Watch this space for a new adventure in hand feeding tiny parrots. That’s right, parakeets, or budgies, are actually small parrots, as are lovebird and cockatiels. I’ve never attempted to hand feed a budgie before because if you work with them enough, you can easily tame them. They are awesome birds for first-time owners.
Someone has been asking for a hand fed budgie, so I put nest boxes in my outside aviary and lots of eucalyptus branches. They have a bin of food, drinking water, and a splash dish for bathing. My two pair got to work and laid eggs as if they were out to save the species.
Sadly, they depleted their cuttlebone supply without my noticing, and I lost one of the hens to binding. So crushing, but I will replace her as soon as possible. Mated pairs are always happier than single birds.
Still, the most interesting thing has happened. So far three of the eggs from the remaining hen have hatched and she is being the best mom possible. Her mate is also doing great, feeding her and sitting with her when she comes out for a break. The lone male is playing uncle, sitting on top of the nest box when Dad is looking in the opening, and feeding Mom when she lets him.
The hen is blue and the male is green, so I am excited to see what colors the babies are. I try to keep out of the nest box so I don’t disrupt the parents too often, but so far they have been champs about going back to the chicks. Another week and I will be pulling them.
I have nine or so finch chicks and lots of eggs in the finch aviary so I am expecting a population explosion there. Figuring out which birds are the newcomers so I can cull them is really difficult. Add to it the fact that I have a bunch of white zebra finches where sexing is difficult, and you know the stress I am feeling. I’ll get things worked out eventually.
Sadly, I lost my sweet male cockatiel, Ash, the male half of my best breeders. Mom Bird had three eggs laid when Ash expired. (I’ve had him for close to ten years and he was not young when I got him) I hoped that Mom would sit on the eggs and I would get one last round of albinos and white-faced grays. But leaving her there alone lasted only a few days. She seemed totally confused by the changes in her circumstances.
Because Pineapple, a beautiful male, has been in love with Mom for years, I let him fly across the airlock and join her. Minutes later, he started courting her. Fingers crossed that they will be successful together.
And the best news possible, my Indian Ringneck Parakeets have gone into their next box! Like all IRNs they love to go in and out all through the incubation period. I am more excited about the fact that Orion is actually female! I hope to have some chicks to hand feed. Love these parrots so much.
Thanks for reading, I’ll back next Sunday.