Budgies

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 Budgie Course.  

54 comments

Jeanne Stack

Hello! I love all the stuff you are teaching . I was given a budgie who was a bit timid but I got her to the point where after consideration she would fly to me from about 5 to 7 feet away if I held some millet and encouraged her to come ( I whistled a 2note whistle every time) then tragedy … I took her to the vet on Tuesday and without thinking it through I was taking her cage out of the back of my car and I noticed her feeder fell over so I reached in using the large door before I was going to hand her ofc to the vet tech to take inside. She spooked and took off . I saw her fly out and circle towards a larger stand of trees. The vets office is off a busy street but behind it is a wooded neighborhood. I followed where I saw her circle in and that was the last I saw of her.. I stayed for about an hour then had to leave fir a couple hours and came back to search more. I left her cage out and searched the neighborhood behind . The vets office said they heard her for a little while but never spotted her. I played her favorite bird videos from YouTube, I whistled fir her to come , I tried using millet to tempt her and the vet left her cage out until they closed. I’ve gone back several days in a row but no sign on her and the wethers gotten cold. Any advice or encouragement .. it was 29 degrees last night.😢

Jeanne Stack
aliah woodall

I don’t know what to feed them. they only eat seeds and they are scared of fruits and vegetables. they are parakeets by the way.

aliah woodall
aliah woodall

I did something wrong from the start with my two parakeets and its been almost a year now and there still not tamed. I just got violet (the girl) to put one foot on my hand. sky (the boy) will only step on my hand when he is in the cage with the top on. I have a small cage and my said I have to wait until I have enough money to buy a bigger one. sky always wants to play with violet but she pecks at him like she is annoyed at him. I don’t know what to do. pls help

aliah woodall
Joanna Sharples

HI, I have not yet purchased a Budgie but am doing a lot of research and think we will get one in about 6 months. I have no experience with bird but have a friend who let us get to know hers. Would ordering your beginners video before I get the bird be recommended? or should i wait until I have decided to get the bird and have it before buying your video about target training and one day miracles?

Joanna Sharples
Chiara

Hi, I just adopted a budgie. how I will switch his food from shop seeds to your natural one? You’re showing the recipe but I cannot find the video with the process on what to do? Help 🙏🏻😊

Chiara
hayden

Hi I’m Hayden and I have been watching your videos even when i didn’t have a bird just to learn but, now i have a have a budgie we got him/her from pets mart we are yet to know his/her gender but were getting there hes/shes still pretty young but the problem is anytime i come near he gets scared and bites me i do not know what to do I’ve watched all you’r videos and tried all you’r tricks to trust but nothing will work, the other thing is when he/shes out of the cage is ok and goes back to normal like nothing happened .

hayden
Michelle St. Germain

hello! i am new to the bird world and i am afraid i am going to make mistakes that can not be fixed. my budgie is from a pet store and he is new to the family and is very scared and nervous around me and my boyfriend. i am feeding him treats but i just feel like i’m not doing him justice. any help would be greatly appreciated as i am a huge animal nut and just want what is best for him.

Michelle St. Germain
Olivia James Brown

I just got 2 budgies and I have tried recall with them. It sometimes works but not always and when I take away the millet they ignore me. Have you got any tips? Also, I am so glad that you still have Blueberry

Olivia James Brown
alison

hi i am alison and i am getting a budgie i am so happy. i am almost 12 years old .and i love your videos and i am a big fan i have been waiting to get a parrot for a whole month becues first i needed to get the rite things for it like a cage and toys you should really do the reacting to your cages vidio there is this other bird youtuber i watch her name is ellandthebirds you should really do it .

alison
Michael E Casey

I owned parakeets as a kid and the breeders we got them from were adamant that birds needed gravel every day in their diet so as aid in digestion. Why do you say they should not be given gtravel/grit? Love your programs by the way.

Michael E Casey
Kaitlin

Are your foods appropriate for budgies? If so which one would be best? Thanks!!

Kaitlin
Emma

A couple of weeks ago I adopted two budgies. I already had experience with another budgie who sadly passed about 5 months ago. Unfortunately, the conditions in which they were kept before coming to my house meant that they never properly learned how to fly and every time they leave their cage they end up hurting themselves and staying on the ground. I have thought about clipping their wings simply because their bad flying has resulted in one of them almost getting head trauma but ultimately decided not to. If you have any tips on what to do or an email of someone I could contact I would be very grateful.

