Hi, I'm August! I've never had a bird in my life before getting Ciel.
To be honest, getting Ciel was a bit of an impulse buy on my half. I was kind of in the dumps, not having any real motivation to get up in the morning and I remember my sister dragging me over to her boyfriend's house to play Smash Bros with them since I used to do local tournaments for fun. Her boyfriend's roommate had a budgie and being the introvert I was, I took an instant liking to the bird and spent most of my time there letting the bird rest on my finger.
Originally my sister was trying to get me to stay and hang out for a gathering of her friends in a party-not-party in the small apartment where I would have probably just played Smash . . . I kind of chickened out but instead of heading straight home to hide in my room I went to Pet Paradise. I did some research while the budgie sat on my shoulder, and checked my bank account before making the decision. I was told not to go to Petsmart and was told that the budgie the guy got was from Pet Paradise where they treat their birds better.
When I walked in, I could hear all the birds chirping. They had a few other small animals in the front but the main attraction was in the back where rows of podiums housed birds tweeting out in the open; very different from what I am used to seeing in Petsmart. The birds had branch stands and other toys in the uncaged playpen, freely interacting with each other and the customers who strolled on by.
There were some birds in cages, but a good majority were out in the opened which I later learned had their wings clipped. At first, I was just looking around, checking the prices, occasionally playing with the other birds if they were willing. I kept note of which birds were able to be housed alone and which ones had to have a partner (they had description tags). I was debating costs for another small breed that took my interest but needed to be bought in pairs when my sister pointed out a little blue bird who perched alone in its own playpen.
Many of the other birds around it were in flocks on their podiums chirping loudly with each other, but this one didn't seem to want to play with the others and didn't seem to take interest in the humans around them as the other birds did. My initial thought was that the bird was just shy, and I learned online that budgies could vary in personalities so one who wasn't as social wouldn't have been that much of a stretch.
I started to ask the assistant about the bird, already debating on names for him . . . At least we assumed it was a boy, but the assistant said she couldn't be sure since he was still a baby (not a year old yet) but going off the cere it could be a boy. Still not a 100% without closer inspection that they offered to give when he was older.
A few purchases and The Greatest Showman playing us off, Ciel had officially joined our household. We had decided on the name Ciel because of a character from an anime I liked who had blue eyes and was a bit standoffish. Ciel seemed to accept the name and the soundtrack of The Greatest Showman.
I did some more research on welcoming a new budgie into the household, learning that they needed some space to adjust as my sister was poking her head into the cage trying to become best friends with my bird. My mom who was trying to be scolding of my impulse buy while also trying to hide the fact she was excited about the new addition also kept poking into the cage so I kicked them both out.
It took some time, some relaxing music and bribery of treats but Ciel started to warm up to me. He still pecked at my sister, but I think she kind of deserved it for nearly giving the poor baby a heart attack with her "HI CIEL- LOVE MEEEE".
He was still a bit shy and it took a lot of patience and begging for his forgiveness when I had to bribe him out of the cage to place in the carrier for a long drive twice (the store had mandatory checkups for the first two weeks). We have mini interactions in the day, regular outings from his cage downstairs for cartoons and the occasional binging of YouTube on my bed which he seemed to enjoy even if it took some convincing.
(I showed him a few other channels but he responded well to Markiplier gameplays so I would binge it with him. The setup was a towel and his bed cover over my bed so he didn't poop everywhere. Usually a toilet paper roll and a bit of millet for him. Admittedly I don't do this as often anymore since it's a lengthy set-up and he's only willing at certain times/days.)
One thing I noticed about Ciel is that even though his wings were clipped, he still would try to fly. Usually just little hops with the rapid flapping that didn't really get him anywhere. It broke my heart to see the little guy spend time flapping his wings trying to just get one inch of air only for him to stay grounded, and I wish he they didn't clip his wings.
A year goes by and I start getting worried. Sure Ciel has never been overly social before, but he has been more hushed than before. I have to coax him to eat at times, and his normal workout session is replaced with a sad nap. At first, I think he is sick but I can't see anything physically wrong with him, so I start looking some more only to see sources tell me that these are signs of depression. I didn't even know my bird could get depressed and I didn't know how I could make him happier. I tried cleaning out his cage and switching things up. I tried giving him treats and more attention but he still seemed sad.
