Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013!

Happy 2013 to all budgie lovers in the world!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Super-relaxed cat doesn't let a budgie interfere with his nap

U-chan the budgie is tired of waiting for Chama the cat to wake up, then decides to take matters into his own beak. Fortunately, it's a very sleepy cat ;)

(Reblogged from Urlesque)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Coconut Craziness

Photo © We Love Budgies on tumblr

Did you know that the first domesticated budgie laid her eggs inside a coconut?

Photo © We Love Budgies on tumblr

That's why people in the 19th century gave coconuts to their budgies! You can still find coconut nests at some pet stores today, although a lot of people prefer to stick with wooden nesting boxes.

If you like coconuts, you can also give your budgies a coconut bowl, filled with a blend of fresh pieces of fruit, vegetables and millet!

Bika's nightmare

Photo © Sarah Warwick

This morning, right before I woke up, I had one of the most disturbing budgie dreams ever!

This is how the story went...

Several budgies in the neighbourhood had been reported missing. I don't quite know where I was, but I remember I was looking for the lost budgies. The next moment, I found myself in a creepy cellar, stumbling about. I heard some chirping and I knew I was going to find the budgies, but I was so scared that something bad had happened to them... I just hoped they were all alive. 

There were a lot of cages stacked on top of each other, and I saw that the budgies were unharmed. But some of them were bright purple, and some of them were as tiny as a zebra finch! But otherwise they were okay. I realized that these budgies had to be the victims of some kind of mad scientist. I had to get them out of here.

Next to the budgies, I saw a disposable camera (left behind by WWF or Greenpeace) and it said "use me if you see animal cruelty". I didn't hesitate and took out the camera, took a picture of the purple budgies and the very small ones. Whoever had locked up those budgies, I would bring them to justice. Then I heard a noise upstairs, and I realized that someone was coming. I opened the cage doors and set the budgies free, then broke into a run, hoping the budgies would be able to escape together with me...

Of course, I woke up so I can't remember if we were able to escape or not. This is one of the weirdest dreams I ever had!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Budgie of the Month: Birdbird

Photo © Roarshack and Co. on tumblr

Finally, I found myself a budgie of the month! His name is Birdbird and he is a very clever budgie. Here he is sitting on one foot (which is good, budgies who use both feet to rest on are often a bit ill)

On the photos below, you can see that...

He likes to nibble on the pineapple plant...
He's not afraid of the thing with the big eyes...
He likes to hang out in the fridge...
He also likes to hang out at the fish tank...
And he likes a little yellow duck girl!

Photo © Roarshack and Co. on tumblr
Photo © Roarshack and Co. on tumblr

Photo © Roarshack and Co. on tumblr
Photo © Roarshack and Co. on tumblr   
Photo © Roarshack and Co. on tumblr

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A safe Christmas with our budgies

Photo © pettyartist on tumblr

Christmas is a season of joy, but the festivities could turn tragic for budgie owners that don't make the correct provisions for their budgie's safety. Here are some easy tips to follow up during the holidays. It doesn't take a lot of effort, and it's enough to give your budgies a safe and cosy Christmas.

1) Keep an eye on the Christmas tree and ornaments. Budgies could get burned if they chew on the light wires, or they could end up with loose needles sticking in their feet or plumage. Christmas trees on itself are non-toxic but there is still a risk of poisoning if the tree has been sprayed with something.

2) Don't let your budgie play with the presents while you are gone. You might think it's okay to let your budgies play with the ribbons and shred the paper, but the ink that is printed on the paper could be toxic. Additionally, some ribbons could get trapped around your budgie's feet or even their neck (although this is unlikely to happen)

3) Never let your budgie get a sip of alchohol, it's poisonous and can kill them. They shouldn't eat anything from the Christmas meals either, as human food contains too much sugar and fat for them, and some ingredients are poisonous to budgies (like avocado's).

