A very budgie Christmas – budgie gifts are the best!

The holidays can be a relatively hectic time of year, it’s always fun, but there are lots of folks to visit and celebrate with. Patrick and I decided a few years back that we would pick a day after Christmas and use that as our Christmas Day for our own traditions and gift exchange. That way we wouldn’t miss out on any of the extended family fun, but we could still have a day that felt special to us. He really knocked it out of the park this year and I received a number of awesome budgie gifts!

We also don’t buy a traditional Christmas tree, both for parakeet and human-based reasons. With the parakeets I worry that buying a non-organic tree could put them at risk of ingesting pesticides and other chemicals if they landed on the tree. As far as fake trees go, I would fret about them chewing on the needles and eating plastic. I’ve never pretended to be blasé about life, so this tree-related angst probably comes as no surprise to anyone! In addition to my parakeet/tree issues, my husband also has a bunch of allergies and chemical sensitivities that make either kind of tree a challenge to his well being. So, several years ago we ditched the concept of traditional trees and have either used a Java Tree for the birds with holiday-themed ornaments, or Patrick builds a tree out of cardboard and it’s a temporary affair.

This year was a build year – he used cardboard, tissue paper, tiny fake tea light candles and here’s the result.

It is very beautiful with the lights flickering, there’s even one in the star.  And the birds totally ignore it because it’s relatively short and not in one of their flight paths.

On to the budgie gifts!  It’s probably poor form to “brag” about the things I got for Christmas, but I feel like other parakeet lovers will want to know these things exist!

This tank is the cutest thing! It would be a great workout tank or just lounging around the house in summer.  Patrick wanted to find one with a parakeet that looked like Kelly, since she’s our big girl, but she’s not a very common color. budgie gift

Usually I’m not a huge fan of these figurines, but it’s a girl with three birds! So cute! Patrick even took some crayons and colored the birds to resemble Toby, Kelly and Kevin. I mean, come on, how sweet is that?

budgie gifts

The real star of the Christmas show, however, was this custom necklace he had made to look like Toby.

budgie gifts - a custom necklace of TobyIt looks exactly like her!  Down to the expression in her eyes. Patrick said he provided the shop owner with three pictures of Toby to start and then they refined from a proof after that. The shop owner was incredibly responsive and polite, even when he made multiple changes and asked that she rush the order for Christmas delivery.

The shop name on Etsy is NicomadeMe and based on Patrick’s experience and the finished product I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her! It’s not often that a gift makes me teary-eyed, but this one did that quite spectacularly.

Did you receive any fabulous budgie-related gifts this holiday season?  Let me know so I can build by wish list for next year!  I hope everyone had a safe and warm holiday full of love and feathers – happy new year all!

Toby and Kelly’s Christmas wish list

Toby and Kelly have been working feverishly on their Christmas wish list for parakeet-Santa.  They are cutting it a little close to the wire, but here’s their parakeet gift list full of their secret and most closely held desires!

Toby really wants to try having Nutriberries as a treat! She has heard that if I crumble them up for her she will be in a heretofore unknown ecstasy of foraging.

Kelly’s wants are a bit more basic. She plows through a cuttlebone every week, so she would like a never-ending supply of essential calcium as well as beak-exercising destruction.

Kelly snuck in a second want in a row! She loves the smaller version of this toy so much that she wants to try out the one for big birds! Since the single cupcake style is destroyed in a single day, we’re hoping that Santa brings one that lasts for three days!

Both Toby and Kelly are dreaming of a new play gym. They acknowledge that they previously had a very similar gym and totally ignored it, but they feel that since they both have flat top flight cages now they will get a lot more use of out of a play gym if it’s on top of the cage.

You’re probably wondering what poor new kid Kevin would like for Christmas. He’s just dreaming of getting out of quarantine and spending some time with his “sisters”.

He has been using the java tree as his personal play stand, so we all hope he comes out of quarantine in time for us to use his play tree as our Christmas tree like we did last year!

Speaking of which, Santa better bring us some new Christmas-themed bird toys to load up our “tree”.  Seems like some human “Santas” may need to start adding things to their carts before we run out of time!  I hope everybirdy out there finds exactly what they most want and need under their trees this year!

Halloween safety for budgies

When you think of Halloween safety, you probably think of tips for kids or dogs. I have been thinking about the holidays recently, and felt there are enough budgie hazards to warrant a post about Halloween safety for budgies!  Here’s a few things to remember as you prepare for one of my favorite holidays.

