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Thread: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

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    I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    So we've been planning to get a bird for some time.
    And in our anniversary i thought it'd be a good idea to surprise her with a Lovebird which she always wanted.
    As title suggests, it turns out she was planning to surprise me too, with a Parakeet.

    Now we have 2 baby birds. We instantly fell in love with them both. And we need some expert insight.

    As far as we know, they're both 1 months ago, they're both male. Lovebird is quite energetic and curious and the Parakeet is quite earnest yet he seems very peaceful, and they both are not afraid of us or anything in fact.

    Here are the pictures,

    Lovebird, was trying to sleep when i got it : http://i.imgur.com/cQdlnaJ.jpg
    Parakeet : http://i.imgur.com/46vBBQu.jpg
    Both and their cages : http://i.imgur.com/Whk5bzy.jpg

    I've been told they should not live in the same cage before Parakeet is strong enough to defend himself, meaning at least 3-4 months more.
    Now, my questions are;

    Can they ever live in the same cage? Or should they? Should we have any specific way to handle them, like the size, contents or positioning of their cages?

    What kind of an approach should we take up against them to make them feel secure and peaceful, should we leave them alone, or try and interact as much as possible? Should we let them out all the time or is it bad for them?

    As you see, we're clueless about them and we're desperate for them to be happy & healthy, so any advice, any input is more than welcome.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Hello and welcome

    Babies are usually weaned and sent home around 8-9 weeks for the smaller parrots. So, hopefully your babies are closer to two months than one. Watch their eating and be sure they are eating their seeds. If you notice them "whining" a lot, it could be they are hungry and were not fully weaned. Where did you get them? A breeder, or a pet store? A wellness vet checkup (with an avian or exotics vet who knows about avians, be sure to ask them about their bird knowledge to find the right one) would be a good idea since they are new additions, helps set a baseline, get them familiar with the vet, etc.

    For cages: those are both way too small for them to live in long-term, so you will have to upgrade eventually. Look online would be my suggestion, or on craigslist (be sure to bleach any second hand cages and wash well outside before you house a bird in it), pet store prices on cages are ridiculous. And no, you don't want to house them together - lovies beaks are bigger than a budgie and any squabbles could cause serious injury. How large you go depends on your space/money restrictions, but I am a fan of the flight cages, or the larger square cages. Wider is better than taller. http://www.tailfeathersnetwork.com/c...ovebird-Owners <-- there is a writeup for new lovie owners, budgies are not too much different

    I use cages like the ones you have now for travel and/or sleep cages, so they'll be good to keep around when you do upgrade.

    For getting them used to you, depends on how friendly they are. If they are willing to step up, then let them. If they aren't, take it slow and talk/sing/read/just be around them so they get used to your presence. Then you can start slowly working up to them eating out of your hand (millet spray works well for this for most birds, as you can start with a long stick and gradually shorten it). Keep sessions short for now, 5-10m at a time. And let them settle in a few days before you get started.

    And as for outside time - as much as you want to give them. My bird is out of his cage any time I am awake and home. For now, you want to set up a routine for them. If you work, don't let them get used to outside during work hours, or they'll start to expect it. Let them out when you'd do it after work, put them to bed when it would be time for bed, etc. Let them adjust to the routine of your house and birds love routines. If they do not step up yet, getting them back into the cages may be tough, so teaching them to step up onto a perch can help, or teaching them to go back in the house via a ladder or something for a treat. Again, millet spray works for most birds for training treats.

    Oh and be sure to introduce fresh foods to them while they are young (fruits, vegetables, grains) because the older they get, the tougher it can be to get them to try new stuff.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Hi and welcome to the community! You have two precious little birds. I would say both of you did a great job at picking them out for each other.

    Parakeets are very loving and hardy birds. They love their mirrors and toys, and like to eat fresh veggies like leaf lettuce, cilantro, and fresh broccoli. They also LOVE their swing. I also feed my parakeet, Muffin, frozen broccoli and carrots that have been thawed a bit and chopped up fine. Mirrors are a great addition to their cage because they treat the mirror as though it were their mate or pal.

