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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > General Budgie Talk > Budgie Behavior


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  #1  
Old 02-27-2017, 11:19 AM
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Default Budgie Body Language

Hi Everyone,

I have an 8 year old daughter that absolutely loves birds. We have been on bird watching adventures with our local nature association and she is becoming more passionate by the day. So we decided to look into a budgie for her.

Our budgie is young, it still has lines going all the way to cere, large black eyes and is still getting its cere color so we are not sure if its a boy or girl yet. Budgies name is moonbeam and was purchased from a Petland store about 7 days ago.



Between my wife, my daughter and myself we have read pretty much every budgie forum and site we can find but I was hoping for a little direct tutoring.

We put the box we got her (I will call it her for now) in at the bottom of the cage (which is about 18"Lx18"Wx26"D) and after a few hours she came out and hopped up onto a perch. From day 1 my daughter would sit near the cage and read her a book, everyday at about the same time.

After a couple of days I noticed her body language change (I have a webcam pointed at her so I can watch her from work lol, obsessed already). She was initially very rigid and sat still in the sample place all day. The she kind of just started to look relaxed, hard to explain but didn't look rigid anymore).

My daughter and I started to put our hand in the cage slowly and birdie accepted that without any fuss. We transitioned to trying to get her to step up on a finger.

This is where things get a little interesting. You could put your finger on her breast just above her feed and push until she was almost falling backward off the perch. She just sat there and after a couple of tries would crawl up onto the side of the cage to get away, kind of like she was annoyed. If we move our finger vertically so to catch a nail as we move upward we can get her to put a foot up. With my daughter she will sometimes step up but them immediately jump off to a different perch, she won't stay up.

We have also held millet just out of her reach to force her to step onto our hand, which she is hesitant but does.

What I have noticed is that she seems to step up briefly then hop off, my daughter gets happy and praises her. She then re-orients herself back to the same spot and my daughter repeats. I am not sure if birdie is playing a game or is scared.

My daughter is totally in love with her bird and I want to be able to give her the correct coaching and advice to help them bond. I also desperately want to get birdie out of the cage for some exercise but won't until she can step up semi-reliably.

What do you guys think? Should we continue with the routine and practice step-ups or do you have any advice?


Last edited by FaeryBee; 02-27-2017 at 04:08 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-27-2017, 11:54 AM
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Welcome to the forums and the ever exciting world of budgie ownership!
You have certainly come to the right place as you will find all you need to know on budgie care here.
It's good that you and your family have been researching on how to take good care of Moonbeam and surely the information on the several articles and sticky threads at the top of each section of the forums will be useful and of benefit to you and your new little friend.
If you post more of a close up picture, a front shot of the whole beak/cere area in natural lighting (no flash from camera), we can help in identifying Moonbeam's gender.
From the little I'm seeing on the photo you posted, the cere seems to be mainly whitish in colour, if that is the case, then you have a young female.

As for the training and while it's great that Moonbeam has managed to relax a bit after the first couple of days of being home with you, it's still too soon to take a more hands on approach in training.
Generally speaking, it's best to wait at least a couple of weeks, allow the new budgie to fully settle into the house and allow him/her the time to get to know their family too, of getting the budgie used to your presence/voice and allow the bird to realise you are not a threat.

This is how the foundations of trust are built, by spending time close to the budgie's cage, talking to him/her in a calm, positive, encouraging and reassuring way. With time, the pet bird will give clues for you to take the next step in the actual training and this can be seen once the budgie shows signs of receptiveness towards you, moves closer to you while in the cage and you are able to notice a connection with the budgie.
This is when you can slowly introduce your hand and at first try to offer a little treat to the cage's bars, this will make your budgie associate the hand with something good. Later on, you can start to place your hand inside the cage with the intent of teaching the step up command.
In order to avoid things from getting too overwhelming, it would be better to take the training process more slowly.

For all the detailed information, you can check the stickies at the top of the Taming and Bonding section's main page.
Best of luck!
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:22 PM
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Thank you so much for the feedback!

I will talk to my daughter tonight. We will continue with the talking and reading but will stop hands on stuff for another week.

What are your thoughts on hand fed treats? She Really loves millet. Should we let her eat that from our hands to get her to see us in a positive way?
 
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:36 PM
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You're most welcome!

Yes, you can use millet or another favourite treat your Moonbean likes.
If Moonbeam happens to like fresh vegetables, those can make great healthy snacks. Using praise words will also be a great reward during training.
If you haven't done so already, you can check the information on this link: Using Positive Reinforcement in Training
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:07 PM
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Hi! to Talk Budgies

aluz has given you excellent advice.

We'd love to meet little Moonbeam once she's had some time to get all settled into her new home.
I'm unable to see any picture you may have tried to include in your post.


When you upload pictures as thumbnail attachments directly from your computer, tablet or phone, the forum automatically defaults to landscape.

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Old 02-28-2017, 01:08 PM
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Hi Everyone,

Just a little update. We have stopped attempting the step-up training, again thanks for the feedback. My daughter is continuing to offer treats from her hand and reading a book per day.

Today budgie was doing what we think was beak clicking, but I decided I would upload the video for you guys to watch and see what you think.



Further to that she is starting to chirp more during the day and I think she looks and sounds happy, but again thought I would check with the community.



Sorry if this is being a little annoying, but I feel like a new parent that wants to do everything right. You guys are like my parents re-assuring me everything is ok.
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:25 PM
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In the first video Moonbeam was beak grinding, this is something they do when they are perfectly content and relaxed, this is also associated to the time when they prepare to take a little nap or sleep for the night.
Also this video confirms that your Moonbeam is a girl.

On the second video, Moonbeam is doing a very familiar chirp, the flock calling sound. They use this main chirp to communicate with the flock (whether the flock is made up of same species friends, other birds or just the human family).
It's their "hello" chirp as well as "where are you? Come over here to be with me" chirp depending on the level of intensity of the call as well as the frequency/urgency.
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Old 02-28-2017, 11:14 PM
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The fact that she's chirping and relaxed means that you'll
start to see her becoming more interesting in what you're doing, and are you willing to be friends. Keep doing what you're doing and always spend lots of time with her.
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:53 PM
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So after 9 days our little moonbeam still seems to pick a perch for the day and just stays there pretty still. Is this normal? I am expecting her to move about and explore her cage.

I feel horrible that little birdie isn't getting any exercise.

Does this mean she is still somewhat uncomfortable?
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Old 03-01-2017, 02:58 PM
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I find with my birds, the girls can be the least active and some of them just don't really move from a perch if they don't have too. They are also less likely to come out for a daily fly. Some of them come out nearly every day and some of them might come out once a week.
Her body language for being uncomfortable with you is different to her not wanting to move.

This is still really early days and it takes a long time for budgies to become truly comfortable. Try not to stress about it while you ge her used to you as budgies can pick up on tension.
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