Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman
Editor’s note: We have quietly rehomed a number of large birds found by the Chicago Police and Fire Departments over the years. We found Popcorn, (a citizen calling to say a white bird was stuck in the bushes). We post pictures to Facebook and local neighborhood groups.
While we were having dinner together, I casually brought up to Mitch that I took in a stray parakeet today. A man passing by saw it in a tree and asked me for a net and a ladder to catch it. I supplied him with the items, not knowing if I would ever see him again much less my ladder and net. But only 5 minutes later he returned with the bird in the net and a big smile on his face.
He didn’t want the bird as his concern was mainly for the bird’s survival and safety as he knew it would not know how to find food in the wilds of Chicago. I think he enjoyed the chase and having saved the bird.
He gave me the bird to find it a home and left. So I put it in a small cage we keep on hand (this has happened before), gave him some fresh food and water, and parked him in the shop for the night. I identified it as a boy due to its light blue cere. He was eating when I left him.
Editors note: In case you don’t know, the cere is the area on birds where the nostrils are located. In adult parakeets, it has a somewhat leathery appearance while parakeets under one year of age have a smooth often pinkish-brown cere in both genders. Once the budgie reaches about one year of age, the cere will, in most mutations, turn blue in males and anywhere from dark pink to deep brown in females.
A few of the mutations are a bit difficult to differentiate this way with absolute certainty, but Bacon is not a member of one of these subsets. Catherine was therefore able to easily be sure that Bacon is a male of greater than one year of age.
So, I was concerned Mitch would grouse that now we have a parakeet to deal with for a while since he is used to a bigger bird, but no. He perked right up at the news and went right into the shop to get it. He was gone awhile because, of course, he came home with the bird and an armload of supplies and treats.
Mitch immediately started setting up Popcorn’s old cage. Changing the light bulb, changing out old toys, and perches for new ones. Then he brought over the little cage to the big cage for the transfer. Bacon (the budgies’ new name, LOL) was not startled enough by my tapping the cage to leave the birdcaqgecage so I reached in and scooped him out bare-handed, and deposited him in the larger cage. I felt him try to beak me but not hard, his struggles were strong but not wild. I think he may be partially tame. He did not bite.
Right now he is fully feathered so he will stay caged for his safety. He saw the Tidy Seed Feeder with food in it and he was kind of confused dancing around trying to figure out how to get the food, then just scurried over to the side of the cage, climbed down, and hopped right into the feeder. Took about 2 minutes in case anyone wants to know how hard it is to get a budgie to eat out of one. LOL.
Editor’s note: BTW Bacon (who I named in about 4 minutes) the blue budgie was brought to our home. No post was found in our three Ukrainian neighborhood Facebook groups for a lost bird. No small bird missing on Parrots 911 and my guess is the bird probably escaped from a pet box store – I’ve seen their caregivers in action.
Mitch was totally jazzed. He was glowing at our new little house guest. He immediately set up the camera to record the event and I hoped the little guy was as happy to be here as we were to have him here.
Let’s talk about parakeets, a misunderstood species. You’ll look at Bacon and call it a budgie although technically it is an American “pied” parakeet with clear marking on its wings (making him a “clear flight” mutation) and unusual color markings across its abdomen.
The reason we do not outsource that advertising is, unless you’re a caged bird keeper you really don’t understand – the keeping of caged birds.
I’d like to remind the audience that there is only one species of dog but more than 10,000 species of bird. We specialize in approximately 350 species of parrots and 372 species of parakeets.
Yes Martha the budgie is a species of parakeet but there’s another several hundred dozen more that we need to chat about (roughly 372) Or so we’re told.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “every conure is a parakeet but not every parakeet is a conure”.
So here’s this many conure species alone – you may have never heard of.
Getting back to Bacon, I’ve had him out of the cage a couple of times during his stay.
I’ll open the door to his cage while I’m working on having all the other doors closed in the room so he can’t get too far but he hasn’t shown an interest in coming out of the birdcage.
Yesterday I thought he might like to take a shower with me. I grabbed him in the cage & got him onto the shower rod but the sound of the running water spooked him and he flew directly to some crown molding.
I didn’t catch him up there. He flew off and made it to the shelf in the shower where I grabbed him.
Today I pulled him out of the cage and had him on my hand for a while. then he flew off to more crown molding (between 8 and 9 1/2 feet above the floor). I was able to trap him between the window and shutters so I returned him to his cage where he was clearly happy to be.
In that we had a similar issue when we rescued Popcorn, if he ends up staying with us, we’re going to follow the same protocol and clip his wings one time to restrain his confidence and then give him flying lessons and teach him landing zones as his wing feathers molt out and grow back, which they will quite quickly.
To my darling wife Catherine
I know you’re concerned that budgies are not considered parrots and we were talking about a bigger bird. I think we will still eventually get one. But Bacon is a magnificent creature – and budgies are very smart.
If bacon is here to stay, I see a long-lasting, loving relationship for the three of us because the 3 of us have one thing in common. “We speak bird“.
Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing
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