Originally Posted by MiloTheParakeet
Hi there! I am a first time bird owner to a little parakeet named Milo. I've had him since he was 2 months and he is almost 2 years old. I love him, but he is the most stubborn bird on this earth. I know it's a little late to be asking for help but better late then never and I really want what's best for him.
First off, when I got him I was told he was a boy. But his cere is still pink. Go figure. I got him at PetSmart because honestly I didn't really know where else you could get birds. I've learned since that there are better options.
At first, taming was going well. He would sit on my hand and eat, and he would let me touch him. He seemed happy overall.
Then things started going downhill. I have no idea what happened but all of a sudden he seemed scared of me. He won't get on my finger, he won't play in a bird bath, and he won't eat anything but millet and seeds. He's never left his cage.
Up to this day he seems happy. He has a large cage with lots of toys and he's quite the chatterbox. His antics are very entertaining. He's comfortable with people around, as long as they don't get in his personal space. He will let me pick him up sometimes, but only for a few seconds. He won't come out, even if i leave the door open.
He seems healthy and somewhat happy, but I want him to have a better life.
Thank you so much for your time and I would really appreciate feedback
Hi..... this is a great place for you to come for advice. I'm a first time budgie owner and these forums have been invaluable for me.
Read the articles & stickies about Bonding & Taming... and also health & care & diet. There's a ton of great & endless information here on these boards, so I encourage you to read as much as you can.
I'm no expert at all, and a new owner, however here's a few things I've read in my research that may get you started:
- Some mutations of birds maintain their pink cere through adulthood and forever. I believe your bird may still be a male. Can you post a photo? What color is he?
- It's my understanding that very young baby budgies (aged 4 months or less) are ok with you scratching their head, but once they reach adolescence / adulthood, most budgies beyond the young baby stage are not interested in being touched. Some bigger parrots or I think maybe the smaller parrotlets.... are ok with neck scratches etc. and they may like that.... but budgies are not known for liking being held or touched. So, you maybe thought your relationship was going sour when he didn't want you to touch him anymore... but in reality that was completely normal. Once he hit 5 or 6 months he was becoming an adult and reaching the age where touching is not what he wants. Perhaps he became scared of you because you kept going to touch him, which baby budgies will let humans do that, but he became a teenager at 6 month-ish & you perhaps kept going with that, at the age where they don't want that anymore. There could be a number of reasons that he became skittish. ...I've learned the key is to try to learn all you can about reading their body language (so you can make better choices in your interactions with them) and go slow.
- Lots of budgies don't care for baths and never will. My budgie is 7 months old and I've tried a lot of different tactics to see if he will enjoy a bath, and so far it's just not his thing. You'll see on these boards there are lots of budgie owners who have birds with the same mindset. It's just how they are... and that's normal. In that case, you'll want to read further on how best to mist your bird safely with warm water. But don't be discouraged that Milo doesn't want to play around in water... he may never want to ... and that's ok.
- It sounds like he has a good enough life... he's active and vocal...he plays with his toys.... he has a large cage ...he sounds healthy. His diet could probably be better, but know that it's very difficult to get budgies interested in other foods. It's totally doable, it just takes a lot of tenacity and patience and trying different strategies. You can read about all the different ways to introduce your budgie to new foods and pellets. And all the different products to try. What all have you tried to get him to eat?
- I can see how you're concerned about how he doesn't want to leave his cage. You're probably concerned that he's not getting enough exercise. I'm not sure best how to give you advice in this area.... but I can say that it sounds like if you are patient enough, willing to research & spend time with your bird every day, working on bonding & training, and bribe him with his favorite treats... you can probably make a ton of progress with your healthy & active sounding budgie. .... You'll read many stories on these boards of people who had an adult bird just like yours (afraid to come out, afraid of people, afraid to step-up on your hand)... and they've made a ton of progress through best practices in bonding and training.
- I've learned, having a budgie for only 2 months, that it just takes a lot of patience, taking it very slow, keeping expectations realistic... understanding it's a marathon and not a sprint... a lot of reading.... with all of that, you can make progress with your bird every day. Some days are better than others... but it's a lot of fun.... and your bird will pleasantly surprise you when you start working with him.
Hope that helps.
(*p.s. --- I have a feeling that *all* birds are stubborn to a degree. Because they are birds. They have different instincts than other domesticated pets. But that's the fun part about them. They're an enjoyable challenge.)
***Edit*** Oh... I can see others were replying as I was typing my response to you. (So what I wrote was a bit redundant unintentionally.) ... Good luck...! You're in the right place and so many great stories here of people doing amazing things with adult untamed birds.