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Introducing the new Bourke

Pockets

Walking the driveway
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Hey y'all.

After years of deliberation I've finally "pulled the trigger" so to speak, and now have a sweet little Bourke's parakeet. Name TBD. 3 or so months old, weaned, handfed, unfortunately clipped. Picked him (filler pronoun) up last night - this is his first day with us.

Here's a photo. Will take more once he's more settled.

Any tips on managing my/the bird's anxiety during this trying time? Speaking softly, playing music quietly. While changing the water dish he darted out of the cage and zoomed for the radiator, and had to be caught mid glide. Hope this doesn't slow down the bonding too much!
I don't know if my weak constitution can handle the stress of new bird ownership! :faint:

- Mike
 

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Chantilly Lace

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What a beautiful bird! Wow. Let him settle in for a week or two, and then slowly start bonding. It should be easier since he is still very young. They are very forgiving, so hopefully will not hold the catch against you.
 

rockybird

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I might partially cover part of the back of the cage so he does not feel so exposed. What size cage is he in? He is very cute.
 

Tyrion

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Pretty birdie:)
 

Pockets

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Thanks for the feedback! He's currently (and temporarily) in an 18" x 18" x 18" while I'm waiting on quotes for custom flight cages. Will cover the back of the cage to make him feel nice and safe.
 

rockybird

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You might also consider a HQ single flight or double flight cage. It might be cheaper than a custom flight. I have the double flight cage for two parakeets and they love it.
 

Aubrey

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Very cute little bourke :heart:
 

sunnysmom

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Congrats on your new bird! :)
 

Pockets

Walking the driveway
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Thanks y'all! The double flight cage looks great @rockybird, will certainly consider.

Updates:

We've (partner & I) named him 'Pockets'
He loves to eat celery, and is happily picking at broccoli sprouts and wheatgrass.
He already plays with his toys and gnaws on his cuttlebone.

He is petrified when we change newspaper at the bottom of his cage - any suggestions?
 

Monica

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He is petrified when we change newspaper at the bottom of his cage - any suggestions?
1. Remove him out of the cage prior to cleaning

2. Separate the cage wires from the tray itself. Set the wire part of the cage down on pre-laid papers or a towel. Change/clean the bottom part of the cage. Reassemble cage.
 

Brendajean71

Walking the driveway
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How is it going with your Bourke? I have a new one and am wondering what kind of progress you have made so far. I know it takes time but I really do hope that mine will eventually want to interact with me, sit on my shoulder etc.
 

Coki

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Bourkes are incredible gentle by nature. If your was handfed the process will go faster, but I recommend to go slow.

When I first got Citrus I used to sing to her a lot. In fact I always sing the same song to my birds to help them relax and it works incredibly well.

Don't force him/her. Offer food and if he is scared of your hands just put it on the other side of the cage without having contact.

Try not staring at him, I've figured that blinking softly makes them feel more secure, since staring at them means challenge, consider they are prey birds.

Give him time! I'm pretty sure he will settle down fast! And offer millet sprite, they LOVE it, lol.
 

Tim

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Beautiful!
 

Brendajean71

Walking the driveway
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Thank you Coki I really appreciate the advice! He was not handfed so it will take time before Pinky trusts me I'm sure. I am giving him a lot of space. :)
 

Pockets

Walking the driveway
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How is it going with your Bourke? I have a new one and am wondering what kind of progress you have made so far. I know it takes time but I really do hope that mine will eventually want to interact with me, sit on my shoulder etc.
Hey @Brendajean71

Congrats on your new Bourke - S/he looks very cute! Do you know the age? (You may have covered this in your thread...)
Everything is going very well here! Pockets is a fantastic pet, and I'm so happy to have him in our apartment.

Our initial experience:
When we got him home, we gave him a week to settle in before we started to work on some basic interaction and "training" (this is where opinions vary on when/how to interact during the first weeks/months - this is just what happened/worked for me, but it certainly won't work for every bird) Basically, we just held his favorite foods until he would come around and take it from us, and then eventually worked on step-up training. Once he got settled, used to us/our hands, we've taken Pockets out of the cage every day for minimum 2 hours (unless he goes back early on his own.)

In terms of his "training" - he steps up consistently when there is a food reward - usually broccoli (a favorite), freeze dried corn, or millet. We took it very slow getting him to this point, focusing on him having some out of cage exercise time, punctuated by enticing him with treats. We were able to teach him to fly from one standing perch to another (close to the ground/short distances - he's still regrowing his flight feathers)

We've also taught him to whistle the tune of "If you're happy and you know it" and a (very tacky) wolf-whistle which he copies with incredible ease. He seems to pick up whistles very quickly if you catch him at the right time of day. More recently he has shown an interest in climbing up to our shoulders.

----------------------------

But this is where we are, just now, after almost 4 months with a young handfed Bourke. Take your time and enjoy all of the little moments - first bath, first whistle etc., and be (excruciatingly) patient. They typically don't like to be touched, and aren't particularly affectionate - but don't confuse this with dislike/disdain. Pockets now wants to be around us all of the time.

FYI: Everything I've ever read about Bourkes says that they are quiet birds. This is not true (at all) in our case. *shrug* He's worth it.

Please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any questions, want to know which foods he prefers, which ingredients we're putting in his "chop", or anything at all.

- Mike
 

Brendajean71

Walking the driveway
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Hi Mike and thank you for the update. Wow, sounds like you are making incredible progress with Pockets! I have a feeling that my guy, Pinky, is a real sweetheart and I am hopeful that we will be great friends. He is very respectful of my two female Turqs which makes me very happy! I tried bringing a Parrotlet into our family but after two months I realized what a mistake that was as he was just tooooo aggressive with my two girls. But I found that guy a very good new home where there was another Parrotlet to play and cuddle with.

Pinky hates being in his cage and so I know that I will need to be giving him a lot of out time in the mornings and the evenings. I will get up earlier to accommodate giving him a couple of hours out before I go to work. He has most of his flight feathers - the gal at the pet store was about to cut them when I asked to see Pinky but I stopped her. Getting Pinky back into his cage when I have to go out is a bit of a challenge. Once I get him on a perch he will fly away the first few times but after four or five tries he will stay on the perch long enough to be put back into his cage. I don't think it will be too long before he will step up on my finger - I will try the broccoli!!

Thank you again and I just might be asking your advice in the future!

Brenda :)
 
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