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Bourke's or Splendids as hand-tame pets?

Dragonseer

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From all my reading, I have the impression that Bourke's are considered better--perhaps more personable and mild-mannered--than the Splendid (Scarlet Chested) parakeet. But what if both species are hand-fed/hand-tame? Do they compare favorably to one another, or do you find that one "wins out" in the pet category?

Confession: I have a HUGE soft spot for the Bourke's personality. Still, I recently saw some Splendid 'keets at a bird fair and was enamored with their coloration and their sweet faces, which looked almost identical to a Bourke's to me.

Thank you,
DS
 
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expressmailtome

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Whether they are handfed or not, scarlet chested parakeets tend to be birds that dislike being touched. They are considered better aviary birds than pets.
 

Dragonseer

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Whether they are handfed or not, scarlet chested parakeets tend to be birds that dislike being touched. They are considered better aviary birds than pets.
I have read that, though some may still say the same about Bourke's. (I know otherwise, though; Bourke's can be very loving and personable--while also not wanting to be touched.)

Perhaps SCP's aren't in my future--unless my husband were to say, "Let's get two SCP's instead of finches." (I doubt that'd happen. Heh-heh...)
 

SamandWilley

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I wish that they have a reputation for being more hands on. I really love their colors and the soft sounds that they make! I will get a Bourke or two in the future. There are just not many around here.
 

Dragonseer

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I wish that they have a reputation for being more hands on. I really love their colors and the soft sounds that they make! I will get a Bourke or two in the future. There are just not many around here.
Tame Bourke's are kind of like cats: they'll come to you when they're good-'n-ready. :D But I recall my mom's male Bourke's flitting on me quite a bit, though he didn't tend to hang out on a human for hours, like some other species would. But he was extremely curious and, so, kept checking up on whatever it was that the nearest human was up to.

He also flew to my upraised hand the first time that I called him and tapped on said upraised hand. He just knew what I was asking him to do and he did it--making that particular behavior more dog-like. :laugh: But, boy, was that lil' boy sharp as a whip and downright sweet. (You couldn't go wrong by getting a Bourke's or two, when the time is right.)
 

karen256

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What I have heard (from a breeder that handfeeds both) is that the splendids really are more skittish and naturally less tame, though they are still friendly on their terms. Both are known for being quiet and very gentle birds.
 

Appolosmom

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I have splendids and love them to pieces my female is very calm around me my male is a little skittish but notjing like he used to be
 

finchly

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What I have heard (from a breeder that handfeeds both) is that the splendids really are more skittish and naturally less tame, though they are still friendly on their terms. Both are known for being quiet and very gentle birds.
That's exactly what my breeder friend says. She's offered to hand raise a Bourke for me
 

Dragonseer

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That's exactly what my breeder friend says. She's offered to hand raise a Bourke for me
You couldn't go wrong with a hand-raised Bourke. The pair that my parents had were hand-fed/-raised. The female, Rosie, remained uncertain and a bit more skittish; the male, Andy, was fearless and funny as heck.
 

Twitter09

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I have hand-raised Bourkes and previously had hand-raised Splendids. There is definitely a personality difference. If you look at untame birds, Bourkes tend to freeze when frightened and Splendids tend to take off and this carries over a bit with hand-raised ones. If hand-raised, Bourkes tend to stay tame and bond with you whereas Spendids get more wild and are more flightly (even if hand-raised). That's not to say you can't have a hand-raised Splendid as a house pet - just that he may not stay finger-tame. He will want to fly around on his own but, if hand-raised, he will not be afraid of you - but he may be "hands-off" (no perching on your finger). And wing-clipping should never be done to either species. The both LOVE to fly and cannot climb like other parrots so wing-clipping makes them completely helpless. They also like to walk on the floor so a flightless Bourke or Splendid will just run away from you, if not fully tame - and both would be in danger of being stepped on, if they can't fly, since they like walking on the floor. My advice would be start with a hand-raised Bourke (pay the extra $$$ for a hand-raised one - it's worth the money).
 

santacruzjack

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Any grass parakeet in general will be extremely flighty and not prone to handling, even a completely hand-raised one that's seen no bird interaction may still grow shy of hands once it hits puberty.... Bourke's are like grass parakeets, but they're moderately more different in personality, i'd take twitter09's advice
 

Twitter09

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Bourkes might be the exception to the rule on Grass Keets as pets. Hand-raised Bourkes do make pretty good pets though and then tend to stay tame. I have 2 females that were supposedly hand-raised but I got that at about 6 months old (at different times), when the "tame" part was wearing off... The first one would step on my finger when I got her home... but reluctantly. Every time I got her out of the cage on my finger, she would fly right back in. After I while, I could get her about 20 feet from her cage and sit on a chair with her in the next room but she would rarely stay more than a minute before flying back to her cage. I was getting discouraged but I persisted, figuring that I should get her to go on my finger every day at least - and she learned "step up" to mean, I wanted her to step up. Finally, after a couple months of this, I just opened the cage door and went in the other room... and she flew to ME! And that was it. She became bonded to me quickly after that and now wants to come out as soon as she sees me. She will sit with me for hours if I let her and she will even look for me, all around the house, if she can't find me. The 2nd female did not bond to me as much but she will fly over and sit on my shoulder for long periods if I let her. As Grass Keets, they are behaviorally different from other parrots but, once you understand this, you can bond with them better. For example, my 2 Bourkes LOVE it when I lay on the floor (stomach down) in the living room. I guess it's like I'm one of the flock. As soon as I lay on the floor, they both come right out of their cages and start running around in front of me, crawling on my arms and shoulders. Maybe my presence makes the "ground" safe? The other thing to know about Bourkes specifically is that they are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dusk and dawn. This is great for working people but it also means, during the day time, they might seem dull as they like to just be quiet and rest on a perch (or you!). So anyway, you can se with my above example, you can get pretty far with taming and bonding with semi-tame Bourkes (in my case, former hand-feds that were not worked with for several months). The really young, fully-handled, hand-raised ones seem to be easier to tame and bond with so those should present no problem to make pets out of. I should also point out, Bourkes are great fliers - no need to clip - and mine have never gotten injured (even in my 18 X 20 foot glass sun room)!

