How to Introduce a New Bird to Your Parrot

Steps to Adding New Birds to an Existing Flock

So, you already own a parrot, and you've been thinking about getting an additional bird to add to your family. You aren't alone -- a good portion of bird owners eventually decide to adopt multiple feathered friends once it's all said and done. While it may seem fun and easy to bring a new bird home as a friend to your existing pet, parrots are notorious for being picky, finicky, creatures of habit, and a new addition to the family can easily create stress and resistance in your existing pet. The tips below will outline steps that you can take to successfully introduce a new bird to your parrot as smoothly as possible. Read on to learn ways that you can show your bird that your new pet is a friend rather than foe.

  • 01 of 05

    Quarantine your new bird.

    Cockatiel Perching On Cage
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    A rule of thumb among most pet bird owners is that it's important to quarantine new birds for a period of time before introducing them to parrots that you already have. This accomplishes two important things -- first, it significantly reduces the risk that the new bird could pass on any contagious diseases to your existing pet. Keeping the new bird in a separate area will help make sure that any airborne illnesses stay away from the pet you already have, and will allow you time to safety observe the bird for any outward signs of sickness. Secondly, it will give your existing pet time to hear the call of the new bird and become accustomed to its voice and presence over time.

  • 02 of 05

    Be patient, and move slowly.

    View Of Birds In Cage
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    Once the quarantine period is over, it is still important to take your time introducing your birds to each other. Even parrots of the same species may not necessarily become the best of friends right away. Often, one of the birds will attempt to assert dominance over the other, and this can result in nasty fights if you aren't very careful. To help your birds get to know each other slowly, move your new bird's cage into the room where your older bird's cage resides, and allow them to observe each other from a distance for several days. As they become used to each other, you'll be able to identify signs that they are becoming comfortable with being closer together.

  • 03 of 05

    Make a "peace offering" with tasty treats.

    Green Parrot sits on hand and eats bread
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    Sometimes it is helpful to "bribe" your birds into getting along. One way to do this is to get each bird to from positive associations with the other, and the easiest way to do that is by using treats. This can be accomplished at the end of the quarantine stage, when you are ready to let your birds see each other for the first time. Simply bring your new bird's cage in to the room that your older bird lives in and offer both of them several tasty treats for the duration of the time that they are in the same room together. After a few minutes, move the new bird's cage back to the quarantine area, and repeat the process later. It is important to remember to leave both birds in their cages during this process. Otherwise, fights and injuries can occur if the uncaged bird charges the territory of the one that's behind bars.

  • 04 of 05

    Practice bonding techniques.

    Rainbow Lorikeets Perching On Table
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    The later phases of introducing a new bird are a great time to start practicing bond building techniques with both birds. By doing so, you'll greatly enhance your relationship with both of your feathered friends. When you feel that your birds are ready, let them watch you interact each other from their cages. While it's possible that some older birds may exhibit jealous behaviors upon seeing you interacting with the new bird, it may make others more willing to accept the new bird as a flock member.

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  • 05 of 05

    Try trick training.

    Blue budgie with toy
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    Even when your birds are comfortable playing in the same room out of their cages, it make take some time before they are actually ready to play together. A good way to speed the process along is to try some trick training with both of your pets. In doing this, they'll be getting plenty of positive reinforcement from all the yummy treats they'll earn during their joint training session, you will all be building a stronger sense of companionship by interacting with each other as a flock.