Michigan, United States
Posted May 12, 2010
The apartment or condo living person would do well to consider a budgie (parakee) if looking for a pet that is easy to care for and will not annoy the neighbors if properly maintained. Budgies have all the pluses of most parrots but few minuses, they are easy clean up after, they are friendly and highly intelligent as they are the smallest member of the parrot family. They are fairly quiet and have a pleasing natural song and are often willing to learn human vocabulary. One minus, especially a fully flighted bird, if given the run of the house they can fit into hard to reach spaces as they are a less than the size of an adult fist plus are highly curious about things that might hurt them, like shiny metal kitchen appliances so care must be given to watch them when out of the cage for playtime.
They recognize themselves on video recordings and are interested in telephones and computers if they are exposed to them regularly as they are a flock bird and are always looking to reinforce social bonds. Many examples of budgies seeking the attention of other parakeets on the pc monitor can be seen on the website Youtube, and the website is a wonderful source of avian companionship if you are planning to own only one parakeet.
The upkeep of a healthy bird is little more than food and the occaisional new toy, but as to toys they often choose household objects like your carefully crafted scrapbook of folk music memorablia, paper shredding is a fun activity for them. Avian vets are hard to come by in rural areas and one must be prepared to assist the bird if a health issue does arise, the internet is useful for diagnosing problems and Hartz makes a decent over the counter full spectrum anti-biotic for some general infections that is water soluable. One should however know the location of at least one vet who takes birds for serious health problems.
They like most music but the ones I have owned have had personal preferences as to the particular type that they respond vocally to. They come in a wide variety of colors as they are so easy to breed in captivity but care must be given in purchasing one as inbreeding does occur with some pet sources. Nothing is more tragic than training your little friend to accept your finger to perch on and hearing it sing to you every morning to wake up and let her out to play than to lose it to a congenital defect. Budgies live up to ten years with some going as long as 17 so they are not a throwaway pet despite being relatively inexpensive. With that in mind think about how long you are really willing to commit to a colorful and sometimes mischevious animal that requires at least two hours of quality time a day to really be a happy pet.
If you are not convinced let the bird speak for himself;