In January of 2001, Linda of Falls Church, Virginia, wrote to me at Cobber Budgies, and we soon became friends. She was seeking advice and comfort because her eight year old budgie Cookie was in declining health, despite help from the vet. Sadly, Cookie died a while later, but Linda bought a new baby budgie whom she named Sunny.
This is the story of how, with Linda's devoted attention and skill, (several teaching sessions every day), Sunny soon became a smashing talker -- told in extracts from her original emails to me. (Linda's brother is also a budgie-lover, and has a pet hen budgie called Andy Bird.)
February 27th 2001
Helen, I had never seen such a beautiful bunch of budgies. Only one thing -- his wings are clipped -- and I read after the fact about not doing this on your website. So, now I'm anxiously waiting for his wings to grow ... and hope they will. My brother says that any bird that goes home with me experiences heaven on earth. I bought this nice big cage for him. The only thing about this cage is all the rungs are vertical. But Sunny seems to be able to get around now.
He's very placid and I'm hoping to have him talking by this Friday - 2 weeks.
April 19th 2001
Andy Bird: what a character! Did I tell you Andy is really a female? When my brother named her, he didn't take a good look at her care. Andy and Sunny have had two opportunities to play recently during the Easter holidays. As you would imagine, the family got together and so did the budgies! It was sad to see Sunny trying to fly after Andy.
June 8th 2001
Because I've been so busy, I've not been coming home in a timely manner to get him on my finger and lead him out of his cage. I've only had about three hours in the night to play with him.
Well, I've only seen a little bit of Sunny's clipped wings starting to grow. I can't wait to see that beautiful little bright yellow body soar through the air into my Ficus trees like Cookie did. Don't worry, my trees are fake but all my birds loved to play in them -- they're like huge jungle-gyms for birds!
When I first brought Sunny home it took about two weeks for him to settle down at night to sleep. Now he jumps right up to his swing (the highest perch) and stays there until I uncover him in the morning. He also likes to eat his food from his toys i.e. a little carousel and a cup next to a pokey budgie head toy. Last night he nibbled on his first mustard greens. I read in one of my books that budgies should have a little bit of greens/fruit every day instead of a lot once in a while.
I do not keep Sunny's cage on the refrigerator like I did all my other birds. I can't believe it -- the stress the vibration can cause a budgie. That's another thing I read about in the book.
June 15th 2001
July 30th 2001
Sunny now boasts that "Birds can't talk" and "Someone is a Bird!"
Take care and have a great weekend (as we American's always say!)
October 10th 2001
I had a birthday party for my brother last night and Sunny was the center of attention to five little girls and three mothers who all took turns getting kisses from him. Although he didn't talk for them they were very much amused about how tame he was. For the most part I am able to put him right back in the cage with him sitting on my index finger. The other night I put him in my five foot artificial fichus tree where I placed a mirror and another toy for him to play with. That was Cookie's favorite spot. It took Sunny about 30 minutes to figure out that he could move closer to the toys.
Last night he was talking to the mirror in his little bath tub and because there was no water in it, his little raspy voice was amplified. It was like some one talking in a megaphone! As you can tell Sunny is a constant joy to me.
February 14th 2002
Got to run ...... take care and happy St. Valentine's Day!!! - Linda
March 20th 2002
September 4th 2002
Sincerely and love
Story and photos courtesy and © the author, first published 2003.