PARAKEETS (Rare Little Talking Birds) Yes, genuine Australian Shell Parakeets (“Budgies”) in your choice of yellow, green, blue! These amazing birds sing, whistle, talk, do tricks. Ideal pet and companion, wonderful gift – especially nice for children nd shut-ins. They’re small (about 7″ long), hardy, clean, long-lived. Easy, inexpensive to raise – less than a penny a day! Talk better than parrots, often learn 400 words or more. These are all young birds, just the right age to start learning words and tricks. Teaching is easy, too – parakeets are natural mimics, learn fast, just love to “show off”. They’re amusing . . . entertaining . . . real characters!
In March, 1861, I received a note from Mr. Jamrach, the celebrated dealer in living animals, that he wished me to come at once and see a curious sight at his establishment, 164 Katcliff Highway, facing the entrance to the London Docks. Accordingly I went.
“Well, Jamrach, what now?”
“You shall see, sir.”
He took me upstairs, and opened the door of a room, and there I saw such a sight as really made me start. The moment the door-handle was touched, I heard a noise which I can compare to nothing but the beating of a very heavy storm of rain upon the glass of a greenhouse: I cautiously entered the room, and then saw that it was one mass, windows and walls, of living Australian grass parakeets. When they saw us the birds began to chatter, and such a din I never heard before.
On our advancing a step into the room, all the birds flew up in a dense cloud, flying about just like a crowd of gnats on a hot summer’s evening, their wings causing a considerable rush of air, like the wind from a winnowing machine. Such a number of birds I never saw before together in all my life.
Emily’s chief favourites are four beautiful little love birds, or warbling grass parakeets. We saw one evening several flights of them, which came down to the river to drink. They alighted in clusters on the neighbouring gum trees, which they so much resemble in colour, that they were not visible till they flew off again, down to the water.
Emily’s were brought by Tammy the black, who had taken them young. He called the bird the budgereegar, which signifies the good or beautiful bird, showing that even these (sic)savage blacks can appreciate what is most lovely in nature.
The male bird utters a sweet warbling note as he sits by the side of his wife, while she listens attentively, sometimes cooing and rubbing her beak affectionately against his. They do not feed themselves with their claws, as is the custom with other parrots but take up their food with their beaks.
Sometimes the affectionate husband will turn round as if in fun, and screech loudly in his wife’s ear, when she retaliates by giving him a bite, telling him not to make so much noise.
Source: Millicent Courtenay’s Diary, 1873