4) When you have a party at your place, it is recommended to keep your budgie in a spare room, so they don't get too stressed. Fireworks indoors is a no-go. Keep your budgies in a familiar room with the curtains closed, before the fireworks begin outside.

5) Get your budgie a Christmas gift, so they don't have to miss out on everything! You can make them happy in so many ways. It can be as simple as a nice treat, like millet, but there are also plenty of toys to choose from... or even a new budgie friend!

Read more here:

Budgies and Christmas Trees

Is it safe to have a Christmas tree near my budgies?

Photo © Pet Info Club

Good news: Christmas trees are on the safe list for budgies, as long as they are not sprayed with anything toxic such as pesticides or fertilizers.

When your budgies come out of the cage, they will either be so mesmerized by the tree that they fly straight into it, or keep at a safe distance until the Christmas holidays are over. Budgies have been known to react differently to this.

You can let your budgies climb around in it, as long as you don't lose them in the tree! They like to explore and will be attracted to all the glitter, shine and sparkle.

Some Christmas trees are more spiky than others, so depending on which kind of tree you have, you should keep an eye out and check your budgie's feet on cuts afterwards, just to be sure. If the spikes are too thick or solid, then the tree should not be in the same room as your birds.

Keep in mind that there are some safety issues that don't concern the tree itself, but the decoration, especially the Christmas lights. A solid bite to a wire or light bulb can burn them, and they could get an electric shock! You know how budgies like to chew on everything, so this is something you have to watch out for.

Also be careful with glass ornaments (if you have these): they may cause cuts, scratches and puncture wounds.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

All You Need is Love

Picture © elyshatheridell on tumblr

Did you know that budgerigars can fall in love, just like people?

They are so sweet, and they never hesitate to show it when they like another budgie!

One of my budgies (called Frodo) is completely head over heels for our crazy little Pixie. Pixie is one year younger than him, fearless and wild, and she goes everywhere! Frodo, on the other hand, is more careful, but he's willing to follow Pixie everywhere!

Once budgerigars become mates, they will be mates for life.

This is how much budgies love dandelion greens!

I want all of them!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Budgie and Ringneck Parakeet (video)

That is a chubby budgie! :3

Not entirely sure if it's safe to put these two together, but in the video they seem to be friends. Maybe because they're on neutral territory?

Blog has a new look!

Photo © frostie123 on deviantart

 So now I've chosen a new look for my blog. I hope it's not too confusing for anyone. I like it because it allows more space for pictures and it gives a nice overview of recent posts.

My old categories (poll, budgie of the month, blog archive, etc.) are still there. Just hover your cursor to the right edge of the screen and they should appear. If you have any questions or comments, you're always welcome to contact me.

 Take care, and I wish you and your budgies all a nice Sunday evening! :)

Budgies don't share food!

Photo © arkytaka
Yes, it's the one thing budgies will always fight for... food! Especially snacks like millet or a piece of fruit.

How to prevent a food fight in the cage (in case you've got some hot-headed hungry birds like I do!)
  • Place enough food trays (not too close to each other). Ideally, there should be one small food tray for every budgie in the cage.
  • Fill up the food trays equally (so that there isn't one that looks "better" than the rest)
  • Refill the food trays according to the number of budgies you own (so if you suddenly own four of them, the food trays can be empty really quickly!). This may be a bit exaggerated, but budgies really eat almost all the time!
  • Provide enough snacks: I found out that one cracker for four budgies is not enough! But you can also play it smart by placing an extra perch under the cracker, so there is one budgie who can eat the cracker from the bottom. 
  • Place little fruit bits in different places: I also found out that two pieces of carrots are not enough for four budgies! Budgies are more likely to fight about fruit because we give them little pieces (we can't put a whole apple or pear in there). Ideally, there should be one bit of fruit for every budgie in the cage.
Conflicts in the cage create can be stressful for your budgies. Conflicts are more likely to occur if you own at least one female bird. Female budgies like to think that all the food belongs to them. Whenever my Isla gets hungry, all she has to do is walk over to the food tray (where Frodo is already eating), and Frodo just jumps out of the way! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Afternoon in Kotarou (video)

