Acquired: Pet store
Posted Oct 11, 2014
My mom purchased my budgie when I was 5 years old. He was very friendly and used to let my mother reach in to pet his neck or pick him up. She had heard that you could teach this type of bird to talk and set out to do that the minute we brought him home. My father and aunt decided my mom was crazy as they had seen plenty of these birds over the years and all they did was screech.
Within a few months, PJ was proving my mother correct. My mom spent time each day saying the same words over and over to him and he soon learned simple things like hi, pretty bird, and mocking my mom's laugh. She bought him some mirrors for his cage and before long PJ was talking to himself.
My mother forgot an important thing about birds you teach to speak; she forgot to watch her language, and neglected to think that once you teach a bird to talk you can't make it stop talking. My grandmother would come visit and go to say hello to the bird only to be told, "shut up," by it or sworn at. He would then mock my mom's laugh, giving the impression that he really intended the insult.
Over the years, this bird developed a large vocabulary and would even sing songs that were played in high rotation on the radio. We could take him out of his cage for a fly around the room, pick him up, cut his nails, kiss his face, and let him yank on our earrings.
This bird is easy to maintain as budgie feed is common and fairly cheap. Treats of fruit were given often, as were mineral blocks to provide required nutrients and cuddle bone to keep his beak trim. The cage required does not have to be overly large if you plan on taking them out for exercise. Toys are fairly cheap as well and favorites seem to be mirrors and bells. This bird really enjoys a swing. It's cage is fairly easy to clean, but the bird throws a lot of seed and their shells outside requiring tidy ups. If handled early on they adjust to being picked up. If you have a lot of time to devote to it, this bird (male only) can be taught to say anything, just try to keep in mind that once it learns to mock human voice that it will say anything it hears frequently.