ShamRock, do you really believe a bird doesn't understand punishment or apologies? I think they do. I know that Levi definitely learned that if he kept pinching my neck, he would have to go back in his cage wit the door closed for a while. "time out" I would give a stern "no bite" if he pinched my neck(because it HURT!) and if he continued to do it I put him back in his cage and again said No bite. He doesn't pinch my neck any more. Not that he doesn't bite at all, but when he does he gets a time out and I KNOW he understands WHY. And as far as apologies, they might not understand it as being an "apology" but they do feel/sense what you are saying by your tone and actions.
I do happen to agree that many people are way to quick to judge here and start critisizing and coming down on someone way to fast and hard sometimes.
rtegge, I hope you don't give your bird(s) away. I think you've learned from your MISTAKE and it won't happen again.At least you were man enough to come here and admit what happened to get advice on how to handle it! Besides if you give her away she'd have to adjust to a whole new home and a whole new human all over again!!!