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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let’s start with a glamor shot of the young lady:
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…Luxie takes a lot of naps, I’ve observed. It seems like it might be because she is still so young? Internet searching seems to indicate that budgie youngsters sleep more than adults, 12-14 hours. I wonder too whether she is not sleeping through the night (the past couple mornings I’ve found a computer on that I thought I’d put to sleep, so the noise might have disturbed her), or else was on a different sleep schedule. I got her up a little after 8am, but she seemed very cranky and screeched at me while I replaced the bowls for our morning routine. But she perked up today around 9:30, ate some breakfast, and then sat quietly under the UV light. (She doesn’t seem to like the UV light, though I don’t know whether that is due to the world looking different to her when it is on? I was told Lutino eyesight can be poorer, like Albino mutations). She takes many naps:

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…I tried very hard to just leave her alone to get settled in, but then, one thing led to another…

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(she is not yelling, I just got lucky and snapped the shot when she was either yawning or adjusting her crop.)

…She has been on my shoulder or at the back of my neck for most of yesterday and today. What a radically different experience to my first budgie! I put her back in her cage for “cage time,” but she tries to find a way out toward me. When I opened the door today, she came right over me, perched, and has been sitting there contentedly since. I’ve been doing homework, dishes, rocking in my rocking chair, and she does not screech at all, just sits contentedly. She seems to snooze on and off as she’s sitting. She seems to go in short bursts of activity (eating, preening, climbing and “beaking” things) and then a snooze.

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She tried a bath yesterday! Though I’m not sure if she liked it. I offered her one today, but she wasn’t as interested. The water might have been a little too cold. She was a bit shivery afterward. I got a little rice pack I use as a heating pad and heated it (more moderately than if I were using it) to offer her something warm. She didn’t seem interested. The first budgie never bathed, so I’ve got more to learn about this.

She doesn’t seem to be eating the greens I put in, but it is possible that she is still getting used to the new set-up. She seems to be working on figuring out how to get between perches in the cage. Lots of near-falls. Oh! And even with her wings clipped, she made it up to the top of my tall bookshelf:

Bird Wood Parrot Beak Rectangle


So she definitely manages flight, it’s just very fluttery right now.

I’m guessing she’s still getting used to the new setting. I think she was flock-calling for the first time this morning, and I was so sad to tell her that her brothers and sisters weren’t here. Today she has started occasionally chirp-singing while I work. I’m still learning exactly what she is communicating with her screeches—sometimes it seems more like “oh you startled me” and other times it is more of a “leave me alone.” I‘ve been going more off her body language than screeching, since she does it for so much—if she edges away from me, she doesn’t want something, but if she steps up and then refuses to get down, she was probably just surprised by my hand appearing in front of her. Though she often seems irritated when I “interrupt” her doing something, but once she has switched to the new activity, she is fine. I can relate–I hate task-switching before I’m ready too :)

Such a different experience from Ibid! I am hoping to get that pet clicker soon and see how she does with some training.
 

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Good to know she is settling in and is not afraid. I love the picture of her on your shoulder, she may have been yawning but it is so cute, its looks like she is screaming in your ear.:ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Today Luxie was not so interested in hanging out with me. She sat on my shoulder for a short time, and ate some millet from my hands, but that was about it. While I am a bit sad, I wonder if this her feeling more comfortable and wanting to explore her cage and the room more, which, I mean, feeling safer is a good thing. I am trying to figure out how to work on bonding but simultaneously keep from alienating her and “undoing” the benefits of her being hand-fed. I’m trying to give her more space and not be a “helicopter” bird parent… though with how cute she is, it’s hard to stay away.

Yesterday she tentatively poked at a few toys; she seems the most interested in pulling off bits of bark from her perches (this trend has continued today). Today she played with one toy on and off more persistently throughout the day, and explored more of the cage, touching a few other toys. Ibid never played, so it warms my heart to see her playing.

