Puddings & Toyboys

A blog about my beautiful budgies.

Monthly Archives: May 2011

Flying progress

Atilla has been more confident with her flying lately.  The last few days she has attempted laps of the room.  She lands on the floor but has been getting further each time.  She has also flown to me when I have been standing at the window, the other side of the room.

Today, she did a bookcase run, i.e., the diagonal route to the bookcase & back to the Manor.  She managed a perfect turn at the bookcase & it was on the return leg to the Manor that she started to lose height & landed on the shelf underneath the Manor.  It was a sterling performance.

On top of that, twice, she has flown to the sisal spiral rope perch hanging from the lampshade in the middle of the room.  (I have had something hanging from that lampshade for over 2 years but no one has ever bothered to make use of it…. until now!)  Without any prompting, she landed beautifully on it.  She sat for a little while, looking at things from the new vantage point, then executed a faultless flight back to the Manor.

Well done, Atilla!

Friday grass fever

Yes, she did share. 🙂

Further to my previous post Countryside meets suburbia, I can report that “A The Hen” did indeed share the wild grass.

I washed & laid out a small bunch on top of the Ferplast.  Though the bunch was small (in proportion to what was sent) it was much larger than they had ever seen before.  I think they were a little overwhelmed.  They could not quite take it in, so ignored it!

To encourage them to eat the grass, I separated it into smaller sections & pegged it in different places: the opened up Manor roof, the landing platform, hanging from the hammock, on the playgym & on the plant pot stand.

It goes very quiet when they are all eating it. 🙂

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Raspy was the first to tuck in.  It was not long before the toyboys jointly tackled the lone sprig on the landing platform.  Atilla was a little lazy & mostly ate the part that she could pull in through the bars from where she sat.

By the end of the day, the juice had well & truly been sucked from it all!  And the great thing is that they have plenty more to get through. 🙂

Countryside meets suburbia

This evening I found a surprise parcel on the mat addressed to “A The Hen”.

Hmm…. what has Atilla been up to?  Last week PuddingCam suddenly went offline a couple of times. Was this because Atilla pulled out the webcam wires so she could secretly buy something off the internet?  Or has she been cheating on Cagney behind his back (difficult, as he is so often on her back) & started corresponding with some stranger who has promised her unlimited & uninterrupted sleeve chewing.  What could it be??

Ripping open the parcel revealed the following:

Yes, a very large bunch of fresh grass from the English countryside!!!   The lovely Rosebudgie, one of the Puddings & Toyboys followers, was incredibly kind & went to the trouble to hand-pick, wrap & send on the seeded grass.  Thank you so much!!!

Of course the parcel was addressed to Atilla so the big question is……. Will she share?!

Either way, having only ever been presented with tiny, pathetic sprigs of grass, I am hoping the puds & toyboys will not be too freaked out by such an abundant display of wild grasses!  Whatever their reaction, I hope to get it on camera!

Thank you again, Rosebudgie. 🙂

The Broccoli Massacre

In recent times, Atilla has been shredding any vegetables she is offered.  She used to really enjoy broccoli.  Now she just tears it apart in a frenzy.  Fortunately, Cagney is on hand to get some regurgitated broccoli down her.  At least whilst she is destroying the broccoli it keeps her occupied & out of trouble.

Yesterday, I pegged some up on the landing platform & by her perch.  She tore it right up to the peg & it was scattered all over the floor.

Purple poops

Beetroot leaves & stalks are popular with the toyboys. 

Oddly enough, when I present them with a beetroot stalk they always look a bit worried.  It seems the red colour puts them off & induces a temporary loss of memory, i.e., they forget they enjoyed eating it before.  However, I just peg it up & curiosity gets the better of them & they are soon chewing it until it is in shreds.

The end result:


Feng shuing the Manor

New arrangement

This weekend I spent some time rearranging some of the furniture in the Manor.  This is to help the puddings’ feet (see previous post on the vet visit).

Strangely, in the last few days, Atilla has spent less time on her ttmss swing & more on the wider perch in the far corner.  I am not sure if this is because she heard what Mr Vet said, or if her feet are more uncomfortable & she is making her own decision about where to sit.

Anyway, the main change I planned was to temporarily remove the ttmss swing! [Shock! Horror!]  Timing was critical if I wanted to keep my fingers intact.  Surprisingly, I managed to quietly remove it when Atilla was otherwise engaged on the Ferplast.  I felt quite pleased with myself!

Raspy eating grass

Atilla eating grass

Another wider wooden perch has been placed where the ttmss swing was & to make the transition easier, the triple mirror hangs beside it.

The swinging perch has also been moved from the loft area.  The perches on this are quite thin & Raspy spends a lot of time on it.  There is now a short, wide perch in its place.  So, at bedtime, there are now 3 swings & a perch to fight over.

