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

This is a great time to adopt. Birds included! Did you know that funds from the CPOP and license plate fund help animal shelters specifically? Thanks to the generous CO residents who checked off a donation to this fund on their taxes, and for those who purchase a CPOP License Plate, this fund dispersed over $315,000.00 to shelters, funds ranging from $2K - $30K. These funds are specifically for veterinary/medical expenses. With your support, TGF benefitted by a $4000.00 grant from this fund. This helps us offset the cost of veterinary care for our birds, especially those from hoarding, animal control, cruelty, shelter transfers and relinquishments that are unable to provide any funding to assist TGF's veterinary costs. Thank you CO animal and bird lovers.Help prevent unwanted pet births by donating on your income tax form to the Colorado Pet Overpopulation Fund. www.savecoloradopets.org ... See MoreSee Less

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Comment on Facebook

adoption is the only way to go - I have been adopting my entire life and currently have 8 birds, 6 cats and 2 Greyhounds - all adopted as unwanted or rescues - they fill my heart and home with so much love I can't begin to explain my happiness♥

2 days ago

The Gabriel Foundation

Eagle scout Ryan Read gathered the other members of his troop, taught them how to make large bird toys, and made the most wonderful truck-full of bird toys you can imagine. They got a production line going and surpassed our dreams by making over 250 toys in just one day. Our flock is so grateful that Ryan chose to work with us for his Eagle Scout project and make much needed large bird enrichment. Thank you to your entire troop for all of your hard work! ... See MoreSee Less

Eagle scout Ryan Read gathered the other members of his troop, taught them how to make large bird toys, and made the most wonderful truck-full of bird toys you can imagine. They got a production line going and surpassed our dreams by making over 250 toys in just one day. Our flock is so grateful that Ryan chose  to work with us for his Eagle Scout project and make much needed large bird enrichment. Thank you to your entire troop for all of your hard work!

Comment on Facebook

Wow I need to hear a lot of stories like this these days! Wonderful project and such a terrific and appreciated gift to the birds of TGF! Thank you Eagle Scouts and Ryan Read for showing what real leadership is about.

There are wonderful human beings out there. Thank you to them❤️

WONDERFUL TROOP!! So happy, made my week!

Can't wait to start hanging them up!

Thanks Eagle Scouts. Git 'er done!

That's terrific!

Awesome!

Great Job Ryan!

Way to go!

Awesome.

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3 days ago

The Gabriel Foundation

Attention music aficionados! Higgins would love to share his interest in jazz and blues with just the right person. Higgins is a wild caught Timneh African Grey parrot, purchased in 1983 from a now closed pet store. Wild caught Grey parrots were widely imported into the bird sales market before the Wild Bird Conservation Act went into effect in 1992. Higgins is a hoot, from the whistling with vibrato and a gravelly voice to the sounds of fingers snapping and of course his fondness for jazz and blues. Along with his taste in music Higgins now enjoys a varied diet and requests that his new home has plenty of wood to shred, toilet paper rolls and cardboard to take apart, bite by bite. Invest in Higgin's trust and you will reap the rewards!

For more information about our adoption process, please visit our website.

thegabrielfoundation.org/adoption/adoption-process/
... See MoreSee Less

Attention music aficionados! Higgins would love to share his interest in jazz and blues with just the right person. Higgins is a wild caught Timneh African Grey parrot, purchased in 1983 from a now closed pet store. Wild caught Grey parrots were widely imported into the bird sales market before the Wild Bird Conservation Act went into effect in 1992. Higgins is a hoot, from the whistling with vibrato and a gravelly voice to the sounds of fingers snapping and of course his fondness for jazz and blues. Along with his taste in music Higgins now enjoys a varied diet and requests that his new home has plenty of wood to shred, toilet paper rolls and cardboard to take apart, bite by bite. Invest in Higgins trust and you will reap the rewards!

For more information about our adoption process, please visit our website.

http://thegabrielfoundation.org/adoption/adoption-process/

Comment on Facebook

Hope he finds a wonderful forever home! His little face is so full of personality. I thought wild caught were less likely to pluck? What is his feather problem?

Love it. I play violin for the animals at the zoo and Marvel :)

I had a wild caught B&G, my best buddy. Miss him every day. Dr.s estimate he was 40-50 at the time of his passing based on his band #. He was a rescue with an unknown history. All we had was band # and what quarantine station he came from with a approximation of what year he passed through.

Timnehs are wonderful birds. We had a wildcaught TAG years ago (had come from the shelter) that was the most loving and loyal parrot after six months of gently gaining his trust. Wish we weren't so far away...in CA.

Aww hope he gets a good home!

He's beautiful! Wish I were closer

I fell in love with his personality while volunteering. He is a wonderful little guy. Sassy too!

I think I'm in love! TAG's are the best!

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