Going Round In Circles

I have, since I was a child, kept Budgies as pets.   I don’t have an aviary but I always buy 2 at a time so that they have company – Budgies are very sociable birds and having a companion is good for them although they’re very quick to strike up relationships with humans in the absense of fellow Budgies.   They are usually great fun if a bit noisy when you’re trying to watch something on TV.

Each is an individual character – I can remember one we called Christine wrestling with my Mother’s needles while she was knitting and another, Micky, who liked to pick up objects on the table and drop them over the side then wait expectantly for me to put the object back on the table so that he could repeat the process!

Like humans they come in different sizes and our current two (both male) are physical opposites.  Peter is a great big lump who hates to come out of the cage and views flying as something for the cats 😉   Paul, on the other hand, loves to perform daredevil flying displays around the room.   So yesterday evening I opened the cage door to let them do their thing and encouraged Peter onto the top of the cage.   Paul then came out of his own accord as usual except…

I couldn’t believe it – he clearly had no directional control whatsoever  and wound up crash landing behind the TV!   I went to investigate and found him, looking a bit sheepish, sitting on the scart cable.   Unusually, he let me pick him up – he’s normally very independent.   Investigation revealed that this moult he’s shed all his primary flight feathers at the same time on one side – no wonder he’s got no directional control!   I guess he’s going to be flying around in ever-decreasing circles for a while 😉


I subsequently discovered that Paul probably had a night-fright. Something spooked him overnight and he had an argument with the cage, knocking out a set of flight feathers. Apparently this is quite a common occurrence with Budgies though it was a first for me in over 40 years of keeping them!


  1. It must be a great fun to spend time with these wonderful birds. 🙂 I have cats at my home since my childhood; so I can guess what would it be like to see these innocent souls at their best.

  2. Poor little guy! I hope Paul takes it easy on the daredevil flying until all his new feathers grow in. He’s a handsome little fellow!

    1. Thanks Theresa – yes, he’s a handsome fellow 🙂 I’ll be watching his feathers growing carefully – especially as the ones on the other side will probably do the same!

  3. That takes me back, way back to the first pet I ever owned that was mine alone. First in the new marital home. We had a budgie, whose name was Beagal. as in dog. Maybe my husband really wanted a dog.
    Beagal’s cage was always open when we were home and the house was his. He flew to my shoulder or head and watched me cooking or eating. Often a window or door was left open but we never lost him that way. He was just such a pretty blue as your Paul, no paler.
    If we had visitors late at night, he would go into his cage and moan and twitter softly wanting them to go home so he could sleep, till we covered him up.

    1. Budgies are a part of the family and i think your comment really illustrates that 🙂 Getting them to shut up… 😦 They don’t stop do they 😉

  4. Yeah everybody knows that flying is best left to the cats 😛 They really are such comical little characters. They are more like little people trapped in feather coats. I haven’t had a pet budgie for many years. We always had them when we were kids.

    1. Hi Tony – yeah – you know where I’m coming from. I can’t view a world without Budgies. I will say that small ‘persons’ that they are, they offer some positive insights on the world 🙂

  5. Lovely budgie pic, Martin, and I was torn between empathy for the poor little soul who crashed and incredulousness at the idea of a crash-landing budgie. Hope his feathers are back to normal soon.

    1. Hi Kate – they should grow back in the next 3-4 weeks. Reading on a couple of Budgie websites it does happen occasionally (though it’s a first for me in over 40 years!). The usual cause is a night-fright. Something spooked him overnight and he had an argument with the cage, knocking out a set of flight feathers. I’ve checked for injury but there doesn’t seem to be any. The discarded feathers were all in one corner and showed no signs of blood.

      Your comment reminded me of a couple of things – a Christmas card with some very obviously over fed Robins collapsed beneath a bird table loaded with Christmas cake. And the story of a classical music recording session in a church in Kilburn. The church was inhabited by Sparrows whose chirping was an undesirable addition to the music. They tried various methods of evicting the birds to no effect. Then someone hit on the idea of putting out some bread laced with whisky. With the bread eaten, the recording was made while the Sparrows slept it off 🙂

  6. What a wonderful post! I’ve never had a birdmyself , never even seen a Budgie (heard of them from English TV shows and books), and here come your personality kids, especially the poor lopsided Paul! He has an adorable face, and what used to be called “a speaking countenance.” I can almost hear him myself.

    1. Thanks Judith 🙂 I can actually hear them at the moment – I’m on the 1st floor and they’re down on the ground floor arguing with the TV (which I can’t hear). Paul is his usual bouncy self having got over the initial surprise. They had some Dandelion leaves yesterday as a treat which may explain their exuberance 😉

  7. I’m glad that Paul is alright, but is it wrong of me to be cracking with laughter at the idea of him flying in ever decreasing circles? It’s just too funny. Are Parakeets and Budgies the same? I had the former and also canaries when I was a child.

    1. I don’t think you’ll hurt Paul’s feelings by having a laugh ATGIB – after all, he wasn’t hurt, just a little confused and embarrassed. At most you’d get a rueful smile – assuming that Budgies are capable of such expressions 😉

      Budgies are a species of Parakeet, usually referred to as Shell-Parakeets because of the shell like pattern of their wing and back feathers. Canaries are a type of Finch (which is why they can sing a lot better than Budgies) 😉

    1. Paul says Thank You and is carefully slicking down his head feathers to make an even better impression – flattery will get you everywhere with some birds 😉

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