Budgerigars or Budgies, as they are lovingly called, are the most petted bird in the world. Though native to the Australian continent, budgie soon found its place in the European and American homes. Their popularity picked up pretty fast due to their small size and their ability to sing and talk. Currently, they are the most popular bird in the world and comes third in popularity as pets, only after dogs and cats.
If you are planning to pet a budgie, don’t think of him as a little beginner’s bird since he is pretty social and outgoing and will demand as much of your time and attention as a larger parrot would. You will need to possess excessive patience and remain consistent while budgie taming and bonding with your little buddy. Also, adult budgies take more time to get comfortable with humans than baby budgies. Budgies between the age of 8 and 16 weeks are the most suitable candidates for taming and bonding.
First thing first, before you start taming your budgie consider clipping his wings to protect him from getting hurt during the taming sessions. He might just bang himself somewhere out of fear and get hurt if he is not clipped in advance. Once you have developed a strong bond with the bird, you can let his wings grow freely.
As your pet’s safety is your primary responsibility, you should consider placing your budgie in a well-ventilated cage so he is not run over by someone on the floor. Let the budgie get accustomed to his new surroundings for a few days before entering into his physical space. It is best to keep the budgie in a moderately busy room so that he can start perceiving people as companions rather than predators. Make sure that the selected room is not noisy as little budgies are quite sensitive to sounds.
To accelerate the process of making your little bird comfortable in your presence, you should consider doing your daily activities after placing his cage near to you. During this period, you can also bond with him by singing soft rhythmic rhymes as budgies love music. One thing to be taken care of is not to make an eye contact with him at this point of time as it will threaten him. In such a case, he might think of you as a predator and will never get comfortable in your presence.
Once the budgie becomes comfortable around you, you can start entering into his physical space. You can start familiarizing him with your hand from a distance to avoid making him feel threatened. Do not move your hand too fast towards the bird as it will make him feel nervous and he might run away from you to the opposite corner of the cage. The trick to speedily hand-tame your budgie is to win over his trust and confidence and make him feel safe around you. Treat him like a new little family member and you will have a smooth and pleasurable experience thereon.
One wrong move will do away all your past efforts
When the budgie becomes comfortable with your hand close to his cage, start putting your hand inside the cage but do not touch him at this point of time. If you are afraid of being bitten by the budgie, cover your hand with a towel. Do not remove your hand swiftly away from him if he tries to bite you, since it will be a threatening movement for him. So be prepared for such a reaction from the budgie’s end as you are about to enter into his physical space. One wrong move will do away all your past efforts of gaining his trust.
Sometimes Budgie taming is not so easy
After a few days, the budgie will be clear of your positive intentions and won’t be afraid of your hand inside the cage. You can then start enticing him to jump over your hand by offering him food in your palm. Spray millet would be the best choice for budgies as they enjoy it the most. You can also extend your index finger towards him and encourage him to step up on your finger by offering him a treat. The budgie won’t understand your intention of carrying it over your finger in the first instance, so you need to be patient at this step. Gently pushing the budgie upwards while placing your index finger just under his chest will teach him to step up from his place. He might hold the bars or run away to the corner of the cage, but after a few sessions he will start understanding your intentions. Once he makes a physical contact with your hand, you are good to go ahead.
Continue bonding with your little friend in the same manner for a few sessions and when he becomes pretty comfortable to hop onto your hand or finger, you can consider bringing him out of the cage slowly. For out-of-cage budgie taming sessions, opt for a clean and clean room with ample free space and no hiding places. A little empty room would be the best choice for this bonding.
Take the budgie’s cage to the room you selected considering his safety. Interact normally with him and make him comfortable in this new room. Once the budgie steps up on to your hand, gently move your hand out of the cage to bring him out in the open world. He might get nervous on leaving his comfort zone in the cage. If he goes back into the cage again and again, you might need to remove the cage from his sight while distracting him with a treat outside the cage.
A few such sessions of bonding and your budgie will happily step out of the cage with you while looking forward to his treat every time. When he becomes extremely comfortable and friendly with your out-of-the-cage advances, you can further train him to ride on your shoulder or play games with you. For further bonding, you can watch TV together, listen to some soft music, offer him the bird-safe part of your food, make him play with bird-safe toys or just show some love to him by cuddling him and rubbing his chin.
During this whole process of budgie taming and bonding with your pet budgie, you just need to remember that all he demands is your attention. The more time you spend with your new budgie, the more he will become friendly to you. With each passing stage of the taming session, your bond will grow stronger with your little cute pet.