In the US, there is estimated to be 20 million companion birds who call our homes their homes. Many of which include the small-but-mighty Budgie (aka Budgerigar/Parakeet/Melopsittacus undulatus).
I've seen both the joys that come with sharing our lives with these awesome little floofs, but I also have seen a lot of sorrow. Needless to say, the sorrow is what I want to prevent, and if you're reading this, I'd like to think you're on board with that.
During the First Annual Budgie Week, Birdhists sent me stories they wanted to share about their beloved companions. I believe, through stories like these, people will be motivated to care a little bit more about Budgies; to see their true inherent worth, and be motivated to do better by these birds who are so often dismissed as, "just a budgie" or "starter bird."
I hope you enjoy them and feel free to share your own Budgie Stories in the comments below.
"Compassion is not helpless pity, but an awareness and determination that demands action." - Dalai Lama
"I wanted to submit some photos and the story of my wonderful budgie kids. I never miss a chance to talk about my beloved birds.
All of my budgies are rescues and I know it sounds cliché, but they saved me. I have 4 budgies in my flock. My American parakeet, Daisy and three English budgies, Nigel, Frankie and George.
I rescued Daisy over 14 years ago. She was abandoned and I adopted her as soon as I saw her. She was so feisty and a beautiful singer.
A few years later, I adopted Nigel, my gray and white English budge. He was a "runt" and was discarded by a breeder. He was so motley and scrappy when I brought him home. After a few months of getting good food and having less stress, he blossomed into the most handsome bird. Daisy became friends with him instantly.
Two years later I came across some English budgies in need of a new home. Frankie was a big blue and white boy who was only 1 year old and George was a really bright green and yellow and was 8 years old. I don't know what Frankie went through in his first year but he was so anxious and nervous.
George was a sweet boy who had been a breeder bird his whole life and was tossed aside since he was thought to be no longer useful as a breeder due to his age. I adopted them both on the spot. Those two are still the closest of buddies.
All of my birds had come into my life at just the right time. I had just moved into my new home when I found Daisy. I had suddenly lost my only parent, my dad, when I found Nigel and I was going through a divorce when I found George and Frankie.
My happy budgie family makes me so happy, and I am so happy to have them in my life. I have tried very hard to bring them as much happiness as they bring me.
Sadly my girl Daisy passed last year at age 14. She was feisty until the very end. She kept the boys in line! I cannot imagine my home without the chatter and song of budgies. They are so loving and playful. They definitely bring me total joy.
Only Nigel is hand tamed. Sometimes Frankie will step up onto my finger but I don't force him as he gets nervous. George is not used to being handled so I don't force him either. They are now ages 3, 6 and 10. I call the boys my "land, sea, and sky" due to their colors.
I have gone on too long as I always do when talking about my birds.
-Dawn, Nigel, Frankie and George
(I too go on too long about birds, this is the best place to do it, Dawn) <3
"My husband I got Millet three years ago after we had just moved in together. I wasn’t a bird person yet but Millet changed me. He was the sweetest, most curious, funniest bird I’ve ever known.
He came from a pet store (we know better now) so he was colony bred and not hand reared, Millet was never as handleable as other budgies and never liked letting us scritch him but he had such a huge, exuberant personality we didn’t care. He loved zooming around, exploring new places, playing with his mirror-bell and giving his dad beak taps and giving me kisses.
Back in June Millet began limping and showing a lameness in his leg. We were obviously terrified and took him to the vet. We found no broken foot but were told it was one of two things, a deep tissue injury in the foot or cancer. We took Millet home, gave him a safer cage, and watched him recover. But he seemed off in hindsight, less active and his molt just wasn’t coming in right. But he still played, sang, and loved us and his bonded cage mate Poppy until September 2nd.
He had been happy and vibrant all day but in the evening maybe husband shouted that Millet coughed up blood and in five minutes, our baby was gone. Millet never talked. Millet never liked getting scritches or being held. Millet was an ‘ordinary’ budgie in a lot of ways. But that ‘ordinary’ budgie was my blue boy, My wonderbird, the bluebird of happiness. He filled every day with scream songs and his antics and kindled in me a deep love of all birds.
Millet is the best bird I’ve ever known and I want to share his life with everyone."
I saw your post about Budgie Week and wanted to introduce you to two of my little feathered friends, Barnum and Bailey.
They have the honor of being my first pair of winged buddies and introduced me to the joys of being a bird owner.
