Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I Need You and I Need My Space

Budgie social behavior clearly has defined distances that are acceptable. About one and one half a budgie length is a comfortable distance. Getting closer than less than one budgie length to another bird signifies a "one of us is gonna hafta move" action. This seems to be true horizontally, vertically, and diagonally. Who makes whom move helps sort out the pecking order. In the aviary, very little true pecking goes on, as happened in a smaller cage. There is plenty of perch space, food bowls, at several different levels. Sutcliffe and Mary ann stay much closer to each other than this, as a breeding pair. He is always feeding her and hopping to be near her. It is also important not to be directly under anyone else. I suspect that this is for two reasons; 1. if you are right under someone else, you might get crapped on, literally. 2. having something on top means you can be swooped down upon and pinned, not a good thing for a tiny budgie who could serve as food for a larger bird of prey. Hiding in a thicket, though, with loose twigs above seems to be copacetic, once again for fairly obvious reasons--it would be very hard to swoop down and trap a budgie who was in a thicket. Also, climbing into a collection of twigs and pulling at them to tear them apart brings great joy to the budgies. It may help them keep their beaks groomed. Also, it probably is instinctually a good way to forage.

2 comments:

Carl said...

This reminds me of "boids," hypothetical entities that: 1) stay wide enough apart, 2) head in the same direction as their flockmates, and 3) head toward their flockmates. I think they are useful in computer animation.

Some boids chase a green dot while avoiding a red dot at youtube

Budgie Bloggers said...

brilliant you tube video! i must post it to the blog. boids are almost as cool as the real budgie is. we watched the "parrots in the land of oz' and the giant flocks of budgies in australia is truly wonderous. the cockateils seem to be a bit of a pest to say the least but they are very pretty.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple
Sutcliffe and Maryann in early 2007