• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Nervous new baby budgie

Periwinkle

Moving in
Joined
7/15/21
Messages
10
I'm thrilled to be welcoming Peri, a 7-week-old budgie, but wanted to get more experienced members' advice on what to do for the first few weeks to make him comfortable and happy and friendly.

He was handfed but seems extremely nervous - he stays in one spot for hours at a time and I'm worried he's not eating/drinking. He flaps in panic when I go to change food though he doesn't fly well. He doesn't seem interested in food at all - I try to give him millet, fresh veggies, pellets, in addition to seeds. I do have experience with budgies but didn't try to hand tame them, so this is new to me.

I feel like I should leave him alone so I don't scare him but I also don't want him to lose his 'handfed-ness' and comfort with being handled. What can I try? I know he'll take time to get settled but wanted some advice!
 

Solly

Strolling the yard
Joined
6/14/21
Messages
148
Peri is absolutely gorgeouS! I keep seeing so many beautiful budgies and the colours are so amazing.
how long have you had him? Was he fully weaned when you got him? It may be he just needs time to settle in and get used to all the new surroundingS.
you could check and see what his breeder was feeding him so you can offer something similar?
I have a single Gouldian finch I play Gouldian sounds for so he thinks (I hope) he’s got company. I know I am probably silly but it seems to settle him and he sings and chats back.
 

GreenThing

Sprinting down the street
Joined
5/24/21
Messages
449
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Kat
Merlin was almost silent-- only contact calls-- until his second week home with me. He is still very startled by unexpected noises or unfamiliar objects carried too closely or too quickly near his cage. I actually do something with him that I do when working with young kids with sensory issues-- before doing anything that might be startling, I look from him to the thing I'm about to do a few times (vacuum, stepping onto the squeaky chair pad underneath his cage, tearing open a box) and tell him something like, "I'm about to make a big noise, okay?" When he can visually see the source of a noise, he seems to startle less, too. When I first tried new things like unlatching his lower door (which squeaks) I'd do it a few times in succession saying each time "that's the lock, see?" before even opening the door. I don't think you can do too much talking with budgies.

In general, I try to move REALLY slowly the closer I get to him, even after two months. Like... absurdly slowly. And talk the whole time. Maybe stand with the food bowl, cage door closed, and touch it and point to it, and talk to him softly about it. "Oooh, this is your food! It looks so good! I'm going to put it inside your cage, okay?" Like, examine it and show it to him for a long time before even putting it inside the cage. I even use the same words to alert him that I'm opening the cage or turning off his cage light.

That's just my meagre two months of budgie caretaking talking, though. ;) There's a lot of other good threads about calming budgie anxieties on the forum!
 
Last edited:

Periwinkle

Moving in
Joined
7/15/21
Messages
10
Thanks Solly, I love his colouring too! I'm told he is a violet spangle, though maybe someone here can confirm (am I right in guessing single factor violet cobalt?). He's weaned and it's still his first week, I'm just not sure how slow to go! I'm feeding the same food plus veggies, though he hasn't touched those. Great idea with the bird sounds :)
 
Last edited:

Periwinkle

Moving in
Joined
7/15/21
Messages
10
Merlin was almost silent-- only contact calls-- until his second week home with me. He is still very startled by unexpected noises or unfamiliar objects carried too closely or too quickly near his cage. I actually do something with him that I do when working with young kids with sensory issues-- before doing anything that might be startling, I look from him to the thing I'm about to do a few times (vacuum, stepping onto the squeaky chair pad underneath his cage, tearing open a box) and tell him something like, "I'm about to make a big noise, okay?" When he can visually see the source of a noise, he seems to startle less, too. When I first tried new things like unlatching his lower door (which squeaks) I'd do it a few times in succession saying each time "that's the lock, see?" before even opening the door. I don't think you can do too much talking with budgies.

In general, I try to move REALLY slowly the closer I get to him, even after two months. Like... absurdly slowly. And talk the whole time. Maybe stand with the food bowl, cage door closed, and touch it and point to it, and talk to him softly about it. "Oooh, this is your food! It looks so good! I'm going to put it inside your cage, okay?" Like, examine it and show it to him for a long time before even putting it inside the cage. I even use the same words to alert him that I'm opening the cage or turning off his cage light.

That's just my meagre two months of budgie caretaking talking, though. ;) There's a lot of other good threads about calming budgie anxieties on the forum!
Wow, thanks for all the tips! Will definitely try these. I was just worried because he's so motionless and quiet but I think he just needs some time. My other birds were sassy haha so this is new territory.

When would you suggest trying to let him out of the cage?
 

GreenThing

Sprinting down the street
Joined
5/24/21
Messages
449
Location
South Florida
Real Name
Kat
Wow, thanks for all the tips! Will definitely try these. I was just worried because he's so motionless and quiet but I think he just needs some time. My other birds were sassy haha so this is new territory.

