Budgies are quite intelligent birds and can learn a handful of tricks like waving, sitting on your finger, flying to you when you call them, talking, and even singing for you.
However, training your budgie to do various tricks can be challenging or super-easy depending on which approach you use.
This guide takes you through step-by-step instructions for teaching your budgie new tricks. You’ll also discover what training tools to use, and the most common tricks to consider.
How to train your budgie to do tricks (step-by-step):
Before you start the training, you’ll need to gather the necessary tools and decide on what tricks to teach your bird.
- Treats: Use special treats that your budgie loves, e.g. spray millet, seeds, fruits, etc.
- Budgie stick or perch: This is for your budgie to stand on
- Training clicker (optional): Use the clicker sound to signal your budgie that it has done the right thing. You click it and right afterward reward your bird with a treat.
Common tricks to consider:
There are many tricks you can teach your budgie and they have varying levels of training difficulty.
However, the most common ones that are also easy-ish include:
Training your budgie to wave
This is one of the simplest tricks you can train your budgie to do. The trick is based on step-up training and teaches your budgie to wave with its feet.
Step 1. Offer the budgie your finger as if you’re inviting it to step up.
Step 2. Withdraw the finger once your budgie lifts its leg and give him a treat as you say “Wave.”
Step 3. Repeat this many times provided your budgies show interest.
Eventually, your budgie will associate lifting the leg with the word and the teat it gets.
Training your budgie to fly to you when you call it
To teach your budgie this trick, place your finger close (but not too close) to your budgie so that it needs to hop to get onto it.
Now bring the finger about half an inch closer to the budgie and reward your budgie with its favorite treat once it flies towards you.
Increase the distance between your finger and the budgie and repeat this each day.
Training your budgie “fetch” trick
These tricks can help strengthen the bond with your budgie. It involves teaching your budgie to pick up an item and drop it in your hands.
This is how you do it:
Step 1. Hold a small, budgie-safe object, e.g. a bright button, to your bird so that it picks it with its beak.
When he picks it, say “fetch” and let him play with it. When he drops it, say “drop it” and proceed to reward him with a treat.
Step 2. Now place the button or the object you’re using on the floor and let your budgie pick it. Remember to say “fetch” when he picks it and “drop it” when it drops it.
Step 3. Place your hand close to the budgie, with the palm up, as it plays with the item. try catching it in your hand as it drops.
This will make him associate dropping the button with the treat you give him afterward.
Step 4. With time, you can toss the item about a meter away and as soon as your budgie moves towards it, say “fetch”.
He’ll have realized that he’ll get a treat if he drops it in your hands, so he’ll most probably do it.
Training your budgie to talk
When training your budgie to talk, we advise you to start with its name as it hears it more often. However, this trick should be taught to budgies that are at least 3 months old.
Say your budgie’s name whenever you see it or when providing it with food. Be sure to say the name clearly and slowly.
Reward your budgie every time it says its name.
After your budgie has mastered its name, you can now go ahead and expand its vocabulary of words. These birds can 1000plus words in their lifetime!
Come up with a list you want your budgie to learn. Your budgie will get to connect these words with the respective actions or objects you teach it.
Training your budgie to sing
You can also train your budgie to sing simple tunes. Here you’ll need to sing a song to your budgie over and over again.
However, consider teaching your budgie just a few lines of the song, not the whole of it.
You can also record yourself as you sing the song and leave it to play with your pet bird while you’re away.
Don’t use the actual song recording to train your budgie as the instrument may easily disrupt it.
Training your budgie to balance on a tennis ball
Once your budgie has mastered the simple tricks, you can move to more challenging tricks like balancing on tennis ball.
For this tick, you should first introduce a tennis ball into your bird’s cage and let your budgie play with it for a few days.
Steps for training your budgie to balance on a tennis ball:
Step 1. Gently hold your budgie on top of a tennis ball and then hold its body as it tries to find balance in its feet on the ball. Every time your budgie tries balancing with its feet, give it a treat.
Step 2. Try teaching your budgie this trick for about 10 to 15 minutes every day. Don’t force your budgie to do this, otherwise, it will turn from being fun to boring or misery.
Step 3. Don’t get the ball out of the cage after the training, so your budgie will gradually learn the purpose of this exercise and even start trying to balance itself on the ball.
Training your budgie to climb a ladder
Fix a budgie ladder toy at the side of your cage and watch your bird’s behavior. It’s likely to get interested in the ladder and try climbing it.
Follow these steps to teach your budgie to climb the ladder:
Step 1. Whenever your budgie tries to go up the ladder, say the word “Climb” or “up the ladder” to let the birds associate this action with the instruction.
Step 2. Now place your bird at the lowest part of the ladder and hold it there. Now say the word “climb” and release it.
Step 3. After your budgie understands this cue, you can now try placing it a few centimeters away from the ladder and say the word again.
Step 4. Increase the distance every day until your budgie starts following the order without you necessarily holding and releasing it.
Helpful tips for training your budgie to do tricks
Here are some helpful tips to make the training sessions more fun and engaging for you and your budgie:
- Take time to bond with your budgie before you kick off the training. Spend a few hours every day interacting with your budgie, hand-feeding it, and even talking to it. This will help make your budgie trust you and feel more comfortable and relaxed around you—and the whole training process will get even easier!
- Repetition is key when you want to get your budgie to perform any action as per your instructions (remember your words are just sounds to your budgie).
- Give your budgie its favorite treat every time it follows your instruction to help reinforce your desired behavior
- Focus on one trick at a time and repeat it for a while until your budgie starts repeating on cue.
- Persevere with your training and stick to the initial routine to increase the chances of your budgie learning faster.
- Whenever your budgie seems not to get a trick too fast, don’t punish it. This will only lead to mistrust as your budgie knows not right or wrong. We can’t stress enough the importance of patience.
- Using positive reinforcements such as special treats and training clicker helps your budgie associate a certain action or word with a reward, making learning much easier.
- Keep the training sessions short (10 to 15 minutes) to ensure your budgie doesn’t become bored and frustrated.
Training your budgie to do various tricks isn’t hard once you know the exact process to follow. In this above guide, we have just discussed the basics you need to know about training your budgie to do tricks, what tools to use, and some of the most common tricks to consider.
Our step by step instructions in the above guide will give you a smooth time teaching your feathered friend new tricks. Remember to make the training sessions fun and engaging for you and your budgie. With patience and persistence, your budgie can learn just any trick!