Breed: Budgerigar (parakeet)
Likes: Not just like, but love for his human flock. Next to that, millet spray (a type of grass with many small, tasty seeds). Corn, peas, but absolutely not carrots or lima beans. Anything forbidden that people were eating, such as cheese, popcorn and cookies. On the other hand, the most healthy eating habits of any budgie I have known, loving his vegetables and eagerly eating pellets, something that may account for his relatively long life. Preening people’s hair and cheek stubble. Perching on his family’s shoulders, grinding his beak in contentment, and sometimes going to sleep there. Sneaking through the curtain in the door to his room and flying out into the kitchen to join us. Flying to us to welcome us home. In general, good things are green or yellow. Playing with Dean’s pencil when he was trying to write Sit-A-Pet’s report (thanks, Dean and Sit-A-Pet!).
Dislikes: Not being let out of his cage at sunrise. Being awoken when napping on our shoulders. Pink or orange things. Also, molted feathers, it seems, are scary for some reason.
About Fidget: We met him and picked him out just a few days after hatching and watched him grow through weekly visits to his breeder. His first flight was from my wife, Mary, to my daughter, Catherine. He weaned much more quickly than the average budgie, and we were taken by surprise when we were told it was time to take him home a week earlier than planned. He adapted quickly, joining us for dinner on our first night together. He quickly learned recall — flying to us on command. Thereafter, whenever I walked into his room, he would greet me by raising his wings in salute, which I returned with my arms. In the evening when I came home, he would fly to me and start preening me. He liked being preened back, but only when he was molting.
He helped out my daughter, Catherine, as the subject of a science fair project in which she got to find out his color preferences in both toys and food containers.
He turned out to be the perfect bird, easy to manage and returning to his cage on command. At night, he would often be found perched on one of our shoulders, muttering words, phrases, and gibberish. He also enjoyed music, especially “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco, which he liked dancing to.
Note: He spent the evening of January 17 watching a hockey game with us, dividing his time among all three of our shoulders, until it was time to fly back to his cage for a generous reward of millet. The next morning, I was late coming downstairs to let him out and expected a scolding. It did not come, for he had failed to wake up. We sure miss our little guy. Dean became a member of Fidget’s family (“flock”), and we’re grateful to Sit-A-Pet for the good care Fidget received whenever we were away.