The Budgerigar, or Parakeet (melopsitta undulatus) found in every pet shop was originally from the drier areas of Australia, where they travel in enormous flocks. The wild bird is about 7" long, mainly green with a yellow face and a black scalloping pattern on the back. Many variations and colour forms have been developed, as well as a new breed, the English budgie.
Not long-lived for parrots, a budgie can still live as long as a dog. Over breeding, for colour and type, has significantly lowered the expected life span, however. While it's possible a budgie can live as long as 12 years, the average is more around 5 to 7. Budgies are an inexpensive pet to purchase and keep.
The ideal budgie would be hand-fed, well-handled, and tame. However these can be hard to find! The next-best is a young budgie, these young budgies have barred forehead, whereas adults have clear yellow or white foreheads by the time they are about 3 months old. Babies also have black eyes, whereas adults will have eyes ringed with yellow by the time they're about 6 months. Buy a budgie that seems active, playful, and bright-eyed. They should be in clean cages, with clean food and water, and should not be overcrowded.
One or two budgies? Two budgies can be tamed, however they will never be as attached to you as a single budgie. A single budgie will be more affectionate, however they require more time everyday to spend with their owner.
Both male and female budgies make wonderful pets. If you want a budgie that may learn to talk, stick with males. People often say females are more prone to nipping, however this is not the case and is normally associated with upbringing. Females make great pets, too.
Most budgies are weaned to a seed-only diet, which is certainly not good for them. Although they can be sustained on seed alone, would you like to eat the same food for every meal every day? Start by adding other foods like fruits, veggies, etc. Keep that diet varied!
If you are about to get a budgie, you need to make sure you have the basic requirements, before you even bring them home! Here is a list of the basic requirements for any budgie.
- Bird cage, budgie size or larger
- Water/Food Feeders (usually with cage)
- Shell Grit
- Budgie Seed
- Full flight cage or aviary
- Bird Bath
- Calcium grit
- Calcium & Iodine bells or supplements
Suitable For People Aged: 5 & over
Experience Required: None. Care sheet & info
Feeding Care Time Required: 10 minutes a day
Maintenance Time Required: 1 Hour a Week
Minimum Space Required: Budgie cage
Cost of Upkeep: (approx) $5 Per Week
Life Span: (approx) up to 10 years
Availability: All Year