Ask The Gabriel Foundation

Hi There!  I have a question for you.  I have a young male English Budgie that I adore!  He is spoiled and loved by our whole family. He is a big time talker and can easily learn new phrases/words over a couple weeks.  Very cool!  I have wondered though, if it would be better for him (since he is a bird!) to have a cagemate?  He seems very happy and we include him in everything we can, but I still wonder if it’s better for birds to have a companion.  What do you think?

 

Single budgie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPLY FROM THE GABRIEL FOUNDATION

Julie Weiss Murad, President & CEO

 

Hi! Sounds like your budgie is a doll. And that he is able to consider your entire family a part of his social flock. You ask about one of the eternal questions about bird (or animal) welfare – is it important for that animal to have a conspecific friend? For the most part, TGF says that yes, it is important and critical for a companion parrot to have another bird companion. In fact, in the EU, laws have been passed that no parrot may be kept singly – as it is considered cruel and not in the animal’s best interest. That type of regulation probably won’t happen in the US, at least during my lifetime. If you’ve even seen Disco the parakeet’s YouTube or FB pages, you know that he lives with a family as a single bird. He has good relationships with each of the family members. Each person takes time to play, teach and interact with him, and set up his environment to keep his life enriched and active.  Another consideration is the interaction and activity level with bird/family. From your description, your fella is NOT just another budgie sitting in a cage day in and day out. It appears that you’ve introduced many activities to provide for his mental and physical enrichment, and hopefully his safety. The relationship that you and your family have with your budgie is really a study of one…what would be best for your bird? It’s easy for me to say that if he spent more time alone and caged, then by all means adding another bird as a friend is generally a good idea to provide him the social interaction that he lacks. But, this does not appear to be the case with your bird. One advantage with a budgie is its size. It’s not difficult to add another budgie friend when the cage size is suitable for two birds, and the birds spend more time getting along than squabbling. It also could be that adding another budgie would result in two trained and social budgies, and your fella would have choice between another bird or his peeps. How he’d take to another bird  is something we can only predict by generalizing how other budgies act in a flock. Your little one has been socialized with humans, and most probably hasn’t been a part of a flock since he either hatched, fledged or was purchased by you. When the environment changes, the bird’s behavior will change too. He could direct all his attention to the new arrival and your supervision of their interaction will be important. Adding another budgie might change your bird’s dynamic with you or others in your family. It doesn’t mean that’s good or bad, but it’s highly likely there will be some change involved immediately and down the road. Your budgie has a life expectancy of up to 15 years. That means that it isn’t likely that your bird will outlive you, your children, and hopefully your attention and interest. We see the reverse so often with medium to large species that long outlive their caregiver, and for that very reason, we strongly recommend that a bird have a bird buddy in its life. Two birds generally means twice as much care, activity, expense, housing, and a variety of relationships between birds/humans. Your budgie is young, and you might see behavioral changes in him as he gains some years that cause you to revisit this question again. Your life might change or your family might spend less hands on social and training time with your bird. I think that periodically revisiting the question with your family and considering the possible changes if another bird (or even another animal or person) is added is central to whatever decision you make so that your bird’s quality of life can be the best that you know it can be.

Wild budgies

Heavy metal serenade bird cage style
Heavy metal - bird cage style
Thanks to volunteers Marty K and his son for getting a big part of our cage scrap pile where it needed to be. Time to make certain that dangerous and poorly made cages ended up where they belong! 1500# of unusable cages brought us $78.34; vehicle, trailer - free; labor-free; gas $40. Net: $38.34.
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More of an eyesore. Oh for some huge cotttonwood trees.

Do you have an article you can share about the effects of bad cages on birds? Symptoms etc, of lead zinc toxicity etc. Also, how to test your cage? I would love something good to share with clients. (I have been wanting to look up an article, but keep forgetting! This reminded me and I thought you may have a good one! Thanks!!!

uncanny resemblance to how macaws pick something up - then throw it somewhere else!

not to mention the valuable real estate this stuff was occupying!

It was quite fun tossing old cages in a pile and the satisfaction of the crashing sound of metal to metal, and playing Frisbee with cage trays hitting the concrete back wall. We tried to see how far we could toss cages up into the pile. Icing on the cake was the big steel parrot beak crunching and squashing and tossing.