She has also been sighted on the swing:

Bird Vertebrate Parrot Pet supply Beak



She also takes preening very seriously, and does it many times a day:
Bird Photograph Vertebrate Beak Pet supply


…Today she seems to be getting a little more used to the UV light. She tends to sleep when it’s on, and gets more active once I turn it off. Not exactly what I was expecting, but perhaps she is not used to seeing the UV layer of the world.

She is definitely working on learning how to maneuver around the cage, hopping up and down, flying from one side to the other. She still has that little-kid clumsiness, and today missed a jump and ended up on the cage floor—she squawked in clear annoyance at what had happened, then worked on hopping back up. Ibid was so sure of himself when he moved around; he was really good at “sliding” down the sides of the cage and parkouring off to where he wanted to go, but Luxie seems quite new to figuring out where she is in space. (this makes sense—she’s only about ten weeks old!) She is ADORABLE and I love watching her figure things out. I talk to her especially when I see her investigating things or moving around, though I’m not sure how she feels about this, as she often pauses or stops what she’s doing. Maybe she’s just still getting used to my sounds and my space’s sounds, which are so different from all the birds she was around?

Oh, I hope she likes me and bonds to me! I’m trying to be good and let her explore. I also am preparing myself for her “independence” stage, if it hasn’t started in some manner already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So I'm not unprepared for how behavior changes as birds "settle in," but I still miss Luxie being eager to spend time with me :( I suppose it is a good sign that she wants to be in her cage, though. She plays with several toys, chirps more and more, and "almost" took a bath yesterday. It's a cushy birdie home, hopefully! She also seems to especially like pulling off bits of the two grapevine perches. As I write this, she is poking at one of the bells hanging from her swing--oh wait, back to shredding the perch :) I wonder if there are specifically grapevine shredding toys?

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She also does this ADORABLE thing where she "loops" 'round and 'round the perch because she tries to get to bits of the perch to pull off that are on its underside. It is EXTREMELY cute. As is when she exercises her wings and rapid-fire flaps.

I got her a clicker today for training! We have done one session so far, and just worked on "conditioning" the clicker (click, millet, click, millet, click, millet--to get her to associate the click sound with reward). She sat on my shoulder for it, but as soon as we stopped, she fluttered back to the cage. She usually ends up on top of the cage, and hasn't figured out how to get into it herself if she doesn't approach it from just the right angle. I might move a perch to door, that might help.

I need to check my sources, but I believe I need to condition the clicker a few more times before moving on to the training proper. I also need to figure out a target stick of appropriate size/length.

She seems reticent to forage right now, so I'm instead working with several different foodbowls as she continues to settle in. I'm trying the "veggie bowl" suggestion I read, which involves conditioning a bowl with bits of millet in it, and then transitioning to veggies and new foods in it. I'm still trying to figure out how best to establish a routine for introducing new foods, as she seems to ignore fruit and veggies right now.

While visiting the pet store for the clicker today, I spent some time just observing the budgies--it really is such a pretty sight to see a larger flock playing. I am so torn, wanting to bond with Luxie and also wanting an active flock! I do think there will be more budgies in my future, but not right this moment. ...I also saw a green-cheek conure that broke my heart, they seemed so lonely :( I do not have the means or experience to care for a bigger bird right now, and I do not wish to support big-box pet store bird practices, but simultaneously I very much get the desire to rescue sweet birds from "pet store suffering" when they aren't getting their needs met. The poor thing watched me a while, and then every time I stepped away it would call out. Goodness, my heart.

I will say though, my "someday" dream bird--assuming I find I do well with birds--would be a white-bellied caique. But for now, Luxie :)

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...This was me playing around with the filters on the "potrait" photo option on my phone. A bit blurry still.

