the shaking? He only does it when he sees me looking at him or when I start to talk to him, when he doesn't see me he looks rather relaxed, that's why I figured that was just fear. Unfortunately I don't have enough money for countless vet visits so I don't want to take him unless there's a solid possibility of him being sick, so that if something extreme does happen I'll have a way to pay for the vet bill in that case.
 

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it sounds like Ergo may need a friend, I had a budgie that did the same excat thing - he was my 1st bird i bought and had no other birds then a couple months later i got my quaker and Tweety tried Soo hard to be friends with Billy but Billy wouldn't have anything to do with it but i gave it a few weeks to see if billy would change his mind but he wouldn't

So i went and bought another budgie and after quaratine was over i introduced them and Tweety was so happy he played , he chirped and tweeted all day (which before he only did it a couple times a day)

So there's an option to consider
 

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Keep working with him and don't be afraid of him. Take Bea's suggestion and clip both sides. You can do it yourself or have someone do it. He'll sulk for a few hours and get over it. When I use to clip mine they didn't stay mad at me at all...Personally, I think you're taking his actions too much to heart. Just spend time with him, feed him, etc. You mentioned the was trying to bite the cup from the time you were trying to feed him, don't worry about it. My tiels still do that and they're super tame. Just sit down and watch tv with him, etc. I hope you end up keeping him.
PS> I don't think he needs a friend right now, I think it's best to keep working with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all of your kind replies. Aly, by giving up on him I didn't mean giving him away, I'm certainly keeping him unless he miraculously bonds with a complete stranger, I meant giving up on any hope of bonding with him and taming him.

I'm really iffy about getting his wings clipped, but I'll take your advice. I won't do it myself, it'll be far too risky, I think, I don't want to injure him. I'm not sure when this will be, but when I go to the vet with him I'll ask him to clip them, he mentioned clipping pet birds' wings once when we took my dog there.

Thanks again :)
 

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Something to remember is that some birds just don't crave human attention for one reason or another. :) It's hard to accept because we're so used to dogs and cats who love to interact with us, but birds aren't naturally tame the way they are. If you can't get anywhere maybe sometime down the track it'll become possible to get a friend for him. You could get a hand tame baby and Ergo would probably learn a thing or two from it. ;) I bird sat a friend's budgie for a week recently, and he is completely untame and shy...well, was! He became such a crazy little flirt under the influence of my three boys!
 

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Spend a ton of time with him. He still seems unsure of you...just bring him with you everywere and talk to him, even read to him. It might take a while, but he may begin to trust you with time. My Sunny shakes sometimes...for no reason it seems. Usually when you enter a room with her that is unfamiliar, but sometimes she will just shake if somebody is near the cage or looking at her. She has been with us for two years now and knows everybody in the house. When she is afraid, she shrinks twice her size lol!
Time, attention, and patience. Remember, birds have diverse personalities. :)
 
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