And the good news is the recycled steel could be used to make new parrot cages.

T. Rex!!!

Thanks Marty K and son :)

Good

Wow

Marty Koenig

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For Cockatoosday we're sharing some facts about the Cockatoos at TGF.

1. We currently have 41 Umbrella cockatoos (31 of which are males), 12 Moluccan cockatoos, 5 Bare-eyed cockatoos, 12 Sulphur Crested cockatoos, 6 Goffin's cockatoos and one Ducorp's cockatoo available for adoption. This equals 77 Cockatoos, almost 30% of our available birds. We have some cockatoos not available for adoption including Quigley, a Major Mitchell (Leadbetter) and Simon, an elderly Galah.
2. Most of the Cockatoos now onsite entered our care when they were between 15-21 years old.
3. The oldest Cockatoo we have available for adoption is 42 years old and the youngest is 5 years old.
4. The most common names we see for Cockatoos that come to us are Fred, Angel, Joey, Baby, Peaches, Sidney/Sydney, and Casper.
5. When a Cockatoo enters our care, they usually make friends rather quickly. Most of our Cockatoos are friends with another of the same gender. Some select more unusual friends. Dakota, U2 & Fred, OWA and Quigley with Sonny, a male Senegal.
6. In 2016, we adopted out a total of 214 birds, 21 were cockatoos. In 2016, 2 cockatoos, one Umbrella and one medium sulphur Crested were returned to us from different adopters.
... See MoreSee Less

For Cockatoosday were sharing some facts about the Cockatoos at TGF.

1. We currently have 41 Umbrella cockatoos (31 of which are males), 12 Moluccan cockatoos, 5 Bare-eyed cockatoos, 12 Sulphur Crested cockatoos, 6 Goffins cockatoos and one Ducorps cockatoo available for adoption. This equals 77 Cockatoos, almost 30% of our available birds. We have some cockatoos not available  for adoption including Quigley, a Major Mitchell (Leadbetter) and Simon, an elderly Galah. 
2. Most of the Cockatoos now onsite entered our care when they were between 15-21 years old.
3. The oldest Cockatoo we have available for adoption is 42 years old and the youngest is 5 years old.  
4. The most common names we see for Cockatoos that come to us are Fred, Angel, Joey, Baby, Peaches, Sidney/Sydney, and Casper.
5. When a Cockatoo enters our care, they usually make friends rather quickly.  Most of our Cockatoos are friends with another of the same gender. Some select more unusual friends. Dakota, U2 & Fred, OWA and Quigley with Sonny, a male Senegal.
6. In 2016, we adopted out a total of 214 birds, 21 were cockatoos. In 2016, 2 cockatoos, one Umbrella  and one medium sulphur Crested  were returned to us from different adopters.

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For those of you interested in adopting from us, visit thegabrielfoundation.org/adoption/ and learn about the process. We do adopt out of state. Cockatoo adoption fees range from $350 to $500. All birds have undergone a complete avian wellness exam, are microchipped, and are housed to stay social with people and other birds. If adoption isn't realistic, we would love sponsors for our flock, especially our cockatoos. We would be thrilled for your support and that you have undertaken the care for one of our flock. There are many ways to support us, so learn more at thegabrielfoundation.org/donate/

Why so many cockatoo's?

I love cockatoos! I just think they're the best. I haven't met one I didn't like yet and that includes some that didn't get along with other people. Lol.

I really want an umbrella cockatoo! I have a Grey from you guys. She needs a friend. But we should move to a bigger house first 😪

Thank you for taking in these wonderful birds. They are lucky to be in a great place you have.

Kat has to ALWAYS say hi to the conures when he first comes out. He likes to make sure his flock well ;)

Wow, 77 cockatoos must be capable of creating quite a racket!

I have 3 c2s, and 1 m2. They are no problems other than my mc2 is constant screamer. But the rest are OK. Just have to provide them with lots of chew toys.

We would love a Cockatoo but my dad absolutely loves your pair of Military Macaws.

Brandee Sounds like a place you would love 😊

I'll take em!!!!!!!!!💙

all my friends and all beautiful

Fred Fred

Fabulous & interesting post!

