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Budgerigar by webcruiser Budgerigar by webcruiser
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This beautiful Budgerigar was the base photo for my todays picture playground.... One of them will be uploaded soon.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Thanks! :thanks:

The Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus, nicknamed budgie), the only species in the Australian genus Melopsittacus, is a small parrot belonging to the tribe of the broad-tailed parrots (Platycercini); these are sometimes considered a subfamily (Platycercinae). In the latter case, the Budgerigar is sometimes isolated in a tribe of its own, the Melopsittacini, although it is probably quite closely related to Pezoporus and Neophema. Though Budgerigars are often called Parakeets, especially in American English, this term refers to any of a number of small Parrots with long flat tails. The Budgerigar is found throughout the drier parts of Australia and has survived in the inlands of that continent for over 5 million years.


Several possible origins for the English name Budgerigar have been proposed:

* A compound of budgery, "good" and gar "Cockatoo". Budgerigar means "good eating" or "good food" in some Australian Aboriginal languages. This is supported by the Oxford English Dictionary. The word budgery itself, also spelt boojery, was formerly in use in Australian English slang meaning "good".
* An alteration of Gamilaraay gidjirrigaa (IPA: /ɡiɟiriɡaː/), possibly influenced by the slang word budgery mentioned above. This is supported by the American Heritage Dictionary.

The genus name Melopsittacus comes from Greek and means "melodious parrot". The species name undulatus is Latin for "undulated" or "wave-patterned".


Budgerigars are about 18 cm long and weigh 30-40 grams. Wild Budgerigars display a green body colour (abdomen and rumps), while their mantle (back and wing coverts) is black edged in yellow. The forehead and face is yellow in adults, and barred black with yellow in young till they change into their adult plumage at 3-4 months of age. Each cheek has a small dark purple patch (cheek patches) and a series of 3 black spots across each sides of their throats (throat-spots) of which the outermost spots are situated at the base of each cheek-patches. The tail is cobalt (dark-blue); outside tail feathers display central yellow flashes. Their wings have greenish-black flight feathers and black coverts with yellow fringes along with central yellow flashes which only becomes visible in flight and/or when the wings are stretched. Bill olive grey and legs blueish-grey, with zygodactyl toes. Wild budgerigars are noticeably smaller than those in captivity. These parrots have been bred in many other colours in captivity, such as white, blue, and even purple, although they are mostly found in pet stores in blue, green, yellow and occasionally white. Budgerigar plumage is known to fluoresce under ultraviolet light, a phenomenon possibly related to courtship and mate selection.

The colour of the cere (the area containing the nostrils) differs between the sexes; royal blue in males, pale-brown to white (non-breeding) or brown (breeding) in females and pink in immatures of both sexes (usually of a more even purplish-pink colour in young males). Young females can often be identified by a subtle chalky whiteness that starts around the cere nostril holes. Males that are either albino, lutino and/or recessive-pied (aka Danishpied aka Harlequin) always retain the immature purplish-pink cere colour their entire life.

Colour Mutations

Main article: Budgerigar colour genetics

There are presently at least 32 primary mutations in the Budgerigar, enabling hundreds of possible secondary mutations (stable combined primary mutations) & colour varieties (unstable combined mutations). Each of these primary mutations falls into one of four basic groups:

* Albinism : where eumelanin is either partially or completely reduced in all body tissues & structures.

* Dilution : where eumelanin is partially reduced in only feathering.

* Leucism : where eumelanin is completely reduced from total or localized feathering.

* Melanism : where eumelanin is increased in the feathering.

Each of these mutations is inherited via one of the following dominance relationships:

* Autosomal co-dominant
* Autosomal complete dominant
* Autosomal incomplete dominant
* Autosomal recessive
* Autosomal polygenic
* Sex-linked recessive

Because birds have a ZW sex-determination system, sex-linked recessive traits are more common in females than in males, rather than the reverse as is found the more familiar XY determination of humans and other mammals.


