I have had my sweet Kimiharu and Mimi for about six months. I got them both from a neglecting owner who had gotten them from PetSmart.. another bad place. These two HATE humans, and the things all humans have: HANDS. I am starting this journal to keep track of my new journey with them, as I reverse these six months and start from zero all over again.
Kimiharu and Mimi are very skittish. They flatten their feathers when I come in the room even after six months, and tremble like little scared chihuahuas. It breaks my heart, but it isn't my fault or their fault. It is hard to put my hand in there, like to change their food and water.. because they go flying everywhere and smack into the cage walls. I'm going to start from zero and just sit in the room with them and have small chats with some music going. I have had them in my room with me and my fiance, but I have now moved them to a smaller room where it is quieter. I hope this helps the process.
Thank you for rescuing these two. They don't hate us but are terrified because they have had, with the exception of you, lots of negative experiences with humans. Sitting nearby
and talking are good starts but if you have to put your hand inside of the cage for food and water you may want to check out a cage that dishes can be serviced from the outside.
Otherwise, a smaller room could make them feel more comfortable. Budgies actually enjoy more noise, music, tv, etc while silence can create insecurity. Experiment with different sounds that they might respond to and see what works. All your movements around them need to be very slow, even sitting close without moving at all several times a day, could be a good start. Good luck.
I had a similar experience with my first budgie. Every interaction, like changing food, felt as if I was traumatizing her. How I started making progress was determining how close I could stand to the cage without her being absolutely terrified (as in looking for an escape, moving away from my direction ect). In the beginning it was quite far. If she didn't retreat after a while of me standing the distance, I would take a step back as a reward. After a week, or when you think they're ready, take another step forward and repeat... Since your starting from scratch, maybe try to break down each of the steps you did before even further.