Parakeets might not jump all over you and kiss your face like puppies, but that doesn't mean they aren't affectionate in their own way -- properly domesticated, these little birds love people. Show yours regular love and attention, and he'll send it right on back.
Enjoying Your Company
Parakeets are social little creatures, and generally, they love to spend time with their owners. These birds are incredibly intelligent and playful, and they love having their clever minds stimulated. Socializing with your parakeet on a daily basis is beneficial for his mental health and emotional well-being, because these birds thrive on attention and affection. Simply spending some time with your bird out of the cage lets him know that he is loved.
The more time you spend socializing with your parakeet, the more affection he's likely to show you. Close, personal contact is the primary way a domestic parakeet will show you his love -- when you establish trust, he may perch on your fingers or even go for a ride on your shoulder, pirate-style. Hand training takes time, but once he feels confident and safe in your hands, it makes daily socialization even easier.
Not all parakeets are necessarily affectionate birds -- like many other living creatures, it all comes down to how they were raised. When you adopt a parakeet, he should ideally be under 6 months old, because that gives you the opportunity to train him and raise him from a young enough age. When he's older than that and hasn't been properly socialized, he may be aggressive or fearful, and training him to show affection and trust can represent a more significant challenge.
A parakeet raised to be affectionate and social is just as susceptible to loneliness as any other living creature with love in his heart. If you teach him to be affectionate, he's going to get sad without the opportunity to share his affection with you or anyone else. This is why it's so important to spend time with your parakeet every day. You can also make things easier on him by adopting a friend to spend time with -- that way, he doesn't get as lonely when you aren't around. They are flock birds, so they're used to spending time with other parakeets.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.