I remember vividly when I brought Jake home in 1996. He was about three months old according to his band. I had read everything about budgie care I could get my hands on before I picked him out, or should I say he selected me! at the pet store. (For 11 years I told him the story of how we both knew that we knew on that day that we were made for each other and why he came home with me that day!)
I had already had his cage all set up, his food ready etc. I'd say it was about 2 weeks before we crossed paths. I say this because I never went out to "get a budgie", rather I was all ready to become a parent and decided that I would just keep looking at the new birds and eventually there would be that "special" moment. Well there was, and what a great 11 years!!
With regard to a budgie's behavior when he is first separated from all the others and brought home to be your best friend, I had pretty much the same experience as the member's other posts. Jake was very quiet and didn't move much for the first day or two.
In 1996 cell phones weren't as common as they were now, so I used to call home from work to check my answering machine messages once a day.
Well, the first day I came home from work, (the second day I had Jake) his cage was strewn with birdseed and looked totally disheveled. I quickly realized that I had placed his cage right near the wall phone and when the call came in he must have panicked!!
A few days later I was slowly reaching in to get his water and food cups to change the contents. He bolted right past my hand and out into the living room. He took a right turn at full speed right into the wall!! THUNK!!! I was very concerned that he might have broken his neck. Fortunately, he was just standing on the ground shaking it off as if to say "....hey...what just happened???!!!"
He allowed me to put my thumb and fingers around him and pick him up and return him to his cage. I don't remember too much about his becoming tame after that except that soon he was out of his cage and flying where ever he wanted to all day.
What I DO remember is, one time he landed on my shoulder and just started talking. Not without training, but it was if a switch was thrown in his little head. For about 2 to 3 months I had been repeating simple phrases to him with no feedback at all. That day he landed on my shoulder and kept saying over and over ....."BIRDIE.....BIRDIE.....JAKEY BIRDIE!!!!" What a wonderful feeling. He never stopped talking after that and subsequently learned about 25 words. He could tell me what he wanted to eat, and at times I swear we had a dialogue.
From my experience the best way to deal with your new guy is to give him a lot of space and always talk to him in a low, relaxed voice when you go near the cage and especially when reaching into it in the beginning.
When I go to pet stores and look at all the budgies playing and yelling and screaming, I can make a few noises I learned from Jake and Birdie and they all stop and move towards the sound with wide-eyes and wonderment. Budgies love to learn and once they trust you it is very easy to teach them new things.
Birdie could navigate through any room in my 7 room house at lightning speed and beat me to my destination. How he knew where I was going I'll never know. He didn't learn this on his own though, I would take him on my shoulder to different rooms and then return to the starting point. Slowly he began to remember the path and before you knew it, he had a play-gym in almost every room in the house!
Put in the time in the beginning and you will have a wonderful experience with your budgie,
one that loves you as much as you love him for many, many years!!! - Mark