Acquired: Pet store
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Posted Nov 12, 2012
Of all the pets I've owned, the personalities and temperments of the Budgies have varied the greatest. I think if you get a great pet or a hostile one will depend greatly on which specific bird you buy. If considering a budgie I suggest you take particular care to observe which bird you're choosing and ask to handle it in the store.
In my experience with four different budgies as a child, one was very friendly, one was tolerant, and the other two mostly perched atop the curtian rod and we're a major pain for my parents to get down. I recall my father frequently moving the cage into the middle of the living room with the door open hoping they'd return on their own. It occasionally worked.
Budgies are loud. We almost always had to put a blanket over the cage at night to get them to quiet down so my sister and I could sleep, and their cage was located in the living room, not our bedrooms.
I'm not sure what the proper way to discipline a budgie is (a spray bottle maybe?) but my mom used to give the cage a sharp tap on the top to stop the budies from screeching when it got to be too much. This usually worked, just not for long.
Budgies don't smell, they're pretty easy to tidy up after. They might nip small children when they're being held, but again this will depends on the specific bird and how tolerant it is. I had one that my six year old sister could handle all day, and that would fly over and perch on our shoulders, he was a wonderful pet. But the other three were all guilty of peckying at one time or another when children attempted to handle them.
All of our budgies responded to their names, which is great for children. They'd at least turn their heads, one of them would fly over. A second would visit if he was feeling particularly generous, and the other two mostly watched us carefully from the curtain rod.
We loved watching them climbing in their cages and playing with their toys. A big cage is perfect for budgies, they've very active and fun to watch. As kids we also loved making treats for them, like bread cut with a cookie cutter and then coated in peanut butter and seeds.
Not all budgies get along. If you've ever observed budgies in pet stores you've likely been horrified. They'll bully each other and fight viciously amongst each other, this is because you have a mix of personalities which (much like people) don't always mesh. If you're getting more than one budgie it's safest to get them together so you can pick out two that tolerate each other.
As an adult I haven't owned budgies, but it was an okay childhood experience. I think a budgie might be a good starter pet for the right child. Use caution in selecting the bird, and make sure you confer with the child. In my experience a lot of children are nervous around birds.