Sunday, June 17, 2018

Incubated Eggs with Baby Birds Moving Inside. Successful Homemade Incubator

Reposting one of our most popular videos, newly updated! These are not our current eggs. Right now all our hens are brooding like good mothers. We have ten babies in the nest and two or three more eggs which "might" still hatch.  Exciting time whenever we get new babies. God's feathered beauties!

Peace & Blessings! 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bourke Parakeet 1st Clutches of 2018. Eleven Weaned of Many Colors.

Although most of these lovelies are sold, and may have already gone to their new homes, 
we have other babies in the nest ... videos of them to follow. 

 Blessings & Peace! 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Taming Frightened Birds

We get lots of questions, and this subject seems to crop up frequently. Kristina asked, "I bought a Rosy Bourke and he will not come to me or anything. He runs away or flies away. What can I do to tame him?"
Young, hand fed Rosy Bourke Parakeets, close
to being weaned and able to eat on their own.

Our Answer: 
Hello Kristina, 
My book, "Rosie Bird's Guide to Small Exotic Birds" includes "Taming, Talking and More" in Chapter Ten. Meanwhile, here are a few thoughts.

1) How old your bird is helps determine how well you can tame him or her. Young birds are easiest to tame. 

2) Birds raised in a home environment are much easier to tame than those that grew up in an aviary without close human contact, interaction or household noises. 

3) Frequent gentle, sweet talk is the best thing you can do for a frightened bird. Bourkes like to be talked to and almost always will respond to a quiet, friendly voice. 

4) Once he's not afraid of you, after days or weeks, then offer treats gradually from your hand. Spray millet is good, so is cooked corn or fresh broccoli or kale. Mine particularly love rice chex cereal. Hold your hand still by his perch and see if he will come take it from you. Patience is key.

5) Never get angry at, or frustrated by, your bird. They are excellent at sensing our moods and will respond accordingly.

I hand feed Bourkes from about two weeks of age, and those in my videos were hand fed and therefore very tame.  You might want to consider a hand fed bird companion for your bird. A bird that is already tame can be instrumental in helping the other bird gain trust and be less fearful. 

I always recommend people get two birds.  They are social creatures and very subject to depression if left alone during the day when humans can't always be present. Even those who work in the home will not be constantly around for their pet bird, so another bird is of immense value to your bird's happiness and well-being.

Buying a hand fed bird is the easiest way to ensure you'll have a friendly bird, however, with patience and diligence, most birds will settle down and hopefully begin to trust you. Good luck." 

Peace & Feathered Blessings!

Feather Art by Chris Maynard.
He does beautiful, intricate artwork. In this picture
he used some of our Rosy Bourke Parakeet feathers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rosy Bourke Parakeets With New Clutches of Babies

We currently have 12 baby Bourkes ... four in each of three clutches. This video is of Rosie with Pretty Boy, Starfire with Sunset, and Peaches with Stormy.

We did an earlier video of Blossom and Songster's clutch.  Bella is still on eggs, and Sweetheart & Valentine aren't doing anything yet. Fuchsia and Flame are retired for this year ... they are growing older and I want them to stay safe.

We love these wonderful, sweet-natured, uniquely beautiful birds.
They are Feathered Blessings.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Question on Why Eggs Don't Hatch...

Using a book light to candle eggs.
Checking to see if they're fertile or not.

We've covered this topic before, but it's worth addressing again. The question below arrived in email today, and is copied here just as it was written.
"Hi There, I have a pair of bourse hen lays eggs try to hatch but no babies come out this is her second clutches. Please let me know the reason and its remedy. Thank you"
Our Answer:
Hello Jenny, Are you sure you have a male and a female Bourke? It takes two. Sometimes two hens might act like a pair, but they won't have fertile eggs. Or, sometimes a young pair fail to mate successfully. The hen must stand very still, and the male must balance adequately on her back. He carefully bends his his tail under her for their vents to make contact in order to be successful. Some males have to expand their wings for balance, so potential parent birds should not have their wings clipped. 
If you have birds of each sex for sure, then maybe with more practice they will eventually succeed. If you are certain the eggs were fertile, but still did not hatch, perhaps they got cold. Or, maybe the hen doesn't have water she can bathe in. Hens have to be able to adjust the nest's humidity, especially if the weather is hot and dry. A place to bathe in is important, but do NOT spray or mist a hen yourself. Let her decide how much humidity is necessary.
Less likely is that the babies inside the eggs have some genetic defect, but that is only likely to happen with one bird, not all of them. 
Those are some of the most likely possibilities. If you have two birds of the opposite sex, and the male is feeding the female, then eventually they will probably succeed at mating. Meanwhile, don't remove infertile eggs until the hen actually abandons them herself. Hens learn from the fact that their eggs didn't hatch, and are more likely to have fertile eggs in the future. Removing them yourself is not wise. Eggs are due to hatch in 18 to 25 days, but only after they've been warmed by brooding. If she's frightened off the nest too soon, they could get cold and not hatch. She should be allowed to abandon them herself, usually after 25 days for a Bourke hen.  Good luck.


