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Thread: I have a new question :D (Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..)

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    That's hot. Brand New Egg FoxxyGrace's Avatar
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    I have a new question :D (Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..)

    Hello. Let me start by saying that I am extremely long-winded and that I tend to ramble and get off track. Bear with me

    I have a 12 week old handfed budgie that I got when he turned 8 weeks; his name is Webster. So far, it has been a bit rocky. The first 2 weeks straight, he constantly called and searched and CALLED; it REALLY seemed to me that he was searching and calling for his little buddies (his clutchmates) or someone else he thought was there. For the record, this isn't cute little budgie chatter (which I have yet to hear); this is an all out CALL. I spend a good deal of time sitting at my computer, so that is where his cage is. I have it directly to my left, positioned to where he can CONSTANTLY see me and my hands, but he can also see the computer screen. I would also like to add that from his cage, he can see outside a little, mostly sky, but a few tree tops. Now that I have described the situation, let me get to my question.

    It seems to me that he is convinced that he sees another or multiple other birds. However, not only are there no other birds in the house, there are no mirrors in view of his cage. I cannot specifically tell WHERE he sees another bird, but is it possible that he interprets the colors and movements of my computer screen as another bird? Could it be the clouds in the sky? Or the treetops moving in the wind? Also, I smoke out my window - don't worry, none comes in (before he came along, I smoked indoors). At times, he looks at the puffs of smoke going out the window from across the room and call SO obnoxiously. At this point, it is pretty obvious to me that he thinks there is someone looking for him, and that they aren't far away; he was handfed, and I have had MUCH faster progress with bin-o-budgies birds than him. EVERY little sound that resembles the sound of a bird in any way sets him into a frenzy of calling, that can only be stopped by covering his cage. It seems that his entire life is dedicated to calling, searching, and waiting for the other bird that I am CONVINCED that he is convinced is there somewhere. It is as if he is LOOKING to see another bird in anything he can.

    I should also mention that every day I talk to him and put my hand in his cage and rest it there for 15-30 minute intervals at LEAST 4 or 5 times a day (I have a lot of time, don't ask ). I have been doing this consistently since his first week. In addition to this, I prop his cage door open at least as many times a day to give him opportunity to fly around. Mostly, he simply sits in his door and watches the goings on. At times, he will randomly take off for the middle of the room, land on the floor, then tip toe towards my hand, which I hold about 6 inches away. While this may sound like progress, I don't see it that way - when I bought him he already sat on my finger. When he is not in his cage, he is comfortable enough with my hand... He doesn't see it as a companion as I would like, but he isn't afraid. When he is IN his cage, it is a different story - all he wants to go is get away. He doesn't do the freak out, but there is a considerable amount of running, hiding, and the infamous calling for his imaginary friend to rescue him.

    Is there anything I am doing currently that is encouraging the calling and the obsession with his imaginary friend? What can I do to modify this behavior? Any suggestions or comments or anything would be much appreciated. Thank you so much!
    Last edited by FoxxyGrace; 11-12-2004 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Update/new question

  2. #2
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    Welcome Coutney! I am also long-winded! I usually try to keep my responses a bit more brief than this, but I really have a lot to say.

    With respect to the incessant calling, my guess is that this is because, not having accepted you as his companion yet, he craves avian companionship. Birds are social animals, so they really need to have at least one individual that they enjoy spending time with. It sounds as though you give him plenty of attention. But if he doesn't see you as his mate, this may not actually satisfy his need for friendship at this time. I do want to stress that I mean at this time. You have only had Webster for a few weeks. The move ripped him away from all his little friends that he'd been with since hatching, and altered his life in a huge way. Perhaps he hasn't yet found that same contentment that he had before. I have a few suggestions that may help here:
    - leave the radio on or him all day, on a music (rather than talk) station. I find that my budgies enjoy singing along with the music, and this pacifies them.
    - if he is not interested in the toys he currently has, rotate his toys. The more fun he has in general, the better his mood will be. In my opinion, the better a mood a bird or person is in, the more friendly he/she will be.
    - don't cover his cage when he calls. He is calling because he feels isolated. Covering him will only make him feel more isolated. Instead, go to him when he calls, and speak to him softly, offer him treats, or just be there for him. If you answer his call, he may see you more as a companion.

