How to Make Friends with your Parrot

How to make friends with your parrot

How to make friends with your parrotIn this article Barbara covers the topic of How to Make Friends with your Parrot.

If you are a fan of parrots like me, you look forward to those moments when you get to make a new parrot friend. Unlike a dog or cat that may respond to a new person right away, birds can sometimes require a little extra effort on our part. Birds are often a bit nervous about meeting a stranger. Here are some things you can do to help them to be more comfortable when you are getting to know them.

How to Make Friends with your Parrot

1. Give the bird space: Although it is very tempting try not to go right up to a bird. Give him some time to get used to you being in the same room. Once he is looking relaxed and comfortable you can move a bit closer to the bird.

2. Move slowly: Birds can become frightened when people move too quickly. You don’t want to scare your soon-to-be new friend.

3. Approach from the front: Be sure to approach the parrot so that he can easily see you coming. Many birds don’t like it when someone is moving behind them.

4. Show him something special: Before walking closer to a parrot, it is a good idea to have some treats, parrot toys or other special item with you. Ask people who know the bird what he likes best. You can show the bird what you have to give him before you get too close.

5. Watch his body language: When you show the parrot the special treat or item you have for him, watch how the bird responds. If he leans towards you he is saying he would very much like to accept your gift. If he leans away he might be saying he is not sure he is ready to make friends right now. If he is not ready, you can always try again later.

6. Offer him the special treat: If the parrot leans forward and reaches his beak towards what you have to offer, you can move closer and give him what you have. Whenever you offer a treat or toy to a parrot for the first time try to present it so that the bird has to lean forward to take it with his beak. This way you don’t have to get too close to the bird’s beak. This is so you can be extra sure the bird is ready for the treat. Sometimes when we get too close or offer the item to fast, a bird might respond by biting.

7. Offer more treats: If the parrot takes the first treat or toy and enjoys it. He might look or lean towards you for another one. If he does, that is an invitation to really start getting to know each other. Continue to offer him special treats or items. This will cause your new parrot friend to really look forward to your visits.

Once a parrot understands good things happen when you visit, you will begin to notice he will really want to get to know you better. He might be eager to step onto your hand. He might even talk or sing to see if he can encourage you to come closer with a special treat. If he feels very comfortable with you, he might even let you stroke the feathers on his head. This is a good sign that you were very careful not to scare him and have done a good job earning his trust.

Making friends with a parrot sometimes takes a little extra effort. But it is a very special compliment when a parrot accepts you as a friend. Pay close attention to your actions when you are meeting a parrot for the first time, offer him yummy treats and fun toys. Soon you will find yourself surrounded by many new feathered friends.

Barbara Heidenreich has been a professional animal trainer since 1990. Her company Good Bird Inc ( provides parrot training DVDs, books and workshops. She has been a featured speaker in twenty countries and has been published in nine languages. Barbara also consults on animal training in zoos.

Barbara Heidenreich
For more information on how to train your parrot visit Good Bird Inc
Barbara’s Force Free Animal Training

Senegal Parrot – Profile & Care Guide

senegal parrot

Common name: Senegal Parrot
Latin name: Poicephalus senegalus
Length: 23cms/9 inches
Weight: 120-150 grams
Life Span: 25-30 years
Origin: Savanna woodlands and forests of West Africa (Senegal, Gambia and Mali)
Noise Level: Low

senegal parrot  senegal parrot  senegal parrot


Senegal Parrots are known to display their intelligence in different ways, with some of them demonstrating it by figuring their way out of a cage while others express theirs verbally.

Talking ability

Limited, although many Senegal Parrot owners have reported that their parrots have learned a number of words and mimic household sounds. Their voices are not as clear as Conures and they have more of a tiny parakeet voice.

Feather Plucking

Unlike the African Grey Parrot, the Senegal Parrot is not nearly as prone to behavior problems like feather plucking. However boredom could induce feather plucking.

Housing for your Senegal Parrot

  • A good recommendation would be a cage a minimum size of 45cm x 45cm x 60cm. If your Senegal parrot is going to be home alone all day, do consider a larger cage as it will need enough room for a variety of toys and room to swing and play between them.
  • The bar spacing should be 1.5cm – 2cm.
  • The cage should be placed in a part of the house where the bird will have lots of contact with people, If your family becomes its flock – because you are spending quality time with it – your bird will want to come out a lot and be with you.
  • Senegal Parrots, need lots of room to climb and play. They need lots and lots of toys and the toys need to be rotated often so they don’t get bored.
  • Consider getting a cage with a playpen on top for them to play on when you are home. The more room they have the happier they will be.

Feeding Senegal Parrot

  • Their diet in the wild consists of seed, grain, fruits and leaf buds. They love figs and seeds of the wild locust tree, millet, maize and peanuts.
  • They should be offered a varied diet consisting of fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, nuts, and high quality pellets. If your bird is reluctant to try new foods, time and patience is of the essence here.
  • Fresh clean water should be available at all times. Food and water dishes should be washed daily.

In summarising, Senegal parrots are playful and independent birds, their temperament is good and they enjoy climbing, chewing and playing with their toys. The relatively small size of these birds together with their generally quiet nature makes them suitable for many families. Be warned they can become spiteful and nippy, especially if not handled often. They can also be moody and very sensitive!