5 Cool Tricks to Teach Your Pet Bird

pet bird on rollerscates

There are lots of cool tricks that you can teach your bird to do. 

These tricks can provide you and your family with countless hours of amusement. It’s not nearly as difficult to train most birds as you might think. 

Remember that all pet bird species may be able to learn all of these.

You will, however, need to know how to go about doing this.

1. The Wave

One of the most common tricks that you can teach a bird is how to wave. This is probably one of the easiest tricks as well, so it makes for a great place to start. Just make sure that your bird is able to step up before trying to teach them this trick.

While your bird is on their perch, tell them to wave in a firm yet gentle voice. You don’t want to yell it at your bird, as it could scare them. You’ll want to put your finger out towards them immediately after. 

When it goes to put its foot on your finger, quickly move it away. Their foot will linger in mid-air for a brief second. This is when you want to give them verbal praise as well as a tasty treat. Positive reinforcement is an important part of teaching your bird these neat tricks.

bird bicycling

2. Turning Around

If you want to teach your bird to wave, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps. This one might take your bird a bit longer to learn, but it’s not all that complicated.

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First you will need to put a delicious treat out in front of your bird, but not so close that they can actually get to it. Turn the treat around while holding it and saying “turn around” in a firm voice. This will force your pet bird to rotate towards the treat, which is exactly what you want.

Once your bird completes the turn all the way, you can give them the treat. Your bird will most likely pick up on this trick after only two or three times. They will quickly understand that they’ll get a tasty snack if they turn around.

3. Go Fetch

The fact is that dogs aren’t the only pets that can fetch. In fact, some birds can do this startlingly well. You’ll most likely have to be patient with your bird while it learns how to do this, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

You will want to start off by selecting one of your bird’s favorite toys. Make sure that the toy fits nicely in their mouth. It should be easy for them to pick up and run back to you.

Put the toy in your hand and hold it out for your bird. When it puts the toy in its mouth, say “play fetch”, or just “fetch”. After your bird drops the toys, look right at them and say “drop it!” You’ll also want to give them a treat for some extra encouragement.

Place the toy on a flat surface near them and wait until they pick it up on their own. When your bird does this, you’ll need to say “fetch!” again. Repeat the “drop it” command as soon as the toy falls out of their mouth onto the ground.

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You’ll want to start off slowly by throwing the toy just a little ways away from your bird. When you see it going for the item, you’ll want to say “fetch” again. Once your bird brings the toy back to you, reward it with a treat.

Eventually, they will come to associate these actions with receiving a treat. It shouldn’t take too long before this becomes engrained in their mind.

4. Play Dead

pet bird playing dead

You’ve probably seen a dog play dead before, but how about a bird? Parrots and other types of birds can actually do this in an extremely convincing manner. Keep in mind that your pet bird needs to know how to step up before they will be able to do this trick.

Make sure that your bird is sitting on a flat surface before you continue. Put out your finger and wait for the bird to extend its leg forward. When it starts doing this, you’ll want to move your finger up and to the other side of them. This will most likely cause the bird to go onto its back.

You’ll need to give your bird a treat as soon as it lands on its back. While your bird might find this annoying the first couple of times, they will be too enticed by the prospect of a treat to care.

5. Bust a Move (Dancing)

Birds are actually pretty amazing dancers when you take the time to teach them. One of the best ways to go about doing this is to lead by example. Put on some groovy music with a nice beat and start bobbing your head back and forth. You should eventually notice your bird start to do the same.

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Another method you can use is to show your bird videos of their own kind dancing. You might be surprised at what birds will pick up on when it comes to visual aids. This can be a very effective method of teaching your pet bird to bust a move.


  • Teaching your bird to wave is a good trick to start with, but they will need to know how to step up first.
  • All you have to do to get your bird to wave is just put your hand out for it to step on and take it away. Remember to reward them with a treat each time until they learn.
  • You can get your bird to play dead by simply putting your finger out in front of them and moving it to their back.
  • When teaching your bird to go fetch, use a small toy they really like and start off by throwing it a small distance.
  • Getting them to turn around pretty much consists of holding out your finger, waiting for them to step on, and moving it around them in a circle.
  • Make sure that you always use verbal commands like “go fetch” or “play dead” while teaching them each trick.
  • You should never use negative reinforcement when teaching your bird to do tricks of any kind.