Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Homemade Budgie Toys

Your budgies love playing, all day long if they could!

That's why I think you should give your little feathered friends enough toys. You would make them really happy!

You can make them yourself too, some of them are really easy, like this one:

The Bead Spider

This is how the end result looks. Have fun! ^_^

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why do budgies talk?

Recently, Bill Marks from Australia wrote to Burke's Backyard to tell them about his amazing budgerigar, Frederick. Freddie is a male budgie of 4 years old who has an amazing vocabulary. When they visited Bill and Freddie, the budgie introduced himself, welcomed Burke's Backyard to their house, told them what he likes to eat and even asked Don Burke if he liked the garden.

Freddie has learnt about 85 phrases during these four years, including really long sentences. While he was chatting happily with the people from Burke's backyard, he said things like:

"Hello, how are you today?"
"What's your name? Mine's Frederick. Welcome to our house."
"You're a funny man Bill."
"Dick Smith is a true Aussie, just like me."
"Don do you like our garden?"
"Pop cleans my house every day."
"Bill, where's the pussycat?"
"I can talk the leg off an iron pot, can't I Bill."
"More spinach please pop."

"See you later alligator."
"I'm a clever little boy, aren't I?"
"My pop can do anything."
"I'd like some corn please."
"Juliet it's Romeo calling."
"Elementary my dear William."
"I prefer celery to apple."
"Have a good day."
"Bill don't interrupt when I'm talking."

Now, why is it that budgies talk? Don explains that it's no coincidence that male budgerigars are the best talkers. In the wild, each budgerigar, the females in particular, have their own song. When two budgies mate, the male learns to imitate the song from the female, so that a bond is formed between them. A pet budgie wants to do the same thing, he wants to talk to his owner who takes care of him, to create a bond. They want to sing the same song, and the best way to do that is to speak the same language - our language!

Pictures and information from http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vitamin D: a breakthrough for sick budgies

Photo from http://blisstree.com/live/budgie-love/

For many years, budgie breeders have had awful disease problems, encountering outbreaks that sometimes destroyed their whole flock of budgies. On top of that, some birds just never seem to be healthy at all. They just sit on the aviary floor all day, listlessly. Antibiotics and bird medicins help only little, and they don't take the real problem away.

Recently, there has been a major breakthrough which has shown that Vitamin D3 (the vitamin D you get from sunlight) elminiates these problems.

In the article I read, a breeder tells how he tried everything to cure his budgies, but nothing helped. One of the major problems was infertility. Then, a year ago, he read about a new research on vitamin D3: it was breathtaking in its revelations. The research had been performed on humans, but it's also revelant to budgies.

"Vitamin D3 does a lot more than build bones, it is a powerful anticancer agent and it regulates the immune system. Low Vitamin D3 levels in humans have been linked to many serious illnesses: various infectious diseases, cancers (such as breast and prostate) and autoimmune conditions. Identical twin studies showed that increased sun exposure as children can reduce the chance of developing Multiple Sclerosis by up to 57%. The same applies to autoimmune diabetes, Crohn’s Disease and tuberculosis."

(I already read that auto-immune diseases like diabetes are a common problem in the North-Scandinavian areas, where there is no sunlight during the long Winter)

"New research also confirmed that in humans, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to infertility in women and poor quality sperm/ lower fertility in men."

"In humans, ultraviolet B light (which is part of normal sunlight) acts on oil on your skin and turns it into Vitamin D3, which is then re-absorbed. In budgies oil is taken from the preen gland at the base of the tail during preening and is spread all over the feathers. This is turned into Vitamin D3 by sunlight and the birds consume it later on during further preening. This is essential for the budgies’ health."

"It gets worse. Even “full spectrum” fluorescent lights lack UVB light. They produce the wrong sort of UV light, that is UVA. While certain foods contain Vitamin D3 such as cod liver oil, this is a messy and dangerous supplement that does far too little to help. It may assist in safe egg laying and other calcium issues, but not much more."

Basically, the breeder realised that the budgies needed SUNLIGHT. Not just putting the cage behind glass (UV-light doesn't travel trough glass or clear plastic or fibreglass). The budgies needed real sunlight to stay alive and well.

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/patflinschrod/611247100/

The breeder then removed all the glass windows that blocked the sunlight for the budgies, and added vitamin D supplies to their water. He also installed reptile versions of full spectrum lights which had a fair amount of UVB emissions. A year later, the results were spectacular. His budgies lay eggs again, and there were barely any sick or dying budgies.

