Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Budgies and more budgies!

There is nothing more cheerful than a flock of brightly colored budgies. The sunroom flock now includes 4 of them. Sadly, we lost our first one, an English Budgie called Hunter who had been hand fed and was as sweet as sugar. Unfortunately, he was so sweet that he thought he could make friends with our Jack Russel/Chihuahua mix and was killed this summer. It happened so fast and I have never felt so much sorrow and guilt as I did at this time. We buried him (with no little ceremony) in the watermelon patch.

Shortly after, I read about an orphan budgie who had been rescued from a dumpster. I applied to adopt him and soon the beautiful yellow Oscar joined our flock. For a several months, from July until November, Oscar lived the single life in a nice large cage with plenty of toys. He was very interested in our cockatiel, Monty, and would fly to the top of Monty's cage to visit whenever possible.

Then, suddenly, one week in December, I agreed to take in three more budgies. Two of them, frisky yellow and green males I named Tiger and Tiko, were pets that had lost their novelty for the owners. They were housed together in a smallish cage and are very bonded with each other. I gave them a nice big cage and set it up near Oscar. He was very curious and spent most of his time singing and chattering to them. A few days later, I took in a small white female with a blue tail. I was not sure of her health and quarentined her for a month before moving her to the sunroom. By this time, Oscar and the new boys had regular meetings on the top of his cage and appeared to enjoy each other's company. When I added Gracie to the room, she immediately flew to join the group and acted as though she had been a part of their flock forever. Tiger and Tiko ignored her, prefering to continue to preen and snuggle each other but Oscar went crazy. He began to bow and dance and then started bringing her shredded carrots! I moved her cage right beside his but before long, they were sharing his bachelor pad. I added an extra food dish in case neither was used to sharing but he feeds her most of the time. They preen one another and chatter together constantly.

None of the budgies really enjoys being held but luckily I have plenty of other birds that love to snuggle. My joy with the budgies comes from simply watching their antics and interactions with each other. They still meet as a group on top of Oscar's cage every time I let them out. I am sure that important business is being discussed at these gatherings.