Monday, August 13, 2007

Questions about Budgerigars or Parakeets?

A fair number of folk find my blog when searching for information about thier pet budgerigars. If you have a question about your pet Budgie or 'Keet, go ahead and ask me! Feel free to ask about other sorts of birds as well - the worst that can happen is I wont know the answer, so fire away! Dont be shy!

Ask your question by leaving a comment on this post.

Todays picture: An old shot of a very young Magellan and Verdigris. Taken just before joining the main flock in the aviary after being handreared. I miss having them in the studio with me, they were great company!

questions so far, please see comments for:
Budgie chews wallpaper
Budgie colours: wild, sex differences


Lavender said...

Some things people searched for left me a little worried about thier birds (strange feathers on budgie, what is this on my budgies nose, hate budgie)

Some things would be really easy to answer (how to care for budgie, how budgies mate)

Some things perplexed me (budgie craft)

Some things made me laugh (why does my budgie close his eyes when I talk to him)

All of them I wondered if theyd found the answer here or elsewhere -
Dont be shy - go ahead and ask a birdy question :)

Anonymous said...

Hhahhaaa, the funny one is funny! Now I have to think of a question ... it might happen later :)

Lavender said...

Hi Anon! hehehe, hope they didnt have a garlicky lunch hehehe!

Dont rush to think up questions, Ive made a link to this post in the right hand sidebar column - so anytime a Q comes to mind - Wha La!
I hope folks will use it, Cheers!

Julie said...

Lavendar - I don't have any budgies at the moment, but I used to have two, one of which used to enjoy eating the wallpaper and tearing at the curtain tops and which was quite destructive. There was cuttlefish, millet, toys etc. - but it still always preferred to occupy itself with the wallpaper. Any ideas as to why it would do that?

Jean-Luc Picard said...

As I don't have any, I can't think of a question, but the blog is good for budgie owners.

Barkfoot said...

I've seen many colours of bugerigars in captivity, but how much of this is due to selective breeding and how many colours and variations occur in the wild? Most of UK birds are consistant in their markings across the breed with only sex and seasonal changes, is this true of Budgerigards also?

Lavender said...

Julie Good question!
As you know, all members of the parrot family love to chew! The beak is constantly growing, sort of like our fingernails do. Chewing helps keep the beak trim, so it doesnt grow out to a point where they cant eat.

But why paper? I think in most cases its a personal preference, or just plain fun. My birds always have a branch or twigs to chew and they spend hours gradually stipping the bark off.

But I also make a big 'pompom' out of a rolled up section of newspaper as a few of the birds will go at the paper and nothing else. They just love to rip tiny little beak sized pieces of paper off, and spend hours doing it, till there is nothing left - then they mope till I make another. LOL

So about the only thing you can do for it, (if its happening to anyone else out there), is keep looking for substitutes to encourage your bird destroy instead of your wallpaper, favourite bookcase etc. It might take a little time, but it can be done.

Interesting side note:
I once saw a vet show with film of a cockatiel, who would destroy her persons magazines. This cockatiel would tear the brightly coloured pages into long thin stips, then place these strips in amongst her own feathers, I must say she looked very swish, with her extra feathers. Thats an example of a bird using a 'feather substitute', but Im afraid Im not clear on why they do that. Maybe just making thier own fun?

Thanks for your question, sorry for the long winded reply.

Lavender said...

Captain I hope even the non-bird owners will enjoy the pictures and little tidbits of info....If nothing else its pleasant distraction? Fingers crossed!!

Lavender said...

Great Question!
For your sake, I will try to keep this brief! LOL

In the wild, we have green budgies only! (There is a yellow mutation that occurs naturally, but it is rarely seen.)

So every colour but green, is a result of selective breeding...pretty amazing, eh?

Very young budgies are generally a little paler in colour than they are at maturity.

Markings are the same for both sexes in every variety, with no seasonal changes.

Thier only gender related difference is the colour of thier cere! (nose)

In most varieties: the males cere is blue, and becomes a brighter blue when ready to mate. In some varieties, like the recessive pied, the cere remains a pale flesh colour, with a bare hint of a blueish-purple.

In all varieties the females cere is brown, becoming a darker brown and rougher in texture when she is ready to mate.

Thanks for the question Barkfoot, sing out if any more come to mind, or If in the interest of brevity I didnt answer fully :)


Barkfoot said...

You mentioned a cockatiel that would put strips of nibbled paper in her feathers. My Lovebird would often do this (if only it had only been magazines, £20 notes were her favourite!). She was quite able to fly without losing these and would search for a corner to put them. I was always led to believe that this was a nest building instinct, with paper substituting leaves and bark.

Lavender said...

20 pound notes - oh my goodness! LOL Thanks for the laugh, although at the time, Im sure it wasnt very funny!
Collecting them up like that, Im sure youre right about the nesting instinct - your lovebird was getting two-for-one with her paper hobby!
Im surprised that she could retain her paper feathers while she flew - very interesting, thanks for sharing that too.

Ces Adorio said...

Lavender, I want to know how you come up with interesting names:

Magellan, Priapus, Verdigris...I love their names and their stories.

Lavender said...

Hi Ces! You can tell I have alot of fun with naming my pets! I usually try to go with something that describes thier personality, and failing some defining trait, I go with something descriptive like Verdigris for a green bird. LOL

Sometimes Im out of luck and end up with 'chickchick' - lucky for me the birds dont seem to mind which way I go, inspired or non!

Lovely to see you today Ces!

Ces Adorio said...

"Chickchick" sounds good too. Ha! very cute.
Thanks. Great to be here.