Introduction: Budgie Shower Perch
Third Prize in the
Animal Innovations Contest
Like most birds, our budgie Cecil loves showers. He particularly loves hanging out just beneath the shower head where he walk in and out of the dripping water and mist himself as he pleases. Cecil is also a big fan of the bathroom in general because he gets to hang out with the bird in the mirror (himself).
Our shower hasn't really been budgie-friendly, the shower caddy we have hanging is a little too thin for Cecil's feet to grip comfortably. I hate buying things I can easily make, so we picked up a piece of PVC pipe from Lowes, had them cut it to a bunch of random lengths and then set out to make Cecil a more secure shower perch.
Letting your bird shower with you might sound weird, but it's actually a great way to bond and help your bird to see you as a member of his/her flock.
Most people don't realize, but budgies are actually in the top 5 parrots for talking ability and can live 15-20 years under the right conditions. Not all birds will talk. Parrots mimic sounds/words they like, budgies usually start talking around 9-12 months,
Cecil is about 6-7 months old now and is building a nice little repertoire of sounds. The first sound he learned to mimic was cat calling with two clicks at the end, then that "come here" whistle dad's use to get their kids attention, and THEN he learned a bunch of R2D2 sounds. The accompanying video is of Cecil, starting with the bird in the mirror, and you can hear all of his current vocalizations. You can also hear what sounds to be the beginnings of words forming.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
Vet Tech Tape
PVC pipes cut to your preferred length (the thickness of the pvc depends on the size of your bird, we went with 3/4"-1")
Step 2: Perch Design
My biggest concern was having a piece of PVC sticking out should some Final Destination type horror befall my husband or I. I saw Final Destination in theaters and the shower scene has always stuck with me.
So because of my unreasonable fear of death by shower, I opted for a design with nothing that really protrudes. Cecil is also very small, so he doesn't need a huge perch. I ended up using a 6" PVC pipe for the main perch and attached an elbow connector on it to add a 2" leg so Cecil could get closer to the shower head if he wanted.
Step 3: Suction
Cecil weights almost nothing, so my only concern as far as weight goes was finding suction cups that would be strong enough to hold up the PVC. I ended up finding a pack of various sizes at A.C. Moore for $2.50
Identify where on your PVC the suction cups will go and mark them, use a drill to put small holes into the PVC.
I used a craft drill to put a couple holes into the PVC, just big enough for me to squeeze the suction cup ends through but small enough that they won't fall out. I did this to avoid having to use additional hardware or glue to keep the suction cups attached.
Step 4: Traction
The purpose of the Vet Tape is to give Cecil's feet more traction and help him avoid slips as he moves in and out of the water. A roll is about $3 and can last a good while. It's also a handy thing for the pet owner to have in his/her pet first aid kit (yes, we have one of those for our animals as well as ourselves).
Make sure to change the tape every of months (or sooner if you leave the perch in the shower even when the bird isn't). The tape will get sticky and could leave residue if not changed.
You could also use bird-friendly rope to wrap around the PVC pipe, this has been harder for me to find, so for now Vet Tape it is!
Step 5: Try Out
Wet the inside of the suction cups and attach them to your shower or a mirror. Make sure to have your bird on hand to for testing stability.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.