Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Delaware, United States
Posted Aug 14, 2011
Hand-raised Bourke Parakeets make great pets! I was bit unsure about these birds but I have found them to be among the most ideal pet birds. Once fully tame, they have all the personality of a Budgie without some of the desctructive traits, like chewing. My female Rosy Bourke has always been very friendly and never bit me. She was an older hand-raised baby (that started to become un-tame) when I got her. Initially, she would step on my finger but immediately would fly back to her cage. But I worked with her every day - made her get on my finger and kept letting her fly back to her cage. Eventually, after a couple months, I left her cage door open but didn't get her... and she flew to me. Before long, she totally bonded to me and flies right over to me as soon as I let her out. Now she will even fly over to strangers who visit my house, as long as they are gentle people.
Bourkes are not cuddley parrots, like conures. They don't like to be held, put on their backs, and don't hang upside down. They would rather just hang out on your arm or shoulder. If fully flighted, they will explore a little on their own. especially on the floor, but will frequently return to you to see what you are doing. Mine loves to fly and I think she would not display her real personality if she could not fly. So I would never re-clip her wings (she was partially clipped when I got her). They are probably slightly more timid than a tame budgie but they are also less aggressive and mine has never bit me. Some sources say males make friendlier pets but I couldn't imagine a friendlier bird than my female so maybe that is not true. They are by nature active at dawn and dusk, which seems unusual, but it actually works out well for people who are out during the day. However, a tame Bourke will be happy to come out and play anytime! They are also good for apartment dwellers because they are pretty quiet birds - among the most quiet bird pets to be sure! Just make sure to get a hand-raised one if you want a tame pet. I don't know if parent-raised ones are easily tamed - but they would make fine cage or aviary birds if not tame.
I highly recommend them if you want a quiet, mild-mannered bird. But if you want a bird you can really handle like a larger parrot, Bourkes may not be the right bird for you.