Meet Moonie... our new Budgie!
On Wednesday August 17th, Angie noticed a little Budgie out in the backyard. And within 45 minutes I had the Budgie in the house with us.
This is the third Budgie we know of to visit the bird feeders out back in four years now. Misfit was the first, who is still with us. A second Budgie was spotted last September for one day and never seen again. Now this one shows up. Boy, for a couple bird nerds like Angie and I who said we'd never own birds to suddenly now have two is a bit of a mind $#@%!
But how can one not help? And yes, a Budgie in the wild, in Toronto does need help. First off, they are captive born, and don't have necessary survival skills needed. Second, they are native to warmer climates and almost certainly would not survive our sometimes lengthy frigid winters.
But Misfit survived four plus warm months out back. And when I brought her in, what a wild bird she was. It took months upon months of working with her to bring her around to some point of trust in us. She sure looked like hell too, very weather beaten, and tired from her continuous struggle for survival amongst the variety of species she had to fight with for food.
And with Moonie, it's easy to tell she hasn't been outside for very long. And that she is a young Budgie, probably in the age range of about 4 to 7 months old. She's just got that really clean baby fluffy look about her. And the simple fact she is very much the opposite of how wild and aggressive Misfit was. Moonie is a gentle, submissive kind of bird.
The day after I caught her, I took her to a pet store in Mississauga for a wing clipping. I thought it be best for us all in case she ever got out of the cage on us. This transition stage can be rough. She needs to adjust to her new surroundings and her new flock. And with good working flying wings, she can be a handful at times when I am tending to her cage, and fly out. It's easier to catch a fluttering bird than a flying one. And our ride to the pet place some 20 minute drive from home was unbelievable! She is so go with the flow, take life as it comes at her, I was in awe. No bump in the road, braking for a light, or anything else bothered her. And when I accelerated she opened her wings slightly more like feeling the force lift her wings. Look at this photo... is she not one UNstressed bird riding in the truck with me (I am sitting at Islington and Dundas with her on a red here though).
Unfortunately over the last couple weeks, we are realizing that housing the two birds together in the same cage just isn't going to happen. Misfit's mood swings from okay with things to darn right pissed off and ready to kill this bird. I've seen them sit for 90 minutes with no squabbling whatsoever and the next time locking beak to beak, high screeches, Misfit pounding her beak on the perch between them, and seemingly trying to de-feather Moonie by pulling at her chest feathers.
So, we've now decided that it's best to keep them in separate cages. They get along fine this way, cages next to each other, and there are no squabbles... and no fear of any physical harm coming to one of them. They tweet and play, eat, drink and sleep just fine. Misfit gets her fly time while Moonie stays locked up. As Moonie gets more comfortable with everything, she will get her time out as well (while Misfit is locked up).
But this is our limit. Two birds is enough. Having a cat, a newt and three Toads as well. Yes, we are done. The zoo is closed.
But if another Budgie or other pet bird flies into the yard, I will most certainly try to catch it. And if I succeed in doing so, I will do everything to find it a home... if not the actual owner. Sad really that there is always a spare bird cage in the house for such incidents.
People need to educate themselves before buying any pet. The thought of a cute little Budgie sitting in it's cage and singing all day like Tweety from the Looney Tunes is way off. Having one that will sit on your finger, do as you say, and never fly away is wrong. An open window or door to a bird in a house is way too tempting.
The fact there are people breeding birds and animals for money, to be sold to others who have no idea how to care for the creature, and missing the fact that this is a life long commitment (or should be) is just wrong.
I guess if I want this to NOT happen again is to take down all our bird feeders. I recon the noise of the others here singing and feeding draws the lost ones in. And I sit and wonder about Moonie, where she came from, picturing her flying high above the houses, being so young and lost (though she has no idea she is lost) and well pretty much oblivious to the big world she is soaring over, how dangerous it can be. And how lucky she is to have landed here. And yes, how lucky we are to have her with us now too. She's a funny little thing.
Last bit, Angie just pointed something really interesting out to me. Meadow's birthday, so I figured, since I got her so young, is July 17th. I caught Misfit on September 17th. And now Moonie was caught on August 17th. Hmmmmmm....