    Personally, I would not wish to put a parakeet and a lovebird in the same cage. Each species of parrots are all different in their behavior. Lovies are very energetic and are full of mischief. Some of our members who have lovies have spoken about their energy, as well as them loving to fly out of cage, and get into all kinds of mischief.

    I agree that the cages need to be bigger. Even though they are smaller parrots, they love to spread their wings and fly in cage as well as out.

    Congratulations on your new babies. I would love to see more pics.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Welcome to the site!! Your two new babies are just adorable and what a cute story that you bought your wife a lovebird and she bought you a parakeet, that is some great anniversary presents.

    The others above have gave great advice and I really do have to say it again you should not put both of these birds in one cage. Lovebirds are well known to get mad and attack birds and since the lovie is bigger then the parakeet it will not end good for the parakeet. Since they both are young and will be growing up together they can be kept out of the cage together as long as you keep a close eye on them at first to make sure they get along.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Hi!
    Welcome to the forum.
    I guess you were both shocked and amused. What a way to step into bird keeping.
    Are they both flighted?
    I have to echo the others concerns about caging. But as they are both young it is possible that they will get along together when out of the cages. Both species have their good and bad habits. Only by watching and learning to read body language will you know if this is going to work. Br ready at a seconds notice to step in, as it can go wrong in milliseconds.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Wow, thanks all for your replies, caring attitude and good wishes.

    We're in day 2 and our babies have already begun displaying some characteristics. As we are carefully observing. Oh btw, parakeet is named Sheriff, and the lovebird is Bilbo

    @Marrie
    I've carefully read everything you wrote and memorized each advice. Specially about the part on how to socialize with them. Thanks a lot. I got them from a pet-shop btw. I'll definitely do something about the cages. And should i begin with various fresh foods already or should i give them some time?

    @Maxo @Boomer @Clawnz
    Thanks guys, it's definitely a wonderful feeling to have them this way. We'll do our best to make them happy.

    I see now, it's not healthy to expect them to live in the same cage no matter how they love each other. Even then accidents may happen. It's noted and won't be practiced.

    About cage sizes, i will change Sheriff's cage as soon as possible to something equally sized as Bilbo's. But unfortunately i do not have required space for them to have larger cages. Does anyone have a solution for this? Are there two-story or conjoint cages which would let me supply them a bigger home while having the required space? If not, is putting both their cages on a hanger, where one would be on top of each other, a healthy solution? I think not because I feel like i should not give them some kind of superiority feeling over another. We want them to feel quite equal on terms of everything and we'll arrange Sheriff's cage accordingly to match Bilbo's palace

    Current situation on Bilbo;

    Bilbo would hug Sheriff if not for bars between. He's always on his brother's side of the cage. We change their positions and he's on the other side.
    http://i.imgur.com/9bna2At.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/YAKQwWr.jpg

    It's not even been 24h since their arrival but, Bilbo did not touch his meal yet.
    http://i.imgur.com/QH3tK2p.jpg

    But he gnaws on this one on the hook, altho he did not touch the thing on the ground. (Update: He ripped apart the thing in the ground )
    http://i.imgur.com/dBOsOgH.jpg

    He's currently not interested with his toys, he only wants to be close to his bro.
    http://i.imgur.com/Q4HKANR.jpg

    He's still energetic, he do not really wants us to touch him, closest i got was a handshake
    And he's not shy about tweeting when something is happening near him.

    ---

    About Sheriff;

    He's a serious little birdy with an almost never-changing position: http://i.imgur.com/EcJUVT7.jpg
    He has no issue with his food: http://i.imgur.com/XYfEVOu.jpg
    He usually prefers to stay like this, facing his back to the room: http://i.imgur.com/vUoUdtj.jpg
    Feels like he would sleep day and night if we weren't around. He's almost always one-eye closed
    And I don't think he feels any fear. It's quite easy to gently tap & caress him with the tip of our fingers. He doesnt seem to be bothered by it.
    I guess he'll get used to us in time. And he's quite silent, i dont think i've heard him yet. But this morning he was jumping up and down in his tiny home and it was a blast to watch him. It was during some music my wife's been playing and they both were reacting to it somehow.