Two Japanese budgies are having a conversation... :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Budgie of the Month: Sven

I found some videos about a budgie called Sven... I wanted to upload all the videos from Youtube, because they're all cute :D I especially like the one with Sven bathing in the komatsuna leaves :)

P.S. Since I'm a bit late with my "Budgie of the Month" anyway, the title goes out to Sven... he deserves it!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Secretely Spooky Species

Happy Halloween to all of you!

Can you spot the budgie in the picture? (click on image to embiggen)

Picture © Bird and Moon

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Budgies and Regurgitation

Picture © Bokkaku on Deviantart

Regurgitation is a normal part of budgie behavior that shows that your bird is healthy. A budgie that is regurgitating will bob its head and stretch its neck. Regurgitated food is still somewhat intact (it hasn't been entirely digested yet).

Regurgitation may also be a sign of a crop infection, but many happy budgies regurgitate to their favorite toy or person and this is not a sign of any infection. It's their way of showing that they love you!

Important: don't confuse regurgitation with vomiting!

A budgie that is vomiting will spew partially digested food (or other crop contests) at random moments, without having this under control. The food remains often stick to the budgie's head and feathers. Vomiting is not very common among budgies; however, it should always be taken seriously, especially when your budgie vomits more than once. Then you should consult an avian veterinarian as soon as possible. Gastrointestinal disorders, motion sickness (riding in cars), poisoning and anesthesia may cause vomiting.

On a sidenote: Isla vomited several times when she was suffering from a parasite infection. It's often a clear signal that something is wrong. I was told that budgies may also vomit when they're in a stressful situation (for example: when there are conflicts with other budgies in the cage).

Feeding time

It started out with Isla and Frodo...

... then Pixie came along...

... and there is Leonidas! :D
All photos are © me!

More fun in the curtains

Budgies and curtains are a classic... I can only agree :)

Pixie the Acrobat

Yes, they're ruining my curtains... but I don't care! ;-)

Chillin' on the curtain rod... Pixie is SO funny :D

All pictures are © Bika Middag

Autumn has arrived!

Last week it was still remarkably warm for the time of the year (25°C!) so I took the chance to put my budgies outside in the evening. They love it and I know they will miss it during the Winter.

Frodo is such a cutie ^_^

Both photos are (c) me.

Have a nice Sunday evening! ;-)

P.S. today it's actually COLD! Max. 5°C! So the budgies had to stay indoors, but I pampered them with a nice fruit cracker :-)

Picture © Berk on the Penny Arcade Forums

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Five Peas in a Pod (video)

These are not budgies, but baby parrotlets... had to share this video because they're SO adorable! ^_^

Can male budgerigars live together?

Photo © Propero on tumblr


Male budgerigars can become best friends, even when they live together in the same cage. This is a good solution for owners who are not interested in breeding birds. Remember that two budgerigars is always better than one.

  • From the moment you add a female budgie to their home, your male budgies might turn into the worst enemies, and they can start fighting over the attention of the female bird. There always has to be a certain balance within the flock. As a consequence, you would need two female budgies for two male budgies.
  • Make sure that your male budgies have enough food and space in the cage. They don't always like to share their belongings.
  • Make sure that the budgies are properly introduced to each other first. Some birds are more territorial than others. So it's best to keep both budgies in a separate cage for a while, so they can get to know each other between the bars before you put them together. Unless they're trying to bite each other through the bars, it should be safe to put them together.

Photo © KlomZy on deviantart

 Another tip: the younger your birds are, the bigger the chances of them getting along!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My budgies' new favorite spot

Erlend sent me this picture while I was at work... my budgies are crazy :D

Photo © Erlend Alvestad

Monday, October 8, 2012

Budgie of the Month: Budgerigar the Yellow ("Budge")

Photo © The Northern Wildlings

Budge came to us when he was 3 months old. He was our first experience with keeping birds, and the reason we’ve both converted to bird-only people. For a little over a year he was our only budgie, and over a period of 6-8 months we hand tamed him and he tamed us, and we taught each other games and tricks. 

