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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Hello All, pictures and words for you. I admit the pictures don’t necessarily line up with the written content—it’s the end of the quarter, and so papers and presentations abound for me.

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A lovely portrait.


Luxie has grown very vocal, and I mean that in a pleased budgie-parent way. We still have our rapid-fire chirp exchange daily, but she has added the delightful budgie chatter-warble to her vocalizations. She is by far the most vocal throughout the morning and early afternoon; she gets quiet after the sun goes down.

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“Dad, do you know where my foot went?”


We have been clicker/target training for over a week, now. Luxie seems very enthusiastic—when she’s hungry! While she usually will be up for millet, I have seen her a few times this week turn her beak up at it for one reason or another. This morning for example, I think she was grumpy, because me removing the cage covering startled her, and so she would just not respond when I tried training. Several hours later, I tried again, and she was much more into training. I’ve read that sometimes birds just aren’t in the mood for training for any number of reasons. Which makes sense, I’m not always in the mood for my school training :p At this point, she knows to touch the target stick for a treat, and will come to my finger for a treat without the target stick IF she sees I have the clicker. My current goal is to get her to fly to me from an increasing distance across the room. She has a tendency to not want to pursue the target stick or my finger if they are too far away, so I’m trying to do the increase gradually. I’m also getting ready to start training her to get on the scale, but I jumped a little too far ahead as the scale was in the kitchen and that is far enough away from the cage that she was all “nope, I’m out” and went back into her cage.

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“Look dad, only one foot!”

She is such a cage-bird! I was expecting with her boldness for her to be all over the room, but no—I take her out, she flies back into the cage. Over and over. I’m a bit confounded, though perhaps it is my energy when she’s outside the cage, and me being more vigilant about her activities.

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Afternoon nap time.

With this in mind, I’m thinking to get a play gym for her to encourage out-of-cage playtime. I was reading a bit on the forums, and while sadly I’m not set up to do any DIY projects at this time, I read about getting a Java tree—expensive but high-quality and worth it, sounds like. Does anyone have recommendations on where to buy such a Java tree from? I might not be able to afford it right now, but I can save up for a few months, and in the meantime, there is a natural-branch-looking playground on Amazon that will tide us over until then.

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Maybe she’s doing yoga. Budgie pose!


I did give foraging another go, and it has gone better this time. She was so irritated when I removed her seed bowl, though! When I first did it for Ibid, he just looked lost and forlorn, then triumphant when he found the seeds at the bottom of the cage. Luxie, meanwhile, was disgruntled, and vocally let me know for a bit. When she did finally find them, it did not lighten her mood much; she still seemed grumbly about her “commute.” But as she has gotten better about descending to the cage floor, her mood on foraging seems to have improved.

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The one recent time she was exploratory outside the cage was because she found where I had the millet laid out when I cut pieces of it off the stalk for training. I whisked the stalks and buds off to another location, but let her forage the bits leftover.

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She mouth-feels her own toes occasionally. She doesn’t seem to be doing any damage, and she only does it every once in a while, but it’s different from when she “cleans” them when preening; more like she’s all “oh hey, what’s this thing—oh, that’s my foot that is attached to me. I see.”

She has yet to figure out that there is millet stuffed inside those rattan balls! Maybe someday.
 

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She really is a cutie!
Etsy.com has some great hand-made play gym options for you, at varying price points and sizes. I like this better than a big box option since you get a lot more transparency on who is making it and where it’s coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
She really is a cutie!
Etsy.com has some great hand-made play gym options for you, at varying price points and sizes. I like this better than a big box option since you get a lot more transparency on who is making it and where it’s coming from.
Excellent, I do love me some Etsy shopping. I also see some nice bird playgrounds and a few java tree perches over at a site called birdscomfort.com (unlinked since it looks like the post got flagged, definitely not intending to push any products!)… curious if anyone’s gotten things from them. Their playgrounds are lovely to look at and look enticing to the kid in me, but then, I’m a human, not a bird!

