Peaches, a lovebird, has never really allowed me to socialize her. She's about 1-1/2 years old now; she was about 8 or 9 weeks old when I got her. Having had parakeets almost continually since 1966 I know you have to spend a lot of time with a new bird to get them to socialize with their human to the point where they'll sit on your shoulder, etc. I tried, but immediately after I got her a lot of people quit at work and I found myself working 12-16 hour days and being on call as well. It is my own fault for being so tired I couldn't spend a couple of hours a day (after work) with her, so please don't chastise me for that.
However, she's a very happy bird with lots of toys. She chirps a lot and we "talk" to each other. Recently I've noticed a behavior which is undeniably cute. When I'm talking to her, she cocks her head, turns her head back like she is going to start preening her back feathers, then comes over to the bars of her cage. She reaches up and plucks at the bars, looks at my head and waits for me to lean my forehead against the cage. Then she starts gently tugging on my bangs and making a sort of chortling soft chirping sound. She doesn't pull my hair, she just seems to want to "comb" it.

I have tried further to get her to come out and play with me but she's having none of that. She seems content to command me to let her preen my bangs for a minute and then goes back to ringing her bells or tugging on wooden beads (or eating!)
Jill
I have tried further to get her to come out and play with me but she's having none of that. ... my bangs for a minute and then goes back to ringing her bells or tugging on wooden beads (or eating!)

Lots of birds around me have pin feathers, after their winter moult. Breaking them up, with some head scratches (on the bird) is a great bonding exercise for you and your bird.
I have tried further to get her to come out ... ringing her bells or tugging on wooden beads (or eating!)

Lots of birds around me have pin feathers, after their winter moult. Breaking them up, with some head scratches (on the bird) is a great bonding exercise for you and your bird.[/nq]Having not bonded with my hand, Peaches freaks when I try to get a hand near her (no matter how slowly). I don't want her to hurt herself so I don't persist. She doesn't, however, mind if I'm putting my hand in the cage to offer her carrots, kale, apple slices, treats like millet spray and AviCakes or Nutriberries. She simply retreats away from my hand to the farthest perch. Maybe now with the hair combing she's trying to socialize ME.

Unfortunately, I don't fit in her cage Emotion: wink She loves it when I play music on the stereo, though. And on the rare occasions I watch television, if there is music in the background she chirps up a storm and plays avidly with her toys. She's also always answered when I call "Peaches" in a sing-song voice with a chirp-chirp sound as if she's trying to repeat her name back.

Jill
Lots of birds around me have pin feathers, after their ... is a great bonding exercise for you and your bird.

Having not bonded with my hand, Peaches freaks when I try to get a hand near her (no matter how ... call "Peaches" in a sing-song voice with a chirp-chirp sound as if she's trying to repeat her name back. Jill[/nq]It sounds like you're getting closer. Right now she probably just feels safer when the cage bars are there. I would expect that as time goes on the bird will get more and more tame. The BCC sitting with me as I write was wild when we got him. It took years, but he is always getting more tame. He has been great with me for a couple years. He is now even starting to warm to other people. Strangers can often now hold him as long as they are slow about the hands.

That used to be out of the question. He would make any stranger bleed that got a finger near him. Now he will often hop right up. I would not be surprised at all if a year from now your LB will be all over you every chance she gets as long as you just keep working with her. Good luck, I hope she continues to warm to you.

"Liberalism is a mental disorder."
Michael Savage
Having not bonded with my hand, Peaches freaks when I ... as if she's trying to repeat her name back. Jill

It sounds like you're getting closer. Right now she probably just feels safer when the cage bars are there. I ... gets as long as you just keep working with her. Good luck, I hope she continues to warm to you.

~~
Last winter I took in a female peachface lutino lovebird. Sadly she was no longer wanted by her previous owners, so it was dropped off at my friends' pet store. I was told her name was Petit Minou (translation: "little cat") as her previous owners couldn't handle her because she was aggressive and very bitey. More like "little tiger" ... LOL !

It's been just over a year since I've had Sydney III, and we've come a long way. She still nips but not as badly as when I first got her. She seems to trust me more and will even stay on my shoulder. I have to admit that just by the mere fact she's a female peachface LB, I don't trust her a hundred percent. Sometimes she'll sit on the collar of my shirt being very polite and quiet but, by the same token on other occasions, she's pinched my neck and ears, all the while enjoying my reaction (ouch, ouch, ouch!).
There are days where Syd's behaviour has been what I can only describe as "docile" and on those occasions, I've even been able to pick her up with my hand covering her whole body. Most of the time, though, she prefers to hop on my hand and run up my arm. A year ago, this wasn't even possible. A finger or hand extended her way resulted in my fingers being chomped.
Consistency, patience, time are the key elements in taming your lovie. Also keep in mind that lovebirds in general are very feisty creatures with minds of their own, especially the girls. Good luck!
Linda
~~ Last winter I took in a female peachface lutino lovebird. Sadly she was no longer wanted by her previous ... that lovebirds in general are very feisty creatures with minds of their own, especially the girls. Good luck! Linda

Thanks, folks! I know she's acting friendly (and by the way, I didn't get a DNA test, she just looked like a "she" to me. I figure since she's a solitary bird it wouldn't matter to her how I referred to her). I am very encouraged as she does seem to be getting more comfortable and friendly towards me. I'll keep working with her. I have much more time now. I appreciate your thoughts!
Jill
Lots of birds around me have pin feathers, after their ... is a great bonding exercise for you and your bird.

Having not bonded with my hand, Peaches freaks when I try to get a hand near her (no matter how slowly). I don't want her to hurt herself so I don't persist.

I'm just suggesting that after she preens you, you preen her in return, which you can do with her in the cage, if she shows you the top of her head.
When I had a pair of cockatiels, they would preen each other, bother the other one, to get their turn if the other forgot.
Instead of reaching for her to step up, or to preen her, just try intertwining your fingers in the bars of the cage when Peaches is preening you. Let her get used to your hand, and she'll eventually gain a sense confidence and trust, and learn that your fingers are not a bad (threatening) thing. Next time you go to place some yummy treat in her cage. Let your hand rest on the perch or food bowl. Non-threatening, non-assertive, just there.

Your hand is bigger than little Peaches, and she's still scared of your "alien" hand. Five minutes at a time, while talking in the sing-song voice that she likes will help her to develop hand-trust. As others have told you, patience is a major factor. Eventually, she may come over to investigate your hand, by looking, nibbling, walking on you or even nipping a bit. All of this is normal. She's testing the "alien hand's" response.
Once she's comfortable, try gently stroking her toe. I've developed the most wonderful relationship with my amazon, and it all started with a gentle birdie-foot massage. I've been toe-massaging my sun conure (also named Peaches) for the past 6 months. He's taken the toe massages to the next step... he jumps on and off my hand as a form of playing. He'll even grab my finger and pull it towards him when he wants to jump on and off.

Just remember... take baby-steps. Your little girl(?) is a LOT smaller than your hand, and she doesn't associate it as being part of your body... it's too distanced from your face. Another thought, next time she goes to preen your hair, rest your chin on your hand. Let her associate your hand with your face.
Enjoy your bird's love... she's definitely trying to show you that she cares. Emotion: smile
Amy
Instead of reaching for her to step up, or to preen her, just try intertwining your fingers in the bars ... your hand with your face. Enjoy your bird's love... she's definitely trying to show you that she cares. Emotion: smile Amy

Thank you for the excellent suggestions! I don't know why this never occurred to me!
Jill