Oh my goodness, you're here! Come on in. I'm so glad you stopped by, but let's get the door closed quickly -- we don't want anyone to fly out.

I've been keeping pet birds for about 14 years now (gracious, has it been that long?). Anyway, I learned very early on that one of the best things I could do for myself and for my birds was to join a local bird club. I mean, there's only so much teasing I can take and when my favorite pet shop owner laughed at me because I went into a real panic when some of my new parakeet's feathers started to fall out ... I knew it was time to find out more about these lovely creatures I was now responsible for.

I must have looked really funny with my poor little bird in one hand and his feathers in the other as I asked pitifully, "What's wrong with him?"

Well, it turned out

He was molting, not sick.
All birds lose all their feathers every year (not all at once, of course, but they lose them).
He was a budgerigar ("budgie" for short), not a "parakeet."
Parakeets are the long-tailed small parrots of South America, budgerigars are the small Australian parrots we find in pet stores almost always labeled as parakeets.
He was a she!
With most birds, you can't tell who's male and who's female without clinical tests (or waiting for someone to lay an egg), but with budgies, it's easy if you know what to look for.

Local bird club membership helped me learn what to look for, learn how to provide for good nutrition and other husbandry issues for my precious charges.

So, I know a lot more now and I'll never stop learning as long as I choose to keep my funny little pets (thanks to the friendly, caring, sharing people I've met in my local bird clubs (Companion Bird Clubs in Maryland).

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