Here at the perch, I often get asked whether parakeets make good pets. Although I think they make awesome pets, there are both pros and cons to owning this sweet little parrot. So….you know, since I am a youtuber and all, I decided to make a video to help those folks who want to know more about budgies as pets. Check out this fun little video, featuring me, Sydney, Siri, Segoe and Sunny!!!
Whew, it has been a while since we’ve blogged here at the perch! Busy schedules, a planned move to the city and new pets have all played a part in the absence, but we just had to take some time to share the exciting news. We have added a new budgie to our flock named Sunny! This little bird is full of fun and adventure, and we named her Sunny because she has a “sunny” disposition (you’ll see).
Here she is when we first got her…
As you can see, she looked a little rough! Notice how she sits low on her legs and doesn’t stand on a perch properly? We adopted Sunny, and our avian vet thinks that she probably had a birth defect in her legs that was never taken care of when she was a young chick. She may have also been picked on by other birds because her feathers looked so rough and misaligned.
Fast forward a few months, and look at her now!
Her feathers are looking much better, and she has a blast exploring things in her cage or flying around the bird room. She has also become a really strong climber, has the cutest birdie swagger when she is walking along, and loves to hang upside down!
Stay tuned to our YouTube channel for upcoming videos featuring Sunny and the rest of our flock!
I was recently contacted about doing a post on budgie snacks. What a perfect request, considering I just got two new snack items to try with my birds! Now, let me just back up a moment and say that the best snacks I would suggest for birds are birdie safe fruits and vegetables. These can be fun for your bird to explore and also offer great supplementary nutrition. Keep in mind that birds can be very finicky, so if they don’t seem to go for one option, try another (offer a new item, offer the same item in a different way, offer the item over a longer period of time, etc.). Following is a list of some acceptable fruits and veggies. You can also check out my posts on some fun ways to offer fruits/veggies here.
apples (minus the seeds and stem)
bananas (minus the peel)
Beyond fruits and veggies, my next suggestion for a fun birdie snack is Lafeber’s Nutri-Berries. These little round balls of birdie fun are great because they include pellets along with fun seeds and grains. Here is what they look like:
Finally, for some fun and added nutrition, you can try either of these items by Higgins. The egg food offers an additional source of protein, so I am using that to help prepare my female for breeding. And the greens…oh they smell so good! You can get these items on the internet as well as at some pet stores and bird shows.
So what are you waiting for? Create some more excitement around your bird’s snacktime by offering a variety of items and even something new from time to time. You never know when your bird will find a new favorite.
This week we are bringing you another great budgie holiday enrichment idea. How about edible presents!!! Just go to your local hobby store or craft/wedding section of most discount retailers and get some plain boxes. No dyes, no embellishments…just plain. Don’t worry, you get to fun them up in just a minute.
Next, get some jute string or other means to tie presents which is safe (undyed/untreated) for budgies (raffia and sisal also work nicely).
Once you construct the boxes, place a fun treat inside (millet works well, as can Nutri-Berries) and wrap the presents in plain paper, black and white newspaper, or even kale! You can then tie them up and present them to your bird(s) for some edible Christmas fun!
EXTRA TIP: If you budgie doesn’t want to get inside the boxes, you can punch holes in the side before wrapping them to help your bird smell and see the treat inside! You can also present these boxes plain, without wrapping them, to make it easier for your bird to get inside!
I am so excited because I recently received some stainless steel skewers I ordered for my birds.
These things are AWESOME!
They can be used to skewer different fruits and vegetables so that they may be hung in the cage and enjoyed by birds as they get in the mood to snack. Since it’s very important to include fresh foods in birds’ diets, this is a great addition to any birdie lovin’ household.
As far as what can be placed on the skewers, the possibilities are endless. You can add a big chunk of one type of fruit (like papaya) or cut fruit into smaller chunks and make a fun, colorful kabob (apples, pears and bananas are a fun combination).
Just make sure to remove seeds from the offerings, as these can be very bad for budgies! Here is Soma, enjoying his first kabob!
Make sure the food on the skewers stays fresh in the cage. Once it gets brown, wilty, gooey and/or yucky, you’ll want to toss the fruits/veggies in the trash (or better yet, the compost pile…your flowers will thank you). It’s also important to clean skewers properly in between uses to keep things santitary!
If food becomes boring, you can also try adding some toys or things for your budgies to play with. Paper, wood and other things can make great toy components, as long as they are safely used!
It’s so important to give our birds a variety of things to keep them healthy and entertained. Skewers can be a large part of this…how creative can you get with them?
One of the questions that we keep getting here at the perch is how to determine the sex of a budgie. Well, and occasionally we get pictures of budgies, ceres (fleshy part around a bird’s nostrils) front and center, with a plea to deliver the news to the owner…is it a boy or a girl? And we didn’t even deliver the baby budgie…it’s pretty amazing.
Anyhoo, we would like to shed some light on budgie sexing, in hopes that budgie owners everywhere can enjoy a little certainty about the gender of their bird. And, to a lesser degree, we would love to help you not name your female bird Larry (yes, we know of one).
Let’s start simply. Remember the cere we talked about earlier? That is a very important component of determining budgie sex. In many cases, if the cere is blue, you have a boy. If it remains brown or pink, it’s a girl.
Here’s and example of a handsome budgie boy:
And here is a girl:
Not too hard at all, right? Well, there are a few other things to consider. First of all, age of the bird is important. Budgies can take up to a year to mature. and it can take that long for the cere to take on its final color! One way to know that you have an immature bird is to consider the barring (lines) that the bird has on the top of its head. If the lines are almost all the way to the cere, you’ve got a young bird (much like the blue one below):
Also, some color mutations can throw all of the aforementioned theories out of the water! According to http://www.birds-online.de:
“Examples for these difficult mutations are albino, lutino or fallow budgies . Also some pieds derive from the above mentioned rules.”
If your bird has a color mutation, a boy could look like a girl because the cere color is “washed out.” Oh boy….literally! Here is my budgie Segoe, a young male with a color mutation:
So how do I know (reasonably) that he’s a boy? I have determined it behaviorally. Male budgies tend to talk more often than females and they like to flirt with the girls. So if your bird does these things, you most likely have a boy!
A final note. You can have a budgie’s sex determined by a veterinarian surgically or genetically. Visit here for a great article about that process! It is a little more involved and does cost money, but it is also fairly accurate and very helpful if you are trying to breed your budgie(s).