Budgerigars are, very generally speaking, accepting of humans and other birds, but should never be housed with a bird other than another budgerigar. Care should be taken when placing several female budgies together, as they can do serious harm to one another if they do not get along. It is easier and often more convenient to either keep either an even number of both males and females or to only keep male birds altogether as these generally get along with each other without any problem. Contrary to historical beliefs modern literature agrees that budgerigars should never be kept single as this can cause serious harm to the bird both physically and psychologically.[citation needed] They are relatively easily tamed.

Bird lovers often comment on the differences in personality in each individual bird. Budgies each have their own unique ideas about how much they like to be handled, which toys are their favourites, and even what music they like or are indifferent to.


Like many birds, budgerigars have tetrachromatic color vision, but all four classes of cone cells operating simultaneously requires the full spectrum provided by sunlight.

Habitat and behaviour

Budgerigars are nomadic birds found in open habitats, primarily in Australian scrubland, open woodland and grassland. The birds are normally found in small flocks, but can form very large flocks under favourable conditions. The species is extremely nomadic and the movement of the flocks is tied to the availability of food and water. Drought can drive flocks into more wooded habitat or coastal areas. They feed on the seeds of spinifex, grass weeds, and sometimes ripening wheat.

Breeding takes place generally between June and September in the North and between August and January in the South but they are opportunistic breeders responding to the rains when grass seeds become most abundant. Populations in some areas have increased as a result of increased water availability at farms. The nest is in a hole in a tree, fence post or even a log laying on the ground; the 4-6 eggs are incubated for 17-19 days, with the young fledging about 30 days after hatching.

Feral birds have been found since the 1940s in the St. Petersburg, Florida area of the United States, but are much less common than they were in the early 1980s. Colder than normal winter temperatures in some years and increased competition from European Starlings are the main reasons for the declining population.


The Budgerigar is one of the two Parrots to be genuinely domesticated as a species along with the Peach-faced Lovebird (Agapornis roseicollis). Believed to be the most common pet Parrot in the world, the Budgerigar has been bred in captivity since the 1850s. Breeders have worked over the decades to produce a wide range of colour, pattern and feather mutations, such as blue, white, violet, olive, albino and lutino (yellow), pied, clearwing, spangled, and crested.

Modern show budgerigars, also called English budgerigars and/or Standard-Type Budgerigars are larger than their wild-type (natural form) counterparts, with puffy head feathers, giving them an exaggerated look. The eyes and beak can be almost totally obscured by feathers. Most Budgerigars in the pet trade are not of the show variety (Standard-Type aka English Budgies) and are similar in size and body conformation to wild Budgerigars and thus aptly called wild-type Budgies.

Budgerigars are intelligent and social animals and enjoy the stimulation of toys and interaction with humans as well as with other Budgerigars. A common behaviour is the chewing of material such as wood, especially for female Budgerigars.

Budgerigars can be taught to speak, whistle tunes, and play with humans. Both males and females sing and can learn to mimic sounds & words. Both singing and mimicry are more pronounced and much more perfected in males. As a whole, females rarely if ever learn to mimic more than a dozen words or so. Males can very easily acquire vocabularies ranging between a few dozen to a hundred words. Generally speaking, it is the pet Budgies and even more so the ones kept as single pets which talk the best and the most.

In captivity, Budgerigars live an average of five to eight years, but are reported to occasionally live to 15 if well cared for. The life span depends on the budgerigar's breed (show Budgerigars typically do not live as long as wild-type Budgerigars) and on the individual bird's health, which is highly influenced by exercise and diet.

Although wild Budgerigars eat grass seeds almost exclusively, avian veterinarians recommend captive birds' diets be supplemented with foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, sprouted seeds, pasta, whole grain bread and other healthy human foods, as well as pellets formulated for small parrots. Adding these foods provides additional nutrients and can prevent obesity and lipomas, as can substituting millet, which is relatively low in fat, for seeds mixes. Budgerigars do not always adapt readily to dietary additions, however. Chocolate and avocado are recognized as potential toxins.