Photo © The Northern Wildlings

He loves to come into the shower with us, especially if Steve is there with his beard to nibble on. He’s afraid of nearly everything, unless his plastic traffic light toy is nearby. For some reason, that little $2 toy gives him all the courage you could ever hope to see in a bird.

Photo © The Northern Wildlings

He will sit and sing to himself for hours at a mirror, or to his reflection in a piece of chrome, or his shadow on the wall, or to the remote control… you get the idea. 

Photo © The Northern Wildlings

When he’s in the mood for scritches, he’ll let you ruffle all the feathers around his beak and give him a good head scritch. If you’re especially lucky, he’ll groom your ‘stache and eyebrows, and if you’re brave enough, he’ll groom your eyelashes (it tickles!)

Photo © The Northern Wildlings

If we’ve slept too long, he’ll do fly-bys over our heads, low enough to ruffle our hair across our faces. If that doesn’t work, he’ll keep at it, adding piercing screeches to the mix as he dive bombs. Once we get up, he usually goes back to sleep. He can be a bit of a dick like that.

Photo © The Northern Wildlings
His favourite foods are backyard grasses, kale and spinach, navel oranges, and celery leaves. He refuses to touch anything red or purple.

Photo © The Northern Wildlings

Story © The Northern Wildlings

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Blog update and some pictures

Hi everyone,

It's been a busy week again... on Monday, I took the budgies to the avian vet for a checkup. Luckily, they are all fit and healthy! Yesterday I went to a birthday party and today I studied Norwegian for 4 hours or something, so I'm feeling pretty tired :-)

As for the blog update: I'm planning to experience a bit with the blog layout, so don't be scared if you suddenly don't recognize the blog anymore, it will still contain the same information and pictures ;-)

I also have an idea to start a new blog on tumblr, which will be about budgies and birds in general, but I still have to think it out :-)

Here are some recent pictures of our little budgie family. The Autumn chill has started to set in here in Belgium, so I keep my birds inside for now so that they don't catch a cold. Hope you all had a nice weekend!


My budgies exploring the armchair :)

Leonidas and Pixie getting hand tame :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Bird Dance (video)

I don't know if I have shared this video yet... but I have to do it again now!! :)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Budgies and Dinosaurs

Photo © Lunchi on deviantart

“By the time the meteor arrived, dinosaurs were likely already on their way to extinction. That event, if anything, simply hastened their demise but the end was already coming. I’m sure the dinosaurs were not happy about dying and certainly they weren’t happy about being forced to evolve into budgies, but sometimes these things just happen and there is no one to blame.”

If only the dinosaurs knew how amazing these little birds would turn out to be. However, some scientists claim that the common ancestor linking budgies and dinosaurs together is NOT a dinosaur, but a prehistoric creature called the Archaeopteryx. 

The Archaeopteryx, sometimes referred to by its German name Urvogel ("first bird"), was a kind of prehistoric creature that represented the transition between dinosaurs and birds, and has become a key piece of evidence in Darwin's evolution theory. This creature is referred to as the oldest known bird, and probably the oldest known ancestor of budgerigars.

Picture © Animal Planet

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Hello from Venice!

I bought two tickets to Venice for Erlend's Birthday, so I've been away for a few days. Here are a few pictures of Venitian budgies (or cocorite, as they are called in Italian). I took the pictures from a pet store in the city :)

There are too many budgies in that cage, but at least they seemed happy, because they have each other.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

New poll: do you own any other pets in addition to budgies?

