Budgie Bird Information
If you love your budgie, then I’m glad you’ve found this website. I want to help you become a budgie expert, so your bird has a long and happy life with you. If you haven’t had your heart captured by these charming and lively birds yet, then read on, because you’re about to discover what makes budgies the perfect pets.
What are Budgies, Anyway?
Budgies (properly known as budgerigars,) are small members of the parrot family. These birds are native to Australia, where they often fly vast distances, following the changing sources of food and water in the scrublands and grasslands. The main staples of their diet are seeding grasses, and wheat.
Because of the erratic, and sometimes hostile, conditions of their environment, most budgies are able to breed all year round, whenever conditions are good. And you’ll often see that males pursue mates before they’re physically old enough to breed, so they have a mate when they are ready.
At only 6-8 inches long, these tiny birds only weigh 30 or 40 grams, and are a good target for larger predators. Because of that, budgies travel in flocks, so there are many more pairs of eyes to spot potential dangers.
Probably because of their small size, and delightful, sociable natures, budgies have been popular pets since the mid 1800s, when they were first exported from Australia, and bred in captivity.
In all those years of breeding, many vibrant, and beautiful, colour variations have popped up, and been nurtured by breeders and pet owners. As a result, you can get a budgie today in one of hundreds of colour mutations, although the natural green, yellow, and black colouring is still very popular.
Types of Budgie
There are two breeds of budgie around today, the American Budgie and the English Budgie. You see, since budgies we’re first imported to Europe people have bred them for, what they think are, “ideal” characteristics.
This practice has lead to the creation of the English Budgie breed, so named because that’s where the hobby of breeding for looks first became popularized. The American Budgie, or normal budgie, is the one you’re most likely to find in a pet shop, and the one most people own. It’s only show breeders who tend to care about having an English one.
The American budgie is smaller and sleeker looking, while the English budgie is around a head taller, weighs in at about 50 grams, and has fuller, fluffier feathers around the face. In prized birds, often the facial feathers are so full and fluffy that you can’t see the bird’s eyes.
Budgies Grow Up Quickly
Budgies are born blind, naked and helpless, only 18 days after their mother first starts incubating the eggs. As you’d expect, the chicks have to be fed and kept clean by their parents.
Even though they don’t appear to be ready when they’re born, budgies rapidly open their eyes and grow their feathers. After only 5-6 weeks, a budgie has a full covering of feathers, and is venturing outside the nest, learning to feed itself.
By the time a budgie is 3 months old you can’t distinguish it from the adults by sight. Although they look like adults this early, they don’t go through adolescence until 7-8 months. It can be a tough world for a wild budgie, which is probably why they grow and mature so quickly.
In the wild budgies can’t guarantee a stable food and water source for extended periods, so chicks that didn’t mature to a point where they could keep up with the flock wouldn’t survive. The first time the flock needed to move on, the chicks would get left behind.
Budgies are Granivores
Don’t worry, they’re not going to eat your granny! No, budgies in the wild live on a diet of mostly grains. They favourite foods are un-ripened grass and wheat seeds, but they supplement their diet with fruits, leaves, bark and insects.
In captivity, we tend to feed our budgies less seed, and more fruits and veggies, since ripe seed mixtures are much less healthy than the half-ripe seeds they like to eat in the wild. And also because our captive birds don’t need so many calories, as they’re not flying around so much.
Budgies Love to Talk and Sing
Budgies tend to wake up with a boisterous song, and chatter away in bursts throughout the day. How vocal they are varies from bird to bird though, and males are usually somewhat more vocal – they want to impress the females.
Apart from enjoying their singing, many people teach their budgies to talk, with some budgies learning to say hundreds of words.
Budgies are People Friendly
After they’ve learned to trust people, and become tame, budgies enjoy the company of humans. They’ll often sing to you, show off to get your attention, land on you, or ask you to scratch their heads. Obviously, a budgie isn’t going to follow you around like a puppy, but they’re not just there to sit in a cage looking pretty.
Budgies that are raised with regular human contact will be tame from the get go, but even birds bought from pet shops are easy to tame with a little effort. And once you get pat their initial shyness you’ll have a new friend.
4 Reasons to Love Budgies
There are so many reasons to adore these beautiful birds, but let’s look at some of the obvious, and most important, ones:
Where can you get a Budgie?
Ah, hooked are you? You’ve got a lot of options here. I hope you’ll consider adopting a budgie from an animal shelter first. Animal shelters are usually overflowing with budgies that they end up putting down. Budgies are so cheap in pet shops that people often buy them without much thought, then give them away a few months later.
Any pet shop you walk into will have budgies for sale. Prices vary, but you can often expect to pay as little as £7-8 for the bird, as it doesn’t cost much to farm them as, since budgies mature so quickly.
There are also many private breeders. These budgies tend to be more expensive, but are usually hand tame, and in good health, when you buy them. The internet and classified ads are places to find breeders of all sizes.
How to Choose a Budgie
It’s tempting just to pick the bird that looks cutest, but you can’t build a lasting relationship on looks alone. Pay attention to the budgie’s personality. How does it interact with people and other birds? Is it boisterous and loud? Quiet and shy? Etc.
When buying, only get a bird if all the birds in its cage look healthy, otherwise you could accidentally bring home a sick bird. Budgies are very good at hiding illnesses, and it would be a shame to fall in love with a new pet only to lose it 3 months later.
Want to Discover More?
If you want to discover more about these wonderful birds, and how you can care for them, then follow your curiosity around the site, and you’ll be a budgie expert in no time.
Getting a New Budgie
Pet Budgie Information and Advice
Budgie Aviary Information and Advice
Sick Budgie? Illnesses, Diseases and Injuries Guide
Budgie Taming Made Simple