    ---

    If you've read so far, i'll assume you'd answer my ignorant questions
    1-) Bilbo has bird-sand in his meal. Sheriff dont. Should he have it, too? They have different food btw.
    2-) While getting Bilbo, i've been given some vitamin drops and been told to serve it as 5 drops into the water, 2 times each week. Does this apply to Sheriff aswell?
    3-) Do any of the behaviours mentioned above indicates anything bad or unusal?
    4-) Would a swing be enough for Sheriff with a cage large as his bro?
    5-) Do parakeets enjoy a branch to stand upon? I feel like he's having hard time grasping his lousy plastic stick which'll be replaced real soon?
    6-) Our house is not getting lots of heat, we dont even use an air-conditioner (we're very careful about dangerous air streams that might effect them) but how would they feel about the heat? How often should we put their bathtubs into their cages?
    7-) Most important question: When should we begin their out-of-cage routines? Pet shop guys said at least 1-1,5 months for Bilbo and 1-2 weeks for Sheriff. I can't stand to see them locked.

    Thanks in advance once more. My wife and I are delighted to be a part of this community.
    Last edited by Straud; 06-15-2014 at 05:28 AM.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Thanks for the update, and the great pics you have posted. Both of them truly are beautiful birds. Here are some of my thoughts and opinions. When I post I always tell folks that these are strictly my thoughts from all the years of having birds in my home. However, it is always the decision of the caregiver(s) to decide what is best for their little friends.

    I would not use sand of any kind for either of the birds. I have not heard of bird-sand if you will. I do know that grit (tiny pieces of gravel so to speak) is available, but I have found that it is very hard on the digestive system, and can present problems in the bowel as well, so I do not use any sand or gravel. I also do not use sand perches.

    The long sprig of millet is perfect for both birds. Millet has lots of moisture in it and good nutrition. I do not feed it as a regular food, but rather as a treat. However, when one first brings home a bird, it is very normal that the birds do not eat much of anything or anything for up to four days. And they often do not drink water either. So the millet is a good food to feed when they are adjusting to their cages and your home.

    It is also normal that Sheriff and Bilbo are not being real active at this point in time. I always think of the fact that they have probably had a long journey from being hatched, to being sold to retail stores, and then finally come to your home. And they will miss their little friends and siblings as well. As long as they both are not showing any signs of illness, then I would not be concerned about them at this point in time. Signs to watch for as far as illness is concerned is being all fluffed up, shivering, some birds end up sitting on the bottom of the cage floor being very listless, and not responding to their environment at all. The droppings could be like water as well. As to the droppings, right now, since they are just new to your home, and they haven't eaten much of any food or drank any water, it is normal for them to have runny droppings, or no dropping much at all.

    Birds do love music. My tiel and parakeet love classical music. We usually listen to it every day. I even turn on Disney Cartoons on the TV when I am out running errands so they will have some noise in the home while I am away.

    Personally, I would also put a small mirror in Sheriff's cage. And as I look at the cages, I am thinking that it is possible you could put Sheriff in Bilbo's cage and then buy one more that is a bit larger. I don't know what pet shops or retails have cages in your area, but you also can go on-line and find many very nice cages as a good price. Amazon has lots of cages. My personal thought is that if you would get Bilbo a cage that is about 18x18 x 24 (just my own estimate), that would give him enough room. As long as they are going to get some out of cage flying free time, in my view, since you do not have alot of room for the cages, that may work, at least for now.

    Clive who posted above, will be the one to tell you about the perches. He makes his own perches out of tree branches, etc. I'm sure he will read this post, and will respond to you about his thoughts about perches. I totally agree that plastic perches are simply useless for birds.

    I feel that it totally depends upon the bird when it comes to bathing. Some like to be spritzed with luke warm water. others like to have the tub/dish and splash around. I think it would be your decision as to how often they get to bathe. If they like it, I see no reason why you could not do it often.

