Mirror toys are often first on a bird owner’s list of must-haves. There are, however, differing opinions on the benefits of budgie mirrors if you are keeping a single bird. While they will give him obvious pleasure, stimulation and social interaction (i.e. your budgie will think his reflection is another bird), it might be a worst-of-both-worlds scenario. If you’re keeping a single bird in order to tame him and provide all the social interaction he needs, the mirror-friend will slow down the taming/talking progress. When it comes to a choice between your company and the handsome looking bird in the mirror, you might find yourself rejected.
Budgie mirrors - something to reflect on
Are Budgie Mirrors Bad?
Until the 1990s, mirrors were one of the ‘essential’ items for any budgie cage. Nowadays, you will often read how mirrors are psychologically damaging for birds. In some countries – Germany, for example, where the budgie is a hugely popular cage bird – mirrors are actively discouraged. The issue pivots on a leap of faith – the conviction that a lone bird will attempt to socialise with the unresponsive ‘friend’ in the mirror until the lack of feedback drives him mad.
In truth, this exaggerates the budgie’s intelligence. Amazing creatures though they are, budgies are not able to work out that the reflection is anything other than a second budgie. So, mirrors are not bad; but if you do intend putting them in the cage to provide artificial company for a singleton budgie, consider getting a second bird instead. It will make taming/learning to talk trickier; but so will the mirror. Once there is more than one budgie in the cage, a mirror is no longer an issue, and you can install as many as you wish.