Toyboys found the grass

Toyboys eating grass

In theory, the changes should not have taken long, however it took me about 2 hours to complete the job.  This is because both Atilla & Raspy wanted to chew my sleeves & my top at the same time.  Raspy also likes to “help” whenever I am unscrewing a perch.  In the end, it was getting a bit silly so I decided a distraction was called for.

The distraction was a small bunch of seeded grass, picked from my parents’ garden the previous day.  This was the first grass of the year & indeed the first time I have ever given the toyboys grass.  It is said never to work with children or animals.  It should really be, never work with budgies.  The distraction only worked for Raspy.  She was a clever girl & noticed the grass as soon as I brought it out & obviously remembered how tasty it was.  Ideally for her, the toyboys had no interest in it & Atilla was too busy burrowing into my sleeve.  Raspy was able to eat the grass at leisure.

The others cottoned onto the grass later on, when the Manor refurbishment had been completed.

Here is Raspy enjoying the grass before the others interrupted:

Poor thumb

Poor thumb the day after

In the meantime, I thought I would take some photos of the first grass of the season but Atilla made it clear to me that I am not allowed to hold the camera & if I do, my thumb will “get it”.  Sure enough, my thumb “got it”.  It had escaped a mauling from removing the ttmss swing but got caught with the camera!

New punk hairdo

Here are some photos of Atilla’s new punk “featherdo”.  She looks quite pleased with it… don’t you think?

(Click on photos to enlarge)

As usual, Atilla dominated the misting session this weekend. 

Raspy & Bezukhov got a little wet.  Cagney also got a little wet & had a rummage in the wet dill whilst spreading his wings to catch the water.  It was all too brief though.  He has a long way to go to catch up with Atilla’s enthusiasm for getting wet.

Wonders will never cease

Raspy does not have much time for Cagney.

She merely tolerates him.

Cagney, in contrast, thinks Raspy is a “bit of alright“.  Although he & Atilla are a bonded couple, that does not stop him wanting to chat & flirt with her sister.  He is not very good at taking “No” for an answer.  Raspy really does not want him chattering in her ear, or trying to sit next to her or looking at her in a “funny way”.

Bezukhov is aware of his girlfriend’s feelings for his mate, Cagney.  Where possible, he will sit between them.  When it is not possible, he will still sit between them & simply knock Cagney off the perch.

In the evening, I usually offer Raspy seed as she sometimes gets stressed trying to eat during the day because Cagney wants to “join in”.  I like to make sure she has her bedtime feed.

This evening, she was eating from the seed pot I offered.  It was the large pot.  When Bezuky joined her, that was fine as there was enough space for both their heads to be in & out the pot.  Cagney noticed the contented way Raspy & Bezuky were eating & it seemed he wanted to be a part of it.  He indicated he was going to join them.  Several times, Bezukhov chased him away.

At one point, Cagney landed on the pot & knocked his mate off.  I moved the pot away from Raspy, knowing her feelings towards Cagney.  However, she indicated she wanted to continue eating so I tentatively moved the pot closer to her, with Cagney still sat on it, eating.  She calmly leaned in for a seed.  Cagney carried on eating.  She had more seed.  I was stunned…. they both calmly ate from the same seed pot!

It was very nice to see.  It didn’t end in a fight either. 🙂

Mission accomplished: Nasty man dispatched

Today Mr Vet visited.

As usual, I have had concerns about Atilla’s health, so to play safe I booked Mr Vet.  To minimize chaos I thought it best to separate puddings & toyboys.  When I let them out this morning, I removed all seed & food from the Manor & play gym area but filled up the seed pots in the Ferplast.  The plan was for the toyboys to eventually go into the Ferplast for food & I would then be able to temporarily lock them in.  In the end, I pegged up some spinach & Cagney (not one to miss out on some fresh veg) was in the Ferplast in two ticks, chomping away.  At that point, Bezukhov was on my hand, preening, so I slowly moved him into the Ferplast & hey presto! was able to lock them in!

They soon realised they were locked in though & all thoughts of tasty spinach disappeared whilst they jumped about, shouting for their puddings.  The puddings however, were chilled out & both settled down to eat a long, leisurely, late breakfast together.  They then sat side-by-side preening.  The toyboys calmed down after a while but got agitated each time the puddings moved or chirped.

Shaking that man out of my feathers...

The puddings were suspicious as soon as Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant came into the room.  Raspy was the first to be seen.  Whilst Mr Vet was chasing her around the Manor she managed to slip out the big front cage door & landed on the futon.  Fortunately, Mr Vet gathered her up before she was able to go anywhere else. 