    At times, he will randomly take off for the middle of the room, land on the floor, then tip toe towards my hand, which I hold about 6 inches away. While this may sound like progress, I don't see it that way - when I bought him he already sat on my finger.
    I have found that, when I've first brought home my baby budgies, they've sometimes been quite calm and tame for the first few hours or days, but once the shock of the move wears off, they become more independent for a while, and less interested in me. This could explain why Webster actually seems less tame now than he was when you brought him home. It's not that he's necessarily regressed - it may be more true that he was artificially extra-friendly when you first brought him home. If Webster is running away from your hand, then he is not ready, at this time, to step up nicely. He needs more time to build trust. Also, I think it's a great sign that he will walk towards your finger. I think that is progress, and if you see it that way, you will feel more encouraged. I do have a suggested for building a relationship with your bird: you need to do it on his terms, taking into account his own personality, likes and dislikes, and keep your mind open to what you consider "progress," because you can make progress in leaps and bounds without even touching your bird! I learned this from experince. Please read below...

    Here's an anecdotal story: when I brought my baby budgie Bruce home, he was very calm and tame for a few days, and then he got a bit more wild. All I wanted to do was hold him, pat him, give him scratches, gaze upon him lovingly, but all he wanted to do was fly away and check things out. I was so disappointed and upset, and I trully was not making ANY progress taming him. Then it dawned on me - maybe Bruce doens't want to sit there and have me look at him. How boring for a budgie! He wants to go and check stuff out! I had not been paying any attention to his personality in my training attempts. I imagined him to be this snuggly little budgie, and then I directed all my training efforts to try to mold him into that budgie, which he wasn't. So I changed my ways. I could see that he kept leaving me to go and check things out, so I started actually taking him around my home and showing him all the interesting things I thought he'd like to see. I'd pick them up and hold them for him to chew on and inspect. He stopped flying away from me. Or rather, he did so much less often. But sometimes, I wanted to just sit in front of th TV and play with him, so I figured, since he's an active little guy I'll have to bring the toys to him. I'd bring an assortment of toys to the couch, and he'd be happy to sit on my hand and play with them. That's just his personality. I've had him for almost a year now. he will step up onto my hand politely, and he will allow me to kiss him, but he's much more itnerested in playing. I've learned that I can play a game with him - he will toss a ball of the cage, and I will pick it up and put it back on the cage. Then he'll toss it off again. It's an interaction between us that he finds fun, and I love that he's having a good time. Now that's progress!

    Now take my other budgie Pez: if I put a toy in front of him, he's have a fit. He is much more timid of large items, and he would never play with a toy if it were in my hand, but I've found that I can interact with him in other ways. He also generally does not like being touched, but he loves it when I sing to him, and this llows us to share a very special connection. Sometimes, if I sing to him, he'll actually come over to me and sing right back. He'll preen my hair and skin, too. But he won't let me pat him unless he is molting and itchy.

    Anyway, I hope you can see my rather long-winded point here - you need to find a way to interact with your bird that both of you enjoy. Webster may not be into whatever it is you are doing with him. Try to gather clues from his personality to figure out what you can do together that you will both enjoy, and remember that progress can occur without you even touching your bird.
    * Another long-winded message from the beak of Duddles. *

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    Always Awing Tailfeather featherjinxer's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    well...we have the two most long winded people talking back and fourth, here!

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    That's hot. Brand New Egg FoxxyGrace's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    Well, let me start by saying thank you SO much for taking the time to read and reply to my post. A lot of what you had to say was very familiar to me, both because it rings true to my situation, and because it is advice I have given.

