Just Like A Spoilt Child
My budgie died . . .
He wasn’t well for a couple of days and was sitting funny on the perch, as if his legs were weak. On Thursday, I found him on the bottom of the cage. He ate a little seed and then shortly after shook, as if in a fit. and then he was gone. He was 12 years old, a good age. It seems very strange without his chatter. I was the one who fed and looked after him. Even my husband, Jack, misses him and said we should get another budgie. When I told my daughter, Valerie, she said that she would buy me one for my birthday. So, even if I didn’t want another, it looks as though I am going to get one!
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Everyone is taken with my new bird, which we call Blue. We bought him a swing with bell attached plus a roundabout that a perch goes through and a hanger with three bells on it. When he starts to play with them he kicks up a racket, but is great fun to watch. He will sit on our hands now. We would love to let him come out of the cage to fly around but our lounge/dining-room and kitchen are all open-plan, so we would have a job to catch him. We took him into the laundry to see if we could let him out of the cage, but he would have none of it, and even bit Jack’s finger. So now he’s in the cage for good!
Each week, he learns a new trick. The latest is sitting on his swing and ringing the attached bell with one foot. We can put our hand in now and, if it suits him, he will work all over it grooming us as he goes. He is a great sticky-beak too. He investigates everything we put in his cage. Jack has been coming home late from the races, and the bird is covered for the night, but as soon as he hears Jack’s voice he makes such a noise until Jack uncovers him and speaks to him and generally makes a fuss of him. Just like a child!
Jack had been all day trying to fix our TV antenna. Because he’d not had time to spend with Blue, when he did go and talk to him, Blue just turned his back and sulked. Jack had his work cut out to get back into favour again.
Blue is laying down the law in no uncertain terms because I haven’t put him outside yet. He even appealed to Jack, reminding him, in his way, he hadn’t been outside. Although he doesn’t talk, we get his message loud and clear, so will put him out later in the morning.
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Blue is getting very brave and comes out of his cage now, especially when I am cleaning his bath. He comes out and sits on it, until I return it to the cage. He flew around the other morning while I was doing that but I don’t like him coming out in the kitchen as he flies to the window and frightens himself. At least now if he gets on top of his cage he knows how to get back in on his own.
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David, my son, rang me 6 weeks ago saying he had caught a budgie in his yard and did I want it? Of course, I’d said yes, thinking as Blue is in a large cage they could both be together.
WRONG! Blue would have been friendly enough, but Sunshine was very frightened. They sat opposite each other like a Mexican stand-off. We bought another swing for Sunshine as he slept hanging on to the corner of the cage with his beak and claws. He did go on a swing, but Blue’s! Blue wasn’t having that and went over and gave the swing a good shake to try to get him off. Eventually, we had to buy another cage. For the first few days after moving Sunshine, Blue wouldn’t come out of his cage and turned his back on us when we talked to him. But if we paid attention to Sunshine and not to him, he starts ringing all his bells and rattling the roundabout in his cage.
Jack encouraged Sunshine out of the cage. He had a good fly around but doesn’t know how to return to the cage like Blue does. So Jack caught him with a cloth and put him back. Jack had to encourage Blue to come out with a biscuit as he was sulking. He went up to Sunshine, but Sunshine wouldn’t have anything to do with him so, after playing with the strings on the bells, he went back into his cage. He acts just like a spoilt child!
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When I bring them inside, Blue makes a lot of noise, ringing all his bells and talking ‘budgie’, till I open the cage doors. He quickly climbs into Sunshine’s cage. They are getting on really well now, although Sunshine tends to ignore the antics Blue gets up to when playing with Sunshine’s toys. If he gets too annoying, then Sunshine gives him a peck.
When Blue goes in first thing in the morning, after I have uncovered them, if Sunshine is still on his swing, then Blue shakes the swing till Sunshine gets off. It’s as if he were saying, “I’m out of bed and it’s time you were too!” They both sleep on their swings.
Blue now goes in and out of Sunshine’s cage when it pleases him. He goes into his own cage when he’s ready to go outside, and at night, when he’s ready to be covered up.
One morning, when I had put Sunshine out, I forgot to close the house door. As I turned round, I caught sight of him preparing to fly out after Sunshine. I just managed to get the door shut in the nick of time. I got him back into his cage and then took it outside feeling very relieved. Sunshine has flown out of his cage twice, but he’s not keen to repeat the exercise, I think it frightened him.
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Blue is still trying to get into Sunshine’s cage. I opened his cage doors again to see if he had learned how to behave when visiting, but no, he still attacked Sunshine, so he’s now barred for good. I put his bath in his cage as he does enjoy it. After he has bathed, I put the bath into Sunshine’s cage to see if he would like a bath, but he just sat there on his perch. He didn’t even come down to investigate, unlike Blue, who is a real sticky beak! He is getting so fat he can hardly sit on the perch. The only time he moves is to get down to the seed box or have a drink. It is hard to imagine two birds could be so different.
– June Baker
Minto, New South Wales, Australia.