Generally, it should not be necessary to restrain a bird against its will. However, there will be times when this may  be needed. You may need to administer medication or take your bird to the vet or remove him quickly from some  danger. Again, it is best to accustom the bird to what is needed in these situations.

There are two ways to restrain a bird safely. The first involves asking the bird to 'Go down' on your chest. To do  this, have the bird perched on your hand as usual, but facing you and place your other hand over the bird's back as you say 'Go down' and draw the bird to your chest while you withdraw the hand he was perched on. The bird will grip your clothing as he lets go of your hand. Praise the bird and reward him with a gentle head-scratch using your free hand. You can then carry the bird in this way as you leave the area and put him down elsewhere, saying 'Go down' as you release him. It's useful to practise this request and to set the bird down on various familiar places  before using this method to return a bird to its cage. In this way the bird will not associate it with having to go back to the cage and this will make such a request easier to use when you may need to put the bird in the cage without delay.

A careful introduction to towelling

The second method involves the use of a towel, but this should not be confused with the practice of forcibly wrapping a bird up in a towel to 'train' or 'tame' it. Such enforced towelling is not appropriate at all. However, it is useful to get your bird used to being held gently in a towel and this makes it easier for birds to be checked by vet. Once the bird is trained in the requests as explained earlier, you can practise holding him in a towel. Use a  towel of a bland or neutral colour, such as white or cream, as dark or boldly coloured towels may frighten your bird. Gradually introduce the bird to the towel by having the bird on your lap and offer him the corner of the towel to play with or to chew on. After a few sessions like this, let more of the towel come into contact with the bird's body.
Eventually you should be able to accustom the bird to being held gently in the towel where you can restrain him for a few brief minutes. Reward the bird and encourage him at all times by giving praise, head scratches or some  other reward he already really likes.

Asking a bird to accept towelling should be done over several sessions and
at a pace which is comfortable for your bird. It should not be rushed.
Use slow, careful movements and reward often.

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