Acquired: Pet store
Denver, Colorado, United States
Posted Dec 11, 2013
Grandpa Budgie (whose real name is Helium, but he just never gets called that) is a suffused white opaline who was a christmas gift in 2000. Now, he's 13 years old, has cataracts in his little eyes, and is as feisty and vivacious as he ever was when he was young. He survived his cage mate who died of fatty liver failure, survived another who sadly got attacked by my sister-in-laws dogs while I was housesitting, survived getting attacked by a Quaker Parrot twice, and survived an umbrella cockatoo who played a little too rough with him and broke his leg. He's been sick to the point of me rushing him to the vet over 10 times in his life, and he's never died. He's seen the death of other companion birds I've rescued and mourned them with me, and he's seen me through the birth of a child, a divorce, a degree, and multiple job changes including the founding of a business, and never wavered through a second of it. Because he's just who he is, he's only ever had his wings clipped once, because he mourned the loss of his flight after I did so. He would seriously rather spend his life in his cage and have a little time flying than out of his cage constantly with no flight, and so I have never clipped his wings since that point. Overall, he is the easiest bird I have ever cared for. Feed him, water him, and let him out now and then, and otherwise, he'll take his own baths, and do his own thing, and he really just wants to be left to his own devices. Though he's not a sweet or pettable budgie, it is very clear that he loves human attention (just not on anyone's terms but his own), and thrives with a little love and attention. I recommend budgies for all households. They have a ton of personality and sparkle, are very easy to care for, and a bite on a kid's hand will do little to the kid, save for teach them a lesson about what the pet likes and dislikes. One consideration is that budgies are often a bad idea around any dog or cat that didn't grow up with the bird, as they are still tiny animals who are easy for a dog or cat to accidentally hurt or kill.