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The good, the bad and the ugly about Bourke Parakeets as pets!

Discussion in 'Aussie Grass Parrots Lane' started by Coki, 3/15/15.

  1. Coki

    Coki Sprinting down the street

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    Alright, when i was researching on Bourkes i saw lots of topics refering to this specie, but there wasn't a "good, bad and ugly" thred, so i thought it may be a good idea to start one :) Please! Feel free to add your own experiences to this topic!

    I've owned Citrus for just five months, he is now nine months old. I got him from a breeder and he was also handfed.

    Let's start with the good!

    Citrus is a really quiet parrot, he doesn't scream, nor is too messy with food. Bourkes have these sweet little chirping that everyone loves, they also chirp while they fly! So it's easy to know when they're flying, even if you're not in the same room. They are not destructive either, which is why they're so recommended as apartment pets. I've never met a parent raised bourke, but i can tell a handfed one makes a great companion.

    They never bite, and if they do it doesn't hurt at all. I believe that, if parents are responsible, they can be a really good pet for kids, as long as they are properly guided and educated about parrots needs.

    They are not overly dependant, but they enjoy being your pal. Citrus loves to perch on me, and when i wake up in weekends and i can spend a bit more in bed, i open his cage and he flies to the pillow and takes a nap with me :). I can also kiss his belly with no issue, he enjoys that a lot. But i can't pet/kiss/rub any other part of his body. He's a really amazing companion, and i wouldn't change him for anything :)

    The bad:

    There aren't much bad things about bourkes. They may have cons if you're looking for a dependant bird, or probably a more interactive one. If your wish is to train a parrot, then bourkes are not the type of bird you are looking for. I'm not saying bourkes are not trainable, i'm sure mostly every animal is. The problem is bourkes get easily bored and it's hard to catch their attention.

    Another thing, probably not bad, but that you should be aware is: Bourkes loves to fly, you may say "every bird loves to fly", yes, but bourkes most. I see he needs to fly much more than my budgies to be satisfied, especially in the early mornings. He escaped TWICE, and even though everything went good, i know he would of do it again, and even if he's not caged, my house is kinda small, so i'm guessing bourkes would be happier in bigger houses or aviaries, give them as much space as you can, and always watch for doors and windows!

    I'm sure if you do, you'll get a wonderful partner :)


    The Ugly: None

    CITRUS

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Cynthia & Percy

    Cynthia & Percy cockatoo mania Super Moderator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    sounds like a sweet bird
     
  3. eleni

    eleni Sprinting down the street

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    Wow, Citrus is gorgeous!! :heart: Loved your post, very informative. Oh, and as a side note, you have a lovely eye color :)
     
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  4. Coki

    Coki Sprinting down the street

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    Oh, thank you Eleni :), My eyes are light brown, but depending on the eye, lol. One is a bit darker than the other. And thank you for your words on my little baby, he's such a joy!

    Indeed he is!

    I forgot to add that another good thing on bourkes is that they stay tame even if they live in large folks. I'm planning to bring him a friend so he can spend time with her while i'm not at home. Though, it's really challenging to make him play with stuff and even make him forage, enrichment is not easy either, but he loves to chew on fresh branches :).

    Let's see if more bourke owners join us and tell us their experience.

    @Birdaholic may be interested aswell.
     
  5. frogfoot

    frogfoot Meeting neighbors

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    I'm so glad you started this thread!! I'm on the fence about getting a bourkes, so this is all very good info. ^_^
     
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  6. MyAussieFriends

    MyAussieFriends Rollerblading along the road

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    One day I'll have a bourke - they just seem like gentle little souls.
     
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  7. Coki

    Coki Sprinting down the street

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    I'm glad this helped you out! When I started researching I asked lots of questions. I may not be the most experienced over here but I would answer any questions. It's funny, 'cause as time passes he gets better on anything! If you get one, though, try introducing healthy food as they are young. It took him a long while before even trying anything fresh or cooked. Now he eats corn, peas, quinoa, integral rice, wheat, sometimes bee polen and spirulina. He likes sprouts and sometime he will chew on green leaves such as dandelion.

    They are, I can't believe they're so easy going. Sometimes I feel sad 'cause one of my buddies bullies him sometime. But he's such a kind and sweet boy that won't react and he would just fly away. A Bourke will totally be a great addition to your flock :)
     
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  8. Applebutter

    Applebutter Jogging around the block

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    What a pretty little bird, love the coloring he has!
     
  9. Heather F

    Heather F Rollerblading along the road

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    If I was going to have any itty bitties, my first choice would totally be bourkes. They seem like such charming little things.
     
  10. rockybird

    rockybird Rollerblading along the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran

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    Great write-up! Your boy sounds wonderful!
     
