Drake is the nearer bird, Cloud has a big white stripe across his belly that makes me picture GAA jerseys. I sometimes call him the smalest GAA player in the world.
Cloud is brave and clever, Drake is shy and likes to play uninterrupted on his swing or maybe clatter the mirror off the cage and make loads of noise. Cloud is Yellow's boyfriend. My Marky died last November, but Yellow never liked him, she pretty much ignored him. Now she has a toyboy (Cloud is only 9 months old!) and even Drakey she talks to sometimes.
They are my little stars but no bird will ever be Marky. He was just shy of his 11th birthday when he died. I miss him! I love my little ones though. Yellow is precious to me, even though she acts like she hates me, she really doesn't. And, weird as this might be, she's a Doors fan. I just knew my Yellow hen had to get a one up on me being a Joy Division fan. Her music is darker than mine!
Marky's favourite song was Kids by MGMT. So far Drake took a massive interest in Zombie by the Cranberries (and that led to an amusing FB thread) but still, other than the Stereophonics, nothing favourite for the babies. Love them as much as I do, I will not listen to the Stereophonics for them.
Hey guys, wondering if any of you will conduct this little experiment for me...
Play "Just Looking" by the Stereophonics for your budgies and see if they react?
I only ask because 15 years ago I had a Golden Mantelled Rosella called Buddy and she LOVED this song. She would even start to chirp the intro to request it. The other night I had my little ones (my seven year old hen Yellow and her two nine month old friends) in my kitchen, flatmates talking to them, they were anxious, having never been up there before, nor seen these people before (except Yellow who is well tamed). "Just Looking" came on the radio and they started yelling out all excited!
I just wonder if there is a noise in there we can't hear but budgies can. Play it for your birds and let me know if they react?
This video takes a while to get going, and doesn't have the best composition, but I absolutely love the budgie swing and ferris wheel. This is the first time I have watched the video full screen, and was a little sad to see that their wings were clipped...but they they seem to be having so much fun!
It's only now I've felt fit to post about lil Mark.
I bought him from a pet shop I trust. I was in there at 20 years old saying I wanted a young bird, this guy walked in with a cage full of baby birds. I told the pet shop guy I wanted a young cock, green since we already had a blue, and we got Marky.
The morning he died, it was a Friday, I called in work sick. I didn't know what to do. He had gout, and the vet had warned me that this could be an indication that his organs were shutting down. I didn't want to believe it since my little Mark was only 11 years old.
The night before he died we had great craic. We listened to MGMT, OMD and ELO, for some reason Marky's favourite bands were abbreviations. Yellow, Marky's cagemate, loves Hole and the Doors so we had a bit of that too. Then I was putting seed into Marky's cage and he broke out flew around the room as he always did, landed on my soft toy penguin. I took a few pics then caught him.
Next morning I uncovered Yellow's cage, and then uncovered Mark's. There was no movement, I knew me little boy was dead before I saw him. I flicked the cage a few times going "Get up Mark, please get up!" but I knew. I rang work and said I was sick (they didn't believe me) then about four hours later I took Marky out of his cage in a tissue. I kept him beside me for the whole day.
I had a problem with where to dispose of him, but my parents have a big garden, and three days before, our 15 year old Labrador Xsara was put to sleep. So I brought Marky's body down there and we put him under the earth beside old Zaz.
I have a seven year old hen called Yellow, Didn't know what to do with her! I tried animal rescues but they never have budgies. A budgie owner and pet shop owner suggested to me that if I bought two young cock birds Yellow would have her work cut out trying to bully them, so I did. Drake and Cloud. Brothers, both about 17 weeks old. Yellow is in love with Cloud, and he is possibly the worst behaved budgie I ever owned! I love them so much!
Possibly the last picture of the year - inspired by a game of Draw Something, DJ Feis-T has all the grooves to make you move! Our budgie, Feisty, loves to mix and match everything he hears. An excellent mimic, he loves imitating Muffin, sparrows, robins, dripping water, the toy budgie and video game sounds and mashing them up. I started on this back in July, but only had the time to finish now.
December 22, 2012 ::: PanPastel, Pencil Crayon and CorelDraw ::: 9x12"
this is an artical i wrote for a local pet newspaper on budgies. thought you folks might enjoy it, or even have something to add. cheers!
