Mila Kunis: A pet store sold us parakeets and told us they were lovebirds

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Night out with the wife

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What did you all get for Valentines Day, if you celebrate in such a way? I got a ball cap from my dogs, that they promptly customized by chewing it up. Mila Kunis told Ellen DeGeneres that she loved her gift from husband Ashton Kutcher, even though it was a big mistake. He’d planned on surprising her with a pair of lovebirds. But the real surprise came later when they both found out they weren’t lovebirds at all, but a type of parakeet instead:

I love my husband so, so, so, so much. It’s the thought that counts, guys? And it’s such a beautiful thought. Last year – our kitchen faces a tree and birds nest there. So birds were nesting outside of our kitchen window and my daughter, and I, and my son get so into watching the. Because it was a robin’s nest, and we got to see the birds being born. We were fascinated with these little birds. So for Valentine’s Day, Ashton got me two little lovebirds. And we took them to the bird lady that you recommended. And when we brought our little lovebirds in to have their nails trimmed or things that people do with birds, she informed us that we, in fact, did not have lovebirds but instead have parakeets. They’re called “bungies?” Ashton called a Petco-like store and they were like, yes, come in.” So he walked in and they were like, “these are love birds.”

I appreciate that Mila specified that it was not Petco but a store like it. My daughter and I volunteer with the ASPCALA cat adoptions who reside in our local Petco’s Cat Condos. The staff I work with is very invested in all the animals under their roof, whether they are the ones who came in with you or the ones in the store. I couldn’t see them giving out bad information like that. Mila called her birds ‘bungies’ in the video but they’re called ‘budgies’ as it’s short for budgerigar. And, as Ellen mentioned in the clip, budgies are much cheaper than actual lovebirds. Budgies and lovebirds only loosely resemble each other in shape and their coloring is quite different. Fortunately, Mila is thrilled with her budgies and they are good bird parents with a specialized ‘bird lady’ so good for them. I’m glad this worked out. But as a personal plea: please, if you plan to gift someone with a pet, do your research ahead of time. Each type and breed of animal is unique, and one should know as much as possible before they adopt, to make sure this is the right animal for the household. At the very least, know what they look like, so you purchase the right one.

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Correction “century of the woman”

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24 Responses to “Mila Kunis: A pet store sold us parakeets and told us they were lovebirds”

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  1. Deedee says:

    If she doesn’t know budgies from bungies, then I doubt she even bother to look up about them after the fact.

  2. OriginalLala says:

    Pet stores that sell animals for profit and don’t partner with rescues/shelters to adopt out rescued pets need to disappear. When you buy from them you support exploitative business practices such as puppy mills.


  3. ChillyWilly says:

    Sigh…I hate birds in cages.

    • Jag says:

      That’s what I thought of, too. So they watch wild birds in the open air, and then promptly cage 2 birds for the rest of their lives – in addition to not adopting said birds, so ensuring that more will be bred for the “Petco-like” store. None of that is good, no matter how wonderful the bird lady is.

    • Shrute’s beet farm says:

      Birds in cages break my heart. How someone can see the beauty of a bird soaring the skies and then think, “I should put that in a cage” is baffling to me.

    • Erinn says:

      It is sad. Though, I’d imagine someone with their means would have about the best kind of caged system as possible.

      I have mixed feelings. I always wanted a pet bird- little finches are beautiful. My great aunt and uncle had an African Gray when I was growing up and I LOOOOVED Mike. He would imitate my aunt and yell at their dachshund and the Buttons (hilarious/weird dog name, I know. I’d call her Butts because I was like 6 at the time) would go do whatever Mike told her to do haha. But they never had a ton of money, but they’d let Mike roam the house a lot of the time, made sure to put him in his cage when someone was about to open the door, or if I was there when I was really young because they were worried he’d nip my fingers. But he swore like a pirate (picked it up from my aunt) and was just such a beautiful, smart bird. But it also makes me sad looking back that he was living in captivity. If I recall correctly, they’d gotten him from a rescue after someone else had given him up – so it was better than it could have been, but still not great.

