When I moved to Oregon I rescued a budgie to be friends with my budgie on the other side of the country, but that budgie passed away before I could have him sent out to me. Then I rescued a cockatiel that someone found in a field, but after training him I felt attached and didn't want to rehome him.
I was also really excited that my budgie and cockatiel got along well enough to be buds since I know that's not guaranteed. But lately I've been noticing that they give each other some anxiety. The cockatiel refuses to play and the budgie refuses to sit still and cuddle! While I think they benefit heavily from each other's companionship, the level of stress they have from each other now outweighs that benefit in my mind.
So, who to keep and who to rehome?
Benefits the budgie:
Here's a training video showing how smart he is: Spin the Wheel - Teaching your budgie parakeet tricks - YouTube
- I've had him longer, and I've always had budgies so know them well
- His poop does not stress me out
- He was an extremely fast learner when I got him (he learned basketball, skateboard, spin the wheel, bat-bird, flight recall, shake hands, and go through tube)
- He is more into "play" antics which I passively enjoy
- I prefer a constant babble to the infrequent but loud cockatiel
- He is not as nervous (good for some tricks like skateboarding)
- He will sit on our shoulders without hissing at our hair for touching him
- He does not mind hands and used to even exchange scritches with me. See video: Scritches for Atrus - YouTube
Benefits of the cockatiel:
- He prefers humans for company (probably hand-reared)
- He is a little easier to relate to somehow, even though before I had a cockatiel I felt like each budgie was unique and personable
- He can pick things up with his feet (good for some unique tricks)
- He can manipulate larger objects (good for tricks)
- He can whistle a Zelda tune now and tries to "talk" (sounds like rapping)
- If I got him a companion, he would also probably be hand-reared
- If I didn't get him a companion, I could bring him to the office because he doesn't mind travel and is mostly quiet
- He doesn't demand interaction when spending time together, which is good for when we are on the computer
- He eats his vegetables reliably (the budgie will copy)
- He's pretty great considering he's a rescue
- He could probably be potty trained if I was willing to sit there and watch him poop for hours.
Here's a video of him. He's such a good bird. I've been a terrible caretender, I guess.
Petrie the Cockatiel Learns Touch - Day 1 - YouTube
My situation just changed from being a grad student to having a ton of time and flexibility with work so now I feel like I'm wanting to work on these complex tricks but the budgie no longer wants anything to do with me because he just follows the cockatiel around and the cockatiel doesn't want anything to do with the budgie because he just follows the humans around.
Sometimes I get so stressed out I wish I could just start over with a baby budgie or cockatiel, or maybe even a bigger bird like a Senegal that seems more capable in learning tricks (but is probably too loud, poopy, and demanding for me, if the cockatiel is any indication...)
I do have two friends who are each wanting my birds so I could make sure they go to a great home where they will get even more attention (since right now I'm splitting it 50/50 between the two birds lest Atrus annoy Petrie and Petrie be rude to Atrus).
I also had this crazy idea that since I can't find hand-reared (parent-fed) budgies that I should breed my budgie and keep one of the babies. Terrible idea, I know, but it just shows how my mind is going. Like, "If only I could start over with a budgie I hadn't messed up by going to grad school and introducing to a cockatiel..."