So you got yourself a pet budgie. Congratulations! These are truly delightful little creatures that will provide years of companionship and love. Or maybe your just thinking about it and would like an idea of just what your getting yourself into. Here are some pieces of advice from a long time budgie owner. Hopefully this will help you feel a bit more grounded, and better able to take care of your new friend. Note that this is written semi-stream of consciousness, as I think of it I write it down. there’s no particular order to the advice given here. So to begin:
diet: when you first get your bird, youl want to get a bag of whatever seed mix the pet store uses to feed its parakeets. Different companies offer different mixes of seeds and a sudden change in diet, along with the stress of finding a new home, can upset the birds digestion. Though most stores use seed mixes, this isn’t actually a very good diet for them. Youl want to gradually transition them to a more well rounded food sources, such as pellets. Start by mixing a small amount of pellets into they're normal seed, then gradually increase the pellet to seed ratio as the bird adjusts. Parakeets also love fresh foods such as slices of carrots, apples, celery, strawberries, raspberries and the like. Some budgie owners even go to the extent of preparing a daily veggie mash for they're flock, and don’t bother with feed mixes at all. Though this can be rather expensive in the long run.
Skittishness: your bird is going to be rather skittish for the first couple of weeks after you bring him home. Budgies are prey animals in the wild, and evolution has equipped them with an innate suspicion of anything new or different. This makes the transition from pet store to forever home stressful on the little guys. The best thing you can do is give it time. Keep the bird near the main areas where you spend time so it can get acclimated to your activity level. Talk softly to the bird, coo and chirp back at him as he starts to make noise. Avoid sudden movements near the cage, and when you have to reach inside (to refill a food or water dish perhaps) move slowly. The bird will likely freak out at first. But dont react to it. Just move slow and steady.
Noise level: buyer beware. All pet birds are loud. Especially compared to other common pets like cats, dogs and rodents. Having said that, budgies are relatively quiet for a bird. But they can still come across as obnoxiously screetchy if your not used to it. Budgies tend to sing/chirp especially loudly in the morning. This would be a flock bonding practice in the wild, but in captivity can leave you ready to ring its little neck if it doesn’t shut up. Covering the cage can help with this. Just be sure whatever cloth you use to do this is heavy enough to block out all the light, but not so heavy as to impede airflow. As the bird adjusts and feels more secure in its new home, it will start to coo and burble quietly. Males especially. These sounds are generally sighs of happiness and are very pleasant to listen to.
Airborne toxins: another trait all birds share is an extreme sensitivity to airborne toxins. They will sometimes get sick, even die from relatively tiny amounts of chemicals that a human wouldn’t even notice. So avoid using air fresheners or other harsh, fumey chemicals near the bird. If your able too, place the bird and its cage outside when you do heavy-duty cleaning just to be safe. Of special note are non-stick coatings. These chemicals are insanely toxic to birds, and not too good for us humans either. Heating this kind of cookware will cause it to emit fumes that will kill your bird very, very quickly. Especially if you allow the cookware to be heated without anything in it. Its best to just ditch that kind of cookware all together, but if your not able to do that, make sure your bird is nowhere near the kitchen when you use it, and that the area is well ventilated until well after your done.
Sociability: your budgie will most likely be very standoffish at first. Refusing to go anywhere near you and freaking out if you get to close. But this will get better as the bird adjusts and learns it can trust you. Having said that, Male parakeets tend to be more social then females. I personally have met female birds who have spent years with they're owners, but never warmed up to human contact. Different birds have different personalities, and you don’t always know how well you and your bird will get along at first. Because of this you need to think long and hard about weather a bird is right for you, as it will be your responsibility to care for it, even if it turns into a little bitch.
Companionship: parakeets are flock animals, and are most at ease among they're own kind. Unless your able to spend several hours a day in your birds company, you'd be best served by getting more then one. But dont buy them both at the same time. Having a budgie companion around will distract the bird from bonding with you. Instead, get your first bird home and settled in. then begin the taming process. Once your several weeks into this, you can start thinking about your second bird. When you do finally bring your other bird home, be sure to quarantine it from the other bird for at least 30 days. Even if its from the same store, or even the same batch of budgies. Diseases can spread fast through a pet store, and you want to protect your little guys from cross contamination as much as possible.
Cleanup: parrots are messy, messy creatures. They will scatter seed and other less savory things everywhere. I found it easiest to take a dremmel tool to the bottom of the cage and cut a very large opening in it, then keep a garbage bag under the cage to catch the refuse. Naturally, this only works with cages that have a grate in the bottom. One saving grace here is lack of smell. Unless you let the cage become absolutely filthy, there will be little to no odor coming from your bird. If there is a stink, you probably need to clean the cage with bleach, as mold can grow on old seed hulls and bird poop.
