Budgie Stories
Bird 1 and Bird 2

We now have two budgies that I am ashamed to say we refer to, albeit affectionately, as bird one and bird two. You see we didnŐt plan to add a bird to the family at all. I was out back cooking the bacon and eggs on the barbecue one Saturday morning last September when I heard birdie foot noises on the metal eves-trough over head. I thought that was odd as we have large pine trees close to the house that most birds prefer to hang out in. I didn't look up too long lest the breakfast burn. The next thing I knew I heard flapping sounds behind me and felt a bird land on my shoulder. My daughter was with me and told me it was a budgie!

I walked into the house as calmly as I could so as not to frighten it away. Luckily it was quite tame and HUNGY so it stayed put. Breakfast was late that day!

We tried her with bits and pieces of food from the kitchen but nothing was quite to her liking despite giving all the kitchen counters a good inspection. We shut her in a small bedroom and mobilized proper food, water and a second hand cage (thank goodness for Saturday morning yard sales and those who frequent them!). Thanks to my parents who located it and my daughter who negotiated the purchase, we got quite a large cage with horizontal bars for $9.00 within a couple of hours of first contact! After a good cleaning and new perches all around it was ready for her to move right in. There was a sturdy hook in the kitchen ceiling where previous owners of the house had hung a large plant so thatŐs where the cage now hangs. We sometimes wonder now how we got on with nothing going on in that corner.

This of course was bird one, she now lives in this bright corner of our kitchen with bird two who joined her about a month ago from a local pet store who had a sale on (pre Xmas sell off!?). Our family is quite busy so we donŐt really have time to devote to making these two into the family members that the fanatics describe, so a companion seemed only fair. What ever they have left over for us is ok by us.

I suspect that bird two is male about 7-8 months old and bird one female and somewhat older and definitely more worldly. He just learned to fly this week. His wings were clipped when we got him and the flight feathers have only just grown in enough to keep him aloft. He has probably only spent a couple of minutes in the air in his entire life but it is obvious that his skill improves with each flight and he is enjoying it more and more. He is not finger trained yet but has had several rides home on my finger from various parts of the house when exhausted from flying or trying to fly so I think things will work out.

My wife is a cat person so needless to say times when the birds can come out to play are few and far between. I was off this week (I am supposed to be studying) and had the house to myself so cat-so AKA Diablo got shut in the basement each day for his daylong snooze. Birds one and two got the upstairs to themselves.

I had 3 birds as a youngster so am reasonably familiar with things budgie, their needs and habits etc., but have no experience with any thing to do with their needs around procreation and nesting. This is something I suspect I will have to change judging by their behavior. I think she has fended off his advances so far but she is beginning to accept the regurgitated food from him so I think the time will eventually come.

- Submitted by BJH

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