Parakeet, Budgerigar, Budgie.
Budgies are originally from the grasslands and woods of central and southern Australia.
Small, at around 8 inches in length from the beak to the tip of the tail.
The average Parakeet lives between 5 and 9 years, although some have lived well into their teens!
Budgies are jovial little birds that love to play and explore their surroundings. While they look forward to time spent with their human companions, they can be quite independent, making them perfect for novice bird owners. Those that wish to form an especially strong bond with their pet budgie should resist the temptation to add other birds to the home, as budgies can sometimes be less enthusiastic about people in a flock environment.
In the wild, Budgies are striped green and yellow, with dark green flight feathers that appear almost black. Captive breeding programs, however, have produced Budgies in just about every color of the rainbow -- with more appearing every day. Budgies are known as dimorphic, meaning that the sex of the bird can be determined by the bird's coloration. Male budgies develop bluish-purple ceres
in maturity, while adult females have ceres that are tan or brown.
While many commercial budgie diets consist of only seeds, they alone do not provide adequate nutrition for pet birds. Most veterinarians
recommend that budgies are placed on a diet of extruded pellets, as they contain important vitamins and nutrients and can be fortified with additional supplements. Budgies should also be offered a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, including apples, grapes, and leafy greens.
Budgies are active little birds and need exercise every day to keep themselves in top shape. Captive budgies, particularly those that live in small cages, should be allowed out for at least a couple of hours daily in a secure area so they can explore and stretch their wings.
Budgies as Pets:
Budgies are such wonderful birds that it seems every bird enthusiast has owned at least one. Bred in captivity since the 1800's, they remain popular and common as pets around the world today.
Because of their small size, they are easy to keep and care for, making them a wonderful option for children or those that lack the time required to maintain a larger bird. They are a snap to clean up after, inexpensive to feed, and can easily be kept in a small condo or apartment.
In spite of their small size, Budgies are big on brains and personality. Many have been taught to whistle tunes and talk, and are just as intelligent as some larger bird species. With proper training and socialization, they can be a delightful addition to most any family.
Photo (c) 2005 Alyson Burgess licensed to About.com, Inc.