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About Scott

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    Budgie Hatchling
  • Birthday 18/06/1981

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    Science, native fish and aquatic life, aquaria, rockclimbing, kayaking, mountain biking, camping, fishing
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  1. Hi all, Just another update on Bernie's progess. Since the last post I have been taking him away from his cage and sitting with him in another room for half an hour or so at a time. At first he would get sick of perching on my finger and jump off after a few minutes, then run around frantically looking for a way back to his cage. Gradually he seems to have gotten more comfortable with the idea of sitting on my finger, and he'll stay there for much longer before he gets bored. The best part is that now, when he jumps off, he just runs around for a few seconds before coming back to me, and he'll jump straight back onto my finger when I put my hand out. He seems to have figured out that hopping onto my finger will always get him up high where he prefers to be. Over the last couple of days I have been working on getting him to sit on my shoulder. He didn't get it at all at first, but he's starting to figure it out now. He spent about an hour and half sitting there this morning, and I eventually had to take him back to his cage because I had to go out. He was sitting on my shoulder again when I started writing this post, but he bailed out after the first sentence and went back to his cage to play with his toys. . . Anyway, we're getting there.
  2. Well, it has been about two and a half weeks since we brought Bernie home and things are going well. He has come out of his shell, and spends a lot of time chirping and singing to us when we talk to him. He likes music, especially acoustic blues apparently. Jeff Lang was a big hit the other day. He has good taste. Training is going well too. I have been constantly offering him bribes like millet spray and various grasses with seed heads attached. At first he was straight into any sort of grass seed but not really interested in the millet. That has changed in the last couple of days. He seems to have suddenly figured out that millet is delicious. So delicious in fact that it is even worth standing on my scary finger if that is what it takes to get some. He will now hop straight onto my finger when I offer it and say 'Up!' (as long as I am holding some millet). He still doesn't like to come of his cage much. We leave the door open all the time while we are in the house. Occasionally he gets agitated and starts hopping from perch to perch, chattering and flapping his wings before launching himself out the door. Because his wings are clipped he always ends up fluttering to the floor, where he runs around in disoriented little circles for a minute before catching sight of the stick that leads from the floor back to his cage. As soon as he spots it he runs straight to it and climbs up it like a rocket. I haven't yet been able to interest him in any food during these outings. He is too concerned with getting back to the cage, but he will sit quietly on my finger and munch his millet as long as I don't move more than a metre or so away from the cage door.
  3. Hmm. 70 F. Thats about 20 on the real scale right? That sounds pretty warm. Surely they can handle lower temperatures than that? The only reason I was concerned is that he is on his own. I assume that wild budgies huddle together on cold nights to keep warm. Toowoomba gets pretty cool in winter, but probably no worse than the overnight lows out west. I have only lived here for a little while. If I was still living in Armidale, where it regularly goes below -10, I would be really worried.
  4. Since we're going into winter I thought it might be good to ask for advice on keeping our new budgie warm at night. I understand the protecting them from draughts is the most important part, but what about just low temperatures? Can budgies fluff themselves up and keep warm enough as long as there is no wind chill? We cover the cage with a blanket at night, but since he is on his own and overnight temperatures are getting quite cool now I'm still a bit concerned about him getting cold. Would a hot water bottle (wrapped in towels etc) in the cage help?
  5. I only tried popcorn because the budgie we used have loved it, and it was the key to getting him tame. I'll mix up a bit of chopped carrot etc in his seed dish and see what he does with it. I just checked and I think he may actually have eaten some of the pumpkin. It was really just a few pumpkin seeds with a bit of fleshy stuff still attached. I'll give Kaz's egg mixture a go as well.
  6. Just an update on Bernie's progress. Today is his fourth day here. He seems to be settling. He spends more time moving around his cage, chewing the bark on the perches, preening etc, and he is getting a bit more talkative. I had a good conversation with him yesterday, although he was speaking budgie so I'm not sure what he was saying . He often chirps when he hears the galahs and lorikeets outside. When we set the cage up we naively believed the packaging on a swing that we bought at the pet shop with a sandpaper perch. After perusing the forums here I have discovered that sandpaper is more likely to harm than good, so I removed the perch from the swing and replaced it with a piece of eucalyptus cut to fit. He wouldn't go near the swing before, and when I put him on it he'd always jump straight off, but now he loves it, and seems to have adopted it as his favourite perch. He is eating plenty of seed from his dish, but he won't touch anything else. I have offered him pumpkin, pear, and popcorn. The budgie we had when I was a kid used to love most types of grass seed, so I picked a few different grasses with seed heads attached and pegged them to the side of his cage, but he has shown no interest. He doesn't even show any interest in millet sprays. He doesn't seem to recogise them as food. He just clambers over the top of them and ignores them. I also tried some green gum leaves and a sprig of parsley to see if he'd be interested in chewing on them, but no success. Its a bit frustrating because I'm trying to find something he likes to bribe him with to get him to come to my hand. He will step up onto my finger with a bit of persuasion, but I can't give him any incentive to stay there, because all he wants to eat is the seed in his dish. Does anyone have any suggestions?
