Budgie Politics: What’s Ours is Ours — What’s Yours is Ours, Too.

IMG_0837Recently, I got a new bird cage for the ‘tiels! It was most exciting — all the pieces and instructions and my utter inability to put it together for myself. It sat around for a couple weeks while I tried to make my schedule work with someone — anyone — who could lend a hand. A friend whose major is Technology Education invaded my house one day, and helped me out. Best day ever! Afterwards, I was able to decorate for them with all kinds of new, great stuff from Crystal’s Bird Toys and Drs Foster & Smith. As I was setting up shop, the ‘tiels were curious enough to fly on in all by themselves, no persuasion required. I was okay with this — as they are usually notoriously awful at wanting to go back to their cage.

Fast forward two days. I am home after work, and I have already brewed my cup of coffee — and as all the birds well know, that means it’s out-of-cage time. I sigh, and wrap a scarf around my shoulders for two reasons: One, to keep Dapple from preening my necklace, and thus my neck and two, to keep the crap off of my work uniform top — a necessary precaution. I always open the budgie cage first, because that crowd is usually much more cautious. I don’t have to brace myself, because they won’t immediately fly out and land on me. (Or anywhere, really.) They’re careful, unlike the ‘tiels, who greet me like they always do — by hitting me in the face and head with a mix of primaries and zygodactyl feet, excusing it as clumsy landing.

IMG_0838Well, surprise, surprise! All of the budgies flew up and out of their cage all at once in a rush of colors, feathers and cheeping. Guess where they landed?  Yup — right on the ‘tiels’ new cage, where they proceeded to break and enter, after a brief political conversation amongst themselves.
These are the same birds who do not hesitate to bite the toes of stray ‘tiels wandering wayward across the top of the budgie cage — and yet here they were where they oughtn’t have ever been. To be fair, the ‘tiel cage is huge; there is more than enough room in there for the two of them. The budgie cage is the next size down, and has always been filled with the best stuff, too. And, relative to body IMG_0847size, their cage is basically a mansion. Well, I suppose for these distinguished feathered critters, that simply will not do. More is better, always.

I’ve noticed that my budgies really do have some sort of political system in place, albeit an inherently wrong one. For instance, the claiming of the ‘tiel cage as their own is not the first instance of this greed. But this is how their world works. You give them anything, it is obviously theirs.claim all the things You sit and do homework at your desk while they are out? The pen, paper, texts, TV, Wii, coffee, mug, computer and desk itself are theirs. There is no compromise. There are no votes, no vetoes. It simply is and will always be. So, who might be the leader of these budgie politics? Who makes all the decisions? (I’ll give you a hint, it’s certainly not me.) Which feathered politician sits amongst perches proclaiming which misdeeds should be done this day? Fingers would point to Quill, but really — the pioneer of this lifestyle is none other than Gimli. It wasn’t always this way. In another time, in a cage more akin to an apartment than a mansion, the budgies were docile, for the most part — if not sometimes a little more on the screechy side. Land is power, I suppose.

The other day, my friends Carrie and Jeremy came over to visit. Jeremy has never been to my apartment. The last time he had seen them all at once was about one year ago — and even then, King was the new bee. As with most new things, even the guest had to adhere not weird pic of germy being attacked by birds to budgie law. The guest belonged to the budgies — no questions asked. Anyone attempting to say otherwise got dive bombed. I have photographic evidence and scar tissue to prove this.

I know what you’re probably thinking. “Aww! But wee little parakeets are so darn doofy that they are adorable! They would never form an inherently totalitarian government amongst themselves!

You’re thinking wrong. Absolutely wrong.

Even parakeetsbudgies, as the rest of the world calls them — are parrots. And as I’ve tried to explain to the best of my ability so far, parrots take over your entire life. No — rather, they are your entire life, small or large, loud or… sometimes quiet. You have to roll with the punches, and deal with their quirks — no matter how odd these quirks are.

You can’t yell at a bird. For one, they won’t listen to such negativity, and for two — any loud noise is competition and attention for them. For me, dealing with my feathered politicians — to get them to do something other than strut about all over my guests and belongings, I have to present another area for them to occupy and distract them with millet. Sometimes (rarely) it works, but I’ve gotta say — they enforce their laws. So I suppose this entire post is a PSA for future guests. “Can we play with the birdies?” will quickly turn into “Oh god, it shat on me! GET IT OFF.

No matter where you go, reader — be aware of the local law. I am finding that budgie law is the most stringent of all.

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6 thoughts on “Budgie Politics: What’s Ours is Ours — What’s Yours is Ours, Too.

  1. I love the image of their crowded cage, and I almost wish we could read more about the stuff from Crystals and Drs Foster&Smith. What do you think about making their cage the setting, comparing it to your room, which is a whole bigger cage to them? It’s funny because I can imagine your friends coming over, Carrie and Jeremy, and the birds seeing them as new people in their cage, your room (well really, their room). It’s really interesting to read about how the two different types of birds react, and the way they seem to govern. I wonder if letting out the budgies first, make the tiels even louder. You probably can’t let out just one bird, or just one set of birds. When I read that the budgies flew to the tiels cage, I thought it was them bragging that they were out, and the tiels were still locked up. Of course, as I continued, I saw that the budgies were jealous of the tiels new, bigger cage. The biggest cage is your room though, which is why I’m guessing they are so excited to get out, and makes it so hard to get them back in. It was easy to get them in this time though because they were curious about the new toys. What if you explained more about how they play with their toys? When you talk about how the whole desk is their area, it makes me think that the toys you bought for them aren’t as fun as your things. Does their political system include who gets to sit where, or who gets to play with what?
    In your first sentence, “Recently, I got…” you forgot the “a.” And just curious, is it ‘tiels or can it be written tiels? I noticed you did ‘tiels in the first two paragraphs, and then you also have ‘tiels.’ I also want to say, I love your new layout for your blog. It’s not only easier to read, but more fun to read with the white background.

  2. Thank you! (fixed the typo!) When I saw that my blog looked like it was black on the overhead projector, I worked to try and fix that! I’m glad you like the new layout. I think I have a video of Dapple playing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBCCVWh2cuM which definitely differs from the budgies — they’re so hyper in comparison! It’d be really fun to write a post on specifically that. (: Thank you!

  3. I love the portrayal of your birds as politicians–it’s a fun and quirky image and one that holds well throughout the piece. You do a great job showcasing the personality of each bird and the hyperlinks are very helpful. I love the idea of there being two worlds for the birds, the one inside their cages and then the one outside. Do they behave differently outside the cage than in, do the hierarchies change or remain the same? That transition, flying out into the apartment, is a great image and I’m curious about how this changes their behavior if it does at all.

  4. I really like the comparison to the budgies as “politicians” sitting on a perch. I also really enjoy how you set the story up by using the instance of building the mansion of a bird cage. I don’t have many suggestions, this was a great blog post and you pretty much covered all the bases.

  5. We sometimes forget that animals have a language and world of their own. This post reminded me of the book Watership Down which takes on the perspective of rabbits in a political setting. You play up the personalities of these budgies quite well, especially their actions of taking over EVERYTHING. You do a great job with detail to visualize their actions. I think it would be interesting to see one of the head budgies in a specific instance where you could see them planning and taking what they think is theirs. Great voice by the way, your use of humor and facts flow very well.

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