How to Hand Tame a Green Cheek Conure

There are two ways to hand tame your green cheek conure. Some green cheek’s will be tamed by giving up (no real bond) and another by respect (proper bond). The first works by giving it no choice, and the second requires more patience, of course. It’s up to you as a parrot owner.

 The best way to “tame” your parrot, in my opinion, is to form a bond with them:

  1. First try to get them to step up on any part of your body, whether it be hand, arm, wrist, finger, whatever. I’d suggest start with getting him/her on your hand first, and making sure that the bird is comfortable there. 
  2. If he/she’s nippy or bites at your fingers while perched, do NOT cry out in pain, or scold, or whatnot. That’s vital. No matter how badly you want to react, don’t. If you do, no matter what you say, the bird will be encouraged by that behavior. Think of it like a dog and a squeaky toy. The more the toy squeaks when bitten, the more it encourages the dog to bite. 
  3. Instead if the bird bites, put it back in the cage and ignore it, letting it know that to socialize, biting isn’t proper behavior. Once you gain the bird’s trust on your hand (you’ll know this when the bird seems relaxed, puffed out feathers, and allows you to pet its beak, head, feet, chest, and back gently without incident with your other hand) you can then place it on your shoulder. 
  4. If you wear glasses, hats, earrings, necklaces, etc. I’d suggest you take them off (unless you really need your glasses) because the shininess of the glasses and jewelry or the brim/shape of the hat provides a distraction to bonding, as well as a target to bite. Once the bird is comfortable on your shoulder, the real bonding starts. That’s when you can spend quality time with your bird, and it can get to know every little detail about you and your body language and your voice. The more time the bird spends comfortably on your shoulder, the more it will trust you. 
  5. But until you can get the bird to trust your hands, don’t allow it out of the cage for long periods of time, or at all. If the bird is spooked and flies and say, crashes into something and falls, it has nothing it *trusts* to protect it, and interacting with it at that point becomes just a part of the traumatic experience of flying and crashing in a strange room.

What to Do When Your Green Cheek Conure Bites

Even with tame birds, you’ll get bitten! It’s just part of bird ownership. Happens to me daily. If he bites you when you try to interact with him, do not flinch, yell, retaliate or react in any way. Just let him bite you and keep still until he understands that he won’t get a reaction out of you. 

If he bites you while he’s perched on your finger, try touching his tail gently or shaking your finger gently to put him off balance and distract him from the bite. Handfeed him treats he likes (small seeds, nuts, tiny bits of dairy, etc) first through the bars of his cage, then open the door and feed it to him directly. 

If he doesn’t lunge, back away, or make defensive gestures towards you, that’s a good sign. Coax him with words while you feed him. Let him get used to you in the same room. 

Show him things, talk to him while you’re in his hearing range, move slowly and give out peaceful “feelings” towards him, as if you were showing a timid houseguest your room. If you do this with patience, he will grow more comfortable with you and be more willing to interact with you. 

Just Have Patience!

Remember: patience, patience and more patience. You have to earn trust and it takes a long time with some birds. I sit next to the cage talk to them or just sit near and read. Offer treats from hand a long spray of millet is what I use. After they get used to that I let them out the cage and yes clip wings then try to get them to step up. Eventually most birds come around, and make lovable hand-tamed pets.