Do your budgies seem far more interested in each other than in you? You’re not alone!
Can you bond with two budgies?
Although it is possible to bond with a pair of budgies, they will almost always prefer one another’s company. It can be easier to connect with a single budgie because they feel isolated and lonely. They need something to fill the vacuum where their mate would typically be, so they are more likely to accept a relationship with you.
Don’t worry; it is possible to have a relationship with a pair of budgies while still allowing them to have the companionship they crave from another bird. You just might have to adjust your expectations of what that bond will look like.
This article gives you some pointers for bonding with two budgies (so you don’t feel quite so left out!).
How to Bond With Two Budgies
If you want to build a relationship with a pair of bonded budgies, you’ll have to be gentle and patient.
Your birds will feel safe and happy when they are together, and they’ll see your giant hand as a threat, especially if you’re trying to separate them from each other, their food, or their cage.
Here are some ideas to help you bond with your budgies:
- Spend lots of time near their cage, perhaps watching TV. This way, they will get used to you without feeling threatened by too much attention.
- Try talking gently to them and whistling, to see if you get a response.
- Offer them seeds through the cage bars, so they start associating you with treats.
Here are some things that you shouldn’t do:
- Move too quickly toward them or make too much noise.
- Stick your hand in the cage before they are entirely comfortable with having you around.
- Attempt to get them apart for ‘training’ time; they’re going to associate your hand with being separated from their mate.
- Touch or stroke them a lot. Budgies might enjoy the occasional head scratch, but they don’t like being petted like a puppy.
Clipping Their Wings
Some people clip their adult budgies’ wings to help ‘get them tame.’
This way, the budgies can’t fly away, so it’s easier to get a hold of them. By giving them lots of gentle attention when the bird can’t escape, some owners hope to break through the birds’ fear.
This is not a good idea!
If you abuse your position of power and touch your budgie when they can’t escape, they will remember it! Then, when their feathers grow back, they will stay as far away from you as possible, so you don’t get the chance to do anything they don’t like again.
Building a relationship with your birds takes time. It may be that a bonded pair never wants to be best buddies with you. You’ll just have to accept that.
But if you remain passive and gentle and let your budgies fly over to you in their own time, your chances of success are a lot higher.
Keeping Budgies in Separate Cages
Another tactic some people use is to keep budgies in separate cages side by side.
This way, they can still enjoy chatting to one another, but they aren’t getting their social needs truly met. This can make some birds more receptive to letting you touch them, but I think it’s kind of cruel.
Budgies are happiest when they are in pairs of a flock. As a pet owner, you have a responsibility to ensure that your animal is happy and healthy.
From my perspective, it’s far more important to let my budgies have a close relationship with another bird than to force them to accept my attention out of desperation.
Every bird is different, though. For example, if your budgies don’t get on and tend to fight, it might be necessary to keep them separate for their safety.
In this case, it makes sense to bond with them more, so they don’t miss out on touch.
The Importance of Hand Rearing
If your budgies are already adults that people have never touched, it’ll be more challenging to get them to trust you.
However, if they have both been hand-reared, you may have more luck in building a relationship, even if they are in a pair.
They will already associate human hands with food and safety, so there will be less work for you with regard to trust.
A pair of birds that don’t know human interaction will be a real challenge to bond with. Just take your time and don’t rush anything. If a bond comes with time, that’s great!
However, you’re only going to make them avoid you more if you try to force them to like you.
Like so many things in life, your expectations will influence your satisfaction.
If you’re happy with your budgies being able to fly around the room and perhaps dare to perch on your shoulder here and there, you will probably be successful over time.
But if building a bond means you want your birds to joyfully fly to your finger when you call and take naps in your front pocket, you might not find what you’re looking for with a pair of budgies.
At the end of the day, their happiness is what matters. So, if you’re looking for a solo pet that wants to be your friend, maybe you should get a cat instead!
More to read:
- Can Budgies of Different Ages Live Together?
- Can 2 Male Budgies and 1 Female Live Together?
- Keeping 4 Budgies in One Cage – What You Must Know
My name is Niels Joensen, and I’m the creator of Wings and Beaks. I got my first two budgies at the age of 13, and right away, I fell in love with these beautiful tiny birds. Wings and Beaks is where I share my knowledge and passion for budgies with other bird owners.