As I said, they love for me to lay on the floor with them. I guess being Grass Keets, they love the ground. They also get their food bowls on the floor of their cages because I think they like that (I don't use any grid "mesh" thing on the bottom).



This is Twitter, my very devoted female Bourke, who will sit and watch TV with me all day, if I let her. But she flies right back to her cage no problem too. A very skillful flier - no crashes - but I never clipped her (but she was half-clipped from the breeder when I got her). She is 8 years old now.


This is my other Bourke, Rosine, out in my sun room with Lindsey, my Budgie. They interact a bit outside their cages during free-flight time but they have their own cages. I'm not sure I would cage a Budgie with a less aggressive Bourke Parakeet. I have quite a nice situation - both Bourkes and the Budgie know how to fly through my house out to my glass sun room on their own - and return to their cages by themselves - so they enjoy themselves and get lots of exercise.


This is Twitter in the "pool", with Peeper, the only Scarlet Chested Keet I had that really became tame. Unfortunately, he contracted Proventricular Dilation Disease and died young. If he infected my other birds, none have shown any sign.
 
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Dragonseer

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My apology for taking *this* incredibly long to make a second attempt at a reply to your post, Twitter09.

...My 2 Bourkes LOVE it when I lay on the floor (stomach down) in the living room. I guess it's like I'm one of the flock. As soon as I lay on the floor, they both come right out of their cages and start running around in front of me, crawling on my arms and shoulders. Maybe my presence makes the "ground" safe? The other thing to know about Bourkes specifically is that they are crepuscular, which means they are most active at dusk and dawn. This is great for working people but it also means, during the day time, they might seem dull as they like to just be quiet and rest on a perch (or you!).
My husband and I are "rabbit people" and lived with three wonderful housebuns; so we are very familiar with the wakeful and restful pattern of crepuscular creatures. :D As luck would have it, we also are very experienced with turning ourselves into "play gyms" by lying face down on the floor. (Our rabbits loved crawling all over us and even inside of our shirts, or even a roomy bathrobe that was a particular favorite.)

So anyway, you can see with my above example, you can get pretty far with taming and bonding with semi-tame Bourkes (in my case, former hand-feds that were not worked with for several months). The really young, fully-handled, hand-raised ones seem to be easier to tame and bond with so those should present no problem to make pets out of. I should also point out, Bourkes are great fliers - no need to clip - and mine have never gotten injured (even in my 18 X 20 foot glass sun room)!
I don't know if you saw my previous posts, but my parents--i.e., my mom--purchased a male and female Bourke's years ago. (She housed them in a roomy cage with a divider, so as to prevent breeding.) They had been hand-fed but also weren't handled for several months prior to their purchase. The male was instantly friendly--even downright chummy--with us humans; the female was more reserved and would always follow her partner's lead, looking to him for an extra boost of courage.

This is Twitter, my very devoted female Bourke, who will sit and watch TV with me all day, if I let her. But she flies right back to her cage no problem too. A very skillful flier - no crashes - but I never clipped her (but she was half-clipped from the breeder when I got her). She is 8 years old now.
That is incredibly sweet. :xflove: I've no doubt that my mom's male Bourke's, Andy, would've done the same, if it'd been safe for him to be outside of his and Rosie's "bird room."

I have quite a nice situation - both Bourkes and the Budgie know how to fly through my house out to my glass sun room on their own - and return to their cages by themselves - so they enjoy themselves and get lots of exercise.
That is a very nice setup that you have for them; clearly, they greatly benefit from it and just plain enjoy it. :)

This is Twitter in the "pool", with Peeper, the only Scarlet Chested Keet I had that really became tame. Unfortunately, he contracted Proventricular Dilation Disease and died young. If he infected my other birds, none have shown any sign.
I am very sorry that Peeper passed away from PDD. Hopefully, no other birds in your life will show any signs of it. (BTW, I think it's fantastic that Peeper became really tame with you.)
 

Flyover

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I love Bourkes! I have a pair who are very bright and curious. They have a cage across from another cage with budgies, who they go visit every morning. They also fly into my main cage with finches and doves. They get along with everyone, but they are not tame by any means. I used to have a male who would step up and would perch near me but never very close. After he died, I found another male, who is far more skittish than the female, who likes to fly to the French doors of my sun room to check me out when I am on the other side.

@Dragonseer, I also have rabbits, though I don't think they are as crepuscular as their wild counterparts. The Bourkes are more dependable before dawn and after dusk with their charming chirping.
 
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