Ask Lafeber

Question:

July 26, 2022

Budgie Trauma


So, my budgie and I used to be very close. He would spend a lot of time with me everyday. However, I recently lost him, but luckily, I got him back from the Parrot Rescue. Ever since I got him back, he doesn’t want to spend time with me outside the cage. I’m pretty sure it’s the same budgie I lost, since when I brought him back, he was very familiar with his cage and also very excited to see his cage mates. He is still very comfortable around my presence. He closes his eyes when I talk to him, and he also jumps on my finger when I offer him treats, but he no longer wants to spend time with me outside the cage. Has my bird been traumatized? Or, does he not feel secure since the Rescue clipped his wings? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Answer:

Hi Zaid,

I would say it is a combination of getting lost and having the wings clipped. While letting birds fly free indoors is ideal for their health, you must have control over doors and windows. You had some type of incident that allowed him to get away, and were very fortunate to get him back. Most lost birds are never reunited with the owner. I would encourage you to let his wings grown back when he molts, but only if you can prevent another escape. You are not likely to get him back a second time. There are many dangers outdoors for a small pet bird. Since they are prey animals, they are often caught by predators. There are also diseases and parasites they can get from wild birds.

As for his behavior, just keep interacting with him and give him time. He will most likely learn to trust you again. As far as he is concerned, coming out of the cage caused his little adventure and he didn’t enjoy it. So for now he feels vulnerable – partly fear of another unwanted escape and partly insecurity over not being able to fly. Be careful if you do get him out, and don’t let him fall. But keep trying, slowly and keep talking to him and offering treats and attention.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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