Britney Hayward....adopt a new friend

That's interesting, because when I visited the facility in Emma years ago I thought you had about 75 cockatoos way back then! But that was my guess - I couldn't help but notice that so many needed homes.

How can we adopt them? I live in NC. How much is adoption fee?

Wish I could help them all.....I'm old and they would outlive me...

I love all the TGF 'toos! Even M2 Jessy who gave me a nasty bite! :-)

Yonah Two Bears

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3 days ago

The Gabriel Foundation

Hi, my name is Kiwi. I’m a handsome Blue-Fronted Amazon around the age of 44. I may be an older guy, but I have the energy of a teenager and still have many years ahead of me. My family gave me up because they moved and had a new baby. I would prefer a home where I'm the only bird, so I can have all the attention for myself. One of my favorite activities is learning new behaviors, because I am very food motivated. With some time working together as teacher (me) and student (you), and of course my favorite food treats, I know you and I can learn target training, and with your help I’ll be happy to touch targets, turn on a perch, and wave my foot on cue. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but no one ever said you can't teach an old parrot new tricks. ... See MoreSee Less

Hi, my name is Kiwi. I’m a handsome Blue-Fronted Amazon around the age of 44.  I may be an older guy, but I have the energy of a teenager and still have many years ahead of me.  My family gave me up because they moved and had a new baby.  I would prefer a home where Im the only bird, so I can have all the attention for myself.  One of my favorite activities is learning new behaviors, because I am very food motivated.  With some time working together as teacher (me) and student (you), and of course  my favorite food treats, I know you and I can learn target training, and with your help I’ll be happy to touch targets, turn on a perch, and wave my foot on cue.  They say you cant teach an old dog new tricks, but no one ever said you cant teach an old parrot new tricks.

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I would love to have him here with me. My Orange Wing Amazon crossed the Rainbow Bridge the day after Christmas at the young age of only 32 because her previous owners let her suffer with Asper for years then gave her to someone who knows nothing about birds and he called me to take her. I only had her for 2.5 years, but I know she was happy and getting the medical care she needed.

I am a new parrot mama. She is a beauty, a Meyer . We are learning what each other likes. ( ok, to be honest it's mostly what she like). Before I purchased her I ask my daughter if when I become to old to take proper care of her she would. She agreed which gave me peace of mind. She has a sun conure.

I wish I could have him. I'm in Wisconsin though :(. My bird Dexter is old I love older birds

You can come live with me and my 3 babies. How far are you from Gainesville FL

I would love to get him my parakeet just died on Saturday and would love to get another bird.

Beautiful bird...So upsetting that people would give up their bird (a member of family) because of a move and a baby...Didn't they even think about this before acquriing this beautiful bird...I hope this beautiful bird finds a forever home..I can see if someone is very ill and can't take care of their baby anymore.

What is wrong with people? I'm beginning to think we should have to go through a very thorough screening process before we're allowed to keep a parrot from any source.

Such a beautiful bird. I hope he finds a forever home, instead of one that just gives him up because he's "inconvenient". Breaks my heart 💔

So so so sweet! I would adopt him in a heartbeat if I didn't already have two eclectus. They are already a handful but I love them more than anything. I would give him a home in a minute if I didn't already have parrots. This boy is so so so sweet wish I knew someone to give him a forever home. With lots of love. That's what he really really really deserves. Not someone who'll give him up just because of changes and situation someone who loves him and will adapt because they love him and they love their new situation no matter what. Poor kiwi he deserves more and a loving home where he is greatly appreciated. God bless you kiwi I hope you find your forever home soon.

The long life expectancy of parrots is probably rarely considered when deciding to bring one home as a pet. I adore my own but think it's time the long-lived ones be banned as pets. How many people commit to 40 plus years with these creatures? Not enough shelters. Very sad.

Poor baby, would you leave your child?

Love him. He can come to my house I live in Minnesota

I love his face!

He is very likable guy, I have met him.

I want him he can live with us for sure

Awwww, Kiwi, you're gorgeous, so sweet!

Shared!

Shame on them !!!

Typical story - so sad :(

Kelsey Rooney!!!

Buck Healy

I would love to have a chat with the people that gave him up. They would not like me.

Merry Tubb this is the site and peanut's cousin is up for adoption! ❤️😢

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