May 21 2009
For the past three days – maybe longer – there’s been a blue budgie at my backyard bird feeder. She has a small blue/gray band on her left leg and looks like the bird in this Wikimedia picture except she has pale skin above her beak. I’ve read that males have blue ceres and females have pale ones, so I am guessing she’s a female.
Budgerigars – nicknamed budgies – are originally from Australia but have been bred in the U.S. as pets for many years. My backyard budgie is obviously an escapee so I can’t count her on my Life List. Alas.
Her pet-store origins show. She is not particularly wary. Unlike wild birds who constantly watch for predators, she feeds with her head down and barely looks up. Fortunately she hangs out with a family of mourning doves so someone is always watching, but mourning doves fly faster and wait longer to flush than she should. Sometimes the doves are frightened of things she doesn’t care about – like grackles – so she ignores them. Sadly she’ll probably become hawk food unless she’s lucky.
I thought of trying to rescue her but she won’t let me come within six feet before she flies into the trees. Her owner – if I could find him – might be able to pick her up, but not me.
How do I find out who lost her? I am writing & calling as many places as I can think of.
In the meantime I’m keeping my feeders filled and hoping the mourning doves warn her of danger. With a flock to keep her company she’ll enjoy her freedom for a while.
(photo of a male budgie from Wikimedia Commons)