Good relationships are built on a foundation of trust, respect and love. Think of a wonderful friend or partner who means a great deal to you. Have a look back at the times you spent together; all the ups and downs, the times you laughed and cried, the times you offered support. You feel a strong bond with this person because of the friendship you have forged and the history you share.
It takes time to learn to trust someone, whether they are a friend or lover. Eckies are no different to humans when it comes to bonding. Parrots are highly intelligent animals and they will not simply trust you because you feed and care for them. Bonding with an Eckie can take a great deal of time, patience, love and understanding. You not only need to earn their respect, but prove to them that you are trustworthy and reliable.
We have helped many people bond with their Eckies. Some bond very quickly; others take a great deal of time and patience. Yet when it happens, it's the most wonderful experience.
It can be a bumpy ride
Any relationship has its ups and downs, especially in the beginning. Everything is new, you are still getting to know one another and when something does happen to upset you, it can seem like the end of the world.
I've received many tearful phone calls from people who are adamant their new Eckie hates them. Their feathered kid still hasn't bonded with them, they have been bitten, ignored and they feel any future relationship is out of the question. This is all part of being an Eckie parent. We must prove we are worthy of their trust and respect, not expect it to be given immediately.
Treat your Eckie with respect, be empathic and shower them with kindness and love. Never force them against their will. Let them come to you on their own terms-this helps them realise that you aren't a threat and you respect their boundaries. Always reassure them they are safe and loved. You may not be rewarded immediately. There may be times when you feel disheartened or upset, but never give up. The day will come when you finally bond. You will feel the 'click' that many other Eckie owners experience. The countless hours you spent earning your kid's trust and respect will be a distant memory.
This is a short excerpt from our book 'The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots'. This chapter explains how to bond with your Eclectus. This is a critical time for both Eckie and owner. Follow our technique and you will be setting yourself up for success.
Included in this chapter:
- Never forcing your Eckie
- Setting realistic expectations
- Counter productive techniques
- The 'helicopter parent'
- The 'training' junkie
- That defining moment
- And many more topics!