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Thread: Behavior and Diet Questions About A Newly Rescued White-Winged Parrot

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg Voxhaularific's Avatar
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    Behavior and Diet Questions About A Newly Rescued White-Winged Parrot

    Hey everyone,
    This is my first post on the site. My girlfriend and I recently and very unexpectedly got a white-winged parakeet and I've been researching like crazy, but still have some questions. Anything you can share from your experiences and expertise would be greatly appreciated! In the paragraph below is the background information about how we got her and everything, but feel free to skip straight to the questions.
    (WWP= White-winged parakeet)


    I've always been an animal lover and always loved birdwatching, but I'd never considered getting a pet bird. However, just under 3 weeks ago, my girlfriend came home with a white-winged parakeet. While she was downtown waiting in a line, a guy approached the line trying to sell a bird he had in a grocery bag. Besides the fact that it is summer time here and super hot, she said it was, obviously and understandably, freaked out from being in the bag. She felt so bad for it that she bought the bird and brought it straight home. Unfortunately, we don't know the sex or age. When she asked him the species he just said "parrot," so the first thing we had to do was figure out what species it was. This is my first pet bird, so I'm still learning about basic care, diet, training, etc. I normally do a ton of research before buying a pet, so since this situation I didn't have that chance, I appreciate any input you have.


    1. My first question is the most general and will be a huge help as far as helping me research more. Can information on other parrot species, specifically parakeet species, apply to WWP? There isn't a ton of information online for WWP like there is for other species (like budgies for example). When I say information, I'm talking about basic care, diet, and training.
    Also, anyone knows of good resources for WWP that a basic google search wouldn't turn up, I'd really appreciate it!

    Diet
    2. (Quantity) How much should a WWP eat every day? Like I said, it is my first bird, so I don't know if these kinds of birds will gorge themselves if you leave too much food in the cage. I've been giving her 3 large spoonfuls of bird seed mix and between 6-10 kernels of corn every day. I've read that they should be eating about 70% seed and 30% vegetables, but it doesn't specify the quantity.

    3. (Variety) Since we've had her, she has refused to eat anything other than corn and bird seed. Is this enough for her nutritionally? It seems really limited to me. I've offered her almost every fruit and vegetable that the care guides mentioned. I've offered them cooked and raw, thin slices and thick, I tried putting only the new food in the cage, and I've tried mixing it with the food she likes. Since she only eats corn, I even hollowed out the kernel and chopped extremely small pieces, mixed it with the corn and put it back. All she did was pick out the other pieces and if she couldn't, she just dropped the kernel. I've offered (Fruits: Peaches, fig, mango, nectarines and bananas) (Vegetables: broccoli, lettuce, carrot, peas, beans, and corn) (Other: Boiled egg)

    4. Does anyone have any tips or tricks to get her to eat other foods?

    Behavior
    5. Is their behavior similar enough to budgies that I could use resources on them for training and behavioral questions? If not, does anyone know of good resources?

    6. (Behavior Change) We've had her for just under 3 weeks. After about a week, she seemed to adjust to her new settings and she even sat on both of our hands while eating corn and if we sat next to the cage, she'd still eat and not worry about us too much. However, last week her behavior completely changed. She was normal at the beginning of the day. I work from home and I was home alone that day. We don't have any other pets, so it was just the two of us in the house. When I ate lunch, I sat next to her cage and gave her some corn and she was fine. However, I went to my office for about 2 hours and when I came back out she was really afraid of me. She freaked out and went as far as she could in the cage to get away from me. I thought it was temporary, so I let her be, but later that night, when my girlfriend got home, she was still visibly afraid of us. We thought she'd be fine the next day, but it was the same. Since that day, she has been really afraid of us. She will take corn from us again, but won't eat it until we go to the other side of the room. She will act like she is sleeping or just sit still while we are in the room, but start playing the second we leave the room. Anyone have an idea of what would have caused this or have you experienced something similar? Any advice on how to help her get over this?

    Thanks in advance for the help everyone! Even if you have advice that is unrelated to my questions, I'd greatly appreciate any and all advice or hearing others' experiences.
    -Blake

  2. #2
    Tailfeather
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    Re: Behavior and Diet Questions About A Newly Rescued White-Winged Parrot

    Hi, Blake, and welcome to the community. Congrats on bringing home your new beautiful white tail budgie. It sounds to me like she is settling in really well. Eating out of your hands already is amazing. Do not be concerned she has been frightened of you. All birds are afraid of hands. It takes time for them to trust you. One day they will, the next day they may be afraid. Do not force the issue. Just let him or her be in the cage, with the toys, foods, etc., for awhile. Then try giving a treat, such as millet sprig seeds, or a piece of the corn. It takes a few weeks for them to be comfortable enough to trust you both.

