The budgie, one of the smallest of the parrot species, occupies a big spot in the hearts of bird lovers all over the world. They are the birds you are most likely to see in pet stores making them the most commonly kept parrot in captivity.
They are colorful, friendly and quiet enough to make great apartment birds. Their cages do not take up the entire living room or empty out the savings account. For many people, a budgie was their first bird, and perhaps the one responsible for their life-long love affair with all parrot species.
Budgies have gained much notoriety for their accomplishments. The 1995 Guinness Book Of World Records documents Puck, a tiny blue budgie, with the largest parrot vocabulary on record with 1,728 words and phrases spoken. It is a title most parrot aficionados would have assumed belonged to the African grey.
Why Budgies NEED to Be Trained
Budgies need to be trained because they are very adept fliers. While they aren’t capable of landing a bite that will send you to the hospital for stitches, nor are they loud enough to damage your hearing (although for what they lack in volume they can more than make up for in persistence), your bird does have one huge advantage over you: it can fly!
They have the speed and maneuverability that is to be expected for a bird of their size, and they are natural masters at evading human hands. Even with the best of intentions, our huge hands “snatch up” little birds to take them out of the cage against their will or to put them back in before they are ready to go.
So what do you suppose happens when you have a budgie with advanced flight skills that is afraid your hands? If you guessed that you would spend the next three hours trying to corner and capture your bird to get it back in the cage, you are correct.
This misadventure will give your tiny bird even more reason to fear your big hands!
Frustratingly, the first thing many people do is reach for the scissors to clip the wings without any consideration to the psychological damage that occurs when you strip away a bird’s main method of mobility. A bird that cannot fly is left feeling vulnerable, and this will only add to his mounting fears and negative emotions.
Instead of modifying your bird’s wings, modify your bird’s behavior by taking steps to regain trust. It is never too late to start working towards the relationship you always wanted with your budgie.Being very intelligent, the budgie is highly trainable!
Target training will take away your need to chase your budgie, capture it and force it back into the cage. A trained budgie will fly back to you on cue in exchange for a food or praise reward. A trained budgie has learned that your hands offer only treats; therefore, it will no longer try to avoid them.
If you are new to trick training we recommend you start with our One Day Miracles series to learn all the basics you need to know to get started right. If you already have that and are craving more specific small bird trick training, then check out our Taming Training and Tricks for Small Birds course.