Introducing Two Birds
Birds are like potato chips. Sometimes, you can’t have just one.
So, you have a bird. And you just bought another bird. And you want them to be friends…which is why you are reading this page. Right?
Think about human beings, for a moment…below are the general steps a couple takes before making the decision to live together:
- Boy meets girl.
- Boy and girl get to know each other by spending time together.
- Time passes. Boy and girl become friendly toward one another.
- Boy and girl develop strong affection toward each other. They spend more time together.
- Boy and girl spend time at each other’s homes. Often, they will each leave a few belongings at the other person’s home. **
- Boy and girl decide to merge lives by moving in together.
**When a woman decides to move in with her male partner, it is common for her to bring a few personal belongings into his house. For instance, she might bring a collection of photograph albums, her own pillow, the artwork her mother gifted to her, or her own computer. Once in the new space, the woman might suggest a few existing items be moved (“the sofa would look SO much better under the window, rather than along the wall”). Both the act of bringing her own items into the space, and re-arranging the space, help the woman to claim some ownership of the space. In essence, she feels “at home”.
When introducing a brand new bird into the cage of an existing bird, there are six very important steps that will encourage success. Notice that the steps below very closely mimic the six steps above:
- Put the new bird into his/her own cage. It can be a small travel cage, if you do not wish to invest in a larger one. Locate the new bird’s cage in the same room as your existing bird, but at least 6′ away.
- Over the course of 1-2 weeks, bring the new bird’s cage closer to that of the existing bird, a few inches at a time. If at any time the birds begin squawking loudly toward each other, or displaying aggressive behaviour (i.e. opening wings, opening beak toward each other), move the cages apart and repeat steps 1 and 2 over a longer period of time.
- Eventually, the cages should be only 6 inches apart (not close enough that the birds can reach each other through the bars).
- Take the existing bird out of his/her cage. Re-arrange ALL toys and perches in that cage. This creates the appearance of a neutral territory, to the birds. Add at least one brand new item to the cage. If the new bird has one favourite toy/perch, add it to the cage, also. Now, you will have a generally neutral territory with a few items recognizable to each bird.
- Put both birds into the cage at once. They might argue a little bit at first, but should settle quickly. If at any time one bird is “ganging up” on the other, chasing him/her around the cage, separate them immediately.
- Watch the birds actively for the first hour after introduction. After that, keep an eye on them during the rest of the day.