When would you suggest trying to let him out of the cage?
I have zero experience with a new bird that is fully flighted-- Merlin was clipped, and could fly pretty well with two flights, but he still has a lot of hesitancy that I think is related to the effort it takes him to fly. I let him fly free in the room right out of the paper carrier (I also got a lot wrong that first week-- I realize in retrospect that a lot of his boldness was from being REALLY HUNGRY, since the seeds I was mixing in his chop weren't familiar), and I think it helped him learn the room and avoid crashes (he will fly circuits either when startled by a crow outside or for exercise/fun, and he knows exactly how wide to fly and where it is safe to land). When he perched somewhere awkward and wouldn't come down, I'd just do whatever in the room for 20-30 minutes, talking to him and walking close occasionally, then eventually give millet, take a break again, then see if I could lure him with millet onto my finger.

The effectiveness of this might depend a lot on how skittish the bird is? Others with more experience might have tried a different method. I know with some budgies the issue is getting them OUT of the cage. Merlin feels safe in there now, but before the cage was "home" free flying did familiarize him with the room.
 

AussieBird

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
7/23/20
Messages
3,568
Real Name
Call me AB

camelotshadow

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/9/11
Messages
21,493
Location
S California
Real Name
Christine
:hello:

Any new bird handfed or not will be uneasy in a new home with a new person.

Just go slow & perhaps if the cage is near a window or in any event could be helpful to put a sheet to cover back & a side so he has a corner to retreat to to fee safe if need be.

Treats esp millet are loved by budgies.

Looks like my English Bubbles. Could be a violet (hard to tell color in photos & yours is very small) & is spangle but lighter maybe clear/ dilute.
Similar to Brits Raiju. bubblesP1160108.jpg

Enjoy your handsome new boy!
 
Last edited:

Dorcas George

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
9/3/19
Messages
1,721
:congrats5: What a pretty bird! Seven weeks...he's such a baby! Nothing to add to all the great advice here. Welcome to the Avenue and to the Budgie Blvd.
 

Periwinkle

Moving in
Joined
7/15/21
Messages
10
Aww, thank you everyone for making Peri and me feel so welcome! I will definitely take your advice and give him lots of time to settle - thanks for the reassurance.

Your English budgies are so cute, Camelotshadow and Lady Jane! Love how gentle and fluffy they look. I've attached some more pics, including his parents, if that helps with the mutation talk. I think the male is green spangle (dark factor?) and female is dilute spangle (mauve? violet?)...budgie genetics are so interesting.
 

Attachments

camelotshadow

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
11/9/11
Messages
21,493
Location
S California
Real Name
Christine
Wow, Lovely parents. Can't imagine how a blue or mauve bird could come from a pairing with a yellow green as usually yellow green is dominant & blue recessive. Yes, budgie mutations are very complicated

Maybe @Monica could lend her opinion?
 

Fergus Mom

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
11/23/17
Messages
4,848
Location
Texas
Real Name
Elly
I am just here to say how cute your little Periwinkle is, AND that I am clueless about mutations... when I first got here, I asked the ones that were good with mutations what mine were. They said that Fergus < over there on the left, is a green grey wing, and Fiona (the little rascal by Fergus in the profile photo) is a sky blue. I said - WAIT a minute... don't they get titles like the others - like "new fangled double spangled emerald sapphire utino?" LOL! No matter how much I read about mutations and genetics, it all sounds Greek to me. It doesn't matter anymore to me, I just thought they should have a fancy name, right? ;)

Peri sounds normal for a baby, and I see Kat, (@GreenThing) has already said how important it is to move verrrrry slowwwly around them at first. Great tip!
I posted a lot of details about mine's first days here in their diary here - (if it doesn't bore you to pieces LOL) Fergus and Fiona Diary / Log of training and daily adventures beginning JUNE 2017
 

Ripshod

Biking along the boulevard
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
12/6/18
Messages
7,450
Location
UK
Real Name
Linden
Yes to slow but don't loiter. Make careful deliberate movements around her, don't change your mind half way through a movement and talk her through what you're doing.
 

Lori D Pert

Rollerblading along the road
Joined
6/4/19
Messages
1,710
Location
Vancouver Island, Canada
Real Name
Lori
All budgies (hand reared or not) are skittish in a new envirornment. Time, patience, a soft loving voice and SLOW movements are the answer. Budgies all have distinct and unique personalities. Some are more outgoing and others are skittish. All can become quite comfortable with their humans. Slow is the way to go. There is no such thing as taking too much time to make a budgie feel at home. Take your cues from your bird. Talk softly to them but don't push it. Don't push them out of their cage too quick. It is their sanctuary. Give them time to make it their home. Sammy (who now owns the deed to my home..lol) did not budge from the bottom of her cage for 1 solid week. She then started to explore her cage. She then started to come to my face when I spoke to her. This all took 1 month. For others it may take several months. When I opened her cage for the first time I did so in a small room with places for her to land. Took a few tries until she (fully flighted) came out. But she knew me by then and I was lucky she landed on me. Take it slow. Their instinct is to be afraid of us. We are trying to circumvent their fear. Doesn't happen overnight.
 

soundsfun

Walking the driveway
Joined
7/15/21
Messages
178
Location
Canada
My little guy was handfed and 8 weeks old when I got him and he had me super worried through his whole first week with us. He didn’t touch his food, water or even millet. He also spent most of the day puffed up and sleeping. I thought for sure he was sick! The week after, he made so much progress in hand taming and has now become super bonded to us (we’ve had him for about a month now).
 
Top