It must seem that Jakob and I have been missing in action for quite some time; rest assured, Princess Jakob is doing just fine, her mum has just been too pre-occupied to write about it!
Jakob is about 2,5 years old now. Time flies when having fun (no pun intended). She's my third budgie, but my first girl. Over the time I've had this little girl, I've learned so much from the forum, but there are also still a lot of mysteries. Advice and suggestions are always welcome.
Jakob has a pretty decent size cage. She's in the cage when I'm not at home and at night. My other budgies used to play in the cage - everywhere. This little one doesn't. She doesn't go near the buttom of the cage unless she has to, so I don't use the built-in food dishes for that very reason. If I leave treats on the floor, she'll leave them alone. Is there anything I can do to encourage her to use the full cage? Or should I just ignore it?
Until about a month ago, Jakob would wait for me to bring her to the cage for bed-time. She did know there was a door, because when she was minded by others (not here at home), she would fly back to the cage on her own after very little time out flying. I think it was a comfort thing. The last time I attempted to feed her pellets, she also eventually flew over to her cage where she could find seeds. So she always knew. Strangely enough, about a month ago she changed the "ready for bed" routine. Between 8.30 and 9pm she'll now fly over to the cage on her own. No prompt. She'll mill about for a little while, at at 9pm I'll say goodnight and cover her cage. Is it not a bit strange to suddenly change a routine like that?
Out of cage time is always fun. Jakob has lots of energy in the mornings, but by early afternoon she'll generally take a nap before it's time to play again later in the afternoon. When she naps, she'll either bury her head in the feathers on her back, or she'll lie almost flat on a perch with her head on the pearch. When she sleeps at night she's on a swing, but that's never the case for nap time.
She'll chew on any wood that belongs to her (playground, toys, play tree), and that's fine with me. It's probably about 6 months ago she decided it would be fun to fly on to the CD/DVD shelves right beside her play area. The shelves with space are fun, as she can walk in there and hide. Little did I know she'll actually picking the cardboard boxes apart. She doesn't seem to eat any of it, as it's everywhere afterwards, so hopefully it doesn't pose a risk for her. As for the CDs... the game seems to be to find one and drag it out until it ends up on the floor. I could have told her no when she first started playing on the shelves, but I didn't see any harm, so I let her. Now it's a game.
Princess Jakob isn't particularly vocal. My previous two were VERY vocal. They were single birds as well. Is that just a random thing? My first budgie was a great talker. He knew many words. This one has said her name very quietly, but won't do it on command and it's been a long time since I heard it. Guess not all budgies talk? It's not for lack of encouragement
Then there's the mystery of breeding condition. She didn't go into condition until she was 1.5 years old, but then it's been almost constant since. It doesn't seem to change her behaviour at all, and there's finally some blue visible over her beak right now, but it sure has been a long time...
Two things I always associated with budgies was their ability to fly to me and, unfortunately, biting. Jakob is happy to sit on my shoulder, but she never flies over and lands on me herself. She'll fly over to where I am, but never lands. It puzzles me. I wish I could teach her to land on me. I'm happy she doesn't bite, but isn't it a bit strange?
I've had NO luck getting Jakob on a healthy diet. Her weight is thankfully very stable and she gets lots of exercise, but she's all about seeds. She was only about 8 weeks when I got her. Did she simply not learn enough from others before moving in to know how to handle other food? She chews on parsley, but no other veggies, and to be honest she's more intersted in licking the water off the parsley, than actually easting any of it. I'll never stop trying, but I somehow doubt I'll ever succeed in changing her diet.
My first budgie was happy to step up and loved to sit on my head or shoulder. But you didn't want to try to touch him. This little girl loves being petted. She'll pose for kisses. Two such contrasts. Boy Jakob didn't like water. Girl Jakobs takes a bath almost every day, splashing around as much as she can.
Boy Jakob used to "feed" everything. He would put seeds in my ears! Girl Jakob has never done that. She has 2 mirrors. One in her cage - she'll stay quite close to it when she's in the car, but otherwise ignores it. The other one is behind her food tray in her play area. She makes it rattle, because it has a small bell on it. Boy Jakob definitely though there were birds in the mirrors, as he used to feed them as well!
My little princess did go through a phase of feather plucking. She can still be a bit rough when preening, but she has not damaged any new feathers, and I got her plenty of toys to shred.
I couldn't have asked for a more wonderful little budgie than Princess Jakob. Sure, there are so many things about her I don't understand, but that's part of the fun too.
Here are a few pictures too, so you can see for yourself:
Hiding on a shelf:
Almost out of breeding condition:
Decent looking feathers (at the monthly weigh-in):
Jakob's parsley dish:
Waking up from a nap: