We have a pretty sweet little Green-Cheek Conure (very beautiful bird) who is pretty well behaved, all things considered.
When she finds her way to us (my wife and I), which is pretty seldom, she is quite pleasant. She doesn't bite, plays a bit, and is overall, really well behaved.
I know she likes attention by how she acts when we're talking to her and playing with her on her cage (in fact, one time she even made it all the way from her cage on the kitchen table, ten feet away, in the dark, with only the light of the living room T.V., walked across the floor, and started climbing up my side [I was sitting on my knees]). Clearly, she likes attention, when she wants it.
The only thing she has a problem with is seeing our fingers as a perch. We raise up our finger, say "Step up!", she responds by pecking at it (not hard, but enough to tell us to back off).
I've tried putting a piece of green apple (which she loves) between her and my finger, but she tends to bite harder with the anticipation of getting the apple (as if the finger is in her way, and not a tool to be utilized to get what she wants).
I would try to reinforce good behavior with positive reinforcement, but she never gets it right for me to positively reinforce her, in the first place.
What can I do to show her that my finger = perch?
- We're not really sure it's a "she" we just call her that.
- She is about (or a little over) a year old.
- I've tried to adopt the approach of putting my finger up, and as soon as it looks like she's going to turn to run away, I back off. I also back off as soon as she reaches out to peck at the finger. I thought this would show her not to be scared, but I don't know if this is the right approach or not.