The thing with feathers

Chester the parakeet has been molting for several weeks now. Shortly after he started, I decided to collect the feathers. A pillow is out of the question, but I think I want to put them on a black background and photograph them. It’s quite amazing how many feathers a small bird can shed; at the worst point, about 20 per day.

Molting is a tough time for birds, and the process has made him itchy and cranky. He basically wants to be left in his cage, and has even pecked at my hand when I’ve taken him out. I’m a bit conflicted–since he wants to be left alone, maybe I should do that, but everything I read tells me that parakeets need out-of-cage time every day.

It might help if he was interesting in bathing. Yes, budgerigars are desert birds, but would it kill him to take a bath at least once a week? Mind you, today I misted him from a squirt bottle and he actually seemed to be into it for a while, or at least he didn’t climb the walls to get away from the water like he used to.