Budgerigar - pronounced [buhj-uh-ree-gahr]
The name Budgerigar is thought to have been derived from an Aboriginal
word or phrase.
Wild budgerigars are originally from Australia and
are nomadic birds, moving from place to place in search of water
and food. They are able to fly hundreds of miles if necessary
in search of water. These hardy birds endure a climate that can
be very hot and dry and also cold as well as rainy depending on
the season and the weather trends. Budgies live in flocks and
when conditions are favorable, they sometimes group together to
form a huge flock containing thousands of budgies.
Wild budgerigars feed primarily on grass seeds,
eucalyptus leaves and various other seeds and greens. Breeding
usually occurs during rainy seasons when water is plentiful. Like
other parrots, budgies build their nests in holes found in trees.
They will chew at the tree cavity until they have the shape and
size that they need. The female budgie will lay an egg every 2
days until she has 4 to 8 eggs. While the mother budgie is busy
keeping the eggs warm, it is the father's job to feed the mother
and protect the nest. Incubation lasts about 18-21 days before
the eggs will hatch. Baby budgerigars usually fledge or leave
the nest on the fourth or fifth week after they hatch. Both the
mother and father take turns feeding the babies.
Wild budgies are primarily green with black
stripes and yellow heads.
Domestic budgies can be green, blue, yellow (lutino), white
(albino), gray, violet and many varieties of these colors
Average 18 cm (7 in) long
Predatory birds and snakes, environmental issues
Other interesting facts
• Budgies, like all parrots, have 2 toes that face forward
and 2 that face back unlike other birds who have 3 toes facing
forward and 1 facing back.
• Studies have shown that the yellow feathers
of budgerigars have fluorescent pigment. Since budgies are able
to see a broader spectrum of colors including some ultra-violet,
these fluorescent feathers are thought to play a role in attracting
View a video from PBS on The ability of the budgerigar
to see ultraviolet light.
• In the U.S. budgies are usually called parakeets which
means long tail. However there are several different
types of parrots called parakeets so this name can be confusing.
• Budgie eggs are white.
• Budgies can turn their heads around 180 degrees.
• If an adult budgie's cere (the flesh above the beak where
the nostrils are located) is blue it is a male, if it is brown
or tan it is a female.
• The average life span of a domestic budgie is 5-8 years
however some have been known to live 15 years or more.