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Hey all, I got rescued a cockatiel from a neglectful family about a month ago, and have started to try and tame her! She's gone a long way, and will usually step up for millet! I'm really proud of how far she's come, and how brave she's been, but we've sorta hit a brick wall! She only trusts me if I have millet, and that trust is barely there at all. I understand where she's coming from, and I'm honestly amazed at how quickly she's been going, but she hasn't really settled in all too much. I take her out of the cage several times a day to socialize, often for an hour or too (until she's had enough), but she doesn't usually do anything. Unless I'm feeding her millet, she'll just stand around on her training perch not doing much. I'll make her some foraging toys so she can play without me, but she doesn't seem interested. And at the end of a session, she'll usually get spooked by something (I dunno what), fly around, and not trust me at all. I want her to have the most enriching experience she can have while in my care, so what are some tips you all have on helping a really shy bird get settled in and enjoy themselves?
 

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She's a beauty and I'm sure her life with you will make her happy with all the love and attention you give her. Spending lots of 'out' time with her like you do is a great way to make friends - I don't have much to offer with training advice since I really haven't tried much to train my tiels to do anything. I'm just happy to have them out and Percy loves hanging out on my shoulder for hours keeping an eye on everything I do. I put a doorknob hanger on outside doors to remind me that I have him out so I don't walk outside and lose him. Good luck with her :)
 

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If you can whistle, that might perk her interests. Or, sing to her. Make funny but gentle noises. Try “ mirroring” what she does. If her head tilts to the left, tilt yours and smile. I would say, given her background, things are coming along on or close to schedule. Have you tried giving her individual sunflower seeds from your fingers? My male and female tiels are pretty bonded to each other (although they do not mate). But, that mostly consists in staying about six inches to a foot from each other and just hanging out. They like to relate to me from the top of the cage. They love me to come over and talk or make noises to them. But, sitting on a finger? Not usually. I can kind of see it from their point of view. Oh, mommy, we’re not babies any more!”
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If you can whistle, that might perk her interests. Or, sing to her. Make funny but gentle noises. Try “ mirroring” what she does. If her head tilts to the left, tilt yours and smile. I would say, given her background, things are coming along on or close to schedule. Have you tried giving her individual sunflower seeds from your fingers? My male and female tiels are pretty bonded to each other (although they do not mate). But, that mostly consists in staying about six inches to a foot from each other and just hanging out. They like to relate to me from the top of the cage. They love me to come over and talk or make noises to them. But, sitting on a finger? Not usually. I can kind of see it from their point of view. Oh, mommy, we’re not babies any more!”
Thank you for the really great advice! She seems to really like it when I mimic her! She's not big on sunflower seeds, but she'll take millet!
 

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Another way I mirror the tiels is when they stretch one leg and wing and then the other side. I stretch my arm out like the bird is doing. If I feel balanced sometimes I raise the leg as well. There was another post I saw recently about imitating yawning. I got into that with my male cockatiel and I could see how he was starting to yawn purposely, like he knew it was a game we were playing, and he didn’t want to stop. Gotta love them!
 

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Another way I mirror the tiels is when they stretch one leg and wing and then the other side. I stretch my arm out like the bird is doing. If I feel balanced sometimes I raise the leg as well. There was another post I saw recently about imitating yawning. I got into that with my male cockatiel and I could see how he was starting to yawn purposely, like he knew it was a game we were playing, and he didn’t want to stop. Gotta love them!
She seems to really have fun with me mimicking her! She still doesn't seem to trust me, but we're having fun!
 
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