The various misadventures of my birds: budgies Oliver, Horatio, and Violet, Spencer the green cheek conure, and Beatrix the cockatiel. With pictures.
hey! we are looking after another female budgie for a few weeks. her and yuki were introduced to each other this morning and they haven't fought. one of the first things they did was lock beaks together... it looked like they were making out? they only JUST met but they've been doing most of today. I read online it may be feeding one another, but this usually happens with closely bonded budgies. do you have any thoughts? also do you think yuki will be lonely once the other female budgie leaves?
They could actually be fighting instead of feeding each other—locking beaks can be aggressive behavior. Was there head-bobbing and twittering before the beak-locking? Usually when they feed each other, the one doing the feeding will violently bob his/her head a couple of times to try to bring food up from his/her crop. The one doing the feeding will then bend his/her head over the other budgie and continue to bob his/her head for a few seconds (but less violently) to regurgitate food into the other budgie’s beak. Afterward, they will usually both chew or smack their beaks. Sometimes if you look closely, you can even see the seeds passing from beak to beak (but this is kind of gross, so you don’t have to do this, lol). Usually when Horatio feeds Oliver, he starts off by running around him in circles (or running up to him and then away and then back, over and over, if they’re on a perch and he can’t run in circles) while twittering with his head fluffed up; then he strikes Oliver’s beak with his beak a few times and they may stand there beak-to-beak looking at each other for a moment. Then Horatio will bob his head a few times and regurgitate to Oliver. (Hopefully this description makes sense!)
If it’s aggressive beak-locking and not feeding, there may be “growling” (I don’t know if Yuki does this, but Alice used to do it all the time)—a high-pitched chittering noise that can become very shrill and loud in times of conflict. If the budgies are putting their feet on each other’s chests, or if they stand chest-to-chest while making themselves “tall” (standing up high on their legs—hopefully that makes sense!) and bite at each other, this is a form of fighting and they should probably be separated, even if they’re not making any noise. (Sometimes there’s a low-pitched “quacking” noise if they’re fighting—it’s hard to describe, but it sounds like a long sustained “quack” from a very unhappy duck.)
They could be feeding each other, however! When Alice and Horatio were first introduced, Alice fed Horatio right away, so they don’t necessarily need to be closely bonded to feed each other. I would keep an eye on them and see if they exhibit other clues that might help you interpret the beak-locking—if they seem to be getting along well otherwise, it’s probably a friendly behavior, but if you see them knocking each other off of perches or squabbling over food, the beak-locking might be a symptom of territorial fighting, which can be common among newly-introduced hens (since hens are responsible for defending the nest in the wild, they can be more territorial than the males).
If it turns out they’re fighting, I wouldn’t worry about Yuki being lonely—in fact, if it’s a territorial issue, she’ll probably be glad when the other budgie leaves. If they are getting along, however, she might be confused when the other budgie goes home and try to call her; she might be lonely for a few days, but will probably get used to being on her own again. If you’re concerned about it, you can certainly look into getting another bird, but keep in mind that the best reason to get another budgie is because YOU want one! There’s no guarantee that Yuki will get along with any randomly selected budgie, and if they don’t like each other, you may have to make other housing arrangements for the new budgie.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions.
My tiel sits in her food dish. Like all. the. time. She just puffs her little butt up and stays there. Why?
It sounds like she might be nesting! How old is she? If she’s very young, she might just be trying to comfort herself by squeezing into a small space (Oliver the budgie did this when we first got him—he slept in the food dish at night). If she’s older, she might be trying to find a place to settle down and lay some eggs.
In the first case, she’ll probably grow out of it as she gets older. In the second case, you should probably try some hormone control techniques to discourage nesting behavior: make sure she gets 12-14 hours of darkness a night, rearrange her cage once a week (or even move her cage to a different part of the room, if possible), and try not to provide her with anything that looks like a nesting area—you might consider getting her a clear acrylic food dish to help discourage her from nesting in her food.
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have other questions!
keukaswill replied to your post “Hey, my budgies eat seeds as main food. They refuse anything but iceberg lettuce and carrots, I´v tried for years now to give them apples and other fruits. I always read that the right food for them would be pellets, but in the german pet stores the “official” main food for budgies are seeds. I´ve googled but I couldn´t find out what budgie pellets exactly look like, can you show me a picture, please? I don´t think the stores have them, though… =( Thank you.”
Also if they’re already eating iceberg, they could try slowly introducing darker leaves—like first romaine, then something slightly darker, and eventually working up to the super-healthy dark greens like kale and bok choy
This is a good idea, too! My budgies love kale (I’m not sure how much of it they actually eat, but they do love playing on it and tearing it apart, lol). Thank you!
I think its in Violet’s job description to disapprove of everything.
I think it’s ingrained in the budgie hen genome, to be honest. At least Violet is much less violent about it than Alice was—Alice used to literally charge at Horatio and Oliver, growling (“IF YOU TWO DON’T STOP CANOODLING I SWEAR TO GOD”).
Do you cook the broccoli (without salt of course)? And is the brown rice cooked till it is very soft or is it better to let it have a “crunchy core”? ^^
The broccoli can be raw or cooked—I think raw tends to be better for birds because it’s closer to its natural state. I usually cook the brown rice the same way I do when I’m planning to eat it, so pretty soft.