Not enough people realize that Vitamin D3 via sunlight is one of the best medicins in the world. It creates a protective layer against many diseases and a whole list of cancers. It controls over 1,000 genes in the human body. And there is absolutely no better way to get it than to expose yourself to the sun - as long as you don't exaggerate (then you'll only get skin cancer).
Budgies react to it the same way, so if you want to keep your feathered friends healthy, you should give them some sunlight whenever you can!

Full article: http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Birds/Vitamin-D:-A-Sick-Budgie-Breakthrough/6123

Thursday, September 23, 2010

See How They Grow!

The "See How They Grow" (Pets) series was released in 1995. The video focusses on the lives of 4 pets: kids can see how goldfish, kittens, budgies and puppies play, grow up and learn about the world around them. I picked the budgie episode ^^ See how the little feathered friends grow!

More info: http://www.answers.com/topic/see-how-they-grow-pets

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Budgie Body Language (2)

Budgies puff up their feathers when they're sleeping, BUT sleeping on two legs is always a bad sign!
photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stacylynn/3506213355/#/

Budgies regulate their body temperature with their feathers. If they're cold, they will puff up their feathers; that way, they create an insulating layer of air that holds some wamth. Budgies are not supposed to be "puffed up" all the time, though, unless they are sleeping - but it could also mean that they're ill.

When they're too warm, they spread their wings a little to get cooled down.

Other posts in this series:
Body Language of a sleeping budgie
Body Language of a preening budgie (Budgie Body Language 1)
Budgie Body Language (3)

Budgie Body Language (4)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Australia's Oldest Budgie

This budgie looks very similar to Australia's Pretty Boy

According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the oldest budgie ever lived in England. His name was Charlie, and he reached the age of 29 years!

Now people tried to find out if there's any pet budgie in Australia that is approaching Charlie's age. They received a letter from Betty Cummings, who lives in New South Wales. Betty has a male blue budgie called "Pretty Boy", who is 26 years old. Pretty Boy's breeder confirmed the age. Betty, age 78, lost her husband two years earlier, and now the budgie keeps her company.

It is possible that Pretty Boy is the oldest budgie in Australia at the moment - he may even break Charlie's record as the oldest budgie in recorded history. This could be a nice coincidence, given that budgies are originally Australian birds :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mother Budgie and her Eggs

Mother budgie, in the lands of maternal peace. She's a brave bird, trying to keep all her eggs warm at the same time :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Count to six

Scientists have tried to find out how smart budgies are. They carried out an experiment in which the birds had to count. The scientists took a few food bowls, filled them up with food and closed them with a lid. They had painted dots on the lids. After that, they showed the budgies little wooden signs, also with dots painted on it.

When they showed the budgies a sign with four dots, the budgies had to open a food bowl with the same number of dots painted on it. This way, budgies learned to count up to six! Not many animals can do this.

Photo from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo blog (http://cheyennemountainzooblog.blogspot.com)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Budgie rescued from rough seas

CAPTAIN, the budgie who was rescued from the rough seas

Half a mile out to sea and in rough weather, it was the last thing the members of the diving club expected to see.
There, being thrown
about helplessly on the waves, was a little blue budgerigar. Bedraggled, half drowned and too tired to fly, it seemed it would not be long before he was heading to the great bird cage in the sky.
The divers turned their boat around and rescued the
budgie from the waves. The following day, the budgie nicknamed "Captain" by their rescuers, was looking full of bounce again. He was brought to an animal shelter where he recovered.

Left: Cathy Jackman with fellow members of the Torbay diving club , who helped her rescue the distressed bird off the Devon coast.

Right: The budgie Captain tried to cross the sea. How he got out there, remains a mystery.
The RSPCA said it was unbelieveable that the tiny bird had been spott
ed and saved so far out to sea.

Images and content (c) dailymail.co.uk
Read more on: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1198321/Amazing-rescue-pet-budgie-plucked-rough-seas-diving-club.html

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sleeping Rhythm

Budgies need to sleep during the hours of darkness, just like humans. Did you know that they adapt their sleeping rhythm to yours? When you go to sleep, they usually go to sleep too, and when you're up, they are usually awake too. They love taking naps in the afternoon as well, just like some humans do :)

Or you can try to sleep with a budgie: it's nice and soft and warm...

