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Thursday, May 28, 2009
Hearing Voices? Check For Budgies

By Laura Doering
Join in on Laura's fun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK, the world’s most widely read pet bird magazine, in Wayward Feathers.

If you haven’t checked out the contest page in while, then you probably don’t know about our new “Budgie Babble and Gabble” contest. In a nut shell, we’re asking for videos of budgies talking, and then we’re compiling it into a 3-minute montage of the best submissions. Why? Because budgies can and do talk!

Whenever someone mentions that they had a budgie growing up (as in “I’m not a bird person, but I did have a parakeet when I was little”), I can’t resist pointing out that budgies — aka parakeets in the most general term — can be super talkers. This often elicits the “You’re kidding me!” response.

My dear green budgie, Fred, who I had when I was 5 years old, never talked human, so I didn’t believe this phenomenon until my first year working on BIRD TALK. That’s when the “Peanut Tape” arrived. It was a cassette tape (shows you how long ago that must have been!) sent in by a proud budgie owner. The accompanying letter said something along the lines of, “Thought I’d share my wonderful little Peanut with you, he’s a good talker.”

We popped in the tape and were instantly amazed — and perhaps a little creeped out. Budgies have tiny voices, and I hope to never encounter a demon but if I did, I’m sure it would sound a lot like Peanut. A low voice that sounded like it was sped up, run backwards and then sped up again emanated from the boom box: “Peanut want cookie,” and “Give kisses, kiss, kiss.”  It was nearly 30 minutes of this tiny voice asking for cookies and kisses.

I joked how funny it would be if Peanut’s was housed in the guest room; that just as the unsuspecting guest was winding down for the night, this little voice started saying, “Give kisses, kiss, kiss.” Certainly they would never suspect the budgie. 

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Hearing Voices? Check For Budgies

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Reader Comments
Its not just talking its sound effects and birdcalls too. Guy, my budgie lost his mate months ago and we thought he'd stopped making not only budgie sounds but sounds altogether. That is until one day the tiels were all napping in the sun but there was the most beautiful elaborate male tiel song coming from the back of the aviary. It seems Guy had picked up all of the male tiels individual calls and put them together as his own. Hes actually better than some of the originals
Casey, New Zealand
Posted: 11/30/2009 5:15:07 PM
There are some really good movies of talking budgies on Youtube. They are so cute.
Eowyn, Ithilien, ME
Posted: 5/28/2009 1:36:24 PM
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