Greys which cannot fly, perhaps because they are wing-clipped, are very susceptible to becoming 'phobic' and showing an apparently exaggerated fear of certain actions, objects or people. When a grey is nervous or afraid, he may either remain quite silent or make a growling sound. He may also start to panic if the cause of the problem is not removed promptly. Sometimes, the fear is so great that the bird may thrash around in its cage. This behaviour has nothing to do with aggression; it means that the bird is really afraid of something.

You should remove the  source of your bird's fear immediately, even if the source is you! Just walk away, even leave the room, but do so immediately. Make sure that your bird has a perch in the cage which is above your eye-level. This helps to reduce  the bird's fear of people who come close. Birds do not show any evidence of being comforted by reassurance as humans do, so if the bird is afraid of you or something you have done, attempts at 'reassurance' are pointless and can even make a bad situation much worse.

If your bird crash-lands somewhere and the next thing that happens is you approaching him to 'reassure' him, he may associate you with any pain he may be feeling at this point, and so begin to fear you as being linked to the cause of his pain. In this situation, remove yourself from the bird until he has collected his senses and has had time to calm down.

Great care is needed with fearful birds

Getting a bird to overcome its nervousness has to be conducted at a pace which is comfortable for the bird. See the section on 'nervous birds'and follow the guidelines described there. Getting a bird to return to its former tame condition following some fearful event can take time. You'll need to be patient and work slowly and carefully with the bird, using whatever rewards you know that the bird is likely to accept. If other people can work with the bird better than you, then give them the opportunity to do so at first. You can then help later when the bird's confidence is showing signs of returning.

Don't approach a frightened bird until he has calmed down;
your 'help' may cause the bird to feel more fear.
Even your helping hands may seem frightening.
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