If it's too bright at night (I used to live in Northern Norway, where the sun never sets during Summer), you'd better cover their cage and remove the cover again early morning. Otherwise they won't get any sleep, and that's not good for anyone. Always let your budgie find its perch before you switch off the light, and never switch on/off the light suddenly. Your budgie's eyes need to accomodate to new light intensities.

Monday, September 6, 2010


The budgerigar was named Melopsittacus undulatus by John Gould in 1840. John Gould was an English ornithologist who worked together with Darwin and did research in Australia. Gould noticed that the term Betcherrygah was used by the Natives of the Liverpool Plains.

The genus name Melopsittacus comes from Greek and means "melodious parrot". The species name undulatus is Latin for "undulated" or "stripe-patterned". So basically, budgies are little singing striped parrots :)

John Gould and his "warble grass parakeets"

There are several possible origins for the English name "budgerigar":

- A mispronunciation of the Gamilaaray gidjirrigaa, possibly influenced by the Aboriginal slang word budgery, which means "good to eat".

- A compound of the word budgery ("good") and gar ("cockatoo"). We already know why the Australian Aborigines gave the budgies that name - they used to eat them >:(

There's a range of alternative common names for our little budgies (most of them are Australian namings I think):

  • Shell Parrot/Parakeet

  • Warbling Grass Parakeet (Gould's common name for the birds)

  • Canary Parrot

  • Zebra Parrot

  • Flight Bird

  • Scallop Parrot

  • alternate spellings Budgerygah and Betcherrygah (Aboriginal name)

  • "love birds", because of their habit of mutual preening

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Have you heard of...

photo: londonist.com
... Budgieman?

Budgieman has "budgie power", he has taught them to fly a helicopter and drive a motorbike, and made a tune that has been number one in the Canary Islands for a long time.
Not to mention a good man, and a good friend to budgies, one that definitely deserves a place in my blog.

People all of the world might have seen the Budgieman performing on the Southbank outside of the Tate Modern in London at the weekens from June - October. He has amazed young and old with his budgies that perform a variety of clever tricks.

Budgieman's beloved dog and budgies

Don Crown (that is his real name) is not just a budgie entertainer, but also a song writer and musician. He has been writing music since the 1970's, plays a number of instruments and composes all of his work in his head. And he's also known for producing very catchy tunes (if you don't believe me, just listen to the Budgieman song!)

Budgieman made a cozy home for the budgies

The budgieman has about 15-20 budgies and keeps them in a very large aviary at his home. Half of them are trained, and the younger budgies learn from the older budgies and Budgieman. He looks very carefully after his birds. He also looks after rescued and disabled budgies. There is even a special hospital aviary in case one of the bugies gets sick. "My first budgie was Fred who I rescued from a pet shop in Ilford. He was tiny, no feathers, not fully developed wings and a bald head. He was given to me."

How Budgieman teaches his budgies, is a special and secret trick. But he can give you a hint: "First of all you have to learn to love and care for your budgies so that they learn and love you. With good training they can master all sorts of tricks within 12 to 18 months. Young budgies, like young humans, play about too much and can't be easily trained. Budgies can start to learn when they're about three years old."
On a good day, his budgies perform 10-15 times. The budgies are given plenty of rest in between the shows. The Budgieman and his budgies can only perform in non-smoking areas.

Budgieman performing with his magical budgies, outside the Tate Modern

Near Christmas, Budgieman works as a window painter, painting reindeers, Fathers Christmas and other scenes. He also does charity painting for hospitals and children's homes. He still looks after his budgies all the time to make sure they're okay. They live in a special aviary with heating control, so it never gets too hot in the Summer and never too cold in the Winter.

His real interest in budgies came when he was still a child. He used to visit pet stores and markets in Newcastle and was fascinated by budgies. He was told they could talk and he loved their pretty colours and shapes.
Budgieman has always felt a connection with budgies that I too can feel. He calls it "budgie power":
"Many people get bitten by budgies or they scare them away. When I come to them they are friendly and relaxed. I think this is because I have "Budgie power". This is not just my budgies, but if I go to a pet shop I can relax them within a few minutes."

Content and images are (c) budgieman.co.uk
Also check out the interview with budgieman by Londonist!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Birthday ^^

My fiance made me the best birthday present ever: (click on the picture, then it becomes clear)

Love you so much, Erlend! :) <3 <3 <3