Oct 21st, 2008 by andrew skeoch
To see budgerigars in the wild is a wonderful experience. In the drier parts of Australia, they are found in sometimes huge flocks, taking to the air with a roar of wings, their green and yellow plumage flashing against the blue sky. When they alight, trees can be full of chattering budgies, clustering together, preening each other, fluttering from one branch to another. It is one of the delights of the outback.
So perhaps you can understand why for us, the thought of these beautiful little birds in captivity is saddening. Nevertheless, we can appreciate how pet birds bring joy to so many people.
Over the years, we have heard from many owners who report that playing our birdsong recordings seems to be beneficial for their feathered friends. Anxious birds were observed to calm down when they heard other birdsong, and lethargic ones seemed to become active and engaged, some singing for the first time.
Here are some examples of what we’ve heard:
“Since its mate died a year ago, I could see our pet Budgie was bored and under-stimulated. I have been trying to liven it up a bit in many ways (music, diet, toys…), but without much success. I bought your ‘Spirit of the Outback’ CD and played it back to our budgie. It went crazy instantly and started eating more, flying more and socialising more with us!!! By any chance, would you have any other recordings of budgies in any situation? Thanks for the good work, you have made a major impact in a life (of the budgie!).”
“Do you have, or can you recommend, a recording of budgies in the wild? Something my daughter can play for her birds to help them have that “part of the flock” feeling?”
At first we were surprised at these dramatic changes in behaviour, but it is easily understandable. Social bird species, such as budgies, are often favoured for aviaries because we enjoy watching them interact.
With all birds, but especially these social species, vocalising and communicating is a vital part of their survival and wellbeing. So it makes sense that hearing the sounds of their own kind should have a profound impact on their mental and emotional wellbeing. For a budgerigar, silence must be very disturbing.
We can perhaps understand what it may be like for them, because humans are pretty social too. For instance, when we’re at home alone, many of us will put the TV or talkback radio on in the background. We may not be watching or even listening all that closely, it is just comforting in some way to have a voice in the background. Birds are likely similar, and this is why they respond to birdsong in their immediate environment.
For many years, we have been recommending our ‘Spirit of the Outback’ album for budgie owners, as it has some nice calling from them (plus it is a great listen all round). But we felt that something ‘more budgie’ would be appreciated.
Hence (and after many requests from bird owners!) we have created an album specifically for our feathered listeners. For their wellbeing.
“Happy Budgies” is recorded in central Australia – budgie country! It features the sounds of wild budgerigars interacting contentedly in their natural environment, plus a diversity of other outback birdsong. We have avoided any distress calls, or calls of obvious predators.
It begins with the sounds of a flock of budgies waking in the morning; the chatter of the communal roost, then flying off to feed, calling on the wing and still communicating amiably. Later we hear quiet, contented subsong, and the sounds of preening and group interaction.
Why the title “Happy Budgies”? Well, for us, seeing them in the wild brings happiness. I don’t know whether wild budgies really are ‘happy’, but they often seem to be, they appear to be having a great time. And ultimately, we hope that it makes your budgie happy to listen to these sounds.
Have a listen to a sound sample from the album.
“Happy Budgies” is available as either a CD or a digital download from our online shop: www.listeningearth.com.
Update: We have more recently released “Budgerigar Country”, an extended recording of birdsong featuring Budgerigars, Cockatiels and Pink Cockatoos, recorded in the dry inland country of Australia. The downloadable version of this recording plays for nearly 120 minutes.
Established in 1993 by nature sound recordist Andrew Skeoch and photographer Sarah Koschak, Listening Earth offers a range of beautiful nature sound recordings from around the world.
"Our albums feature only the sounds of nature as you would hear in the wild - no music or other distractions. Recorded in often remote and pristine locations, they bring you the relaxing and beautiful sounds of our living planet. Listen, and let our recordings take you there."