It is very heartening to read your posts, as you seem to be a natural in many cases! Forcing cuddling will just make things way worse. These birds should not be captive; just like humans, they all have their own personality, and what works with one will not necessarily work with another. The best advice I can give you is to be patient, work slowly, and try to learn Pumpernickel's body language.

Parrots are so extremely expressive, but we humans are terrible at reading body language. We also tend to expect way too much too soon from these prey animals. It may be years -- or even never -- until she feels comfortable taking food from your hand. A big key is your expectations. Try not to look at it how you think a parrot *should* act, but love and cherish her for being the wonderful, unique creature that she is.

Watch her body language and try to make sure she is comfortable. Notice what her different movements are -- does she show terror when you are 3 feet from the cage but not 3.5? Then stay 3.5 feet away, showing her you are non-threatening, and occasionally (every few days) go a little closer and watch how she reacts. Find things that work for you.

I was at my parents' house today, and watching them interact with their 20 year old cockatiel. This little guy was used as a breeder and had been bonded to a lady tiel who died a few years ago. He was terrified of hands and not terribly fond of humans when they got him 10 years ago. During the past decade, they have formed a wonderful little flock with him. He still will not step up on their hands, but he isn't afraid of this little ladder that they use if they need him to go somewhere. They gave him choices, and he flies around the house and approaches them when he wants attention. Instead of being rigid in their thinking that a parrot *should* take food from their hand or that a parrot *should* step up on their hands whenever my parents wanted, they developed a communication style with him that gives him choices (within an acceptable range of behavior.) I tell this story because I think how we frame things is so important. The relationship they have with their tiel is not the one they expected (they had just taken him and his partner in from the rescue because my parents would not allow them to breed, yet they were very bonded to each other and the rescue didn't want to separate them.) What they have now is beyond what they could have hoped for, and it's because they were patient and let him set the pace.

Please check back and let us know how things go and if you have additional questions!