    As far as your suggestions - leaving the radio on, and rotate his toys: Both of these things I already do; one question however.. I rotate his toys about every other day, sometimes daily. Is this too much? Should I leave them in longer before I rotate to allow him to gain interest? I tend to use cage rearrangement as an excuse to put my hand in his cage while showing him that "I" (my hand) am not always interested in just him, (does this make sense?) and therefore am not a threat. Also, many times I will keep the same toys in the cage, and simply rearrange the layout of them; do you think this is comparable to actually changing out the toys?

    don't cover his cage when he calls...
    When he starts calling for his "friend," I usually say his name and the few words I am trying to teach him, and if that doesn't work, I will either put my hand on the bars of his cage, or put my hand in the cage. Only when these things don't work do I cover the cage, and when I do it stops immediately. What are your thoughts on this?

    I have found that, when I've first brought home my baby budgies, they've sometimes been quite calm and tame for the first few hours or days, but once the shock of the move wears off, they become more independent for a while, and less interested in me.
    OH MY GOD! This hits the nail on the head! This is exactly what happened with Webbie, and I was thinking that I had done something wrong when a few days went by and he was scared of me. He was hardly interested in eating for the first week or so. I feel SO much better having heard this from someone else, you have no idea! Of course, putting it into a 3rd person's point of view allows me to remind myself that no matter what I want, or when I want it (NOW, NOW, NOW!) he is just a baby. He isn't like every other budgie I have had; that is something I find myself re-learning every time around.. I have these memories of these bad *** birds, but I tend to forget the months that it took for them to GET bad ***
    My best friend also has a parakeet (her first and only), and she always comes to me for advice because I was the one that got her into them. It is ironic that now she is saying the same FRUSTRATING things that I said to her when she got her bird (same things you are saying); that you need to let them go at their own pace, no matter how slow that is and blah blah blah
    But isn't it so much easier from THAT side of things?

    Thank you again for responding. I enjoy being able to discuss things with other budgie owners!

  5. #5
    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    rotate his toys about every other day, sometimes daily. Is this too much? Should I leave them in longer before I rotate to allow him to gain interest?
    In my opinion, that is a bit too often, although every bird will be different. Webster might need more time than that to gatehr the courage to check out a toy, or he may just not be interested in it at first. Also, having such frequent changes in his cage might scare him. I'd suggest rotating one or two of the toys every week or two, and leaving in one that he is familiar with until the next rotation, just so that you don't change everything at once.

    When he starts calling for his "friend," I usually say his name and the few words I am trying to teach him, and if that doesn't work, I will either put my hand on the bars of his cage, or put my hand in the cage. Only when these things don't work do I cover the cage, and when I do it stops immediately. What are your thoughts on this?
    If he's scared when you put your hand in his cage, I'd suggest not doing it. It's hard for me to say what to do, because I'm not there to see his reaction, but my guess is that it would be better just to go over and talk to him, make eye contact, and try to connect with him without touching, until he is more comfortable with your hands.

    But isn't it so much easier from THAT side of things?
    I hear ya! I sometimes post a message asking for advice for myself, and when I read it later, realize that I would know exactly what to say if someone came to me with the same problem. Sometimes, it's harder to think of the answer when you're in the situation yourself.

    Thank you again for responding. I enjoy being able to discuss things with other budgie owners!
    No problem. That's what we're here for. I'm sure you'll have advice for other budgie keepers too. And you may also be interested in the other bird forums, and the General Discussion forums, too. I look forward to hearing more from you. Please keep us updated on Webster's progress. By the way, do you have any pictures you could post? (You can post in the pet image galler - link at the top of the page).
    * Another long-winded message from the beak of Duddles. *

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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    Anyone else beside me wondering about an update to this situation? I'd like to find out how this is going.

