Most bird species are by nature quite social animals. This is due to an instinctual need for safety. Large flocks of birds can more easily guard against predators in the wild and are less likely to be caught. Being part of a larger group gives birds a sense of belonging and of security. It is much less stressful to have a “buddy” than to face the world alone.
It is this need for a friend, this need for comfort and security that makes socializing and bonding with your bird so important. It is much easier training a bird when your relationship involves friendship and mutual respect. If your bird is afraid of you or his environment, he will never become the playful and inquisitive pet you are looking for. In the wild, young birds learn the rules of behavior and how to survive from their parents. They learn to find food, to care for themselves, and when it is okay to fool around. The only way you can impact your bird in this manner is by taking over the parental and friendship roles.
This deep bond will not happen overnight. It is forged continually over time by making each day new and interesting. Birds do like routine (the same types of bird food fed at the same time, for instance), but that doesn’t mean you should let boredom set in. Daily interaction with your bird is essential, and you should always try to vary your time together. Put his favorite treat in your shirt pocket and let him find it, watch TV together, cuddle together in your favorite chair, or invite your bird to join you at the dinner table. The ideas are endless, but the goal should always be to strengthen the bond of trust between you both. Yes, it does take time and commitment, but the rewards are immeasurable.