Home Tell friend Site Info Search Translate


1. Since Miles cannot fly, some fledglinghood disease which stunts the wings and tail, he has trouble following El. One day, El flew up to the top of a picture frame and sat there - perhaps hoping to get away for a short vacation. But Miles would have none of that. He found a metal ribbing of the window which went right up to the top of the picture - or close to it - from the floor. So foot over foot holding on with every muscle he had, he started up. I was amazed - watching him and his determination. He got to picture frame level and stopped. The distance between where he was and the frame was a little too far. If he let go even one foot, he would fall. So I quickly put a stick from him to the fame and across he went and sat there with El looking very pleased with himself.

2. I opened the cage one day and Miles as he often did, "flew" down to the floor for a short stroll. From the next room, I suddenly felt that something was wrong. It was deadly silent on the enclosed porch where the budgies are. I raced in and found Miles literally frozen to the spot on the floor facing in towards something under the piano. We had had a lizard or rat, I don't know which, in the flat before and I figures that was the face off. But Miles was petrified. I put the cage down and he made a bee line for it, up and in through the cage door. I guess he felt as much relief as I did. After that, he did not go out of the cage, even though we took all pains to make sure that there were no more intruders. One of these days I hope he will feel free enough to go out once again.

3. Miles talks a lot - many different sounds - I have not counted them but I swear that there are 200 different sounds which he strings together into streams of sounds. I am convinced that if he were human, he would have written 40 books by now. She answers him occasionally during his talks, but the answers are short as if to agree or to encourage him to continue with whatever he is saying. Some days, he won't say much of anything and then there are days where he talks most of the day. He usually talks to her but sometimes I find him in a corner facing out and talking as if he is speaking to himself or to the wall. Instead I am going to provide a runway along the window sills so he can go out on an upper level.

4. I walked into the room and El, the female, was doing something she hasn't done for over a year - she was pecking at a perch, and then I saw that it had fallen from its place. As I stood there, Miles immediately went over to another perch of the same type but which was in place and started doing the same thing. Obviously they were trying to tell me that the perch had fallen. There was satisfaction all around when I put it back in its place.

5. When the female budgie flew off and did not return, the male (Miles), to whom she had been like a mother since I got him, cheeped incessantly - calling day and night. I finally went on a mercy run to find a new female - which, after 1 1/2 days also flew the coop. You can imagine Miles - he was beginning to get a complex - and very depressed until I promised a new budgie. When I put our present female in the cage, he took one look at her and apparently it was love at first sight and has stayed that way ever since. Now he talks all day to her and only calls to tell everyone else to stay away.

6. Miles has invented a new way of getting from the upper to lower levels - and fast. He grabs on to two of the upright wires of the cage with both feet and slides down to the next level where he gets off with great aplomb.

7. One day after Cleo and Ella number One flew away, Miles in what must have been desperation decided to follow. Well to make a short story even shorter, with his nondeveloped wings and tail, he "flew" off the second story porch and plummeted to earth beating his wings as fast as he could. At least it cushioned his landing. Fearing CATS, I raced down to the yard and picked him up, and talking to him all the way upstairs, with his heart beating like it would burst the rib cage, got him back in the cage. - he was not used to being picked up and the fall must not have been pleasant. Needless to say he did not try that again - well, we didn't give him the opportunity.


Miles seems to sit and judge which is the best way to get from one point to the next before starting. There are so many routes in the cage due to the many sticks that there is usually two or three routes for each destination. Sometimes when there is no route, the cage side is the only option and he leaps (sometimes quite a distance) and clings before continuing on. Once in a while he slips, and not to anthropomorphize to much, appears to be a bit ashamed when he finally comes to rest at his destination.

Miles has stopped looking in and feeding the mirror image after two years of doing so. All other behavior is normal so it must be some new conceptualization that he has come to. El has never done this and perhaps she finally persuaded him not to do it, or he suddenly realized that it was not another budgie or El became jealous, or any one of a hundred other reasons - I really don't know.

Miles Personality
Miles appears to be very caring of El and in some ways emotionally dependent on her. He is skittish and will often move away whenever someone comes towards the cage. He jumps to another place when El comes to where he is sitting, particularly when she wants to have him move. She does this a lot as if to maintain her dominance over him. He is very attentive of her. Does what she is doing many times - eating preening. He feeds her and talks to her quite a bit during the day. He will often head for the favorite perch under the seed tray when she is not there but immediately moves when she comes down. When she is eating or sitting just out of reach, he will often touch her with his beak for a period before finally going to another perch and sitting alone. Finds it very difficult to stay awake during nap times. Spends a lot of time talking to the mirror and feeding the bird on the other side. Appears to be very caring.

El Personality
Very dominant. Appears to like being told that she is pretty. When Miles sits with her and talks to her and feeds her and nudges her, she permits it all with equanimity. She chases Miles which sometimes caused him to fall to the bottom of the cage. I have only seen her once looking into the mirror and does not play with it the way Miles does at times. Appears to be listening to Miles and will respond from time to time. Very patient with him usually and will sit beak to beak with him, let him feed her, and preen him from time to time. Every so often she gets away from him by going to a perch which he can not reach - although he tries ).

The loss
When I lost Louie, I understood for the first time that you don't appreciate something until you lose it. I loved him. He was small for his age and did not have enough feathers or long enough to provide wings and/or a tail but he got around the cage and the room with great agility. He had an enthusiasm that few of us possess. When several months after we got him, he suddenly got sick and just lay there, I rushed him to the vet and everything was tried to save him but to no avail. The vet told me that he had been sick (malformed at birth) from the time I got him, but whether that was true or whether he said that to make me feel better I will never know. I remember, with self accusation, the time that he was heading towards a cactus plant to eat one of the leaves and I prevented him from doing it thinking that it would be harmful. Now, I often think that had he eaten it he might have been able to save himself knowing as I do now that the particular cactus was medicinal. Perhaps he knew this at some level and I had stopped him.