  7. okay, as requested in the intro section of the forum. Bernie is settling down a bit. He gets morning sun on his cage and this morning he was sitting in it basking and looking very content. He was happy to let me stroke him a bit and even let me talk him into hopping on my finger so he could come and sit on his 'veranda' for a photo session. Here is the handsome little guy in all his glory And a couple of portraits And a photo of his bachelor pad. I haven't been able to coax him out of his own free will yet, but he will let me bring him out sometimes and will sit on the perches outside. There is another stick leading from the door down to the floor. I have brought him out a few times and let him climb it to try to teach him how to get back into his cage from the floor. He hasn't quite figured it out yet, but he's still a bit nervous around me.
  8. Well, I've been home all day today and young Bernie is already starting to perk up a bit. He's gone back to sulking in the corner at the moment, but he was singing earlier and he has had a couple of sessions sitting on the edge of his seed dish stuffing his face. Putting newspaper on the floor of the cage made a big difference. He seems like running around on it. He's an independent minded little character too. He will let me touch him and even climb onto my finger if he feels inclined, but sometimes he avoids me. I've already had him out of the cage (always close to the door so he can jump back in if he wants) stepping up from one finger to the other.
  9. Thanks for the welcome guys. I'll have to work on some photos of Bernie the budgie. He's still feeling pretty shy. I've just learned that he is an olive green dominant pied budgie. . . As for the fish related stuff, I could go on for hours. I'll get a few photos together and post them in the off topic area.
  10. okay, thanks for the advice. I'll put some newspaper down on the floor with a couple of chinese food containers for seed and water. Hopefully he will come out of his shell soon. He was warbling very softly this morning when we got up, but he's been silent ever since. He seems to be a fast learner. He's already stepping onto my finger without too much encouragement, but he usually hops straight off at the earliest oppurtunity.
  11. Here he is, Yellow pied? Is that right? okay, I'll just give him some time. Would it be best to just leave him alone for a few days to settle, or is it okay to keep approaching the cage and talking to him etc. He will sit there and let me stroke his chest without protesting, but maybe I should just give him some space for a while? edit: resized the image
  12. Hi All, I am pretty new to budgies, having just brought a new one home yesterday. We hope to tame him and keep him as a household pet. I'm not particularly interested in breeding at this stage, although I do find the genetics interesting as I have a background in biology, and some of the colour varieties are very beautiful, although I still like the old wild type budgies. I have a quite a lot of experience keeping and breeding Australian native fish, and the goals there are a bit different. We usually try to stay as true to the wild type as possible, and cull any mutations that might show up. Anyway, I look forward to learning from you all, and hopefully sharing some stories about our new budgie (Bernie). I posted a question about him in the pet budgies section. Cheers, Scott
  13. Hi All, I am new to this forum and apart from a family budgie that we had years ago when I was kid I am pretty new to budgies as well. We brought a new budgie home yesterday that we bought from a reputable breeder here in Toowoomba. His name is Bernie and he's six weeks old. We stood and watched the birds in the cage for a while before choosing one, and tried to pick the most active sociable bird. We took the advice of the breeder and had his wings clipped to make it safer and easier to train him, even though he is already used to being picked up and is not really afraid of people's hands. The plan is to have him well trained by the time he moults. After that he will be free to fly around the house whenever we are around. So far he has only been home for 24 hours, but I am a bit concerned about how quiet he is. He was one of the most active birds in the breeder's cage, but now he just sits quietly on a perch in the corner of his cage. I've spent some time talking to him, and he will let me stroke his belly and will step up onto my finger, but he clearly feels nervous about it. But as soon as I let him climb back onto a perch in his cage he gets comfortable and then just sits there, not moving, for hours on end. He has eaten very little since we got him home, and he is not interested in bribes like popcorn or dry bread that I have tried waving in front of him. Am I worrying too much? Pushing him to hard by putting my hand near him? Does he just need time to settle in, or is it likely that something is wrong? Maybe he just needs to adjust to the new surroundings and not having other birds around? Any advice would be much appreciated. Cheers, Scott
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