    Personally, I see no reason why you could not begin out of cage time with them. I would take one at a time out of cage and let them fly. You will find it is going to be difficult to catch them at first. They might be tiny birds, but they will give you quite a challenge to get them back in cage. Some folks do some training like the step up command and other commands before they let them out to fly. Some also take the birds to a small room, (in your case one at a time) and do some training. You can find bird training tips and actual videos of bird training on Youtube. There is a training called "clicker" training that is quite popular. You should be able to find that one on Youtube as well.

    Do you cover them at night. Some folks cover and some do not. I am one that always covers my birds at night year round. I like to do so because of drafts in my home. Especially in the winter when it is very cold, and in the summer when the air conditioner is running.

    I would say you could begin to add some fresh veggies, perhaps a small piece of raw apple, and other foods to their diet most anytime. If you begin to feed them these foods now, I feel that they are more likely to adapt to having them each day. I do not put vitamins in the water because of the possibility of the water going rancid. I put them in the seed cup, about every 10 days. Just a few drops will do. You can find a list of foods that are good for lovies and parakeets on line by googling words such as . . . . Safe foods to feed lovebirds. Safe foods to feed parakeets. There are some foods that should never be fed to them. You can find those lists on-line as well.

    I would say that my little budgie Muffin, LOVES his swing. He also LOVES his mirrors. And he likes toys that are made of string or yarn. He loves to filrt with his two mirror girlfriends, Bailee and Pearl.

    I look foward to reading your posts, and to hear how Sheriff and Bilbo are doing. Wishing you the best friendship ever with those two little guys. You and your wife are really going to love them and get attached to them. I feel that birds are a super pet to have in our homes.
    Last edited by maxollie; 06-15-2014 at 10:30 AM.

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    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    There are stacker cages you can get such as http://www.mybirdstore.com/STACKER_B...ER_COATED.html ... there are various sizes, but where one cage goes on top of the other one with a divider in between. There are side-by-side ones as well. Some of the ones with stands can be removed from the stand, to sit on top of a dresser, etc. There are also slightly off shaped ones that are designed to fit into corners and such. Just depends on what kind of space you have available. There are even panels you can buy to build your own, if customization is preferred.

    And you don't want to give either bird "bird sand" - hookbills don't require grit and it can cause crop issues, including crop impaction. Grit is meant for help in digesting seed hulls and hookbills hull their seeds. Provide a mineral block, cuttle bone and a good, clean seed mix and fresh veggies. Pellets can also be provided if you choose (some like them, some don't, they are a supplement unnatural food sort of like vitamin tablets for the bird, I find them useful for my picky eater though). Pet stores will often throw a lot of stuff at you and have no idea if it's even safe.

    Be aware of the metal cuttle bone clip holders, you don't want to use those (they will cut feet, many are made with zinc which can cause heavy metal toxicity, etc) - throw them out and get a plastic cuttle bone clip.

    Make sure your stable seed mix is a good quality, clean seed with a variety of seeds (more than 1-2 and not 90% white millet).

    Be careful of rope perches, if they chew them, it can cause a strand build up in their stomachs. They are a good outside play perch, but not a very good inside perch.

    Be careful with rope toys, you want to watch for fraying. Birds can get their legs/necks/wings caught in them once they become damaged. I prefer vine rope, if I use rope, because they can easily snap it if they get caught and it's not a strangulation risk.

    You can provide fresh foods now if they are eating their seeds OK. You can get a clip and hang greens like a toy, or offer a small salad, or a mash (cooked veggies/whole grain pasta or rice). You don't want to stress them out, so don't push them to eat it if they don't yet, but you can provide it. Don't be discouraged if they turn their beaks up at it at first, if they were raised on seeds (pet store birds usually are) it can take some time to get them to try fresh (a lesson in patience at times), birds hate new stuff.

    Be aware adding vitamins to the water makes bacteria grow in it very quickly. You'll want to change the water out every few hours while the vitamins are in it, if you use those. Most people prefer vitamins you sprinkle over food instead.

