In the end, Sid and Stella get to spend very little time outside.
I don't want to leave them there during the night because, even if they are protected against whatever could hurt them, you never know. They would be unsupervised for too long.
The only balcony where I can put their cage gets direct sunlight in the afternoon and it gets really hot during summer, so I have to take them inside.
Of course, in autumn and winter, the sun won't be a problem anymore, but then the temperature difference between outdoor and indoor spaces will force me to always keep them inside to avoid sudden temperature changes, which I know are bad for budgies.
To sum up, the amount of time they can stay outside so that Celeste doesn't hear them and try to reach them desperately (and, by the way, when they are outside, she can still hear Sid and Stella's sporadic calls, but at least not Sid's constant chirping) is really short.
I should have thought of this before.
I don't know what to do. As Faery pointed out, it is much better to keep them apart.
Earlier today, Sid and Stella were in the living room because of the heat outside, and Celeste was restless, she kept "running" left and right on her perch because she wanted to get out of my bedroom.
So, under my close supervision, I let her visit her parents.
They were obviously aggressive, and Celeste even attacked them back when they tried to bit her through the bars.
Both Sid and Celeste raised their forehead feathers, do you know what it means? I thought they did that as a sign of hostility, but I did some research online and apparently the head puffing is related to excitement and happiness rather than to anger. But I can assure you they were acting nothing like two budgies that were happy to see each other. Any ideas?
I don't see any way out of this that wouldn't be stressful either for Celeste or Sid and Stella...
Just a thought, are Sid and Stella always attacking from inside their cage? Often the attacking can just be because they’re defending their space against intruders. Have they all been together on neutral territory?
Sid and Celeste met each other out of their cages when I let them out in my bedroom about a month ago. And, now that I think about it, Sid didn't attack Celeste, they were next to each other with no problems.
Sid has never been territorial, he never showed aggression towards anyone... he was happy when we put Sole (my male budgie who died a year ago) and then Stella in his cage, he didn't attack them. Even when I took him to my grandparents for a few days, four years ago, and I put his cage near their lovebird's cage, Sid wanted to reach him (obviously I didn't let him do that).
But maybe he wasn't territorial those times because he had been alone and really wanted company, while now he has company (Stella), so he doesn't need a third budgie (Celeste) and attacks her because he wants to defend his cage against her.
However, after I gave Sid and Stella's other chicks away, Celeste stayed in their cage for about a month before I separated her from them, and Sid was not aggressive. This doesn't make sense...
About Stella, I don't know. As soon as the chicks got out of the nest and she didn't recognize them as their children anymore, she became aggressive towards all of them except one, a male chick.
So I guess her attitude has something to do with the fact that Celeste is a female, perhaps she thinks Celeste might "steal" Sid and her territory, that is also a good nesting site in her mind (even if there is no nest), from her.
Stella didn't get out of the cage a month ago, because I was in the room and she is terribly afraid of people, so I don't know whether she would act differently if she met Celeste in a neutral territory or not.
Stella definitely showed interest in the nest again when the chicks started to spend most of the time out of it.
But the fact that she attacked the female chicks and not the male one and that her aggression towards Celeste continued long after I removed the nest makes me think she simply doesn't tolerate other females in her cage and around her and Sid.
Sometimes I have the feeling that Celeste is not happy as a solo bird... she is very bonded to me, but no matter what we are doing, if she hears her parents' calling or singing she completely stops paying attention to me and goes back to running left and right on the perch and calling them.
I spend a lot of time with Celeste, but apparently it is not enough for her...
If she can't stand living without other budgies now that I am with her basically the whole day, how can I expect her to be happy when, in a month, school will start back and she will have to stay alone in her cage all morning until I get home?
I let out Sid, Stella and Celeste in my bedroom (where the latter lives) under my close supervision, in an attempt to understand the reason for their aggression and to see how they would interact in a neutral space.
And this confused me even more, because I realized that Celeste is paradoxically the one who often causes the bickering.
At first I hung Sid and Stella's cage on the wall in the place of Celeste's and I put her on it while her parents were still inside. It made sense that she wasn't happy, maybe she felt like they had invaded her territory, but when I put both the cages on the floor and then I put them on the apposite sides of the room, she continued being aggressive.
Sid got out of his cage and flew a bit, while Stella stayed inside the whole time (she is afraid of me and has slmost never been in my bedroom). So, Sid and Celeste had plenty of occasions to interact, and during these moments she was all but happy to be near him.
Here is an example (I am sorry for the bad quality of the video):
You can see that she raised her forehead feathers (and even bobbed her head once, but I didn't film it) as a clear sign of aggressiveness. She wanted him to stay away from her. At that moment, her cage was on the opposite side of the room.
She also tried to bite Stella's toes through the bars, and Stella tried to do that to her in return.
Why does she want so bad to go to them if she doesn't like their company?
You might think Celeste did that because she is territorial too and she was not okay with them being in her space, but, on reflection, when three days ago I took her to them, in the living room (where she has hardly ever been), she immediately raised her forehead feathers. This means that her aggression is not related to territoriality, at least not completely.
The only time the two interacted peacefully is when they were on truly neutral spaces (my bed and the floor).
Now they are all resting in their own cages, still in my bedroom (on opposite sides), and I have to admit that Celeste is much more calm now that she can see them
and talk to them without having to scream.
Perhaps this is the best solution: keeping them in the same room, preventing Celeste to land on Sid and Stella's cage and, later on, vice versa (they are not confident enough to do so).
What do you think?
I don't see any sign of aggression in the video, actually Sid seems a bit smitten with Celeste, she is not accepting of his advances but does not seem aggressive towards him, of course if he does not back off she may snap at him to get the message across. Head bobbing and raised head feathers in budgies is not a sign of aggression. Could it be that there is a rivalry between Celeste and Stella for Sid's attention causing aggression between the two girls?
Really? That is good to hear! Thank you for clearing that up.
Some websites indicate that head bobbing and raising forehead feathers can sometimes be signs of aggression rather than signs of excitement. I am glad this is not the case.
Now I understand why Stella hates Celeste so much. She has probably realized that Celeste might "steal" Sid from her and so she attacks her, who is probably just aggressive in return, since she doesn't seem to really care for Sid in particular.
Out of curiosity, how can you tell from the video that Sid has that kind of interest in Celeste?
As long as Sid and Celeste's relationship doesn't change, do you think is it safe to keep them in the same room, making sure each female stays away from the other's cage when they fly around the room?
Sid's body language and chirps tell me that, I can't see it in the video but I bet his eyes are pinning as well. That is when the pupil of the eye expands and contracts, sometimes also known as eye flashing. This happens when the bird is over excited about something, they will do it in response to another bird, a toy or a reflection in a mirror etc. and then begin to feed the object. You may see aggression also it depends on what the source of the excitement is but in your video Sid wants to be friends and Celeste isn't having any of it, that however that could change at any time.
As far as keeping them in the same room goes, if you want to give it a try you have to watch the behavior very closely so none of the birds involved become stressed over it, if any of them become stressed out, that in itself could lead to aggression and it is best to always keep the birds area as stress free as possible.