  • When welcoming trick-or-treaters, make sure of a couple of things. 1. That your budgies are safely stowed in their cage and can’t escape out a frequently opening door. 2. That they won’t be exposed to a draft from the door opening and closing more than normal.  This might be an unexpected issue particularly if your family usually enters through a side door but trick-or-treaters come to the front.
  • If you have a party in your home, move the cage to an out of the way spot where the budgies won’t be bothered by guests young or old. Make sure guests know that the budgies are off-limits, and especially keep an eye on little ones who might think it’s fun to yell at the birds or let them out to play.
  • On that theme, make sure you let kids know that they shouldn’t share their candy with budgies. It’s natural to want to share with a friend, but Chocolate is deadly for parakeets, and other types of Candy have way too much sugar and salt.
  • Watch out for a Costume that could be scary to your parakeets. It’s not a tragedy to frighten them a little as you’re going about your business, but be mindful that a Mask covering your face might give them a scare.  I know mine hate it when I wear a hat, so I can’t even imagine what a demon mask would do!
  • Speaking of costuming, you might want to use Glitter Hairsprayor other products that aren’t typical in your household. Don’t forget that aeorosal sprays and other air contaminants can be dangerous or deadly for your budgies. If you are getting ready at home, make sure you do so in a separate air space. This is also a good note for any crafting you might do with glue sprays or other craft glue.
  • Halloween is also a time for making special treats, so be mindful about bringing out any non-stick cookware for the holidays.  That pan you only use once a year to make Halloween caramel might be non-stick, and it wouldn’t be in the forefront of your mind if you’re focused on the fun.

Please feel free to add more tips in the comments, I’m sure I missed a lot of the hazards inherent to the season. But, hopefully this is a good starting point to think about your plans and how they might inadvertently impact your budgies health.

Happy Halloween!

Halloweed safety for budgies

Choosing a budgie-safe Christmas tree

For the past several years before bringing Toby home we had not put up a traditional Christmas tree, either real or artificial. Some years it seemed like too much hassle and others I guess we just didn’t have the holiday spirit.

Once we had Toby though it somehow made me feel more of the holiday vibe, so I wanted to put a little more effort into decorating. Which is a terrible idea by the way, since parakeets just want to chew everything.  I should have spent our intervening pet-less years decking the halls till they burst.

Last Christmas we bought a teeny tiny little tree made out of tinsel and only put it out on Christmas day, which provided some small  festivity for a couple of hours, and then Toby stopped being afraid of it and did this

prompting the tree to be taken away immediately.

This year I wanted to try again, and started looking into which trees are safe for companion parrots. Some real trees are, but even if they are the safe kind the sap is still dangerous, and beyond that, if you don’t know how the tree was grown there can be issues with pesticides and whatever chemicals they use to make the trees last for so long.

It seems like fake is the way to go (although clearly, not made out of tinsel!), so I looked at that, and then thought about the constant battle it would be to make sure they weren’t eating the tree, or eating paint off of ornaments, or fabric, or chewing the strands of lights!  Now, don’t get me wrong, a year or two down the road I might be up for the challenge, but this year it seemed right to get ourselves a A&E CAGE COMPANY AE500M Java Wood Table Top Play Stand and a bunch of Christmas toys from Drs. Foster & Smith and enjoy the season worry-free.

What’s even better is that the tree can be in use year-round, so far the parakeets are a little wary of it, but I’m guessing in a few days it will be the most popular new hangout.

The A&E Java trees are very good quality and sourced from wood that would otherwise be discarded. As I’ve mentioned, Patrick has allergies/chemical sensitivities that frequently make it difficult to buy new furniture or anything really, but we were able to use this pretty much right out of the box, the only issue were the rubber feet had a fairly strong “new” smell, which dissipated over a few days. I know this tree may be a bit big for the budgies to be comfortable on but we’ll be making some modifications over time for better accessibility if they are needed.

What’s even better is that A&E CAGE COMPANY AE500M Java Wood Table Top Play Stand is available on Amazon Prime, and with 2 day shipping there’s still time if you want to give your parakeets a tree of their own this year!

Gift ideas for the parakeet and parakeet parent

The holidays are fast approaching so as a special “cyber Monday” post I wanted to provide a convenient place to find my recommended gifts for parakeets and people owned by parakeets.

The products in this store have all been used in our household and are products I don’t hesitate to recommend.

Click here to access my Amazon Astore & happy shopping!