Hello everyone,

I have set up a new poll on the top right of my blog. This time, I want to know if you own any other pets in addition to budgies. Some options may seem a bit far-fetched: I wonder if anyone keeps budgies AND spiders in the same house, or budgies and TIGERS? I hope not... but you can never know!

Photo © Being Brazen
Photo © dann1i on deviantart

In any case, feel free to vote whenever you pass by! Remember, you can select multiple answers.

The poll closes in exactly 100 days, so you have until Christmas to let me know :-)

Have fun, and have a nice weekend!


Poll results: how much can your budgie say?

There are a lot of chirping budgies (mine are too), but that doesn't mean that they will never talk.
Remember that talking budgies are a bit of a rarity, especially the talking titans like Puck, Victor or Sparkie Williams (he was perhaps the one budgie that is most famous for talking nowadays).

Budgies can't be forced to speak our language. It's a slow learning process that asks for a lot of patience. The best thing is to turn it into a game, to make it fun for both you and your little budgie friend!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Does a budgie make a good Christmas present?

Photo © HONEST - STYLE on deviantart

Now that we're getting closer to Winter again, some people might start thinking about Christmas presents... or maybe it's just me ;-)

If you are thinking about giving a budgerigar as a Christmas gift to someone, I advice you to tell that person about your decision first. I know, then it's not a surprise anymore, but it makes me sad to know that some budgies end up in an animal shelter because the people who got them as a present didn't have room for them, or didn't like birds, or were allergic to them... You need to check this first!

Budgies can be perfect pets for anyone, except young children. Body contact is very important for children under eight years old, and budgies really don't want to be hugged or squeezed. Budgies are also very jumpy and they get startled by rash movements, which toddlers or young children don't fully have under control yet.

Please also check if the person you have in mind has any other pets. Cats are natural enemies, and dogs are also known for attacking budgies to defend their territory. I've heard of people who keep cats and budgies together, but it involves an enormous risk and you can never be sure that your budgie is safe.

Now, if you ask me what I want for Christmas... :-)

How to teach your budgie to talk in 5 steps

Budgies are extremely intelligent, and therefore can be taught to talk easily. But you need to create the right atmosphere first. And don't forget: you need your budgie's cooperation. They are not going to talk just because you want them to.

First of all, here is a little fact. Some people say that only male budgies can learn to talk. This is a myth, because females can learn too, and there are plenty of talking female budgies out there!

Photo © flip-for-love on tumblr


  •  Wait until your budgie is at least 3-4 months old before you start teaching him or her to talk. 

  • Be a good and patient teacher for your budgie. Don't get mad at him if he doesn't show any signs of interest. It may seem like it will never happen, but just keep trying, and eventually, your budgie may talk!

  • When you teach him/her how to talk, try to use your own language, or at least a language that you master well. It will sound more natural and relaxed to your budgie, and they will pick it up more easily.

  • One of the first things that you teach your budgie should be his own name, and the names of the other budgies in the cage.

  • Never punish your budgie if he makes a mistake, that is the worst thing you can do! They will not understand what they did wrong and get scared of you.

  • Always reward your budgie for his achievements. This will stimulate him to do even better. Typical budgie rewards are spray millet (it's like candy to them, so don't give them too much!), or a piece of fruit.

  • Try to teach one budgie at a time. Once he can talk, he will set an example for the other budgies in the cage. 

  • Put on some relaxing music, this may help to get your budgie into the right mind set for learning

  • Keep listening to your budgie, because when he finally says his first word, they often say it so quietly or quickly that you miss it!  

  • Budgies seem to find it easier to learn from women and children (sorry guys!), because they have a more high-pitched voice, and this is the type of voice that budgies feel the most comfortable with.

  • Read your budgie a bedtime story. It's not as crazy as it sounds and your budgie will love it! They will listen to your intonation, understand it a little bit, and maybe catch a word here and there! You can do this anytime during the learning process, it's always effective.

  • Last but not least: stay positive! Budgies love to get compliments! Tell them how good they are, use words like "sweet" and "beautiful", "strong" and "good". They work like magic and will reassure your budgies that they're in good hands.

