Our new parakeet is chirping wildly from the kitchen where Dad's been whistling at him from the sink while doing the dishes. We're trying to teach the bird "hello" and his name "Kelly". So far, only chirping, but that is always a happy sign. He is still shy, but you can just see from his expression how curious he is about the camera staring at him, can't you?
I read up on how to train parakeets. First, one has to train them to pay attention to you (and not the bird they see in the mirror!) which means getting rid of any mirrored toys or decorations in the cage. Then you have to take control of its eating schedule (2 or 3 times daily) by not just leaving the birdseed in the cage, but taking its food out and bringing its food back to it for its meals. This trains the little guy to be dependent on the flock (us) for its food. It seems to be working already! Admittedly, it helps if you are home most of the time, like I am, to do all the feeding.
We hope that he can be trained enough to come out of his cage and stay on my shoulder kind of like a pirate might do with a parrot. Is this too strange? Well, I've tried cats but I was too allergic to them. Dogs are too much trouble for me, walking them without having the safety of sidewalks endangered both our lives - there were always speeding cars, ditches, or other dogs to prevent walking! Birds seem like a good sort of pet for someone like me. And I like them!