Our experienced mother hen, a Rosy Bourke, named Rosie.

Jewel, a Splendid hen.

Male Bourke, Sunset, a blue-edged Cream and his mate,
Starfire, a Lutino Bourke hen. Their first clutch in 2018.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Rosie Bird's Guide to Small Exotic Birds -- Bird Book is Now Available

When Should Bourke Hens Quit Breeding?

Flame and Fuchsia in 2014 -  © Gail Lewis
Got this question today and thought I'd share it:
"Hi Gail, 
I have a quick question. At what age would you say a Bourke hen is too old to breed? 
Thank you!  - Julie"

Our Answer: 
"Hello Julie,  It sometimes depends on her health, how much she's bred in the past and how much exercise she's had throughout her life. Hens in smaller cages that can't fly freely whenever they wish, won't be as strong.

As my hens age, after say six or seven years of age, I limit their clutches to one or two and never three. I have one hen this year, Fuchsia, that I didn't give a nest box to. She wants to breed, but to discourage her, she won't get a nest box. In 2016, because of a family emergency, I didn't get boxes taken down soon enough and this hen had four clutches. It didn't seem to affect her at the time, but may have long-term. Last year, at age 7, she had an odd thing happen with her eggs ... hard to explain. It wasn't egg binding, but she had some difficulty as two eggs seemed to need to be laid at the same time. Maybe one didn't get laid soon enough and another followed right behind it. Luckily she laid both the same day, back to back, but ended up with what appears to be a prolapse. Neither egg was good, by the way. Today she's healthy, but any more egg laying would probably not be wise for her.

In 2017 she only hatched and raised two babies of her own (after a record hatch in 2016). However, last year she did foster babies from other hens with large clutches, and one for a hen who only hatched one egg. I didn't want that baby to get cold by being alone, so gave him to Fuchsia to raise with others. She's an excellent mother, but is at risk for laying more eggs. She's very tame and sweet, so at a little over 8 years of age I am retiring her and her mate, both hatched in early 2010. She will be missed as a foster parent, but I'm too fond of her to risk allowing her to lay again ... if only she could brood and not lay eggs!

Males work hard at raising babies too. Yet, our old Rhett (now departed) was still fathering offspring at age 12. He had three hens in his lifetime, and the last two outlived him. It was his third hen that he raised babies with. Cherry was younger than he was. I often wonder if he was overworked and I should have retired him sooner. He and Cherry did skip a year on their own, but surprised me by going back and raising young the following year.

As is typical, there is not black and white answer ... each bird needs to be evaluated separately based on their health and history. Hope this is helpful. "
Peace & Blessings,
Fuchsia looking into a newly arrived nest box, about 2015 or 2016.
Flame has already been inside to inspect and approve it. © Gail Lewis



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Pale Fallow or blue-edged Cream Bourke Parakeet

Here is a photo of a new coloration for us. We've named him Sunset. He's not hand fed, but is extremely affectionate and tame anyway. It helped that I handled him a lot while still in the nest, simply because of his unusual coloration ... although he has a wonderful personality all his own. He is out of Blossom, a Lutino Bourke, and Songster, an Opaline Fallow Rosy Bourke.

Pale Fallow or blue-edged Cream Bourke.
Very young here, and color is more pale than it will be.
Pale wing edges, red eyes and rose on back.

Still very young here.
This bird could also be called a Fallow Normal or a Pale Fallow. All Fallow Bourkes have red eyes, or they are not Fallow. For instance, a Cinnamon Bourke is a lighter shade of Normal, but has dark eyes. They also have darker nails. This bird has very light nails or claws, true for Cream Bourkes. The photos below are of our sweet Sunset several months later after his coloration has darkened. Most Rosy Bourkes also darken in color as they mature, especially the males.
Back is not brown as with a Normal.
It is a dark shade of rose.

He doesn't want to leave our side and remains near us
even when others are out and about flying everywhere.

Scalloped edges along wings are pink, not yellow, like
some birds. Shoulders are brighter blue than shown in photos.

My favorite Bourke ... at least today. Smile.

Sunset climbed under my husband's shirt this morning ... just investigating, but so cute! Reminded him of the Budgie he had as a child that would ride around in his pocket. Might damage Sunset's long tail to put him in a pocket. Smile.
Love this guy, and all Bourke Parakeets.
Peace & Blessings!