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    That's hot. Brand New Egg FoxxyGrace's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    If he's scared when you put your hand in his cage, I'd suggest not doing it. It's hard for me to say what to do, because I'm not there to see his reaction, but my guess is that it would be better just to go over and talk to him, make eye contact, and try to connect with him without touching, until he is more comfortable with your hands.
    Well, sometimes my talking stops his banter, other times my hand on the cage.. This is difficult for me to describe because, as you said you can't see it for yourself. But, when I put my hand in his cage (after the talking and PLEADING won't make him stop), usually it seems that he forgets about whatever had set him off and focuses on my hand. I assume this is to be sure I don't go for him, but I can handle that Also, I would like to mention that I make a point of not touching him or going towards him in any way. The fact that they need to approach me seems to be imprinted on my brain. I don't want him to see me as a threat, or as unpredictable.

    As for an update - Even though it has only been a few days since I first posted with this issue, I already feel as though he is making progress. This could be because he is actually making progress, or it could be the placebic (that's my own word) affects of talking to fellow budgie owners. Or it could be a little of both.
    I noticed him playing with one of his toys earlier, which was exciting. And, I do believe that he actually missed me today! I was out with a friend for most of the day, and my boyfriend said that the WHOLE time I was gone, Webbie just called and called. Adam (boyfriend) said that he would stop for a little while, then start up again, as if he realized he was alone again. When I returned home, he started calling (I like to think it was for me) right when I started coming through the door. He was racing back and forth across his perch as I approached his cage, saying his name - I think he was genuinely excited to see me! That made me feel SOO good, because it says that I must have made an impression of some sort.

    I will upload some pics of him and post them within a day or so. I am not sure if I have any decent ones of him.. I will get on it, though! I will also try to add some of my old parakeets. I look forward to getting to know everyone and their birdies!

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    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    I already feel as though he is making progress.
    Thanks fantastic! It definitely sounds as though he was excited to see you yesterday. I'm so glad to hear it.
    * Another long-winded message from the beak of Duddles. *

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    That's hot. Brand New Egg FoxxyGrace's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    By the way, I got some pictures up of Webbie, so if anyone wants to take a look see, go for it!

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    Speaker of the house (the chatty one) Tailfeather Duddles's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    Awww! What a cutie! I like your cats too. Thanks for sharing.
    * Another long-winded message from the beak of Duddles. *

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    Rhema Fledgeling Rhema's Avatar
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    Re: Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..

    That definitely sounds like he missed his BirdMommy! This is so good to hear. I just love when they run all over the perch like that, it's so sweet to see and just precious as precious can be.

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    That's hot. Brand New Egg FoxxyGrace's Avatar
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    Re: I have a new question :D (Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..)

    Hello all, I have another question. I figured that instead of starting a new thread and re-explaining my situation I would add onto this one

    So, My best friend has a budgie (Tinkerbelle) that she has had for a while. Tink has met my other birds, but they were tame and friendly with me first. I am wondering if letting the birds meet would hinder or help my progress with Webster. On one hand, I want to show Webbie that Tink is not afraid of people or hands, and that she enjoys them.. On the other hand, I don't want to remind him that there are other birds out there, and that my hand is NOT another bird. Does this make sense, or does it sound totally crazy and controlling?

    BTW, within the last few days, Webbie has really blossomed. He has selected a few favorite toys, and will even step on my finger WHILE he is in the cage! Then, he will let me take him out!!!! It is still very exciting to me. We had our first "budgie chatter" conversation the night before last. I was trying VERY hard not to cry the whole time. Sometimes he would get quiet for a second and I would whistle ("pretty whistle," I call it), then he would start up again. I am SO in love with this little tiny critter!

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    That's hot. Brand New Egg FoxxyGrace's Avatar
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    Re: I have a new question :D (Budgie obsessed with searching for other birds..)

    I am wondering if I should have started a new thread.. I'm thinking I will go do that now..

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