I have a female budgie named Candy who is sort of getting on in years - 9 years old. All her life she has been untamed, and she has mostly spent her time around other birds. Recently, however, her companion Spring died so she's on her own, and after a lot of discussion our family decided not to take in any more birds because we don't think we can commit to taking care of multiple birds at a time anymore (esp since I'm off to university next year and I'm usually the birds' primary caretaker).
Because she's all alone now, though, I'm concerned about her happiness and social skills. Currently to keep her occupied, I'm playing her music and radio shows (just now she was listening to some Sherlock Holmes) and she seems quite cheerful, chirping to herself and stuff. My dad often works from home, too, so she's usually not completely alone in the house during the day. But I want to do more to bond with her now that she no longer has any bird companions. I'm already planning to spend more time in front of her cage chatting with her and stuff, maybe doing my homework more in her cage area so she has someone to spend time with, but does anyone have any other tips in bonding with/possibly even taming a budgie as old as her? Do the usual taming/bonding 'rules' and procedures apply with older budgies as opposed to young/new ones? She's always been a bit wary of humans and I've never touched her before (she'd bite/nip anyone who tries - not sure if she still does that but she always startles a bit whenever we stick our hands too far into her cage to rearrange toys and stuff).
The same steps will apply to taming/bonding with an older budgie. Candy has gone her whole life without being hand-tamed so it is going to take a lot of time and patience. Spending time next to her cage talking, reading and singing to her will help her stay cheerful.
In a few days, you can try resting your hand on the outside of her cage when you are sitting next to her talking calmly and reassuringly to her. Just leave your hand on the cage - don't move it around. Let her get used to the idea that it is close to her but not trying to touch or hurt her.
After a week or so, rest your hand inside the cage when you talk.
Donít make sudden moves, donít try to touch her.
Let her get used to the idea that the hand is now in her safe place and not harming her.
After 2 weeks, begin moving your hand slowly toward your budgie. If she becomes agitated, stop moving your hand and just hold very still until she calms down. When she's comfortable with your hand near her, you can offer her a bit of millet or a few seeds.
Always work at your budgie's pace.
Move slowly and talk reassuringly and calmly to her whenever you interact with her.