Photo © pie-nya on tumblr

STEP 1: GET THE BUDGIE USED TO YOU - it's impossible to teach a budgie how to talk when he's terrified of you. The more tame your budgie is, the bigger the chance of talking. While you're teaching your budgie, remain calm and don't raise your voice or wave your hands. That will only stress them up.

STEP 2: START WITH ONE WORD - I don't mean that you have to say the same word all over again until your budgie is bored to death, but you should definitely focus on one word. It could be as simple as "budgie". Say "good morning budgie" or "how is my little budgie doing today?" or "I love you budgie". Your bird will see a pattern there. Say the word more slowly, "Bud-gee" and repeat that a few times. Your budgie will notice that this is an important word in your communication, and he will want to repeat it.

FYI: this is how far I got with Frodo right now. He definitely knows our word "parkietje" (Dutch for 'little budgerigar') and he's trying to repeat it.

STEP 3: SIMPLE SENTENCES - once your budgie can say a word or two, you can start with simple sentences. An easy way to do this, is to observe your budgies in the cage and tell them what they're doing. When Isla is taking a nap, I can tell Frodo that "Isla is sleeping". When Frodo is drinking water, I can tell him that he's a "thirsty bird". This is still relatively easy for a budgie to learn.

STEP 4: FEELINGS ** FOR HARDCORE TEACHERS ONLY** - this is where it gets much more complex. Budgerigars can feel love, fear, anger, grief and happiness. But it is very hard to explain them these things. Again, the best way to learn this is by association.

Love: courtship behaviour, such as mutual preening, or sharing food, shows a bond between mated budgies that can be seen as love. When Leonidas is feeding Pixie, I can say that "Leonidas loves Pixie". Or when Frodo is preening Isla, I can say that "Frodo loves Isla". You don't have to make it more complicated than this.

Anger: Angry budgie behaviour may contain threatening postures, intimidating noises, lunges and pecking or even biting. You often get to see this behaviour at feeders (oh, how many times they fight over the food!), or when their (nesting) territory is invaded. So here I could tell Isla to "stop being angry with Frodo", when she's chasing him off the feeding tray.

Grief: this is a complex emotion and one that I hope you will never have to explain to your birds. Budgies have been known to remember the death of a mate, or a friend, or a young. For days in a row, they could be searching for this budgie, without finding anything. As a result, they go quiet (it's often a bad sign when a budgie stays quiet for a long time) or show other signs of listless behaviour such as a drooping posture.

Fear: Quick flight and escape are the most obvious signs of fear. Budgies get easily scared by loud noises or sudden movements. Other fear factors include rapid breathing, freezing to the spot, and alarm or distress calls. For example: Pixie gets lost behind the curtain and doesn't see a way out. She starts calling for help, and then I could say that "Pixie is scared".

Happiness: is your budgie singing, or resting on one leg while crackling its beak? Then you certainly have a happy budgie! I often tell Frodo how happy he must be, because he's singing pretty much all the time :-)

This step may be the hardest of all, but also the most useful to you. I remember a story of an African Grey telling his owner that he felt "sick", because he was molting! Isn't that amazing? It would be so great if our budgies could tell us how they felt, and I realize that this is not easy to say the least! That's why I wrote "for hardcore teachers only" :-)

Photo © larkseye on tumblr

STEP 5: BASIC VOCABULARY - Once your budgie knows a few simple sentences, it's time to teach him the names of things around him. When someone comes to visit, tell your budgie the name of that person. You can teach him a little phrase to say hello or goodbye to visitors. Tell him about all the toys in his cage, or the food that he eats. Never underestimate your little friend, because budgies are capable of mastering a vocabulary of 1000+ words!

Monday, September 10, 2012

How to Train Your Budgie (comic)

Not really... but imagine riding a gigantic budgie? :D

Comic © pettyartist on tumblr