And then just some cute poses as she's looking around as I work on uncovering the cage in the morning:
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Bird Photograph Vertebrate Parrot Pet supply



...Finally, another preening shot (one of her common activities):
Bird Vertebrate Beak Pet supply Yellow
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Today I got my first (several) hard bite(s) from Luxie. I think she might have been cranky, as it was at the very end of the day about ten minutes before bedtime. She’d gotten up in a precarious positon on one of her toys (she loves to climb up them as high as she can go) and I was nervous about turning out the lights for fear that she might take a tumble down to the bottom of the cage. I offered her one hand and with my other hand worked to steady the toy, and suddenly, she was biting hard. Maybe she had the situation more under control than I thought? Or at least didn’t want to move! I tried not to react, though I think I calmly said “ow” for at least one bite. I put her to bed after that; I realize I’m cranky as well, so she’s not the only one who needs to head to bed. I am getting better at trusting that budgies forgive pretty quickly; I remember the first time I made a mistake with Ibid, I felt like I had ruined everything forever with him. (Relievingly, that was not the case.)

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…Tomorrow she will be 11 weeks old, so I’m expecting extreme independence sooner or later—if it hasn’t started already. Anyone have any tips on working with a highly independent budgie? I don’t mean that I’m looking to dominate, more like I want to keep working on buildling a bond and try and win her friendly affection, but don’t want HER to dominate ME either.

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Yesterday Luxie fluttered out of her cage on her own for the first time in over a week—I’ve been leaving the door open, but she has been content to stay in the cage. I’m not sure if flying out was a mistake on her part or not, as (after taking a detour up my pantleg and onto my hand) she quite quickly returned to what she could reach of the cage—the top of it, as she, like Ibid, always ends up just a little too high for the door. I have a toy sitting up there now though, and so she played a bit. She still has no idea how to get back into the cage from being on top of it, so I help her out.

Bird Human body Gesture Finger Feather

(she always gets this craned neck and does a bit of head-bobbing right before flight.)

She has gotten quite vocal over the past few days, but only in the morning. We have these long converations that go approximately like this:

Luxie: CHIRP
Me: Oh hi
Luxie: CHIRP
Me: Oh hi
Luxie: CHIRP
Me: Oh hi

(Repeat x300)

…and for some reason she seems to like this. I have a few phrase I am repeating a lot: “Hi” or “Oh Hi,” “Yeah,” “I know,” “Pretty bird,” and the longer “I’m just a little bird!” …in the hopes that she might start talking.

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She tends to have a snooze early afternoon. She plays and eats on and off throughout the afternoon and evening, but she is MUCH quieter, for unknown reasons.

As per suggestion, I am using a chopstick for target training. We’ve advanced to the “conditioning the target stick” step. I try to train twice a day, but the morning session seems more successful than the evening one, in that she doesn’t seem as interested in eating the millet as much in the evening. I can’t complain about a bird that doesn’t overeat!

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I’ve been hanging lettuce in the cage, but she doesn’t seem to like this. However, when I put a small piece of romaine lettuce (maybe half the size of my palm) in the bowl I’m conditioning as a veggie bowl, she has enthusiastically devoured it—or at least, devoured it in a swiss-cheese hole-type pattern. I offered her a leaf from my hand this afternoon and she ate it the same way—by biting holes out of it! I wonder if it’s got that same satisfying feel for her like popping bubble wrap. I’ve been putting sprouts in there too, but she seems way less interested. Though she does continue to “check” them when she finds them... I wonder if it has to do with what seems to be her liking of thin “stringy” things, i.e. the bits of bark she’s always pulling on.

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Her balance and endurance has been improving. I think when I first brought her home, some of the intimidation of the cage was that she was still so young and hadn’t been on perches full-time. Now though, I’m starting to see her perched on one or the other foot, which seems like a good perching-strength improvement.