She's looking great and it sounds like things are going great as well. She's quite a model, seems like she enjoys posing for the camera.:)
Birds are so smart! She seems to have picked up very quickly how me grabbing my phone means attention :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
Luxie is GRUMPY when I get her up earlier than she is ready to--which is especially oddball, considering she is frequently up scrounging around at the bottom of the cage when I come into the room in the morning, with 30+ minutes to go before her official "get up" time. About 6/7 times a week, she is up early. That other one time is like, HOW DARE YOU I WILL TAKE YOUR FINGERS TO APPEASE MY RAAAAAGE.

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This is of of the 6/7 mornings as I'm starting to uncover the cage. "O hai dadther 'bout time you got up early bird gets the seed and all that"

So I'm very lucky that she was introduced to some veggies before I brought her home... but I'm finding that while she LOVES romaine lettuce and has warmed to sprouts, she is uninterested in a lot of other things. To be fair, I haven't been persistent in new-food introductions, because she is just so happy to have the lettuce. Today I put some very thinly-sliced carrots in her bowl. She very delicately pulled them out and threw them on the floor.

She has yet to try fruit, which, I mean, there are worse budgie problems. She does seem interested in looking at new foods, so perhaps with more time or more persistence or more innovation or even nothing in particular, she'll give something a try. In addition to the thin carrot sticks today, I also have corn kernels mixed in with some chopped carrot bits in a dish the bottom of the cage.

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Luxie observing--but not sampling--some blueberries in the dish at the bottom of the cage.

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Taken JUST as I was writing this--she is after the seeds, though perhaps keeping track of that mysterious dish with mysterious things inside.

I've taken to drizzling water into the bath dish from the top of the cage. After about a week of doing this, she began coming over when I do it, drinking from the trickling waterfall, and beginning to put her head under it. Today was the second day she did it, and today she did it a lot more confidently. I think she wants the waterfall-like trickle, but she has been uninterested so far in either the sink or the bathtub since her first bath here. Maybe with some time we can get back to one of the sinks for a full-body bath.

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Right now though, she just gets "bath-head."

I got an inexpensive but "natural perch" playground to tide her over until I have saved up a little money for a fancier one. It was WONDERFUL to have her out of the cage, on the table next to where I was sitting. I HAVE SINCE REMOVED ALL THE ROPE TOYS SHOWN IN THE IMAGE BELOW. I initially thought they would be fine since they are not cotton but natural hemp. HOWEVER, after the play session and with nagging doubt in my mind, I re-checked the stickies here and found that no matter what the fibre, a rope with loose end-bits is dangerous re: crop impaction.

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I think Luxie likes it when I'm in close proximity these days. She doesn't necessarily come TO me, but prefers me present to not.

I'm trying to bring her out of the cage daily; some days she tolerates this, others she heads right back to the cage. Her most impressive return was a rapid-fire hop-skip-jump from the hallway leading to the bathroom to the bookshelf, from the bookshelf to my rocking chair, from my rocking chair to the cage. She approaches parallel to the open cage door, does this amazing mid-air turn as she approaches the cage, and lands on her rope perch toward the back of the cage. I am sad she doesn't want to be out, but any time she flies around makes me happy, as I know she's getting exercise.

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Luxie flew from my shoulder in the kitchen toward her cage, landing on the cage cover/repurposed dark sheet. She is likely contemplating how to get around to the other side of the cage, where the open door is--I caught her mid-neck-crane, looking for where to fly next.

She does occasionally sit on what my friend called the "liminal perch"--the one at the threshold of the cage and the rest of the room that is attached to the cage door itself, which means that when the door sits open (any time I am home), it sits just outside the cage. I always count this a good sign, though sometimes I wonder if she is hoping for a treat, as I often use this perch during clicker training. Or perhaps she wants to train?

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The rainbow block toy in the background is technically for bigger birds like conures, but she loves nibbling on it. Based on her interest in peeling bits off her perches, more wooden-type shred toys might be in order.

And finally, an image of Luxie chilling shortly before bed. She LOVES her budgie yoga!

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I have many pictures of her on one foot because it's SO DARN CUTE--not because she only does this, which would potentially indicate a medical issue. So please take the large number of pictures like this only as me being a human responding to the insanely high cuteness levels of this bird. She actually flexed her foot at me when I took this--I didn't think of it at the time, but if I watch for it with a clicker, I might be able to start training her to wave at me!
 
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