Sunday, October 25, 2009

Budgie alarm

My husband and I have two small parrots. Morning with them on most days are pretty quiet: I go to work before the sun comes up, when our birds are still sleeping or engaging in quiet activity.

On weekends, we normally sleep in. For years, when the sun starts shining into our house, our cockatiel would begin a cheeping. A loud "Cheep!," a short pause, another "Cheep!" and on for some time. Often, he would settle when one of us goes into his room. If not, usually having both of us in the living room would get him to calm down.

Why the insistent calls until we get up? I don't know. But it was neat to see that he felt some connection to us.

About a month ago, my husband's coworker found a parakeet at their wild bird feeder. Wilson is now living with us. When a new pet comes into a household, things change.

Parakeets (also called budgerigars, or budgies) are known for talking to themselves. Whistles, cheeps, crackles, words, and any other sounds they learn to imitate get all jumbled up into a monologue. Our first parakeet does this. But Wilson does it much more. Often, when Wilson starts up, the other budgie joins in.

And that's our new weekend wakeup call: the two budgies talking to themselves. No more insistent cockatiel cheeps. I'm a little sad the birds don't seem to need my husband or I as much in the morning. But I'm glad to wake up to such a happy sound: a budgie alarm.

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