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I think she’s still trying to figure out water and drinking. I have a small water tube-dispenser thing as well as the bath, which Ibid always used as his drinking water (he liked it better than water bowl I was using). Luxie does this thing where she kind of spreads her wings and hovers over the water, and it’s difficult to tell whether she is drinking or trying to splash the water on herself in some manner. I took a video of it! I’ll try to figure out uploading sometime soon. In the meantime:

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…I’ve been noticing that she loves to lick water off the side of the bath bowl when I replace it after cleaning it (I try to dry it thoroughly, but there is always a bit of water on it still). She also likes licking the water off the lettuce leaf before perforating it. I’m not sure what to make of this! It’s adorable, it’s just odd— she does have several abundant water options, yet seems to prefer this.

I did notice this morning that the seeds I’d scattered on the bottom of the cage and that had not been eaten at all during the day had magically changed to empty hulls; I guess she scavenges at night? She seems to have nighttime exploration sessions, and almost seems to prefer dim light to bright light. I would have figured the opposite, given her potential genetically compromised eyesight, but who am I to say, still as a new bird owner.
 

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I loved your update!

She’d gotten up in a precarious positon on one of her toys (she loves to climb up them as high as she can go) and I was nervous about turning out the lights for fear that she might take a tumble down to the bottom of the cage.
I noticed with my boys that they sleep on the highest thing in their cage no matter what it is. So I can sort of direct where they sleep by making sure a swing or perch is the highest spot and not a toy. They will poop all over the toy if they sleep there, so I'd rather have them sleep somewhere else. I don't know if all birds are this easy, but you might want to give it a try to see if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I loved your update!



I noticed with my boys that they sleep on the highest thing in their cage no matter what it is. So I can sort of direct where they sleep by making sure a swing or perch is the highest spot and not a toy. They will poop all over the toy if they sleep there, so I'd rather have them sleep somewhere else. I don't know if all birds are this easy, but you might want to give it a try to see if it works.
Thanks for the good suggestion—it’s almost time to do a big cage clean/toy and perch re-arrange, so great timing. Right now I don’t think Luxie sleeps through the night in one go, re: the seeds on the ground not being eaten when she goes to bed but hulled and gone when I uncover her in the morning. She also will be on a high-but-not-highest perch when she goes to bed (not really going there because it’s bedtime, but because that is where she happens to be when the good-night routine is initiated), and then she’s usually on a lower perch when I uncover her. Her poop piles seem to indicate significant time in both places throughout the night, but generally those two spots. Midnight snack habit I guess? 🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are doing great with her and she is settling in well, she seems to know that she is the Queen of the Castle :LOL: Love the napping picture, it looks like she is meditating.
She DOES look like she’s meditating! Have you seen the bird comic “Chicken Thoughts”? There’s one where a bird is in this pose, picks up one leg, and then picks up the other so that they are magically hovering in a silly but clever twist. I kept thinking of it the whole time I was watching her.
 

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She DOES look like she’s meditating! Have you seen the bird comic “Chicken Thoughts”? There’s one where a bird is in this pose, picks up one leg, and then picks up the other so that they are magically hovering in a silly but clever twist. I kept thinking of it the whole time I was watching her.
I am not familiar with "Chicken Thoughts", I'll have to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I am not familiar with "Chicken Thoughts", I'll have to check it out.
If I may offer a couple links (versus images, to be mindful of copyright)—please do not feel pressured to check it out now or ever. I just like collating resources :)

The artist is Sarah Wymer, and it seems that she has been releasing her comics via Facebook/Instagram. However, she was able to publish a book last year, which can be found on Amazon here. While her bird “Chicken” is a cockatiel and is by far the protagonist of the comic, she draws many kinds of birds, including budgies. Perhaps the forum might enjoy this budgie-related comic in particular. Another budgie comic that makes me smile every time I see it is this one.

Finally, here is the comic I was thinking of when photographing Luxie on one foot.

(I looked through several stickies to make sure this was all right, but if posting these links in some way goes against forum rules, please do let me know and I’ll take this post down right away.)
 
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