Friday 4 March 2016

8. Budgie bonding and taming - Making friends

Making friends with your budgie.

Hopefully you have gotten your budgie to happily step up by now, and you might have even braved letting him out of the cage for his first flight. This post kind of overlaps all of them as bonding with your budgie is happening continuously from the day you get him home. I will try to demonstrate how Reggie and I became good friends as this is a question I get asked really frequently. 

Please remember, you won't always get a long, I know Reggie and I definitely have times when he doesn't like me and I'm not so keen on him but as long as you respect these mood swings your friendship will stay strong - if you don't you just end up getting bitten! Budgies, like humans, have their off days, and its at these times when you need to really read the signs and not push them. During moults budgies can lose a lot of energy and sometimes be in pain as the pins emerge. Don't be surprised if your hyper little flapper is happy to just chill out in his cage rather than come out and play. He still loves you, he's just not loving life at the moment. 

Reggie and I have a great relationship, he's my little friend and he clearly enjoys my company as much as I enjoy his. Just today (28th Feb 2016) Reggie did the sweetest thing. He was incredibly irritated by some feathers around his eye that were coming lose and sticking out at a funny angle. He visited several perches in his cage and his play gym trying to rub them away but nothing helped and he looked so annoyed. I took him to the kitchen and offered him a bath but after a quick dip he clearly wasn't interested. He landed on my shoulder and when I turned to him he went for a nose snuggle, he was very clearly trying to get me to groom him. I got him on my finger and I rubbed my 'beak' around his head and he was closing his eyes and quite obviously finding a lot of relief from the grooming I was giving him. 

Buster and I have a very different relationship with each other, I'm just a play gym to him. I've always noticed he had a different personality to Reggie, when I first got him he was really brave and a master at step up, he even escaped his cage and landed down the side of the wardrobe. He allowed me to stroke him a few times and I thought that maybe we would bond quite well, but we didn't have enough time before he met Reggie. Buster is very tame, he steps up very well and I have no worries about him being scared of my hands, but at the moment I just don't see us ever being good friends. I am working on it though!

To win Reggie over in the first few weeks I involved myself in almost everything he was doing and I annoyed him with attention as much as he would annoy us by getting in our food or climbing on our phones. If we were home the cage would always be open and I would play with him all the time (I used to crochet but that went right out the window when Reggie came a long!). 

If I wanted him to have some veggies I would give them to him from my hand, even if he was in the parsley plant I would get my hand in there and ruffle it about whilst talking to him. When he wanted to play with his toys on the play gym I would play with them too, or give him a perch to sit on so he could reach them better. As a result he became mega nosey and now I cannot do anything without him having to be a part of it. Annoyingly, lots of the time, because Reggie comes over to see what I am doing, Buster has to follow. This does have its advantages though, new toys can often be introduced easily, or new foods can be tasted in my hand because he seems to trust my judgement of it.

I can't even make soup alone!
When Buster came a long I worked really hard to make sure Buster realized that Reggie and I were friends and that play time would involve me. They lived in separate cages for a few weeks and so flight time would always happen when Doug or I let them out and we would try to have them always step on to our hands to come out. They now live in a cage with a divider so I am still part of the gang when they two get together but they can communicate all day and sit next to eachother (they are divided because they argue a lot and I really don't trust them to live harmoniously all day whilst we are at work). 

If I am in the kitchen and the boys decide they want to have a bath then they will land on the sink and the taps and stare at me. Bath time is fun because they use my hands as a bath tub and splash about, or they stand under the running water like its a shower. The first wash either of them had with me was using a spray bottle, they loved it! 

I am sure all of this involvement makes me sound like I'm a complete nutter and you must wonder if the boys ever get annoyed at me always being in their face. Well you only have to watch how the two of them act together to realize that I am far from being the annoying one! If its not Reggie kissing Buster and shouting 'Reggie, Baby Buster' at him, its Buster pushing Reggie out the way and yanking on his tale. Budgies are flock animals and they are around their flock all day and night so all I am doing is showing them that I am one of them and I am fun and worth coming to visit. I have never seen Buster groom Reggie, he is totally selfish and just takes it, so Reggie comes to me for the love that he doesn't get. 

You really will get out what you put in, if your bird is left alone and you don't interact with them when you are home they are never going to see you as something worthy of their attention. Especially if you have more than one because they automatically bond to their own species. I am having to work hard to keep Reggie bonded to me, but also trying to show Buster that I am as good as Reggie. 

I feel like I need to write this at the end of each post......I am not an expert! This is all information I have learnt and it might not always work out accurately for your birds. I have confidence in what I write but read with caution!


  1. Making friends is an art to enjoy life and bring some excitement. Therefore, we people are always looking for suitable opportunities to make new friends and share emotions and feelings with them. This is the best way to spend a stress free life. Apart from human being, we should also make friends with our pets. This article defines the importance of friends in our life no matter whether it's human being or pets.
    Making Friends

  2. I have 3 budgies. Did you bond with yours separate or together? Cause I can't earn there trust.