Friday, September 24, 2010

Thinking about adding a pet bird to your flock?

The Ottawa Humane Society currently has many budgies looking for new homes. Interested in a budgie as a pet? Here's what you need to know...

Demeanor: Budgies are active, cheerful birds who are happiest and more vocal with another budgie (or two). As a small group, they chatter to each other as they eat and groom. Their vocalizations range from a scratching sound to chirps and squeals.

Enrichment: A climbing device, bird toys, and a small, solid-sided ball for use on the floor should be included in any cage. Any parakeet living alone (not recommended) should also have at least an hour of human interaction daily. Provide clean, small branches weekly for chewing; pear or apple tree branches are safe.

Life expectancy as pet: 5-7 years

Housing requirements: Largest cage possible to allow for flight, bathing and a nest box.

Diet as pet: A prepared parakeet mix from a pet store or veterinarian (not grocery store) should be present in their cups constantly, but you should consult your veterinarian on what to add to your parakeet's diet. They should be fed fresh, dark greens and small slices of fruit daily.

In the wild

Native to: Australia, widely distributed but chiefly interior.

Habitat: Timbered grasslands, dry scrublands and open plains; timbered areas bordering watercourses.

Diet in wild: Grass seed found on or near the ground. Feeding is often accompanied by a quiet chattering.

Social structure: Most active during early morning and late afternoon. Flock size may number in the thousands when on the move, or be much smaller when resting or eating. The flock may be overlooked except when moving due to the noise they produce. Large flocks move precisely, twisting and turning as one.

Information from the Humane Society of the United States.

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