Acquired: Pet store
Posted Dec 15, 2011
- Ratings based on my own experience with my birds, which are not fully tame -
I'd have to say that for an all-rounder pet parrot, you can't beat a budgie or two.
They cost little to maintain. Even a hand-reared bird from a breeder can cost far, far less than other parrots. While a large, roomy cage is necessary for untamed birds, or birds that spend little time outside during the day, a tamed bird can be housed in a smaller cage, since they likely won't spend that much time in it. While not the smallest parrot on the market, they are one of the smaller ones and can usually be kept in places like apartments that tend to frown on pet birds.
They are not as noisy as most parrots - although, from my experience, the noise level between individuals can be quite extreme. My current female can shriek like a plane taking off if she wants too, while my late male was much quieter, even during his screaming fits. Males can be taught to speak, and in fact are one of the champion speakers of the parrot world. Females are not likely to talk, although with much patience, a very tame one might learn a few crackling words. Males are also the singers of the two genders, although again, this is a trait that varies between individuals - my female will sing and chatter away to herself most of the day.
Even untamed birds make wonderful pets. For budgies that just don't want to tame down (often pet-store ones) or you aren't too interested in taming and are just happy having the bird, I always recommend two. A pair of males are a wonderful combination, as they are generally much more social than females - and double the singing, usually! I have never kept two females together, but from what I have read they can be prone to territorial spitting matches and can sometimes cause harm to each other. A male and female together make a good combination, if you're willing to deal with the risk of eggs.
Doubtlessly, they are the best 'beginner bird'. Relatively cheap to set up, widely obtainable, available in the most beautiful of mutations, and if they are hand-reared or you are extremely patient and understanding, they can make wonderful, tame pets. Remember, much of parrot-training can be easy, so long as you pay attention and learn to read your bird's body language.