Budgerigar

The budgerigar, also known as the budgie or commonly as just 'parakeet' is a small parrot native to Australia. It is regarded as one of the easiest parrots to care for and is one of the most widely kept birds in the world.

Budgerigar
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Classification
Order Psittaciformes
Family Psittacidae
Subfamily text
Genus Melopsittacus
Species M. undulatus
Aviculture
Noise level Quiet
Skill level Beginner
Size Small
Price Inexpensive
Maintenance Low
Talking Decent

Description

Wild budgerigars are generally green and yellow in colour with bold black bars over their heads and backs. It's worth noting that the two small blue patches on the budgie's cheeks are ultra-violet and used in displays for attracting a mate.
Many colour variants have emerged from people keeping and breeding budgerigars as well as slight differences in anatomy. The wild Australian budgerigar has a smaller head proportionately to the larger English budgie.
The colour of the cere (waxy area containing nostrils) differs between male and female; blue for male and brown or white for female. Immature birds may have pink cere and the barring on their heads will recede slightly as they age.

In the wild

Budgerigars in the wild live in large flocks of hundreds or thousands of birds feeding on grain, seed and the occasional small insect.

As companion pets

Budgies are surprisingly under-rated as pets and most people do not realise how intelligent these small parrots can be. Budgerigars can be taught a multitude of tricks as well as being more than capable of speech. Budgerigars tend to have tiny 'robot' voices when they learn to talk.
Budgerigars are best kept in a long or wide cage/aviary with plenty of area for flight as well as an area for them to forage on the ground. That said, a large space for a budgerigar is still small when compared to most other parrots. They are generally quiet and easy to live with, but may be skittish and difficult to tame depending on where you purchase the bird.

As aviary birds

What is this species like in an aviary? Can it be mixed with other birds? Any special requirements, etc?


Diet and health

While most pet budgerigars are fed nothing more than seed and/or millet this is far from a complete diet for them. Dark green vegetables and food pellets/crumble work well as a base diet with fruits and the occasional seed as a treat. Treats should make no more than 10% of the birds' daily diet.

Breeding

Is this species easy or difficult to breed? How long does it take for eggs to hatch and how many? Dietry needs? Housing requirements? Handrearing requirements?


Mutations

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Gallery

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See also

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lories-and-lorikeets


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