    You have a great selection of foods for him or her. Go online and search for birdy chop and Birdy bread for budgies. There are great recipes there. Make the chop and then take an ice cube tray and put some of the chop in each cube, and then put the tray in the freezer. When you want one cube, just pop it out, let it thaw somewhat, and then put on a small plate. Take a little of the mix and put in a separate cup for him or her to eat.and then freeze ther rest and get out one cube each day. You can make the birdy bread I mentioned, and give him some on a plate and also try feeding him some veggie chop as well as the bread in your hand

    Time and patience are on your side. We will welcome updates anytime. Enjoy your journey! Budgies, are beautiful, smart, happy, loving birds who love life, their swings, their food and seeds and water, and YOU!
    Last edited by maxollie; 03-15-2021 at 11:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Brand New Egg Voxhaularific's Avatar
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    Re: Behavior and Diet Questions About A Newly Rescued White-Winged Parrot

    Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it. I'll definitely try to make it.

  4. #4
    Parakeets breeding Brand New Egg
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    Re: Behavior and Diet Questions About A Newly Rescued White-Winged Parrot

    Hi Blake,
    I’m fairly new to Tailfeathers also. I have been raising budgies for about 10 years now. But I have an outside Avairy and do not handle my budgies. I have from time to time had one or two as an inside pet but just to hand tame them quickly because I was giving them to my students.
    I have a cage of six right now that I bring in every night because they had bout of FRENCH MOLT. It’s a disease that stops there feathers from growing. Shredded carrots are helping them to grow back in.

    Anyway back to the subject of feeding new foods. I had some eating issues before. I was told by the owner of the shop I go to, to feed fruit and veggies in the morning and seeds in the afternoon and evening. Corn is a winter vegetable usually. It will speed up their metabolism to keep them warm in the winter. One day I started giving them fruit and veggies in the morning. I take out their seed cups. Now granted I am feeding 40 where you are feeding one. But by removing the seed it help them to explore the new food. Give the same kind of fruit or veggies for at least a week or two. Let them get use to the look, smell and shape of the food. You can hang it from the cage, put it on the floor, in a food cup, string it on a rope. Anything to get your bird curious to try it.

    When it comes to seeds I give them a cup or bowl full. I blow off the shells or shafts gently in the trash, and put the cup back. They eat whenever they want. You never want to leave the cage empty of food or water. They metabolize food quickly. They need to eat about 1/2 their body weight daily. If you are training try to train it do it in between feedings when your bird is a little hungry. The same time every day. I usually take my birds out and train my birds in the bathtub where it’s a small space. But I clip my keets wings when I’m training especially if I’m giving the birds away.

    I also use fresh grass. I don’t spray chemicals or anything on my backyard grass so I know it’s safe. Sometime the grass has small seeds on the tips. I cut the grass with scissors and give it to my flock you don’t use a lot of grass. I thought since parakeets are originally from Australia and called grassland parakeets grass is a natural. Then back to seeds in the afternoon. For training continue with the millet like Ellen said. Eventually your bird will find its favorite food and that also can be used as a reward for training sessions.

    When I introduce new food they might not eat it or even look at it. Removing their seed cup they had no choice if they wanted breakfast. I sprinkled a little seed and millet on it. In the afternoon I replace it with a cup of seeds for them enough to last through the night till they go to sleep. Just before I cover them I put the fruit and veggies back in the cage an quickly cover them to go to sleep. So when they are uncovered in the morning they have their fresh food and grass for morning breakfast. I sometimes put the food on a skewer like a kabob of fruits and veggies in the Avairy. Peeled apples, pears, orange slices, lettuce, spinach, and in the summer they love watermelon, they get broccoli and cauliflower and sometime a boiled egg or scrambled. Remember absolutely NO AVOCADO, onion or chocolate. It will kill your bird.

    Is that a picture of your bird on your question page? It looks like a parrotlet. Is your parakeet solid white or just the wings. Does it have stripping on its head, back, and wings? Just curious. Add a picture if you can. That way Ellen, I or someone can tell you exactly what kind of bird you have. There are many different types of parakeets. Bourks, ringneck, budgies, princesses all of them different sizes. That way we could narrow it down what kind and where it’s original origins come from. That will help with food choices as well.

    Sorry for the ramble. During COVID I’ve been shelter inside my home. I tend to talk too much. Probably from not being around to many people to talk to. Plus I like texting and meeting new people this way.
    Good luck with your new bird. Let us know what you choose for a name.
    Stacey/iyecats
    Last edited by iyecats; 03-20-2021 at 05:14 AM. Reason: Misspell words

  5. #5
    Tailfeather boomer girl's Avatar
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    Re: Behavior and Diet Questions About A Newly Rescued White-Winged Parrot

    Wow Stacey, GREAT post and it wasnt rambling at all. I loved the information you posted and glad happy to see you hear on the forum.

    I have to say that some birds will never get use to being a people friendly bird and time a patience will be something it will take for your little bird to get use to you. Talk to your new one all the time and keep on trying to feed it through the bars and one day you might be surprised it will take the food the from you. I had better luck feeding dehydrated foods to our lovebird Boomer and now my daughters Conure is a food addict and will eat any thing and every thing you give to him. Cut the foods up differently, serve on a plate or maybe even toss it in its cage onto the floor. Just keep trying and one day it will figure it out that the food you are giving is really good stuff.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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