Next up was Atilla… For an overweight bird who gets out of breath easily, she can still give as good as she gets.  Her mission was to cause as much trouble as possible.  As with Raspy, she was chased around the Manor.  Mr Vet caught her but for some reason (a bite?) had to let go.  (Raspy in the meantime had retired to the playgym.)

Mission accomplished: Nasty man dispatched.

There was another chase around the Manor but this time Atilla slipped out (like Raspy did) only her tactic was to HIDE.  First port of call was behind the Ferplast…. then behind the playgym… then behind the radio…. then behind the television….  However, Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant managed to scoop her up from behind the television & held her close to try & calm her down.  They needed to check both her feet.  Mr Vet said several times to her, “No, we’ve seen that one, we need the other foot….”  She was clearly still trying to make as much mischief as possible, even when being held down by Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant.

The bad news is that the puddings have pressure sores on their feet.

Dreaming of my girl, Raspy...

The good news is that on a scale of 1-4, their sores do not even register 1.  The other good news is that changing & moving perches around should be all that is needed to make a difference.

After Mr Vet & Mr Vet’s Lovely Assistant departed, I partially covered over the Puddings to help them calm down & recover.  When all seemed well, it was time, after a whole 3 hours apart, to let the puddings & toyboys get together again.

How much longer do I have to wait for my girl & for some fresh spinach?

I am not exaggerating when I say that within 60 seconds of the toyboys being let out, Cagney was having his wicked way with Atilla! After the “business”, the two couples indulged in lots of smooching, snogging, flirting & preening.

During all the lovey-doveyness, I’m sure Atilla & Raspy told their boyfriends of their derring-do & showed them their new, trendy, short toenails.

The ABC’s of budgie noises

The other day, during a phone call, a friend commented that he liked hearing the puddings & toyboys in the background.  His comment reminded me of my concern when picking up the puddings for the first time, that they would be “quiet” birds.  Of course all birds have their own personalities & some are quieter than others, but  I did want birds on the noisier side.  When on the phone, I am frequently reminded of that initial (unfounded) concern when the person on the other end cannot hear me over all the chatter!

Of course the puddings developed into articulate & confident birds who are never afraid of voicing their feelings.  Possibly because they are hens, they are more into shouting, ACKing & squiggling than melodious “singing”.  Interestingly, since the toyboys have been on the scene, they have been far quieter & tweet in a more ladylike manner!

The toyboys sound altogether different from the puddings.  They have more of a constant chatter going on…. like little children always asking questions.  They seem to want to chatter for the sake of it & content perhaps is not as important to them as to the puddings.

The range of sounds that budgies can make is amazing.  Below, I have listed some of the main sounds that can be heard in this household.  You will obviously need the sound on for the videos…. unless you are listening to the ACK ones, in which case I suggest you turn the sound off…

A is for ACKing

ACKing is the girls’ speciality.  It is usually for a very good reason.  The reason may not be apparent to the listener but nevertheless, it is a very good reason.  The ACK can sometimes sound like a QUACK.

Click here for Atilla’s ACKing

Click here for more of Atilla’s ACKing

Click here for even more of Atilla’s ACKing

B is for Babbling

The toyboys are good at babbling.  I define babbling as that sound made that never requires a pause for breath.

Click here for Cagney’s babbling

Click here for Bezukhov’s babbling

C is for Clucking

The toyboys cluck quite a lot.  The clucking tends to be pre-regurgitating seed time & generally when they are flirting.

Click here for Cagney’s clucking (towards end of video)

C is also for Chunnering

The toyboys like to chunner.  They like chunnering.  They like to chunner.  If you don’t like chunnering, tough luck!

Click here for Bezukhov’s sleepy chunnering

S is for Squiggling

This is another sound that the puddings use rather than the toyboys.  There is a lot of vibrato to it that you can really feel if they squiggle when sat on your finger.  I find the Squiggle can mean many things: “That’s mine… move away slowly & you won’t get hurt“, “Git outta ma face“, “You talkin’ to me?

Click here for Atilla’s squiggling (starts with ACKing but moves into squiggling)

Click here for Raspy’s squiggling (towards end of video)

S is also for Shouting

All four are excellent at shouting.  Raspy often shouts when I leave the room.

Click here for Raspy shouting

S is also for Squeaking

The girls tend to squeak when being fed by their boyfriends.  Raspy will accompany this with a flap of her wings, just in case the squeaking is not enough of a hint to Bezukhov that she wants more regurgitated seed.  Sadly I have yet to get a decent video of this.

There are many other noises outside of the main ABCs that I have not documented. The puddings often use the Rallying Cry when they launch themselves off for a fly.  It can possibly be likened to a more aggressive version of the old person’s grunt when they sit down or get up.  There is also the Motoring sound made when flying that suggests that if the sound were to be turned off then flying would also stop.