The male will stand on female's back while some beak contact is made between the mates. The male will then wrap his tail under the female's raised tail, place his cloaca (male birds have no penis) against hers and rub it back and forth to stimulate ejaculation. The male may move away for a moment before returning for another session.


Budgerigars are easily bred. In the wild, virtually all Parrot species require a hollow tree or a hollow log and because of that, they naturally require nest-boxes for breeding. A hen will lay her eggs on alternate days; after the first one, there is usually a two-day gap until the next. She will usually lay between four to twelve eggs, which she will incubate (usually starting after laying her 2nd or 3rd) for about 19 days each. Budgerigar Parakeet hens only leave their nests for very quick defecations and stretches once they've begun incubating and are by then almost exclusively fed by their cocks (usually at the nest's entrance) Depending on the clutch size and the beginning of incubation, there can be anywhere from 5 to 15 day age difference between the first and last hatchlings.

When the eggs start to hatch, the hatchlings are totally helpless and their mother feeds them around the clock day and night. Around 10 days of age, the chick's eyes will open, and they will start to develop feather down which typically indicates best-time for close-banding the chicks (with about 4.0 to 4.2 mm rings)

They develop feathers and thus their colour mutation will be quite obvious around 3 weeks of age. At this stage of the chicks' development, the cocks usually has begun to enter the nest to help his hen in caring and feeding the chicks. Some Budgie hens though totally forbids their cocks from entering the nest and thus take the full responsibility of rearing the chick. Depending on the size of the clutch, it may then be wise to foster a portion of the hatchlings (or best of the fertile eggs) to another pair. The foster pair must already be in breeding mode and thus either at the laying, incubating stages and/or rearing hatchlings.

By the fifth week, the chicks are strong enough that both parents will be comfortable in staying more and more out of the nest. The youngsters will stretch their wings to gain strength before they attempt to fly. They will also help defend the box from enemies mostly with their loud screeching. Young Budgies typically fledge (leave nest) around their fifth week of age and are usually completely weaned a week later. However, the age for fledging as well as weaning can vary slightly depending on whether it is the oldest, the youngest and/or the only surviving chick. Generally speaking, the oldest chick is the first to be weaned. But even though it is logically the last one to be weaned, the youngest chick often wean itself at a younger age then its older sibling(s) and this from following and/or mimicking its siblings. Consequently, lonely surviving chicks usually are weaned at the youngest age from having their parent's full attention and care.

Future pet Budgies must be pulled from their parents as soon as they drink and feed on their own (proving being weaned) which occurs quite precisely 7 days following their fledging date.

Breeding difficulties

Breeding difficulties arise for various reasons. Some chicks may die from diseases or attacks by their parents (virtually always hens). Other Budgerigars (virtually always hens) may fight over the nest box, attacking the hen while she is laying her eggs. Another problem may be the birds' beak being underlapped. This is where the lower mandible is above the upper mandible.

It is very important to realize that most health issues and physical abnormalities are genetically inherited and are thus consequence of high inbreeding frequencies. While parasites (i.e. fleas, mites, worms...) and pathogenes (bacteria, fungi and viruses) are contagious and thus transmitted between individuals through either direct and/or indirect contacts.

Human speech

Male Budgerigar Parakeets are considered one of the top five talking champions amongst Parrot species. That is alongside;

Every Psittacus erithacus ssp. (Congo/Cameroon/Ghana/Princep's &/or Timneh African Grey Parrots)

Every Amazona spp. (Amazon Parrot species)

Every Eclectus ssp. (Eclectus sub-species)

Every Psittacula spp. (Afro-Asian Ringnecked Parakeet species)

MALE Melopsittacus undulatus (Budgerigar Parakeet)

A Budgerigar named Puck holds the world record for the largest vocabulary of any bird, at 1,728 words. Puck, owned by American Camille Jordan, died in 1994, with the record first appearing in the 1995 edition of Guinness World Records.