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Bourke Parakeets Bathing with an Intro to Sweetheart & Valentine

Made egg food for our Bourkes ... Plenty of calcium prior to returning nest boxes for upcoming breeding season.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

Budgies vs. Bourke Parakeets

Budgerigar Parakeets in a Pet Store.
This is our granddaughter, moving
toward loving birds, we hope!
It's been a while since I've posted any of the many questions that receives almost daily. This one today was fun to answer.

"I have found your wonderful website and am wondering if you might answer a couple of questions regarding the Bourke Parakeet. I have been searching for a young Budgie Parakeet from a responsible breeder, but have not located one near our home ... I recently came across the Bourke and am wondering if they make equally wonderful pets as the Budgies do? It seems they share similar qualities, but can you tell me if they do best with a companion Bourke (or other species) or as a single? We are looking to add either of these to our family and thought you might help us streamline our search. Thank you so much!" 

Our Answer: 
Budgies and Bourkes are approx. the same size and both eat Budgie seed mixes. Budgies are more likely to accept fruit in their diet. Bourkes don't seem to like fruit, but they love veggies. Their personalities are very different. Most Budgies are more active, louder and chew more. They climb and Bourkes don't. Bourkes need to fly for exercise since they aren't climbers. Bourkes are quieter and less messy than Budgies and less active. They love being talked to and, even if not hand tame, most learn to come to the side of the cage to be face-to-face with their owners. They love people.

Budgies can be more clown-like and silly. If not tame, they are more likely to bite, but a frightened Bourke will too. Either will tame down if adopted while very young. But, an older Bourke is more likely to become trusting than is an older Budgie. Bourkes have a sweet song and don't often do any screeching, which a Budgie might.

Bourkes are most active at dawn and dusk and tend to nap during the day. However, they wake and will interact with an owner if approached. Budgies nap too, but less often than a Bourke. Bourke eyesight is sharper in dim light than is a Budgie's. However, Budgies can mimic words or phrases repeated to them and owners will understand them. Bourkes wolf whistle and sing prettily, but their mimicking ability is very low.

We've had both and since we keep a large flock, and are fondest of peace and quiet, Bourkes work better for us than any other species. That said, however, a tame Budgie can be just as affectionate and as much fun as any Bourke. A bunch of Budgies, however, are raucous. By contrast, a room full of Bourkes may sound like a rain forest, but a softly quiet one. :-)

Young Bourke Parakeets we raised.
These four are siblings from same clutch.
All birds are happiest with another of their own kind. Even another bird helps because owners cannot always be present, and having another bird "friend" is advantageous. Bourkes are typically very gentle birds and Budgies can be aggressive, especially Budgie hens. Putting them together successfully depends entirely on the two birds. A Budgerigar hen is likely to be cruel to a Bourke hen. A male Budgerigar, however, might treat his Bourke hen as if she were his mate. They cannot interbreed though. Bourkes are only able to reproduce with another Bourke.

Because Budgies are more abundant, they are typically easier to find than Bourkes and cost less. You'll never find a "pink" or "rose" colored Budgie, in spite of the fake photos on Pinterest. The rare rose of Rosy Bourkes is what drew me to my first pair decades ago. Since then, I've grown to love the Normal (wild-colored) Bourkes and all other shades of Bourke Parakeet. These sweeties are my favorites.  Hope this was helpful.

Peace & Blessings,
(aka Rosie Bird)  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Black Budgerigars? Well, Maybe Someday.

When I was a child raising Budgies, I contemplated breeding an all black Budgie. What an accomplishment that would be. But, as an adult, I never dreamed of attempting it. Instead I went on to raise other varieties of birds.

Today on Pinterest I discovered these photos. Apparently, an all-black Budgerigar Parakeet has potential. These are not all black, but who knows what the future holds. I followed the photo links back and it said this new mutation of "Blackface" is very rare and only available in the Netherlands. They're interesting and unique birds. Worth sharing the photos of them.  

Peace & Blessings! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Many Tame Bourke Parakeet Youngsters For Sale, July 2017

Our current babies, already weaned. Tame and adorable. Write to us at for more information.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bourke Parakeets Growing - Blossom's First Clutch

We have four hens on nests right now and two others resting. Blossom and Songster surprised us with how their very first clutch looks. Nothing we expected!  We have seven hand fed birds still available for sale that hatched in May. The babies in this video will be available in late August or early September. Write to us for information:

Peace & Blessings!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bourke Parakeet Babies on 6/20/2017, Available for Sale

So many baby Bourkes for sale this year! 
These are ready now with more coming! All are very pretty, sweet and TAME! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bourkes Blossom & Songster's First Clutch of Tiny Babies

Have a look at our amazing new clutch. Blossom's four eggs all hatched and three have red eyes! Will they be Lutinos like she is, or Opaline Fallows like her mate, Songster? Excited over these beauties.

Peace & Blessings!
For information write to us at: