It’s been several months now since my original review of the Super Bird Creations Wind Chimes Toy for Birds and this toy is still Kelly’s number one favorite. Not only that, but it is still in good shape for being abused daily. The toy lost a plastic straw and bead last week when the bottom knot came until, but other than that it looks pretty darn mint.
Here’s a video of Kelly being a bat girl with the wind chimes – I wish it was better but she gets very camera shy, you can see she stops playing and rapidly nods her head at me to indicate I should leave her alone! Although Kelly is the primary user, Toby also gets into it, but instead of hanging upside down and twisting around Toby prefers to separate one “leg” at a time and drape it over the nearby perch before dominating.
I know that at about $13 it might seem like a pretty big outlay of cash for a single toy, but with budgies it will last you a long time and if yours are like mine it will be the belle of the ball.
This story actually begins more than a year before we almost killed Kelly. Back in the day I was pretty chill about mice in the house. We would get the humane traps(Grandpa Gus’s Mouse Trap Tubes – Live Catch & Release Humane Mice Tunnels – 4 Pk), catch mice and throw them in the back yard. I used to have a weird old open-front shed in my backyard and I put some socks, catalogs and tortilla chips in there, and I would throw the mice in the shed. One year we chucked about 13 mice out, or possibly the same mouse 13 times…
Anyway, this détente with the mice ended shortly before we got Toby. We were making tea one evening, I opened the dishwasher, and there was a living mouse among the glassware in the top shelf, frozen in terror. That was just too great an infraction to suffer, so, the dishwasher was replaced and the mice were no longer gently captured and tossed out into the yard. I bought a bunch of snap traps (Mouse Traps (Pack of 12) sorry) and deployed them. We got the dishwasher mouse in the dishwasher before replacing the dishwasher and set another couple of snap traps, one on each side of the refrigerator in the narrow alleyway between fridge and cabinet (this is the gun in act 1, by the way).
We snapped a few more mice and the siege seemed to be over, but I left the traps, because of Toby. If you google mice and parakeets you’ll find loads of stories about rodents trying to eat bird food, scaring parakeets at night, and in worst case scenarios, biting & killing budgies or eating their feet (!). Just thinking about rodents attacking my baby budgie in the middle of the night was enough to keep me laying down snap traps indefinitely.
Not only had Toby never had her wings clipped, but she also came with a crazy aversion to going near the floor. You can lure her down there with some Kaytee Spray Millet for Birds, 12-Count or toys, but mostly she’s like a kid playing the floor is lava game. So – I’m probably projecting the ending of this story at this point, but the thing is, we forgot about the traps, no one ever went near them and if we noticed them, it was with relief that Toby was protected.
Fast forward 8 months, Kelly came home, having recently had her wings clipped for the first time. She spent the afternoon chilling out in her cage and the next day I was out of town. I felt horrible missing her first whole day, but my mom and I had a day trip to the city planned that we had been looking forward to for months, and we had purchased non-refundable transportation tickets etc. Also, I tend to be the nervous nell between Patrick and I, so I think we both felt like it might be better if I wasn’t there fretting about everyone’s well-being.
That night when I got home, Patrick told me the following story, he let Kelly out of her cage to spend some time with her, and Kelly, not realizing she couldn’t fly (she never did accept that) launched herself into the air, hit the broadside of the refrigerator and slid down to the floor! Patrick dashed over and shoved the snap trap away JUST as Kelly was about to investigate the peanut butter lure, ie: get her noggin snapped.
I can’t even imagine the crushing guilt we would have felt if we killed our new budgie on her first day home. As it was we both felt absolutely horrible, and I think Patrick probably lost a few years of his life in that instant. I have to give him a lot of credit for remembering immediately the danger lurking in that narrow space.
So – my stomach still turns a bit when I think about mice eating our parakeet’s feet, but we went back to a humane trap. Kelly never made that exact flight pattern again – she only needed to hit the fridge one time before learning that it was not, in fact, a portal to another dimension – but she certainly hit practically every surface in the house over the next several months. She would fly off somewhere and wander around until I found her and brought her home.
