Teaching your Amazon parrot to “step up” is crucial. Not only will it strengthen your bond, it can also save your parrot’s life. The “step up” trick is easy to teach—your bird will step up onto your finger or your hand. While birds can naturally perch, you need to teach “step up” to your pet parrot.
To teach your parrot to “step up”, do the following:
- Place your Amazon parrot in a perch. You can also let it perch on one of your fingers. Make sure that your bird is not standing on a flat surface when you teach “step up”.
- Apply mild pressure on your parrot’s lower belly or chest so that it will be off balance. Once your Amazon parrot feels out of balance, it will lift one foot.
- Put your finger under the lifted foot, and lift it higher in a gentle manner. Then say, “Step up”. You need to lift your finger otherwise your bird will not understand the concept of moving onto your finger and just leave it’s other foot on the perch it was originally standing on.
- Repeat the instruction until your bird steps up with both of its feet onto your finger.
- Do this repeatedly for a few times each day. This way your bird will understand that the instruction “step up” means it needs to stand on your finger or hand.
While this trick is simple enough to teach, you need to remember some crucial things. One, your finger or hand where your pet parrot will “step up” onto needs to be sturdy. You should not falter by being nervous; otherwise your Amazon parrot will feel your unease and be anxious as well. Should you wobble or drop your Amazon parrot, it will not climb onto your finger or hand again, trying to avoid the same feeling or incident. If you insist, it could even bite you. That is why you should, in the beginning, make sure that your hand is sturdy and steady. Another thing, you should use both hands when teaching “step up”. If you only use one hand, your bird will associate the command with it alone and be wary of stepping up onto the other hand. Keep in mind that your Amazon parrot, like all birds, is a creature of habit. You need to teach one trick using different scenarios. When your pet parrot has mastered the art of stepping up, you can have your family and friends do the same with it, provided that they are confident and have a steady hand.