I had some theories going on about why he was sad. Was he sad because he could see the birds outside flying around and knew something was wrong with him? Or did he want a flock of his own? I can't do anything about his wings being clipped, but I could do something about a lonely cage.
During one of my rare outings in the quest to replenish his food supply at Petsmart, I couldn't help but linger on the budgies on display thinking about how they interact with each other so much. So on impulse, I got him a buddy who I assumed was a male that was just a little older than Ciel.
I had made the mistake of not getting a second cage to introduce Pinok in but somehow managed for the first few days. Ciel seemed very excited about the new bird, even if Pinok pushed Ciel away when they overstepped boundaries . . . Actually, Ciel seemed REALLY friendly about his new roommate and after doing some research I realized my baby boy was trying to court Pinok. At least that is how it looked and although she was willing to let him perch with her at night (so be it at a distance that Ciel would often try to close), his advances were declined . . . terribly. He was persistent of course, but he often would cause her to shove him away if not having to eat her dust as she flew off.
I refused to let them clip Pinok's wings, even if it seemed a bit unfair that Ciel had to be with a bird who could fly while he couldn't. I just couldn't bring myself to let them do it and my family would tease me for "bullying" Ciel by showing off a bird who could fly . . .
Pinok didn't last long with us as it turns out she released a lot of puff, and I was mildly allergic. Whether it was because of her occasional harsh rejections, the puff that suffocated me, or the fact I was being sentimental about becoming a grandpa, I ended up returning her.
Of course, Ciel was confused and would call out to her for a few which made me wonder if I made the right choice. He was active again at least, and I think seeing Pinok fly had lifted his spirits because he started exercising again. So maybe having another companion did serve as some therapy for him and to this day I am considering a new set up to house another companion (from Pet Paradise this time) for him.
Then it happened--
I woke up to some chirping;
I thought my mom had carried my bird onto my bed to wake me up, so I scooped him up lazily and brought him back to his cage to go back to sleep . . . Then I heard some flapping and when I opened my eyes again he was back on my pillow. Still dazed from just waking up I go to scoop him up again, except this time he moves away flapping towards the edge of my bed. Fearing he would fall, I wake myself up and reach out ready to catch him only for my hands to remain empty, his wings lifting him into the air. My little baby was flying---
One instant he was flapping around, and the next I was doing a swan dive with my hands out to catch him before he hit the hardwood floor.
; he was LEARNING how to fly. He was still really sloppy and his landing needed a lot of work. None the less, that was the best way to wake up even if I ended up bruising myself. I saw a lot of improvements after that, his attitude is a lot more cheerful than before and his flying was getting a lot more stable.
It was smooth sailing from then, except now I had a bird who would randomly fly over to my desk when he wanted more attention from me, something I didn't mind in the slightest.
Outside of my room, my brother and sister are now jumping the bandwagon on getting pets. My sister gets herself a bunny and my brother being the demonic siblings gets a cat that I am going to end up taking care of most of the time.
(Serina and my sister bonding)
(Live footage of bird growing into a giant and destroying a city-- definitely
Speaking of that-- recently I learned that HE might actually be a SHE. Now that a year has passed (officially going to be two this year on April 1st), their cere's color has changed they might be a girl . . . And if Ciel is a girl, what the heck was that all about with Pinok????
I still have a lot to learn about budgie care, and I am glad to have joined this site where I can read from those who have more experience than me. Admittedly my motivation to hop on is due to some concerning health issues that I am unsure about. She seems fine and the only thing out of the ordinary is that she's been pretty social lately (it just had to be after I watched Birdbox).
But even if she seems to act okay, I noticed some changes with her beak which I will be making a post about in another thread. I just wanted to share the story of getting Ciel and a brief history of our time together.
Thanks for reading and if anyone can tell from the photos I have posted if Ciel is a girl or a boy, you would really settle things with my family-- we have a betting pool for this.