Hello, I've discovered something odd recently by accident. My budgies are actually afraid of red things, but only if they move! I found this out by a halloween toy, a red plastic pitchfork, falling back a bit while next to their cage. But the really strange thing was when I picked it back up and they freaking out like it was falling over again. So I put on my new red halloween mask and went near their cage, and they were terrified! It's just a basic red eye mask, not a scary one. It explains why they seem so agitated when I take out their water bowl every morning to change it, too. It's red. (They freaked out about it before the pitchfork thing, which didn't make a loud noise)
I'm not really concerned about this, just wondering if this is normal or maybe it seems more like a learned fear. If it's learned, they might be from the same breeder, the shop couldn't really tell me if I wanted and they don't have breeding tags or anything. If there is a possibility they're from the same breeding pair I don't want to breed them.
Also, don't worry, it's not much different to keeping my fighter fish happy. I prefer blue anyway, even my walls are blue in here. I don't keep brightly colour things near the fighter fish tank since that could scare him or stress him out thinking it's a rival.
Last edited by InsanityShard; 11-16-2016 at 02:16 AM.
Hi, I'm new to budgies so not at all experienced here. That sounds very odd to me, though I suppose red is nature's danger colour!
I suspect it's just a coincidence but it would be interesting for you to do a little experimenting; placing identical safe objects (only 1 red & 1 non-red) in the cage and see what responses they produce. Try to keep the variables as small as possible ie. Put both items in at the same time (to avoid the newness fear factor) in similar positions and your 'moving' could be, taking one out, moving the other to the removed object's place and then replacing removed object in now empty position - do that repositioning at different times of day and vary which colour object you move first.
Obviously, you are the person there judging your birds' stress levels, if you feel it's more than a very brief 'uh-oh' on their part, then it wouldn't be fair to be initiating that!
From a breeding perspective though, even if you did confirm that it's the colour red, the birds could have learnt the fear from each other rather than from the same original (perhaps breeder, perhaps shop) source.
I had a bird for 11 years that would not come near me if I had anything red on, also certain patterns seemed to bother her so I just made sure not to wear those things around her. We can never be exactly sure how things are perceived through non human eyes, even humans can see colors differently.
Yeah, it is just more of an in the moment "It's red and moving oh god" thing, rather then just red things bothering them in general. 4 of 5 months into having them and they're still not too fond of having my hands in the cage. XD They'll eventually be trained, I'm more waiting on the big cage where they'll feel a lot safer. It's over 4 feet long!
I just waved two pencils slowly in front of their cage. First, a black one. They seemed on edge, not know what it was, but then I put it down and waved a red one. They moved further back in the cage.
Last edited by InsanityShard; 11-16-2016 at 04:57 PM.
Jessie, my girl also doesn't like the colour red, she won't even eat any red fruit. She does have a few red things in her cage that she's gotten used to so she's not afraid of them anymore, but new red things take her a long time to get used to.
I would just avoid large displays of red if it stresses them
and Princess Mallorn!
Thank you to Deb for her wonderful Faery magic