I wanted to share my experience on the single bird vs. a pair subject with the forum:
For 3 years I had a single budgie of unknown age (he's the darker bird in the photos). He seemed happy, had a clean bill at the avian vet every year, and I was told by the vet to keep doing what I was doing. He was reluctant to come out of his cage and I was never successful getting him to eat fresh veggies, although I was able to convert him to Harrisons. I found him in the alley so I don't know his background but I don't think he was ever super-tame.
A couple of months ago, my husband was looking at my budgie and asked me, is this all he does all day? Sit on his perch? I had to be real with myself and figured he wasn't as happy as I told myself he was. These guys in the wild are very social, and live in great numbers with others of their own kind. I explained this and asked my husband if he minded if I got him a friend. A few weeks later I was approved by the local parrot rescue Greyhaven Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Vancouver, BC and went to pick out a new budgie (the lighter coloured fancy budgie in the photos). I know I will get persecuted for this but I did not go through the quarantine, but I did keep them in separate cages for a few days. They seemed very interested in each other so on third day I opened both cage doors and the new guy made himself at home in the resident cage. My older bird was at first a little stunned as he had been alone for 3 years that I knew of, but in only about an hour they were bonking beaks and preening next to each other.
Fast forward to today: my new budgie has breathed new life into my sad older one. They live happily together in a King Flight Cage 28Wx18Dx56H. They are both eating broccoli, they are very active, they both enjoy flying outside of their cage when I'm home working in my home office where they live, they feed each other (yuck), but most important, they both are becoming happy to sit on my hand and I am able to clicker train them together. They have shown each other the good things they already know and they are both better for it. My older budgie was once clicker trained and now that I am taking that up again, he is showing the newer one by example so they learn together.
I would highly recommend hands down getting two budgies over a single one in a heartbeat. I know there are people out there who have a single budgie and have the time to spend cultivating that relationship and I wish I could too, but getting a second one has been better for them and better for me too, they get to interact with each other, and they also interact with me at times when they feel like it so we all get the best of both worlds.
Paulie is the darker one, and Sammy is the lighter one. They are mostly known as "green guy" and "yellow guy".
Your budgies are beautiful! I loved your story and I hope it will encourage anyone who doesn't have the time to have a strong enough relationship with their budgie so it doesn't feel lonely consider a new friend.
I have a single budgie and although I agree completely that it's best to have two in cases where a strong bond between human and bird isn't possible or existent, or time just does not allow for that to develop, I can say from experience that it also depends on the character of the budgie.
Although most indeed would love a friend if they are alone, my girl absolutely would not have it. She has a terrible attitude towards other birds (we do have other birds, just no other budgies) and is very bonded to me.
I'm so glad that Paulie and Sammy were able to bond so well with each other--I really loved your story.
Thank you for sharing!
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic
I'm glad two budgies worked so well for your guys!
I've been debating one vs. two for a while. I decided to start with just one, and picked out a little blue boy from a breeder (getting him next week). Then I decided I'd rather get two at the same time, but all the boys from that clutch have already been claimed. I've asked the breeder to let me know if anyone backs out - there's one guy who looks like he's wavering on a little green one, so we'll see. I couldn't quite decide for myself, so I figure I might as well leave it up to fate. And if I do get just one, I can see how it goes and have time to bond before deciding to add another.
Thank you for your post. I've had Tiki for about 7 weeks and although I'm able to spend quite a bit of time with him, I realized that he will probably be happier with a companion. this just reaffirms that I'm making a good decision to get a second.
I'm glad your latest arrival managed to be so beneficial to your budgie and now both of their lives are so much richer and filled with happiness.
Paulie and Sammy are gorgeous, thanks for sharing your story and pics with us.
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.