Depressed and Quiet Bird

User Question
Hi! I'm finding your site very helpful! I do however have some concerns about my son's parakeet. We got him last month from a pet store. He was easily hand trained and will sit on our shoulders for a long time. He seems to "like" us.

Our problem is that he doesn't make a sound and he never plays with his toys. He seems to prefer staring out of his cage, doing nothing. I have read that these are supposed to be smart birds but I'm not finding that to be true. Is our bird depressed, is there anything that we can do to make him happy?

Lisa's Answer
Different parakeets like different types of toys. Some like bell toys, some like ring toys, some like gnawy toys. So I would take all of the toys out of his cage and then just put in one new one of one type. See how he likes it or dislikes it. Give it a few weeks then try another one. You never know what combination you'll hit.

Many birds like to play with food, so try sticking lettuce, celery and other parakeet safe foods into the cage. With my keets they might be afraid of it at first but if I nibble the food myself to show it's safe, they will suddenly want to try some too.

Are you guys around the cage most of the time, talking and making noise? Parakeets get paranoid if things are silent around them because in nature silence means a predator is lurking around. It might be that your parakeet is feeling lonely and silent because of the surroundings. Try making sure the keet is in a room where people are for most of the day, and where music or other gentle noise is playing.

If you really can't be around for a lot of the time, look into getting him a companion. Parakeets are flock creatures and really aren't happy when they are on their own.

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NOTE: Because of the huge volume of incoming questions, I no longer answer them one by one. Instead, we have created a live, free Parakeet Forum which is very active, where people are online 24 hours a day to help you with your parakeet related questions. If you have any questions about parakeet care - or simply want to share your parakeet stories and photos - please join us!

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