    • Nikki says:

      Of all creatures, birds are meant to be free; they FLY for gosh sake!! Putting a bird in a cage is so cruel and selfish, and I think buying or keeping a bird in a cage is inexcusably cruel.

      • Valerie says:

        You don’t have to keep them infinitely caged, though. Provided you birdproof the area they’re in, you can let them out – my birds only used their cage to eat and sleep in and sit on. In my experience, a lot of them, especially budgies, will stick to a certain territory and not be tempted out. Forcing them to stay in a tiny cage is cruel and will shorten their lifespan, but there are humane ways to own one, imo.

    • Ebi pickles says:

      Please don’t support the bird trade. Don’t buy them. It’s cruel – they belong in the wild, even if we humans are hell bent on destroying every habitat on earth.

  4. Lizzie says:

    their house looks exceedingly normal. i like that.

    • Sunnee says:

      I know, right? That could be my parents’ Staircase at the home I grew up in. I expected a grant marble staircase. Pleasantly suprised. And this is not a bash on Hollywood. My brother in Texas bought a 6 room mini mansion with a grand marble staircase and a entrance chandelier. There’s even a chandelier between Corinthian columns outside the front door. All the new larger homes seem so plush. The Kunis-Kutcher home seems oldEr.

  5. manda says:

    Yes, very skeptical on gifting pets unless as the gifter you know that you will be properly caring for it. I guess they have a bird person to come and help out so that’s cool

    I didn’t know lovebirds were a real thing. I just looked it up, it’s actually a nickname for a type of parrot, but still, had no idea! I just called all paired birds “lovebirds”. Relatedly, I also learned within the last ten years that bedbugs were real, and that was shocking (remember when NYC hotels were infested? eww). I always thought my mean cousins had just made them up.

  6. Eric says:

    I thought pet stores went extinct like ten years ago. I know there’s PetCo, but there’s more than that?

    Amazing to me she wanted lovebirds, bought “bungies,” missed the classic heavy rock band, Budgie, snagged a wedgie, and told Ellen all about it. How did she not use her iPhone 300 to look up google images?

    • lucy2 says:

      There’s Petsmarts everywhere around here, and the occasional PetCo. I don’t like that they sell small pets, but they do partner with the local shelters and rescues and have adoption events all the time.

      • Valerie says:

        I bought my last bird from Petsmart. :/ I regret it now when I could’ve gone to a breeder, but I gave him a better life than the one he had. I’ve never seen a happier budgie.

  7. AnnaKist says:

    They couldn’t tell the difference between the birds? Wow. Well, that’s what you get for going to a pet shop for a pet. They’re horrible places. Now, I’m not really a jewellery person, but I’d so love a bangle (not the bracelets) like the one she’s wearing, in white gold. Siiiiigh.

  8. Felicia says:

    At least it wasn’t a Norwegian Blue Parrot…

  9. Erin says:

    I know a few people with these birds and they all seem to be out of their cages really regularly, and I’m sure Mila has the most incredible bird cage setup one could imagine. I personally think the idea of keeping birds as pets is gross, but I share my bed with an animal who poops in a box, then walks through that box before sharing my bed, so what do I know.

    • Valerie says:

      The budgies I’ve had have made great pets. I kept them as uncaged as possible and was lucky to have had birds who knew their territory and never strayed from their little area. My room was their room and they didn’t want to go further.

      I know people are against it, but I’d rather get them out of those glass boxes they keep them in at the big box pet stores. If possible, you should get your budgies from breeders who have hand trained them. It’s a LOT safer for the bird if they trust you and makes them easier to care for.

  10. Pandy says:

    Bungies. shaking head.

  11. Valerie says:

    I mean… They look different? Who doesn’t know what a budgie looks like?

  12. oddly says:

    We always had budgies when I was small, and they were always called George ……George the second , George the third etc. even if they might have been girls. The cage door was never closed and they could go in and out as they pleased. They are very social birds and like nothing better than sitting on your shoulder (or head) as you do your usual thing like housework, watching TV, reading or cooking dinner, while nibbling on your ear. Being a type of parrot you can also teach them to talk. They also have little neat rice grain size poops which are easy to spot and remove, unlike the seagull splatter of other birds.