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Thread: Mirror, or no mirror?

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Washington State
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    Mirror, or no mirror?

    Hello, I've had my budgie Shanti for a month now. He was born toward the end of last March, so he is not very old. We are bonding some, as I talk with him a lot every day (working from home now) and sit with him while the cage is open and he is on an outside perch. He is still very scared of my hands and is not at all interested in stepping up. He does listen to me and show some Parakeet happiness, fluffing neck feathers when he hears my voice, resting on one foot when we have our "talks," and cocking his head & looking at me intently when I sing or talk with him in my birdie voice (soft, sing-song). He seems a healthy, happy bird, but I have a question I wonder about every day. Should there be a mirror in his cage, or no? I've read that mirrors can be shiny, fun things for birds to play with, and it is his very favorite place to be. I tended to think he just liked the fact that it is the highest place to perch in the cage, it swings and he seems to like that, and he likes to bite at the wood framing the mirror, and probably likes that it's very shiny. He often sits on the mirror perch looking away from the mirror, so I thought it was not a problem. Well, yesterday I found regurgitated food stuck to the mirror. I've read that some birds can become very attached to the mirror-bird, thinking it is another bird in the flock. Instead of bonding to the human, birds can become overly attached to the bird in the mirror and less so with their human. I want a loving, strong relationship with this bird, so I'm concerned. At the same time, in the future, when all this COVID-19 business is over, I will not be home all day to interact. I already put on the radio when I have to leave for any amount of time, but am thinking the mirror comforts him in some way and I hate to take it away from him. Please any and all respond to this post with your thoughts, whatever they are. I want to do the right thing by Shanti, and also want to promote the best bonding possible with me. He spends a good bit of his day out of the cage at this time, so limited interaction with the mirror. He does "check-in" with mirror-bird when he's out and about. Thank-you in advance for any help y'all can offer. Jacki
    It's not the end you journey toward, but the journey that matters, in the end. Ursula K. LeGuin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    USA Midwest
    Thanked 1,297 Times in 1,296 Posts

    Re: Mirror, or no mirror?

    I have had budgies in my home for many years. Most of those years I only had one budgie at a time. Their mirror, and swing, were their favorites, and their mirror girlfriends or boyfriends were very special to them, and a comfort to them when I worked everyday. I found that in my situation, the mirror never interfered with my interaction with my budgies. The regurgitating you speak of is a somewhat hormonal behavior, because looking into the mirror, of course he sees his friend. Being so young now, and not having real hormone issues, until he is about 9-12 months of age, if it were me, I would allow him to have his mirror, until such time his hormones kick in and his behavior toward you changes. Hopefully, that will not happen. He needs the mirror, especially now. Hopefully, it will never change his relationship and friendship with you.

    Playing the radio for him while you are gone is awesome! I used to also play cartoons on my TV for my budgie when I was not home.

    We will welcome your updates anytime!

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