The budgerigar, also known as a budgie, is a member of the parrot family found in Australia. It is currently one of the most popular pets in the world.
|Scientific Name||Melopsittacus undulatus|
|Other Names||Shell parrot, warbling grass parakeet, canary parrot, zebra parrot, flight bird, scallop parrot, common pet parakeet|
|Size||7 in (18 cm)|
|Weight||1.06-1.41oz (30-40 g)|
|Colors||Light green on the rumps and abdomen, wing and back coverts have pitch-black markings with yellow undulations (scallops), face and forehead of yellow, blue-violet cheek patches which are iridescent, three black spots near the throat, the uppermost one right below the cheek patches, the tail is dark-blue with yellow on the outermost tail feathers, blackish-green flight feathers, olive-grey bills and bluish-grey legs
Sexual dimorphism includes the cere of the males being blue, while that of females being beige or light-brown
|Habitat||Open woodlands, scrublands, grasslands|
|Sounds & Talking||Budgerigars are proficient at mimicry, being able to learn a huge vocabulary of words
It has a quieter disposition otherwise.
|Incubation Period||18-21 days|
|Fledging||30 days after birth|
|Breeding Age||1 year|
|Lifespan||Mostly 5-8 years, some have reportedly lived for 15-20 years|
|Diet||Grains, seeds and insects are things budgerigars eats in the wild|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Least Concern|
- Australian Pied
- English fallow
- English grey
- Yellowface I
- Yellowface II and others
Such is the budgerigar’s popularity as pets that it comes in at third place after the domestic dog and cat. Easy-going, entertaining and self-sufficient is the budgerigar, ideal for first-time pet bird owners.
Give your budgerigar a cage with a size of at least 20”x20”x24”. Make sure there are enough perches of variable widths and textures. It’d be good if you can also provide a swing in the cage, beaded swings are budgie favorites. Throw in a few beaded toys in there for good measure as well, as the bird loves those as well. Clean the cage daily, or every other day depending on whether there is a grating at the floor of the cage or not.
The ideal temperature for the budgerigar is 70°-72°F.
Temperament & Behavior
Budgerigars are absolute darlings when it comes to their temperament. They are happy to have you as company, if they don’t they’ll put the toys and swings that you have supplied it with to good use. Although it would be better to put in a budgie from the opposite sex if you do not wish to bestow too much attention on it, otherwise health problems will emerge stemming from boredom.
Training from a young age can ensure that it learns words and tricks sufficiently.
Provide your bird a diet consisting of a seed mix, fresh green vegetables, pellets on a rotational basis so that monotony does not creep in. Fruits can be given as food occasionally. Calcium for the bird can be sourced from cuttlebone.
You must bathe your bird every alternate day. Place a wide bowl of warm water, which may or may not entice your bird to jump into it. If the budgie doesn’t budge, use a spray mist on it, but only with warm fresh water.
Following are some the common illnesses that a budgie frequently faces:
- Scaly face and legs
- Feather plucking
- French molting
A visit to the vet addresses most of the above complications.
Depending on the color variation, an English budgie may cost you between $60-$175.
- Budgerigars were observed and recorded for the first time in 1805.
- The name budgerigar is believed to have been derived from the Australian Aboriginal word for ‘good eating.’
English Budgie Video: