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Video:How to Safely Handle a Bird

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In this video, learn how to safely handle your bird, in addition to how to interact with them.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Safely Handle a Bird

Hi, I'm Lisa Bono. I'm associate certified parrot behavior consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. I own the Platinum Parrot in Barnegat, New Jersey. I'm here for About.com to show you how not to handle your bird.

How to Handle Your Bird

We are going to use this fake bird so we don't stress the real birds out. You do not ever want to perch a bird from the back because that's where the predator would do.  You don't want o grab them like a football because that's going to constrict their breathing.  You want to make sure with your arm or your hand depending on the species that they have a secure place to step on and hold closer and bring the bird into you.

Make Sure to Interact with Your Bird

Any species of bird can learn to enjoy human touch. You want to make sure that when you're working with them you only really scratch their head or their face patches. You don't want to go down to the tail.  You don't really want to go on the stomach. That's something that a mate would do in the wild and you don't want to encourage that kind of behavior.

Don't Hold Bird by Wings

You never want to hold them by their wings because it's a very delicate structure and you could break their wings.  You don't want to hold them by the tail because some species can release their tales if their nervous and you do not want to ever take them into your chest and just hug them. Again, you're restricting any kind of breathing they can do.

When your bird lands on the floor, you never want to go up over like a predator. You want to come down and get as close as you can to him, in front of them and work with them to get them up on your hand.  Never chase the bird around on the floor.  It's going to break any bond that you have. 

Should your bird fly off into another room or you have to go and find them, you want to go in calmly.  Don't run after them screaming and chasing them and when you find them and locate them whether they are higher of your hand or whether they're lower like this, then get down and go in on their level.

Any species of bird can learn to bond with its owner. There are some species that like human touch.  They will be more of the cockatoos, cockatiels, some of the conures and even some of the little Caiques like this. 

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