Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jul 22, 2016
The humble budgie is one of the most underestimated bird you'll ever meet. The budgie makes an incredible pet: in fact, we ended up with 3. We bought Gusty first, a bright green little fluff of a thing. We initially thought he was a boy, but as time passed his cere (the bit above the nose) changed from pink to brown - which told us he was female. This cere will also go a deep brown when the lady budgie is ready to breed.
Gusty was one of the most personality packed little creatures I've ever met. He (we always called him he even though he was a girl) was bold, courageous and gave us hours of entertainment. We decided to get him a friend, so we got Tumbleweed. He was a bright blue lovely looking little fella - and while Gusty was more of your assault-course kind of bird (we made him a budgie assault course which he loved), Tumbleweed was an ace jet pilot. He could flick and turn like a swallow. We kept the birds in an open cage in our living room. The upside was we felt good that the budgie had plenty of exercise and could come and sit with us as they wanted - which they did: the down side was not so much the budgie poop (ours tended to poop in one spot, it inoffensive and easily cleaned) but the unseen damage Gusty, in particular, caused. I say unseen as he was very good at hiding what he was up to. He managed in one day to eat all the lining off the curtains (not spotted until we went to draw them!) and then you'd go to pull a book from the shelf and you'd just have a book spine in your hand and a pile of book-dust left behind on the shelf. But we somehow always found it funny. Depends, I guess on how much you like your books.
Gusty was the bold character and really liked to interact. He liked to share dinner sometimes and we had to keep an eye on what he'd try and pinch from your plate. It's well worth researching what you can feed your birds - in particular egg, and lots of good fruit and veg are great for them. But do look it up before you feed them.
Finally we got a third budgie (yes we were pretty budgie mad by then!) and along came angel. A beautiful white bird,thinner and longer and more elegant than the other two. She never got the swing of flying and used to have to climb around everywhere. She too turned out to be a different sex, she wasa boy and a very strange one too. She like her cage and loved hanging upside down like a bat from her swing. We ended up calling her Str-angle.We taught her talk, just by repeating words over and over - and she was brilliant at it. Boys tend to take to talking better than girls and she would make us laugh with her impressions.
Overall I think budgies make superb pets. They have strong and differing personalities and are incredibly amusing. I don't like to keep a flying bird in a cage - and that was the downside for us that things got chewed. The key is to supervise your birds when they're out of the cage and give them plenty of toys to stimulate themselves. It was only Gusty that was naughty though, the other two never caused any trouble.
Bird seeds and budgies also means mess. Whether its on the way in or the way out! For us, the birds where well worth the bit of extra work and they were a pleasure to own and kept us great company and made us smile a lot. I would recommend getting one budgie first and bonding with it before getting another and I would never keep one bird on it's own as they do enjoy company of their own kind.
Budgies are cheap, inexpensive to keep and you don't need a lot of equipment to get going with them. If you're thinking about getting a budgie consider your sense of humor first as you really need one to get the best out of these clever, beautiful little fellas.