Introducing: Grey

On Friday I went to the pet store to buy budgie seed. I barely had any left and I needed to pick up some more. Whenever I am in the store I take a look at the budgies for sale and spend some time going from cage to cage admiring the juvenile beauties. Friday night I saw a budgie colour I had never before seen in real life: solid dark grey. The pet store had two dozen in blue, green, yellow, Lutino, white mix, plus one in grey. I have long admired budgies in dark grey and dark purple. I have only seen a solid dark purple budgie in a book, but staring me in the face was a dark grey. I fell in love with it.

Since I had already intended to go to the Y afterward, I decided not to buy the bird right then and there. I did not want to make an impulse purchase and I gave myself a day to think about it. So for the next twenty-four hours I pulled my hair out wondering if someone else would snap up that adorable little bird. Among all the colourful baby birds, this was the only grey one and it stood out from all of them. Surely someone would have bought it by now. I called the pet store at 4 p.m. Saturday and asked if it was still there. I did not think that the store would hold an animal for me [although when I told this story to Mark he wondered why they wouldn’t] but I at least wanted to know if it was still there. The clerk left to look and I was heartbroken to hear her say that it had been sold. When am I ever going to find another solid dark grey budgie again, unless I pay a mint for it at a breeder.

In spite of this, I was not 100% convinced that the pet store clerk had been accurate. I know that when I look at the cages of budgies, many may be facing the back and you can’t tell what colour they are. Perhaps, I thought, the adorable grey bird was not facing the clerk and she could not see it. Since it was so close to closing time already, I decided to go to the pet store first thing on Sunday, at 11 a.m. to see for myself.

I arrived just a few minutes after 11 yesterday and dashed to the back where the live birds are kept. And there he was! The gorgeous all-grey bird, playing on a rope toy. I gushed with glee. I brought him home and placed him in his own cage, as I didn’t want to keep him in the enormous cage with Kelly and Kakapo just yet.

I do not dawdle thinking about budgie names. I knew immediately after seeing him on Friday that I would name him Grey. He is very young, and still has many striped bands across his forehead. It is very hard to distinguish a juvenile bird’s sex at such a young age yet I believe Grey is male as his cere is more purple than pink. It will develop into full blue (male) or reddish-pink (female). The wonder of nature!

Grey sits on my finger and on my shoulder as I walk around. He will stay secluded while I am away, for his own protection. I do not leave my juvenile birds free to roam the house as they are likely to get into serious trouble, especially since they can’t fly back to their cage as their flight feathers have been clipped.

It is so adorable to hear a juvenile budgie chirp. They sound just as you would expect a baby bird to sound: with a higher, uneven, shrill call, as opposed to the full-bodied whoops emitted from adult birds.

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