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  11. Coki

    Coki Sprinting down the street

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    Awww, i just see these comments, thank you guys! Citrus is indeed a wonderful boy. I may bring a friend for him next year. He's so sweet and gentle and he always wants to be with the budgies and they sometimes are a bit bully, he needs company of its own specie, he deserves it :).
     
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  12. missrbudgie

    missrbudgie Checking out the neighborhood

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    We recently lost our adorable budgie. I keep wondering if I did something wrong. I've had other birds before but this one passed away so suddenly and unexpectedly. I miss her so much. Is it a bad idea to get another bird so soon? If not would a bourkes parakeet be a good idea? I plan on going back to work soon so maintenance needs for the bird would have to be low but I do want to be able to spend evenings and hopefully weekends with the bird. Should I get a bird or is it that I miss my parakeet so much that I think I want another one and I should wait? If I do get another bird I want to know everything I can about it so I can give it the best life possible.
     
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  13. Kales

    Kales Meeting neighbors

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    Hello,
    Everything you said about the Bourke pros is right on! They are the sweetest and most mellowest bird. They are so easy to keep and peaceful. Just happy go lucky birds. Bourkes suite my lifestyle as I can take my little guy out and spend hours on hours with him, but if there is a busy work day he is also OK to have a day in his cage or I can let him where he can keeps himself busy.
    Not that its a con, but if someone is looking for a playful, busy, cuddly, and clingy bird then a Bourke might no be for you.
    My Bourke loves to sit on my shoulder while I do things around the house or to just sit and chill with me, but he isn't overly cuddly.
    The only con I can say is Bourke's are pron to night frights and our little guy sadly has had a few scary ones where we have had to pull out blood feathers.
     
  14. expressmailtome

    expressmailtome Ripping up the road Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    I am sorry to hear that.
     
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  15. Kales

    Kales Meeting neighbors

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    So sorry to hear about your budgie. There are somethings we just can't explain when our pets pass and that is sometimes what makes it so hard. Please don't blame yourself.
     
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  16. SamandWilley

    SamandWilley Walking the driveway

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    I have been interested in Bourkes ever since I started looking for birds. I am going to get some now!! Pretty excited about that! They are not hand tame, but I am looking forward to enjoying their quiet beauty!
     
  17. Biohazard

    Biohazard Moving in

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    I am still new to co-owning a Bourkes, but I will add what I know to this! We have had Jellybean for about 4 months and got her from a local bird specialist store who sources from local breeders. She was hand raised.

    The Good

    Jellybean is SUPER quiet. Even at full volume she is probably at half the sound level of most other birds her size. Most of the time she makes no noise at all. When she does chirp she just quietly chitters to herself. The chittering is quite endearing and she seems to try to talk with outdoor birds at times. She does have a more piercing chirp she uses when her mom gets home or gets up in the morning.

    Despite being little she is quite intelligent. She knows her name and will come when called. She loves foraging for her food, and my girlfriend brings her home shredded paper from work. She has a little tub full of paper shreds in her enclosure that we hide food in.

    She is very docile and gentle. She will bluff the heck out of us at times and hiss and act tough when she isn't in the mood to be messed with but has never hurt me with a bite. She mostly just jabs at me with her beak.

    They are also small, and that might be good for a bird lover with limited space and money.

    The Bad
    When my girlfriend got a bird she wanted one she could give scritches to. I told her over and over to get a cockatiel or lovebird but she had her mind set on a budgie or a Bourke's. It didn't take too long for her to realize that even though there are a few cuddly grasskeets... most are not. Jellybean is not unfriendly but really prefers to be "hands off". She does not want her back or head touched at all. She will allow a little bit of belly touching but that is about it. We are hoping to work up to more touches but if you want a cuddly bird look elsewhere. She does still enjoy being social but in more of a, I will sit out with you kind of way.

    She is not super playful. She likes shredded paper but doesn't interact with her other toys much. If you want to watch your pet bird playing gleefully with toys you might need to look elsewhere.

    The Ugly
    As someone else mentioned, they can be prone to night frights. Jellybean once nearly killed herself when the battery for her nightlight went out and she got startled. It was a really scary situation for my girlfriend. If you get one make sure you run a nightlight!
     
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  18. Familyof12

    Familyof12 Rollerblading along the road

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    Thank you everyone for the information on Bourkes! :wow:Super informative real life descriptions too! We have a budgie, Sola who loves and loves scritches on his/her head but we do avoid touching the belly area. I was "tickling" mine as he/she was begging (looked like the excorist girl walking backwards on belly :scared3: or want to step up "too many" times :balloony:) and someone said hormones. Yikes. :omg: So no more "tickles" in the belly or wings or back :wasntme:. Nope...just neck and head. :budgie8:
     