These two are the best of friends and spend the majority of their days playing closely together and flying laps around our living room. They are completely inseparable, and wherever one goes the other is sure to follow... especially if there’s a chance to get into trouble. They are picky about trying new things but are crazy about millet. 🌾
From their little home they have an excellent view of the neighborhood and are always around to see me off in the morning and welcome me home in the afternoon. The spend the rest of the day spying on our neighbor’s chickens across the street, but they’re not entirely sure of what to make of them yet.
These two have been an absolute joy to have around and their quirky antics have always been fun to watch."
"This is Chickpea! She was surrendered to our local vets a few days ago and they rang us asking if we would be able to take her in, as we are a small bird rescue.
She’s still settling in and getting used to free flying around during the day having spend the first two years of her life in a small cage. Her favourite place to perch is on one of the spatulas in my utensils jar. So that belongs to her now.
We’re on the lookout for some budgie friends for her as our current residents, two quakers, are far too big for her to play safely with.
We are hoping by next spring to have an indoor/outdoor aviary established so she can fly even freer."
"And I'm a budgie mum to 6 beautiful budgies. I thought I would take the plunge and get my budgie babies after we rescued a pigeon called Mr. King. He became ours as he would not leave and chose us to be his flock. I thought why not give a little bird a loving home, to maybe a little budgie.
Well that little budgie turned into 4 little babies Blu, Narla, Rio, and Ice,
then the 5th Mahpiya,
then the 6th Aussie.
then a cockatiel Called Odin,
and we rescued 2 canaries Floki and Finch.
Then one day 5 months ago my husband found a very poorly hungry baby pigeon and brought her home. She's called Rebel.
You could say we have a bit of a busy household but I would not change a thing.
My budgie babies all have great and different personalities.
Narla is the boss and the protector and is very much bonded with Rio since we got them.
Rio is very shy and scared of everything, but also loves to sit next to you, and chatter away.
Ice is a bully. She prefers to be left alone, watch the world go by, play with her toys, and screeches at everything.
Blu is bonded to Odin. They are inseparable. Blu is a very chill budgie who loves to sit on his swing most of the day. If he's not doing that, he'll be shouting at his mirror.
Mahpiya is the youngest and is not scared of anything. She very much loves Rebel the pigeon. She is also very playful, brave, chatty, and will try any food you give to her. This is great as the others will then try it (got to get them veggies in 😆). She loves to explore and also like hanging upside down.
Aussie is our newest Budgie he has a big personality he is also brave, tries new things, but refuses to come out the cage even when everyone else does. He's the one to bug everyone just for fun. He is the only one that uses the hamster wheel he loves it. He also has a penguin toy that he adores. No one is allowed to touch it.
Our lives became hectic but I would not charge anything. I love their little characters, they are so fun to have around. They are our little feathered babies ❤️
P. S Narla is the slightly lighter yellow and is a boy. We didn't know about Lutino budgies at the time.
I used to work at Paterson Bird Store, a bird only pet store in Totowa NJ. One day, the owner called me telling me he had a baby English Budgie that had been returned by people who had purchased him there. Upon return, the baby budgie had a huge scab on his breast bone, the size of a dime, which if you think about it, is huge in comparison to the size of a baby budgie.
I immediately drove to the store and he stepped right up on my finger, and I instantly loved him. I rescued him and he became a part of my family.
No time passed and I quickly made a vet appointment for that awful giant scab this poor baby budgie had. My vet, who I have been going to for almost 30 years, suspected abuse. However we have no proof of any of this..so all I could do was love this poor little boy who clearly endured trauma very early in his life.
My mom and I named him Buddy, as he is super friendly, and a little buddy to all. He is a chatty little thing and says about 15 words..
- Marnie Alice
My budgie Stepanek (1999-2014) was the most loving and cheerful little creature I knew and will ever know. He learned many words. When he was ten, he survived a bad case of colic, and when he was about 13, one of his legs became paralyzed, but he adapted after a month and continued to live his happy life for another two years.
In my experience, due to their size, cost, and availability, they sometimes are regarded like items that are cheap, small, and plentiful. They don't meet expectations, their upkeep is burdensome, and people lose interest, and because of this, they are not treated with the love and all care critters deserve.
They are cheap, small, and plentiful. Some people don't make the connection that these guys are living creatures not things.
There are people that fail to treat them live living creau them from products that are also, cheap, small, and plentiful.
Not all birds are cared for as well as they should be.