There are so many myths, half-truths, and misinformation out there regarding parrots. One I'd heard when we first got Max was that you should never allow beak to skin contact with your bird or risk having a biter.
As with so many things I heard and read during the beginning of our relationship with Max, that turned out to be false.
Allopreening -- where I scratch the parrot's head/neck area and in return get my fingers preened by the bird -- is an important bonding ritual that Thomas and I practice, to varying degrees, with all of our birds.
Sometimes the sessions are short -- just a second or two (especially with Daphne and the caiques whose attention spans are shorter than the greys) -- but they can be longer. It's up to the bird. Except with Stella -- I don't think she's ever been the one to call it quits!
When Stella wants to be preened (pretty much every night after dinner), she flies over to the couch, positions herself as near to my right hand as she can, bends her head and softly head buts me. How can I resist that? The other birds have different ways of letting us know -- for example Max will scratch her head with her foot while looking right at me and saying, "hello?"
I was reading on the couch last night and decided to take a video of Stella and me preening each other.
Also, I do tell the caiques it would feel better if they'd become friends and allopreen each other, but it's been falling on deaf ears for almost two years now. Given their sparse interactions, I truly wonder whether they realize they're both caiques?