  19. Hope Taylor

    Hope Taylor Checking out the neighborhood

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    I just wanted to give another perspective on owning a Bourke's. We have a Rosy that we have had 19 years. We won him in a raffle at a bird mart when he had been recently weaned. At the time, we also had a budgie, and we won a cockatiel at the same time (a female). I'm not sure if it's exposure to the budgie, or what, but our Bourke's is quite feisty. He is smart and makes sweet sounds (although we've taught him parts of American Cardinal calls and he does make budgie noises occasionally), but he gets his temper up and can bite (if you have to hold him to clip his nails, for example). Evidence of his intelligence: when he bites, he ALWAYS chooses the most painful location he can reach (cuticle, the webbing between thumb and forefinger, etc.) and that sharp little beak can break the skin! He loves to play fight like our budgie did (making threatening beak gestures when you play with his toys or approach) although he only bites when you are holding him. He also can growl (which is ridiculously cute) when he's not in the mood for you to approach his cage. He did bond with the 'tiel we got at the same time and wooed her incessantly until she passed away, so that may have influenced his attitude. He does love to fly, likes talking to us (especially my husband), responds to sounds from movies/music/games, and gets excited over certain foods. He has occasionally had problems with night frights.

    I thought it would be good to give dimension to this bird's profile. I would love to have another Bourke's.
     
  20. Ling

    Ling Checking out the neighborhood

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    I have two rosy bourkes and they are by far my favorite bird species. Just make sure that you find a breeder that has handfed or handtamed babies because the breeder that I got mine from said it is almost impossible to tame them if they're parent raised and fed. I got my first one, Madmartigan, in October. I feel in love with his personality immediately. He liked to hang out by my English budgie cage and they're buttholes and I was afraid they'd bully him because he's such a gentle bird so I contacted the breeder I got him from and asked her to let me know the next time she pulled babies to handfeed. She contacted me in January and said if I wanted one of his brothers, she would reserve him for me. Toasty came home with us about a month later. Different personality, but still a sweet, gentle bird and I saw an immediate bond between them.

    The Good - They are SO sweet. Mads likes to be out with me seeing what I'm doing, riding around on the top of my head, tasting my food, watching the fish in the aquarium. He's nosy and has to be involved with everything we do. He's never bitten me and he's in the middle of hormonal spring bird time right now and it still doesn't cause aggression. When I watch tv he likes to sit on my knee or foot and talk himself to sleep. Toasty is his brother. He got that name because he's a little milquetoast of a bird. He follows what Mads does at all times. If Mads decides it is time to fly back into the bedroom to sit on the computer monitor, Toasty is right behind him. If Mads decides it's time to fly into the kitchen and run around on the floor or the counters, Toasty is right behind him. He only stays out for a little while and then gets back into the cage to chill out. Where Mads is super extroverted, Toasty is a little introvert who likes to have "me time" while Mads is terrorizing the rest of the house.

    Even their calls are adorable. Right now I can hear Mads in the living room sitting by the door to his cage throwing a fit because he isn't out with us, but even the contact calling and "HEY HEY I'M HERE COME PAY ATTENTION TO ME AND LET ME OUT TO POOP ON EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR" is adorable. They don't really get loud at all. I know where they are at all times when they are flying around the house because they chirp and call as they fly.

    They are super clean little birds. The budgies make a giant mess of seeds all over the floor. Mads and Toasty don't fling their food everywhere.

    I have heard about night terrors but have thankfully never experienced them. I covered them the first month that I had them so they got used to sounds of the house. Now their cage stays uncovered but there is an automatic night light between their cage and the budgies' cage to give them some low light for security.

    The Bad - They really like running around on the floor. They're grass parakeets, so forage time means two rosy bourkes running all over the floor picking up whatever they find. It's important to remember that and to watch yourself when you walk around because they don't call to each other on the floor as much as they do in the air. If you have dogs, make sure that they aren't going to react poorly to running birds. My pugs and chins like watching them run and their breeds don't have much of a prey drive but I am vigilant at all times when I know they're on the ground. It's funny sitting in a room and here come two birds running around the corner instead of flying in, but they're so delicate that it makes me cautious about it.

    If you are looking for a bird that wants to be cuddled and scritched, this is not the species for you. They like being with you and part of what you're doing, but they are not the birds who sit with their heads bent waiting on head scritches. Touching Mads or Toasty will send both of them flying to a part of the couch or chair that is out of reach. They know step up, will use me as their personal climbing gym or sleeping platform, and really enjoy riding around on the top of my head, but other than that I don't touch them. It's like they choose when they want that contact.

    Because they love to fly and don't ever climb on the sides of their cage to move around, I keep them fully flighted. It becomes habit after a while, but you HAVE to make sure that no doors get opened while they're out because they are so fast that they will be out before you know it. I don't even let the door to the garage get opened while they're out because I want everyone to always think twice before any door is touched. I feel bad saying it, but I had a cockatiel accidentally get out that I loved dearly and it devastated me. The bond that I had to her is nothing like I have with Mads, and I can't imagine losing him.

    The Ugly - none. I love this species!
     
    Last edited: 4/7/18
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