Hi, guys! I'm new here, and I'd like to begin with this post... I need some advice about my budgie, Coconut. It's hard to comprehend without his life story, and I will give you a much info about him as possible.
If any of you live on the East Coast, you remember when Hurricane Matthew hit. About two days beforehand, when I got home from school, my mom literally told me, "Well, we have a bird."
Pretty much, my dad was leaving for work and he saw something white on the ground. Thinking it was a piece of paper or tissue, he went to go pick it up and throw it away. As he got closer, he saw that it was a bird. It didn't budg(ie. Hahaha.) He got even closer, and realized it wasn't even a wild bird. Surprise surprise, it was a tiny parakeet. He picked it up with a towel, and it didn't mind. It sat in the towel for a while, before we gave him some parakeet seed we picked up and let him into a temporary cage (it was really small.)
Being the overly thorough nerd and animal person, I did lots of research. Like, lots. I discovered he was an albino budgerigar, and most likely male, and that he couldn't have been more than a few months old.
His beak was weird and crusty, his eyes were looking bad around the edges, his feathers were dirty and matted, and the underneath of his tail was dirty and stained. He didn't chirp or sing.
My mom posted about him all over the internet and EVERYWHERE. We made it our absolute goal to find his home.
Meanwhile, I was growing attached. I hadn't named him yet, because I wanted to think of him as a rescue and not a pet.
I'm pretty sure it was somehow fate that he showed up at our house. He's my bird now. The "Lost Bird" posts we made are still up after eight months or so, and no one came for him. There's no way whoever he belonged to wanted him, and they didn't treat him well.
I'm pretty sure I did a good job on the research. After a few weeks at our house, his beak was shiny, his eyes were bright, and his feathers and tail were clean. He looked like a bird you would get from a pet store, and he acted healthy, so that was a good sign. He began to chirp when we put him in a bigger cage, and later on, began singing like clockwork in the morning, afternoon, and night.
Some things, though, didn't change. His foot is missing one and a half toes, and he doesn't act playful or outgoing like most parakeets. He sits on one of his perches and sings to his mirror all day. He loves that thing.
He'll eat pretty much whatever we give him. Seed, pellets, etc. When he is tame, I will train him to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
But that's the thing. From whenever we found him, I researched how to tame and bond with parakeets. I've been attempting a step by step process that should take a few months, but there is no progress. He is so skittish around humans. My sister and I can touch him without him trying to get away, and he'll eat out of our hands, but that's the limit. I've tried so hard, and I can't tell whether he's scared or stubborn. I heard that if you lightly press on their lower stomach above their feet with your finger as a "perch", they will learn to step up.
He just kinda looks at me, or scoots away.
Is it possible that he has some kind of PTSD for parakeets? We know his past owner didn't exactly treat him well, because he used to cower when we came near him, excluding when we took him inside from our yard. How do you suppose I bond with him? Do you think he will ever get over his shyness, or will trauma affect him forever?
Here are some details...
Like all parakeets, he is very smart. We leave his cage open, and he flies out whenever he wants, and flies back to his cage when he wants. We don't even need to touch him.
We don't clip his wings. He loves flying, and he is improving at it.
Music is the closest method I've gotten to bond with him. He likes my mediocre singing voice, and the same kind of music I like to sing - Broadway (preferably Wicked). When I sang one particular song with my sister. He FLEW to us. He's never gotten that close to us on purpose, and he began chirping and singing along. Beautiful moment.
Will another parakeet be a way to make him more outgoing? I guess it's not taming I want to happen, I just don't want him to be lonely. He thinks his mirror is a real bird. It's heartbreaking. I know the steps about quarantining a parakeet before introducing them to each other and all that.
We are going to get him a new cage soon. We realized the cage he is in is way too small, and he loves flying.
Yes, our story is... Unique... But maybe one of you can help.