    And also, be aware now that you have birdies in the home, some things we take for granted can be toxic to them. Perfume, chemical cleaners (bleach, pine sol, windex, etc) and air freshener fumes can cause respiratory issues. To clean with any of them, I make sure the bird is not anywhere near the room I am cleaning and open windows for ventilation. My go-to cleaner is vinegar/water or GSE though, since it's safe to use around the bird. And PTFE/PFOA (teflon) coating on cookware/heaters can be fatal once heated to a certain temperature (there are people who have burned one thing in the kitchen and lost their entire flock), most of us use stainless steel/ceramic/iron instead.

    For the heat, as long as it's not TOO hot, they should be fine. My parrot prefers the temperature around 80F and humid. Anything under 60F and he's shivering with cold.
    Last edited by Marrie; 06-15-2014 at 11:23 AM.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Great to see others have stepped up and sorted you out.
    Some of my own thoughts.
    Work with each bird one at a time for training, but try and keep them out and playing together, unless you see any agro. If they mature together they will be more inclined to become and stay buddies.
    If you can find away to keep the cages close, but far enough apart so that they cannot reach each other, would allow them to interact.
    I am not in favor of stacking cages.
    Grit! This a weird one. Grit that we are talking about is any hard grit like used in grinding. Garnet, sharp sand, quartz, silica, diamond grit, if you see what I mean. Do not use this at any time.
    Grit as in soft grit (this is where the word is miss used, as these are not a true grit) is ok if it can dissolve in the gut and crop. Crushed shell is called things like oyster shell grit.
    Natural branches are the best by far for your birds. Fresh can be used, just need to be clean of bird pooh and other s contaminates. Some worry about cooking in an oven. Personally I do not do that. And with the older ones from the bird area I just scrub with HOT water and some dish washing liquid, rinse and leave in the sun to dry.
    Here is a site that lists many things about safe and bad. Woods food and the like.
    http://www.parrot-and-conure-world.c...for-birds.html

    My comments on adding anything to the water is I do not do it unless there is no other way. Most things turn the water very fast and there is no way of telling if the birds are getting any or a regulated dose.
    And technically there should not be any reason to add supplements unless the diet is very poor.
    A wellness vet check is always a good thing when taking in any new bird.
    The stick of seeds in the Budgie cage is interesting, I wonder what it is held together with? Spray millet maybe a better option. Plain if you can get it, not adulterated.
    Same with any seed mix, though this can be hard to find in the States.
    I think the others have covered foods alright.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Clive - Those seed sticks are very common over here in stores. They are typically held together with a honey based "glue" mix. Sometimes corn syrup (lafeber's uses corn syrup for their seed balls and such). I let mine have a honey one every so often.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Thanks Marrie
    The corn syrup glue I would not worry about, but not go with the honey ones in general.
    But as a treat on the odd occasion would be sweet. Excuse the pun. I do mean I would also use.
    If glued together with honey I would not have it as a full time food item.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    If those cages have doors which slide up and down, you need to get some clips on them - especially for the lovebird. They love exploring, and can lift those up pretty easily lol

    How well do you know the lovie breeder? I only ask as I would argue the age quite a bit. I'd say s/he's neared 6- 8 weeks based on the feathering and markings already. Although that's actually a good thing

    You'll have to come share pics on the lovebird board - we love babies - and there aren't enough fischer's (I'm assuming s/he's a fischer's) on there.

    As to mixing with the Bug? Maybe. Eyering lovies are generally easier going than peachies - and I've had a masked and have a fischer's who interact well with budgies - however, I wouldn't recommend it unless you know your birds really well. And only ever supervised and out of the cage. I wouldn't house them together - and at the end of the day, your little lovebird has a beak strong enough to bite through and adult man's thumbnail (yeah, mine did... but I did warn the vet he wouldn't like being held that way lol). And they are FAST little beggers

    And really, really watch them with windows and doors. I don't know many birds who can hover in mid-air or start on the floor, twist up round your legs and land on your shoulder in one motion.


