Iím having a bit of an issue with my 8 year old male parakeet. Heís a bachelor and has always been one, so he has no experience with being around other birds. He absolutely hates being handled and doesnít like being outside of his cage whatsoever. He isnít fond of toys, but he loves his mirrors.
Within the last month, he has been mating with his mirrors nonstop to the point that I took the one mounted on the side out of his cage. This seemed to help, but more recently he has been going into the bottom of his cage where he can see his reflection and he starts regurgitating while making an awful screeching noise that sounds like heís hurt. He also promptly eats the regurgitation and the vicious cycle continues.
I tried covering the bottom of his cage with paper so he couldnít see his reflection and that sort of worked, but then he went to his only remaining hanging mirror and started the regurgitation and screeching noise. I took that mirror out because Iíve read that if he keeps eating his regurgitation, that can lead to infections and I donít want him to get sick. Iíve purchased more hanging toys in hopes that heíll start playing with them, but so far he wonít go near them. He is now going back to the bottom of his cage again and regurgitating on the paper.
Iím at a loss of what to do. Should I get another bird? My concern is that with his age, the stress of a new bird will potentially kill him.
Others here are more expert than me, but I can give a suggestion or two. :>
It is probably best to remove all the mirrors from his cage. He thinks they are fellow birds and therefore since he is most likely bored he just wants to mate with them. It's not healthy for him to be constantly doing so.
You've mentioned that he's not into the new toys, and that may be because he's had mirrors before which he's seeing as another bird who he wants to spend time with rather than play. A good tip with toys is that Budgies have preferences just like people do. :> Some like bells and loud toys, others like to forage and some might prefer to climb. Keep his cage full of varied toys and switch them out weekly or so to keep him stimulated. Even home-made toys out of toilet paper tubes and paper are a great option if money is tight.
Another thing to do is keep him company. Even if he prefers to be in his cage you can still be social with him by reading to him, singing to him, talking to him and being in his social spotlight.
Limit daylight/artificial light hours to around 8 hours and see that he's in a nice dark place to sleep the rest of the time. This will help decrease his sex drive.
Adding another bird in the mix may not be advisable. You might get a female witch will could lead to breeding which should be studied a long time before you allow to happen. Another male might also have its own issues, but other members might be able to advise better in that area. Getting another bird isn't really necessary as long as you are giving him plenty of stimulation, with both toys and social company with his humans. You may worry about taking out the mirrors, but if you are giving him the social and entertaining stimulation he should be just fine. :>
My two concerns are you mentions when he's mating he does a screech like he is in pain. This may be just his normal screech but it may do well to have your avian vet inspect his vent to make sure there are no infections.
Another concern is you mentioned the bottom of his cage is reflective. Is any other part of his cage reflective, and if so can they be covered?
I hope any of this helps, and anyone reading this feel free to correct me if I have shared any incorrect information. :>
Please remove all of the mirrors from your budgies' cage.
Mirrors are not recommended for budgies for just the reasons you are experiencing.
I would not recommend getting another budgie since your bird is 8 years old.
Provide him with swings and try to encourage him to get more exercise.
As Jesska recommended, limit his daylight hours to no more than 8 hours of light per day.
Limit the protein in his food as well during this period of time.
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.
When you upload pictures as attachments directly from your computer, tablet or phone, the forum automatically defaults to landscape. Additionally, the picture appears as what we term a “thumbnail” attachment.
Hi, definitely follow the advice above and remove all mirrors. I’m not sure how he’s seeing his reflection in the cage bottom, unless it’s made of a shiny metal(?), but regardless it should have paper on the bottom.
A good rearranging of the cage, branches and all, might be a good idea too. Don’t worry about him missing or remembering the mirrors. In my experience, it’s “out of sight out of mind” with birds. Good luck .