Budgie parakeets > The budgerigar as a pet

The budgerigar as a pet

The budgerigar as a petAs a pet and friend of the family, few things, be it bird, beast or fish, can equal the pretty little budgerigar with his charming ways. His bright colouration, distinctive markings and lively disposition make instant appeal to all who view him for the first time.

It is, however, as one of the domestic circle that the budgie is at his best; he is easily tamed and, when carefully tamed, is fearless and very friendly; indeed, a real pet budgerigar appears to prefer human company to that of his kind. The writer had two pet budgerigars in a cage for years; both were excellent talkers and mimics and, when turned into an aviary with others during summer afternoons, both came to hand readily and would follow their owner out if permitted; one did actually gain its liberty and dashed about rather excitedly for some minutes and came to rest on a tree; after a good look round at the world, which it was seeing from a new angle, it flew down to its cage which had been hung in the garden, opened the door itself and popped inside just as it used to do in a room. Fear of cats was the only thing which made it impracticable to keep this bird at liberty in the garden.

Not all budgerigars are easily tamed and likewise not all budgerigars are worth taming. The ultimate object should be to get the bird to become an accomplished mimic; despite many assertions to the contrary, tame budgerigars have no power of independent thought, or rather, they do not think out first what they say; they merely mimic, and any connections between their sayings and incidents in the family circle is purely coincidental; there is probably some association between the approach of the owner and the bird saying "Pretty Joey," or something similar, but the bird cannot be taught to construct sentences of its own; no matter how unpalatable this disillusionment may be it is nevertheless a fact.

Once tamed, the budgerigar can be taught to talk, but only in "parrot-fashion." It is a parrot and it has the limitations of the parrot. If this is realised too much will not be expected of the budgie, but the pleasure to be obtained from its company and from its many sayings and other accomplishments will be in no way lessened; indeed, they should be enhanced.

There have been many accomplished talkers; one owned by an old lady could say the Lord's Prayer fluently and distinctly throughout, although constant training was required to maintain the correctness and fluency.

This particular bird could recite "Mary had a little lamb" verse after verse, but like a child, it had to be prompted at the beginning of each verse; after completing one verse it used to pause, cock its little head on one side, awaiting the prompting; whether it required this little aid one could not say, but it never failed to wait for it. This bird is now some 12 to 13 years old and, although not particularly talkative, it still has a few sayings.