Acquired: Pet store
Arizona, United States
Posted Nov 20, 2014
When I was a kid we had a beautiful blue parakeet named Sammy. Sammy was adorable, smart, and a breeze to train.
My dad and I spent hours training him. We not only trained him to talk, we trained Sammy to do these really funny routines to entertain guests.
In one routine, Dad would say, “Do you need any money, Sammy?” Sammy would say, “Gimme a quarter.” Dad would give him a nickel, and Sammy would say, “That’s a nickel.” Dad would give him a penny, and Sammy would say, “Do I look stupid?”
Another routine involved a toy fire truck. I would say, “I think I smell smoke,” and Sammy would push the toy fire truck across the coffee table and dump a tiny, dollhouse-sized bucket of water on Dad’s cigarette in the ashtray. Dad would then complain as part of the act, and Sammy would say, “Quit smoking.”
Sammy was great fun to have around, and the only down side of Sammy was the cage cleaning. Plus, we had to put newspaper all over the floor under the birdcage because Sammy loved to throw birdseed out through the bars.
Sadly, Sammy eventually died. A short time later we got another parakeet, a green one, but this new one was the intellectual opposite of Sammy: we tried and tried to train it, but it never managed to say a single word, let alone learn any of Sammy’s routines.
The moral of the story, I guess, is that not all budgerigars are the same. If you want one that can talk, find one that already knows a few words, as this suggests that it is probably capable of learning more. And always have lots of newspapers to put on the floor under the cage!