I guess the lesson here, beyond the obvious don’t have snap traps or other kill traps for small animals around your budgies, is that every parakeet is different. Ultimately we felt like parents who have their first baby and it’s an angel who never gets into anything, and then the second kid comes along and is a total whirlwind demon baby.
Still, I’m really glad we didn’t murder Kelly on her first day home, and I hope that the next time you endanger or scare your babies, which happens to all of us, you think of me and my mouse traps and feel a little bit better knowing we’re all out there making mistakes.
We had a little warm spell recently and it brought a lot of outdoor birds out of their hiding spots to chirp and enjoy the nice days. It has also made Kelly want to communicate with them desperately, so she’s been flock calling to them every morning for hours straight. I know that in a week or so she would realize they aren’t going to talk back and stop trying, but in the interim we have this incessant yelling.
Before getting a budgie (or any bird), listen to this on a loop for 2 hours and decide if you can take the noise! Please excuse the weirdly-sized video and the water noise in the background, she stopped yelling as soon as she saw the camera so I had to run the water to get her going again!
As I’ve mentioned, Kelly recently got over her fear of everything and is now quite a handful, more precisely, a handful of constantly chewing beak. Which is totally normal, parrots are machines built for destruction, and the only saving grace of a budgie is its small size and (relatively) weak beak. If Kelly was an African Gray or a Macaw I would probably have no wood furniture or door frames left at this point.
Since she can’t take it to that extent, Kelly limits herself to chewing on approved toys for the most part, but the exception is the edge of our dining room table. Toby went through a brief table-mania last year, but was easily dissuaded from the pursuit. Kelly, not so much, she is determined to turn that thing into matchsticks one chomp at a time.
I can’t even be mad at her for it, seriously, it’s what she’s meant to do, so it’s on me to find a workaround and shooing her away 500 times a day isn’t cutting it. Also, I don’t know what varnish or veneer is on the table, and I don’t want her to slowly poison herself chewing on the wood.
My first idea was to take a long sheet of paper towels and drape it over the edge in question, weighting it with a couple of toys. This worked well, both Kelly and Toby enjoyed climbing up and down the hanging paper towel and it distracted from the table itself. But, I’m not feeling that style of home décor, so a more permanent solution was needed.
I decided to buy a tablecloth, I’m pretty sure this is the first tablecloth I have ever purchased. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, but I was looking for something that would be visually appealing to both the parakeets and the humans, and seemed durable.
I also like the lace edging. I know I’ll have to make sure they don’t eat it, but they will enjoy ripping it apart. It seems sort of odd to buy a nice item knowing that it’s basically going to be treated as disposable, but it will certainly be cheaper to replace than a whole table. Also, if they only attack one side I can rotate the tablecloth a few times for maximum use.
Hopefully this will be a good save for the table, I’m sure in a few weeks Kelly will figure out she can climb down and underneath and I’ll have a whole new set of issues. Coming soon, presumably, a post about getting rid of our dining room table and turning the entire house into an aviary 🙂
At first glance the Bonka Bird Cake Foraging Toy looks a bit cheap, I was sort of skeptical of the foam pieces, and it just overall looked a bit too thrown together and sort of unnatural for my tastes. But, I was adding stuff to my cart at Amazon so this got thrown in too!
Once it arrived I was even more turned off, the solla wood that makes up the “cupcake” is extremely lightweight, and it generally looked just as insubstantial in person.
I stowed it away in our toy cabinet and basically forgot about it until this weekend when I was swapping out some things, and decided to use it on our play gym.
Kelly made a beeline to the Bonka Bird Cake Foraging Toy, and played with that toy for the entire day virtually non-stop. She did make a huge mess and totally tore apart the wood piece in one day, but it was well worth it to watch her enjoy herself and just chew away.
It wouldn’t make a ton of economic sense to provide her with one daily, but I think she can be sure to have one of these as a treat every so often. And I’m definitely going to seek out more solla wood toys!
I did slide a wood block on the post after the cupcake was murdered and she enjoys that as well, the cupcake wrappers seem fun to nibble at and she likes the sound it makes. I think the fact that she could hear the bell jingling but not actually see it was fun for her too.
The whole thing put her into a frenzy in the best possible way!