So this has been going on for awhile. I have one budgie, Cid, who I got from a bin-o-birds at the local Petco 2 years ago. He hasn't really bonded all that well, he seems to know me and at least responds when I look at him, but when it comes to hands he seems to need to be in the right mood.
Anyways, on to the point. One night he was on my finger, and he started biting and pecking my fingernail. No biggie, he seemed to be having fun, acting the same way he does when he's beating up his bells. After a couple days of him doing this, I decided to "fight back." I'll have him on one hand, and I'll poke him lightly on the beak. And this just makes him go NUTS, pecking and nibbling my fingernail, fluffing up his feathers, tweeting and chirping like mad, and getting so worked up that he sometimes loses his grip on my finger and falls off.
Normally he'll fly right back to his cage when he's spooked or bothered by something, being notoriously skittish, but in this case he actually stays put. Coupled with the happy-sounding noises, and the fact that in the process he tends to spit seed all over me, I'm curious if this is normal play behavior. It would make sense to me that he thinks my fingernail is close enough to being a beak, and this is some sort of weird form of budgie play fighting.
Anyone else every had their birds do this to them or each other? Like I said, he seems to really get into it so I don't think it's a bad thing, I'm just kinda curious what's going through that feather brain.
Hi and welcome to the forums. It is very possible that Cid believes that your fingernail is another beak. When he's spitting seeds all over you, he's regurgitating to show affection. It's possible that he's trying to romance your fingernail.
I am by no means an expert, so a more experienced member will hopefully come along and will be able to give you more advice.
By gently tapping his beak with your fingertips you are simulating the kiss budgies naturally give to their mates and so you are in a way encouraging your budgie's excitement and more passionate advances while interacting with him.
By continuing to play in this fashion, your Cid may progress in terms of attempting to mate while on your hand and this is something you might need to put a stop to depending on the situation an context. It's important to properly read and interpret the budgie's body language.
It's up to the pet bird owner to establish safe and moral boundaries in the bond they have with their bird. Measures should also be taken in terms of not letting the situation progress to the point of becoming an obsessive behaviour (with over regurgitation involved and matings as well).
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.