The "up" command

Once your bird is comfortable enough to step onto your hand, you can begin to train him to do so on command. It is useful here to come up with a command word. It doesn't matter what the word is, but I like to use the word "up". The goal is to get the bird to associate the word with stepping onto your hand.

The sweeping hand

In a slow but steady motion, sweep your hand toward the bird's lower body, just above the feet. Do this without stopping or slowing down, just sweep right through him. As it gets close to his body, use the command word. Just keep your hand moving straight through, as if the bird were not there. This will force the bird to step onto your hand.

Praise and reward

The step-up command.

Once your bird gets used to the
step-up command, you can omit
the command word and he will
step up just at the sight of your finger.

When your bird successfully steps onto your hand, give him quiet praise ("Good boy!"). Then reward him with some food. The bird will recognize that when you use the command word, it will receive positive attention if he steps up onto your hand. If you find you are having trouble getting him to step up (if he keeps jumping away or trying to bite), put him back in his cage and try again another day.

If the bird becomes confrontational, do not keep trying this method. He will begin to regard it as an unpleasant experience and will not learn to step up.