Emma
Elaine

So i have to little bugies my sister brought over so I could train them but one day about a week after I had them she chased them around the house trying to hold them finally I got here and the birds calmed down so I put her and the parakeets in the big enclosure they still wanted nothing to do with her now all the progress I’ve made with the baby’s has gone backwards they won’t step up even and won’t let people come close I’ve been working on keeping treats on me so I can teach them that hands = treats but they won’t get close I also have two other parakeets who are sweet and very egar to learn maybe by teaching them hands = treats they can teach the other birds I also have two rescued cockatiels that don’t make it any easier o just wanna know the quickest way to earn their trust again I hopeing it will be easier if the other birds show them that people are kind even though they had one bad experience

Elaine
Vania benetta

People say budgies talk but i tried to talk with gayloo he don’t talk so everybody is lying at my budgies 🤣🐦

Vania benetta
Camille

My parents have 2 female budgies that came to us in an odd way about a year ago. One day we saw a yellow budgie at our bird feeder. She was hinging out with sparrows and as the weather got colder, we decided to catch her and take her in. We tried to find her previous owners with no luck, so my parents decided to keep her and renamed her Perry. Perry was very lonely and extremely afraid of everyone. ( I suspect the act of catching her with a net or maybe roughing it in the wild terrorized her) We decided to get her a friend and she immediately perked up and began singing and chattering. But the fear for people is still there. She runs to the far top corner of her cage if anyone gets remotely close. I want to teach my parents how to gain her trust and start target training but she is just too afraid. She wont even take food or explore things that are offered to he when we are around. She has never been aggressive towards us or has tried to bite but she is still visibly stressed and afraid. Do you have any advice on how to approach a scared budgie to gain their trust?

Camille
Susan

I have three budgies I adopted from Bird Lovers Club foster care here in FL four years ago. They were young (2 siblings were approx. 4-5 months and the third even younger) when I brought them home and they were a joy to train, though it took the youngster a year longer than the older two to trust and bond. Anyway, my question is the three, although thick as thieves, have a definite pecking order when it comes to food. Even though I have three separate seed/pellet dishes so they don’t need to squabble, one of the siblings is much chubbier than the other two; enough to even have flight issues due to her heaviness and she leans sometimes on her perch. I admit I’m concerned. When they’re out of their cage I try to give the thinnest bird more attention and vegetables but so far I haven’t been able to make a difference. They’re all seemingly healthy but the chubby one has me worried. Any suggestions – beyond separating them; they’d be heartbroken.

Susan
Madeline

I don’t know what to feed my budgie?

Madeline
Sienna p

I have two budgies and they don’t really do anything other than eat and sleep we buy them Toys but the don’t show interest and we just tamed them recently so I don’t know what to do. Pls help

Sienna p
Emily

Can budgies be taught to free fly? and if so how is it done?

Emily
ROSA

I’ve rescued two budgies from a co-worker who knows nothing about birds and kept them is a very small cage, in which they could barely move. I bought a big cage, added toys and swings and they are happy little birds, but don’t like humans. Also, they are stuck on seeds and won’t eat anything else. I would love to change their diet, but don’t want to starve them either. So, if I want to train them, do they need to be separated?

ROSA
Moshe Rosenfeld

I’ve have a two female young budgies for three weeks now, and I’ve watched all the training videos on you tube and i still cant get them to trust me one of them steps up sometimes and right away goes back down while the other one will just run away from my finger and they barely even leave their cage. What should I do?

Moshe Rosenfeld
Chris

How hard is it to free flight train a budgie?

Chris
Mia

I have a budgie that i have been training for some time now he is very well behaved i can take him outside and he will not fly away i would like to know what your thoughts would be on training him to free fly on a level 1

Mia
Amber Harris

I have been watching Dave and Jamieleigh on YouTube for half a year now. I have become attached to them & their bird family. The mission, vision, and goals you express for use as bird parents is extraordinary. Thank you very much for all your instructions & wisdom. I own two male budgies who in bird years are 2 and 3 years old. They came from a pet store so judging that age is hard. I find it hard to train my newest bird as he get jealous alot. We are working on it daily. Any help you could provide me would be great!

Amber Harris
Meg

Sending you love, light and peace in the wake of Bandit’s passing…Please give me some ideas as to treats for training my budgies. Millet doesn’t seem to work for them. It’s hard to hold the seeds in your fingers too. Thank you.

Meg

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