Donnie is our one year old male rescue budgie. He is VERY smart and active and loves to play with all of his toys. One toy he plays with is a plastic stop light (red green and yellow) that dangles from the top of the cage and is located in front and to the side of his swing. He loves this toy! He frequently bobs at it with his beak but more confusing is he will grab it on the side with his foot and hold it close to him while on the swing. He seems excited when he plays with this toy. We watch him when he does this. The toy is not in the way of his swinging and he's not able to get his foot caught. He gets so excited, and this sounds weird but we wonder if he is trying to mate with it and yet it looks nothing like a bird. What do you make of this behavior?
If Donnie becomes obsessed with the toy to the point he plays only with it and not with his other toys and/or he becomes aggressive and territorial of it, then I'd be concerned.
Any toy can become a potential "mate" for a budgie whether it looks like a bird or not.
However, from what you describe it sounds as if the toy right now is simply a "favorite" of Donnie's.
Thanks so much for the good information. I really love this forum since it offers such good information.
We've had other budgies and this same toy was in the cage but none of the others ever seemed to notice it or ever played with it. Donnie is VERY playful and active and plays with all of his toys. He's so much fun to watch when he plays with his toys, but especially when he plays with this one.
we wonder if he is trying to mate with it and yet it looks nothing like a bird. What do you make of this behavior?
I have that same traffic light toy!
Donnie probably has a complex relationship with this toy that we humans can only hope to understand. Budgies are weird and funny and often pick the strangest things to form an attachment to. As long as the bird seems happy and interactive I wouldn't worry about it.
One of my birds (Harry) has a thing for little plastic balls, but only certain colours. He has vigorous sex with them but he also loves throwing them around violently and playing ball games with me... fetch, keep away, and soccer.
I previously wrote about our rescue budgie Donny and his seeming "sexual" attraction for his traffic light toy. I meant to post a picture of him but didn't since I'm not sure how to go about it; I'm not very savvy in this regard. Anyway two questions:
1. We've had Donny almost one year and he has lots of toys, is free to fly much of the day, is well fed, seems happy and healthy, sings a lot and is definitely not afraid of us. We even bring his cage into our family room each evening as we watch TV, read or exercise so he can be with us. No matter, Donny occasionally allows us to pet him but more often than not as soon as our hand goes near him, he moves away and then returns to his spot once the hand is removed. Or he begins to make small squawky sounds & opens his beak but sometimes allows us to pet him for a moment or two, but then he then bites at his traffic light toy that is nearby. It seems like he is angry and takes out his anger on the toy. We love him dearly but it seems not to be reciprocal. What is going on and will he ever come around to bond with us? We've purposely held off getting another parakeet to keep him company hoping he'd bond to us since they are supposed to love companionship but Donny seems utterly self sufficient. We are at a loss what to do to get him to bond with us.
2. The other question is still about the traffic light toy. He loves to grab it and hold it with his foot. Some mornings when I uncover him, I find him holding this toy with his foot. What does this mean? Is he obsessed with it and should I remove it?
Any suggestions are appreciated.
Sorry I did not see your post until just now. I just added new post with questions about Donny, why he won't bond and another that concerns this same toy. Donny frequently holds it with his foot. He plays with his other toys but it is only this toy he grabs a hold of and holds onto. He also seems to take out his aggression on it but pecking at it when we've annoyed him by trying to pet him. Does your bird ever treat his toy this way?
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Bonding means allowing your budgie to choose to be with you.
A budgie may land on your head, shoulder or arm when it is very comfortable with you but very few budgies like to be held and petted.
Do you have a playground on the outside of the cage for Donnie?
Do you allow him to have free flight in a bird-safe room?
The fact that he bites the toy and squawks after you try to pet him does indicate he prefers you not be in his personal space at that time.
It is quite normal for some birds to take out their frustration/aggression on their toys.
Be glad he bites the toy instead of biting you!
With regard to the traffic light toy, it does not sound as though he is obsessed with it - it just seems to be his favorite plaything at this time.
I have been reading lots of the posts and my husband and I are definitely going to try to stop invading Donny's space but will continue to talk with him, bring him to the other room to be with us, etc for now. Our last parakeet, Cato who died last year was so loving and playful and well bonded and he never acted stand offish like Donny does, not even when he was young. Donny has LOTS of toys both inside and outside of the cage. He has a nice large perch next to his cage that he loves as well as toys on top of another nearby tall cage (finch cage) that we have placed on its side with more toys on top. I will definitely try to send some pictures. Also Donny loves to light on an inexpensive wicker shade (from Home Depot) that is on a nearby sliding door (kept locked) next to his cage; he loves chewing on it. We allow him lots of flying time when we are home and it is all bird safe (doors/windows/drawers closed, ceiling fan off, etc). Really he does seem to be happy since he is constantly singing and flying. He also has a bird bath attached on the outside of his cage which he enjoys using. I would so love it if he finally decides to bond with us since he is so cute and such an acrobat!!!
I appreciate this forum so much. So much good and interesting information. I will try to attach some pictures over the weekend. Thanks for all the good advice!
I tried to post in Test Forum but it didn't copy correctly
I tried to post a picture of Donny in the Test Forum. I followed your instructions and a picture is added but the picture is HUGE and I don't even see Donny in the picture. When I look at the picture on Imgur it looks fine so what am I doing wrong?