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Budgie/parakeet care question - Not eating from dish?

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Budgie/parakeet care question - Not eating from dish?

Postby skim172 » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:42 pm

Hello, I'm new to the forum. We are fairly new bird owners - we have two budgies (parakeets for us in the USA), and I've noticed they've developed an odd behavior. One of them (Eve) has stopped eating from the food dish. Instead, the other (Blue) will eat his fill, then fly up and feed Eve by regurgitating.

Is this ... normal? Both of them seem to be doing fine - their "feeding" session lasts quite a while and Eve isn't looking undernourished. I'm concerned that Blue might be blocking Eve from the dish as a show of dominance - though I don't know why he'd then be feeding Eve himself.

I should mention that neither Blue nor Eve are particularly well tamed. Because we're new bird owners, we've been very tentative about trying anything that might spook them. To be honest, we initially had 3 birds when we brought them home - but 1 of them suddenly died. We swiftly removed the deceased from the cage and anxiously monitored the others' health. They've displayed no issues - however, they have since become very skittish around us when previously they had reached the point of perching on our hands. (My hypothesis is that they think we might've stolen their friend away from them, and thus view us as potential predators.)

They're still quite wary of us. Eve, in particular, has been much more cautious. Could it be possible that Eve is just too afraid to come to the food dish anymore when we're around?
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Parakeet
Flight: Yes

Re: Budgie/parakeet care question - Not eating from dish?

Postby Pajarita » Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:08 am

Hi, Skim, Blue and Eve, welcome to the forum! No, it's not that they blame you for their friend disappearing, it's that, now that they are alone (three is a VERY bad number for budgies), the male and female left have mate-bonded and are having breeding behaviors (the male feeding the female in the beak is an advanced courtship behavior for budgies and something that happens right before nesting and laying). But this is not the right time of the year for it (they should be finishing their molt which only starts after the breeding season ends) so you must be keeping them at a human light schedule (instead of a solar one with full exposure to dawn and dusk) and free-feeding protein food (pellets, seeds, nuts, avicakes, nutriberries, etc) instead of leafy greens and cooked grains for breakfast and seeds only for dinner. Please re-evaluate both the light schedule and the diet because budgies are EXTREMELY opportunistic breeders and keeping them producing sexual hormones all year round is very unhealthy for them (it literally kills them in a few years if not sooner with eggbinding or hypocalcemia).
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17164
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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