Hello, Bird Lovers! This is the first time I've written here, but not the first time I've owned parakeets. I have a single baby, "Poggie-Boy," who is the shyest baby I have ever had! I've been able to train birds within a week if there was another trained bird in the house to model behavior, but this time around it's only Poggie and me. I do the soft music thing, I talk to him but I get out of his face if he seems nervous, and he's gotten nothing but gentle friendliness from me. I can tell he's interested but still super nervous. He will chirp and do the saucy scolding and is beginning to show a little interest in exploring his large cage and toys. (But not much!) Yesterday and today he treated me to a couple of head bob sessions, so I take that as a positive sign. I read on this site that it can take up to a month for the little darlings to open up, but it's been more than a month. He's been out of his cage a handful of times, but only once because he seemed to want to come out. (The other times he seemed startled into doing it. His cage has a really large door and I leave it open a couple of times during the day, so he knows he has the option of coming out. I always sit close by and talk to him during that time, and that's when the head bobbing happens.)
Are there parakeets in anybody's experience that are duds??? I am fond of the little boy, but he's taking so long to tame that I wonder if he's not ultimately that tameable. I take his food away for an hour in the morning, then feed him a breakfast of millet that he eats from my hand (in the cage, of course!). I do a couple of ten-minute training sessions a day when I put my hand in the cage and get him to step on my finger. He's always scared at first, but I never chase him around the cage and he will finally step up. But forget about moving him closer to the cage door! He hops off immediately.
I would really, really appreciate some help and advice. I once had a parakeet who was kind of tame for the first six months we owned her, but then really warmed up when we moved across country for a five month sabbatical. So I keep hoping Poggie will "flip a switch" and start to act like the adorable parakeet I want to believe is under those denim-blue feathers.
Oh, one thing that is positive: the last couple of times he's been out of his cage he seems to want to be closer to me rather than farther.