The proper name for this species of parrot is the Budgerigar but many people just refer to them as “Parakeets” They ARE considered a parakeet but there are many other species of parakeet as well as the Budgerigar. In the pet bird hobby, most aviculturists just nickname them Budgies.
These cuties are native to Australia, and are extremely popular pets. In fact, they are the most popular bird to own, as 45% of birds kept in aviculture are actually budgies.
You have probably seen them every time that you walk into a pet store. Large chains like Petco and PetSmart almost always have budgies for sale. I am dating myself here, but I remember when Woolworth’s used to carry them, which was a large department store back in the 70s.
In fact, budgies are the third most poplar pet to own after the dog and cat! If you think these charming little birds would make a great pet, it turns out a lot of other people feel the same way.
Similar to lovebirds, it is recommended that you get more than one budgie unless you plan on spending an enormous amount of time with your bird. They travel in flocks like all parrots do and are extremely social.
Unlike the feisty lovebird, however, it is much easier to introduce budgies to one another and more often than not they will get along famously. This would make sense since I always see at least 15 or so budgies together in the pet store and they never seem to be squabbling.
There are two types of budgerigar in the pet trade consisting of the Australian Budgie which is the most common, and the English Budgie which is twice as large and considered a show bird.
Pictured above the English Budgie (notice difference in the facial appearance)
Unlike many other parrots, you CAN tell the difference between male and female budgies based on the color of their upper beak called the cere. At an early age, it is difficult to decipher, but as the bird matures, the male budgie has a distinctly blue or purple cere color and females are primarily brown or beige with white spots on the cere.
The natural coloring of a budgie in the wild is green with mottled grey along the wings. Pictured above : an example of a wild Australian Budgie
Breeders have morphed many color mutations for the pet trade and for bird shows, so these birds are now available in a myriad of shades and may be why you see them sometimes sold as “Fancy Parakeets.”
This either means it is an English budgie or it has a rare morph mutation of colors. Many breeders have lightened the grey mottle into pastel shades along the wing area and some are pure white or solid in color
Pictured above: a great example of color morphing and one of my personal favorites!
Although larger than the parrotlet, Australian budgies are smaller than lovebirds coming in at about 7 inches in length. The English budgie, as stated before, is twice as large and has a few distinct differences in appearance mainly in the face and beak area.
Oddly, the lifespan of a budgie is rather short compared to other parrots. The average is noted to be around 5-8 yrs. Budgies are also popular with children because they have a small beak and are not known to be very nippy.
Another big surprise with these little birds is the talking ability. Females have been known to say a few words, but the males are the superstar talkers. Although some may never say a word, and that’s okay, others are astounding little chatterboxes.
“Puck” is a male budgie who made it to the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records for speaking 1,728 words and phrases.
HAHA. Yup, it’s a fact.
Another famous little budgie was “Disco” who became an internet sensation via YouTube talking up a storm and saying things like “I’m not a crook” and “don’t put baby in a corner” along with lots of other hilarious ramblings.
Be sure to check him out if you want a good laugh!
The Budgerigar aka Budgie is a popular little parakeet that can posses a large vocabulary and is a great pet for kids and adults alike. They come in a variety of colors and the English Budgie is twice as large as the Australian besides being a beautiful show parakeet.
I recommend you get two of these birds, as they are really not expensive and enjoy other bird’s company. They can be affectionate with people if treated properly and hand- tamed from a young age.
There are lots of books on Amazon and other information all over the internet on these extremely popular birds, so be sure to check them out and if you are interested in owning one, just be sure to do your research and go for it.
Cheers and until next time… Happy Fidding!