    Thanks Lee for the adorable sig!

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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Hello again.

    It's been over a week now and i'd like to share a final status report including some photos taken by a potato, i'm truly sorry about the quality, it was all i had yesterday.

    First of all, i would like to thank each and every one of you once more for your interest of sharing your knowledge and experience which helped us greatly. This network is truly the place to be when one needs to be a part of such a community of bird-lovers. I'll inform every single acquaintance of mine who hosts a domestic bird about this portal.

    ---

    Back to the our lovely little buddies, Bilbo & Sheriff;

    All you've suggested on bird-sand, vitamins, fruits & vegetables has been noted and are applied (or will be applied soon enough) in their best interest.

    I haven't had enough time this week to arrange larger cages, but for now their "peace of mind" levels which is kind of read from their body language seem quite acceptable. And we got Sheriff a swinger. He loves it.

    They're only alone in the mornings, my wife's back home at noon. And we usually put up some music on in the mornings for them. They're generally quite alright and even energized more with our presence near them.

    Yesterday during our very first out of the cage free time, me & Sheriff, we did even break the no-touching rule.
    http://imgur.com/OsLV48l

    Altho Bilbo says he still needs some thinking to do in order to let me offer my finger to him as a perch. Their first flight was wonderful. Bilbo is like a helicopter, he's a real pro. Sheriff is more like a glider, but he was quite successful, did not hit anything hard, he merely tried to figure out how to get high altitude without touring the whole room.
    http://imgur.com/mIjL33u
    http://imgur.com/mRDdsCM
    http://imgur.com/CFfA363

    They usually ended up together on top of their cages.
    http://imgur.com/n4rht9E
    http://imgur.com/EJZW6O0

    Bilbo used his peak very gently (and under very close supervision) to scratch various spots on Sheriff's body & head. It felt like he was almost caressing his child tenderly. His reply was lovely. I'm sorry about the bad quality once more.
    http://imgur.com/n4umxO1
    http://imgur.com/QUnXQNP (They stood like that for nearly a minute. Sheriff's head was on Bilbo's shoulder like that.)

    The funniest thing happened yesterday while i was kissing (from a safe distance) them goodbye, i've noticed Bilbo's perch being a bit loose and put my hand inside his cage to arrange it. Oddly, he did not panic or didnt even seem disturbed my hand inside his home, he merely watched my hand's movement from his perch while i was meddling with it. And he mistakenly stepped up on my ring-finger as if it was another branch of his perch. He did not notice it for like 5 seconds till i move my finger slightly. When he did, well he panicked, jumped off my finger with a tiny scream, off to another spot in his cage, stared at me for another 5 seconds and began tweeting like he was dressing me down. It was too cartoonish for me to not laugh my *** off in the middle on the night.

    That's all from us for now. I'll try to keep up with this professional & caring community for any help we might need to ask for,
    Or any fine picture & story we might have to share. Have a nice day.
    Last edited by Straud; 06-23-2014 at 05:15 AM.

  14. #14
    Administrator Tailfeather Community Administrator
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    Marie
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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    Haha they do have trouble noticing fingers sometimes aren't just any other piece of material. I'm sure Bilbo was telling you how awful you were to let him think the finger was a perch for that long.

    I'm glad they are getting along outside the cage. Preening each other is a great sign! Such a cute pair. Thank you for sharing the pictures.

  15. #15
    Tailfeather
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    Ellen
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    Re: I got home a Lovebird, just to see my wife has a Parakeet waiting for me.

    They are sooooooooo precious. I love the pics. They sure do seem to be bonding with each other. That is great to see. Sometimes, birds surprise us in ways we never expected. From the way these two are behaving towards each other, it just may be the lovebird will not be aggressive toward the budgie, and in due time they can be in a big cage together. Time will tell!

    I love the feathering colors of both of them. The budgie is very unique in color. And the lovebird has super bright feathering.

    Thanks for the update, and do stop back often and let us know how they are doing.

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