Acquired: Pet store
City of London, United Kingdom
Posted Sep 18, 2013
When friends come over to my house, the children always rush through the door and shout the exact same thing: “Where’s Bob?”
Bob is my blue, baby budgie. He sits in the cage and shuffles nervously as little hands reach up to the cage, opening doors and shoving in sticky fingers. Within a matter of minutes, however, he’s warmed up completely. Throughout dinner and desert, he’s sitting on their heads and playing with their hair; when the TV is turned on, he’s perching on their shoulders, tranquilly preening, and (we like to believe) watching football with the rest of us.
Budgerigar parakeets are wonderful pets for those who aren’t ready for the stress and fuss of a dog, who love to hear singing around the house, and who, like me, have too many allergies for anything bigger. Although budgies aren’t particularly known for their melodious music, their loquaciousness and the cheerfulness of their whistles and chirps make up for this. Food and care is relatively inexpensive. Cages can be bought for very cheap, and the food and toys are never a financial burden.
Something that most pre-budgie-owners probably don’t realize is that, personality wise, individual budgies vary dramatically. My mom once owned a parakeet who loved her so much that she attempted to lay an egg for her. My own experiences with parakeets have been less fortunate. One of my last budgies hardly ever sung, hated being out of his cage, and was more likely to bite your fingers than climb onto them. It took more time for him to learn to eat out of my hand then it might take other owners to get their budgies to speak. Furthermore, parakeets are sensitive; if they are at all scared or abused, they might never recover and always be mean to humans. Also, the owner must be willing to set aside at least 10 minutes a day to take the budgie out to play; otherwise, a relationship with the budgie may never be formed, and this can also cause reticence and meanness.
Because of these factors, I wouldn’t recommend parakeets to anybody with children under the age of 8. An animal that’s less emotionally high-maintenance, such as fish or hamsters, might be preferable for parents with young children.