Gender: when budgies are young there’s no real way to tell which gender they may be, other then blood testing. But when they reach maturity they're cere (nose) will change color, depending on whether its a boy or girl. The cere of a male budgie will turn a vivid shade of blue with some purple highlights, while a female will turn brownish, and can even become crusty when she gets hormonal. There are a few color mutations of budgie that break this trend, but they are the exception, not the rule. If the birds cere is colored strongly and easily identifiable from a distance, you can be reasonably sure the gender matches.
Sub species: there are two kinds of budgie that are common as pets. The “common” budgie is most closely related to they're wild counterparts. While “English” budgies are almost identical, save that they are larger, with a denser pattern of cheek spots on they're face. English types also tend to not live as long.
Taming: budgies are relatively easy to tame. Just remember the above advice. these are prey animals so they tend to be skittish around new things. Move slowly and keep calm, and youl do fine. Start by simply placing your hand in the cage for a few minutes every day. Let the bird get used to your presence. After a few days of this, gently place your finger under the birds belly and lift up. At first the bird will move away from your hand, but eventually will get the idea to sit on your finger. Let the bird chill there for a while. After a few more days of this try slowly taking the bird out of its cage. It will probably freak out. If it does, just place the bird back into its cage and try again later. To help the bird warm up to you, try feeding it millet out of your hand. While the budgie should always have food available to it, special treats like millet need to come only from you. The bird will associate you with getting treats, and make the taming process much easier.
Hazards from other pets: you can find videos on youtube of bird owners allowing they're keets to play around with other animals. This is a huge mistake. Even if the other pets are tame and would never deliberately harm the bird. Even if you believe that hunter animals like cats can be tamed out of they're natural instincts, its still a bad idea. Animals like cats, dogs and even humans can carry a bacteria in they're mouths called pasteurella. This bug is lethal to birds. Even small, accidental exposure can kill your bird but quick. Because of this, never allow your bird out when other pets are in the room. Keep your bird away from your own mouth, and don’t let it eat after you. Believe it or not, that last bit can be a problem. Communal eating is one of the ways birds socialize. If you bird takes a shinning to you, he will want to share food. But no matter how adorable this might be, for the birds safety don’t let it try.
Hey guys, quick story: Two weeks ago my 11 year old Marky started limping a bit. I assumed he'd hurt his foot playing around and just kept an eye on him. Last week I noticed some little lumps on one foot, and brought him to the vet. The vet said he had gout, as a result of his age. Over that weekend his foot grew to awful levels. He was on an oral antibiotic so separated from his cagemate. He seemed to be doing just fine and I was confident he would recover, but knew it'd be hard to manage. He died overnight. No warning. We had a lovely evening together yesterday and he even had a little fly around, so I'm happy about the timing, though obviously miss my little boy, had him since I was 20.
However, since he died in the cage beside Yellow and not in with her, I'm not sure she's had a chance to see him properly. I don't know what the protocol is with budgies? He has been lying on a tissue beside the cage all day and sometimes she climbs over and stares at him. I held him in the cage for her to look at but she freaked out, but she's always freaking out, so hard to know what she was thinking.
Tonight I've put on her favourite tracks for her (she loves the Doors, that's my girl!) and she's chattering away to her toys and looks happy. She doesn't want me to leave the room though.
I'm burying my little Marky tomorrow, just wondering if I should place him in the cage with her first? Or has she got the message already? It's scary, he's lying on his side but he looks like he should just get up and tweet at you!
My budgie (female) recently suffered a mysterious leg injury of some sort that has left her unwilling/unable to use her left leg. We took her to an avian specialist who hasn't thus far been able to discover any specific problem. It's likely that she pulled a muscle or strained something and lost some grip. She does seem to be using the leg a bit more, so I'm hoping it is on the mend.
However, as time has gone by, she has withdrawn more and more. She is a single birdie, but one that is highly bonded to me and someone is almost always home during the day (she also has free range of our home office space, which she's never really taken full advantage of). For most of her recovery, she still made an effort to come out on her play gym and fly around a bit as well as occasionally wanted to be picked up and held by me (although much less than before- I don't think she entirely trusts her balance being on a finger). She was still cheerful.
It seems though that now she is hardly doing any of that. Her leg does appear to be getting a bit better, but her mood seems to be getting worse and worse. She rarely comes out, almost never wants to be held, and vocalizes less and less. Mostly she's taken to just staring out the window and sleeping on her perch. I'm not sure what to do. Is she likely to just come around on her own? Has anyone had an experience similar to this?
Any input you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
I have a very thin new bird who seems to eat nothing but seed. I have been feeding my other birds pellets for years. How can I put some weight on him if all he will eat is seed? Any suggestions on how I can broaden his dietary horizon and fatten him up a bit?