Overcoming Hand Hatred with Alexandrine Parrot

Alexandrine parakeet Rasta stepping onto my hand for the first time ever after having him 2 months


It took 2 months but I finally earned Rasta the alexandrine parrot’s trust enough to get him to overcome his hand hatred and step up onto my hand for the first time.


This consisted of working with him at least once every day, sometimes twice and never ever forcing him to do anything at all. Not even to come in or out of his cage. His cage was left open all the time and in the beginning of being with me, he chose to be inside it most of the time. Now, he chooses to be out of it more often than in.


I had planned on teaching him to stick his wing out (stick ’em up) but he showed signs of being ready for step up training so I decided to go towards that instead, knowing I can train him tricks at any point in time. But the opportunity for earning trust and getting him to step up willingly on his own would only be a short window so I took advantage of spotting it.


I began by touch training Rasta around my arm while wearing long sleeves and never letting my fingers show. View that post here.


And every day I made little bits of progress on this, you can see the transition from covered arm completely to showing my skin of my arm, to flattening my hand to show my fingers, to getting Rasta to step onto my hand instead of my arm, to positioning my hand how it needs to be to be stable for Rasta… let’s see if you can tell how it all happened based on the pictured and video I got of the process…


Alexandrine parakeet Rasta stepping onto my covered arm

Touch training onto my bare arm (no fingers showing)

Receiving a treat  for stepping onto my bare arm (more hand raised)

Stepping onto my bare arm while on the table with my fingers out

Rasta hanging out on my wrist

Above is a video session of him and you can see how hesitant he is still at trusting that my hand is not going to move or force him to do anything.


Next, I turned my arm the way it should be in order for Rasta to be on my hand in a stable and secure way. (See ‘the stable step up’ in our One Day Miracles series) and it took some time but he got it! He’s now stepping up onto my HAND.


Check out the progress below:


Rasta leaning across my hand in a new position

Rasta stepping onto my hand with one foot in new position

Rasta successfully stepping onto my hand

And now the video…

Just getting over putting one foot on my hand… and then…

If you want to learn how to overcome fear with YOUR BIRD, no matter what the species, click here.



What treats do you use


Which treat you are giving to your parrot

Brenda Guy

I have a peachfront conure with hand hatred, using a clicker I’ve been successful to teach him to step up without biting, and he loves to hang out on my shoulder. But I haven’t yet been able to teach him to allow petting. He’s got so many pen feathers, I’d love to help him with those. He will even take treats from my fingers without biting. I’d love to see your progression with Rasta to allow petting.

Brenda Guy

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