Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Brian

Thanks to all for your comments on my budgie dilemma.  I think I frequently fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing my animals and in trying to do what I think is best for them, I end up doing something they may not like.  After all, since parrots are flock animals, surely they'd prefer to have another of their own kind living with them, right?  Ha!  Just look how well that turned out for my caiques and greys.  Why don't I learn?

Luckily, that other budgie found a great home.  Later that day, I got a message about a tame budgie with neurological problems -- might I like to take him home?  I got that message after the deadline passed (another volunteer took him home) so didn't have to make any decisions there.  I think it's best Brian remain an only budgie.  Perhaps someday I can have a budgie hospice, with enough budgies so they can choose their own partners, and enough space so they can get away when they'd like.

As was pointed out to me, he's only ever lived with humans, and may not welcome a budgie companion.  Also, since some birds will try to drive out sick members of the flock, I wouldn't want anyone to harm him (due to his tumor) or for him to harm the newcomer.

All this talking and thinking about budgies made me appreciate Little Brian even more this weekend.  Thomas was drinking from a different water bottle than usual, and Brian was entranced:
He was singing and chirping to it; possibly because he could sense his reflection, but that doesn't necessarily mean he wants a friend -- he's got us!

Thomas was trying to read a magazine, but Brian wanted some attention:
He is well-mannered, so will jump off of the magazine for a page turn and then jump back on.  Reading around him can be a bit tricky as he does seem to find the article you're currently reading and stand right in the middle!


phonelady said...

Oh my gosh brian is such a doll ..

D. Richard said...

To what do you personally attribute Brians living longer than expected , Improved diet
Far better exercise
Mental stimulation
Or genuine Human contact
I think you said he was 7 or 10

Mary said...

D. Richard: interesting question. He was 10 when he was surrendered, so close to 11 now.

I think all of what you mentioned plays a role, but I'm not sure how to allocate the percentages.

I think that exercise is certainly near the top, as he went from a tiny round cage to running and flying around.

I'm not sure how much diet is involved. He was fed budgie seed, which is his main staple with us (though we feed a higher quality seed mix). He gets a little too much toast in our house, but we indulge him since he had such a rough start and shouldn't have much longer to live. He does eat a lot of veggies here, though. Or at least he picks at them -- not sure how much he ingests!

Mental stimulation -- he definitely now has toys to play with, but they did interact with him and teach him to talk, so I wouldn't think this is as important, either. Though possibly the mental stimulation of being out of his cage and having choices is important here.

Human contact -- this one might be huge. He loves preening us and just resting his beak against us. Since budgies are so social, this might be kicking more life into him than I think.

So, long-winded as usual, but my guess is: being out of his cage, exercise, and human contact are the main reasons he's done so well. Note that if he had a budgie companion, that would take the place of human companionship!

Thanks for the thought-provoking question!