I believe I pretty much know what the best course of action is regarding my situation. I just want to put this out there and get ideas from people.
So - I had two female budgies and I have always housed them separately because they were touchy about their personal space and one was picking on the other a few days after meeting. They never truly were affectionate with each other but Berry always followed and copied Kiwi and I think, at least Berry tried to like the other one's company. Berry (and the other one too) is one of those pushy aggressive females and has never been really hand friendly.
Budgie #1, Kiwi, passed away a month ago. Budgie #2, Berry, went through a period of looking and calling out for Kiwi. It seems that she has grieved and has been okay.
I have been worried about Berry being lonely (Berry was with Kiwi for 5 years). I investigated a bunch of small pet stores (very few sell budgies, most are questionable) and I called around and looked online at shelters and rescues. There are not many budgies available for adoption in my area, and most of them are female or come as pairs. I think it would be best to get a male this time due to Berry's pushy behavior.
I went back to the original place I got Kiwi yesterday which is a specialty bird place that only sells hand fed baby birds. After talking to one of the workers there I got a lot of info and they brought up some important points that I never thought of, I'll summarize this quickly:
- The woman asked if Berry has been friendlier after Kiwi died. I said no, she actually has become a little tougher to handle. She thought that was odd that Berry hasn't warmed up to me more now that she is alone.
- They clip the wings of their baby birds. I held a male who was adorable, the woman said that it would be unfair to introduce a clipped bird to an unclipped. Berry would have an advantage over a clipped newcomer.
- She suggested to clip Berry's wings to calm her down and have them equal
- I really really do not want to clip Berry. She is a great flier. When I first got her she was clipped, and has since always been flighted. In the past I had clipped Kiwi's wings a few times. One of the times I left her flighted longer and then had her clipped, she was so sad and frustrated. It broke my heart and was the last time I had their wings clipped.
- My current living situation is tight, small house, no spare rooms, other family members and a dog. While I can keep a new bird in quarantine in someone else's room for a month, waiting 4-6 months for a clipped new birds wings to grow in will be too much to ask and manage right now. I realized I can't have a new bird out in the same room unless Berry can come out too. And I can't take Berry out without her bothering a caged unflighted bird either.
So my conclusion is now is not the best time to get a new, unclipped baby bird. I will have to wait until I move or keep a look out to adopt a flighted male. I plan on working with Berry more in the meantime.
Has anyone had any success in adopting a single budgie from a rescue/shelter? Has anyone been able to tame an older skittish budgie?
I worry about an adopted unknown bird's behavior. Obviously if I do find an adoptable male budgie I will have to meet and observe them and make a decision.
Birds are complicated, but fascinating creatures, thank you for reading my long post!
I really don't think it is in your best interest to get another budgie. I believe that Berry will be better off if you spend more time with her rather than taking in another animal.
The circumstance you've outlined are prohibitive and I'm not sure getting a "friend" is what Berry needs at all.
You've already indicated she is aggressive and bringing in another budgie and having to house it separately on a permanent basis is the most likely scenario.
There are many things to take into consideration before getting another bird.
1. If you decide to get another budgie in the future, please be sure to observe quarantine for the new budgie.
Quarantine means housing the new bird in a different cage in a different room than the current bird (as far away from the room the current bird is in as possible) for a period of 35-45 days.
Budgies mask symptoms when they are ill. Symptoms may not show up for over two weeks.
Often you will not even realize your bird is not well. Many budgie illnesses are airborne which is why you need to quarantine your new bird in a completely different room.
It is also a good idea to always take a new budgie in to see an Avian Vet for a "well-birdie" check-up. This allows you to develop a good relationship with the vet and the vet can establish a baseline for your bird in case of any future illnesses or injuries.
The people above are absolutely correct. I think you should at least get Berry more tame around you before you get another bird and even then, getting another bird might not be the greatest idea. I wish you good luck!