The budgerigar will typically speak words in the context to which he or she is accustomed to hearing them. For example, if the bird owner says "up" every time the bird is picked up, the bird may say "up" when it is picked up, or wants to be picked up.

Many budgerigars prefer non-verbal communication, such as stomping on their food dish and shrieking when they want fresh seed, rather than asking for it.
Add a Comment:
AveragePhotographer Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Nice shot!
Bski81 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2016
Pretty bird.
Efreta Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I draw your photo, because if I saw this, fascinated me...…
FluffyBird101 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
He looks like my bird, Tucker! He's always do this.
BlackHawk1214 Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Soo,fluffy:meow:must PET!!!:meow:*pets the screen*
whitefire1402 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2012
looks like my budgie marley
Skittlesspyro Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Student Artist
my bird sleeps like that
Aerilia Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Just like my boy Tanjiro, beautiful blue colour
Aerilia Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Such a gorgeous colour
bonisol Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sooo cute! :D
Chateaugay Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2011
I got a lump in my throat looking at this. Years ago I had a blue budgie and he used to tuck his little cotton wool head into his back just like this and chatter away to himself. I used to wonder if he was telling himself a bedtime story!

Great info and I hope it helps many budgies. :iconbigheartplz:
ninehundredtwo Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Student Writer
how old is he/she at this time?
webcruiser Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I have no clue, because it never was mine. It is a shot done in a little zoo.
ninehundredtwo Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2011  Student Writer
it really doesn't seem that way :D great shot ^^
Aisha99 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
It looks like my parrot called Miron =)
Ashigama Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2011
This is a good shot. The texture is crisp, the colors beautiful.

Reminds me of our budgie Amagumo.
Lupsiberg Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You have been featured here [link] I hope you like it!
Vampiresheep Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
TheKittiehWillEatChu Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011  Student Filmographer
i wish to photo my parrot like that too xD but when i was closing to he ... he wakes up all the time -.-
mysslinhie Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2011   General Artist
I love the bright colors and how fluffy it is!! :love:
XBudgiexchanX Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2010  Student Artisan Crafter
Seldavia Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2010
Such a brightly colored, fluffy budgie!
PassionHeartDevil Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010
cgeyeguy Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I enjoy this picture a lot, so I did a mass drawing from it. [link]
Boembafication Featured By Owner May 7, 2010
Omg, my bird looks exactly the same :O
Loriele Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2010  Student General Artist
Nice shot :)
and my that's a lot of information!
meihua Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
What a cutie!
LostImages Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2010
So sweet and beautiful.. :)
KingGiantess Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
So adorable! Very healthy-looking budgie too. :3
NiGhT-sTaLkEr13 Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
This reminds me of my first Budgie called Jack, he was such a people lover. He let you scratch all under his cheeks and even fell asleep with me. Now I have Sunny, who is a little evil thing. I hate how they are referred to as Parakeets, but that's probably because I'm Australian. XD
Janjetina Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2009
very beautiful :)
lost-kitty21 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2009
oh my god....very..very nice
phasmidfan Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2009   Writer
That is sweet!!!! Awwww!
ticklemeimsexy Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2009  Student Photographer
yenicapote Featured By Owner May 28, 2009
such beautiful colored wings it has!
milkandcookies22 Featured By Owner May 18, 2009
Really cute, and i love his/her colors!
urnamehere45 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
that is awesome
sweet-tea-86 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2009
awww. it's so pretty. my budgie just recently died... :(
TanithLipsky Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
copperarabian Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2008  Student Photographer
The focus is so perfect :D
JacquiJax Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
beautiful :D
sanjouin-dacapo Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2008  Student Digital Artist
That's a beautiful budgie!
webcruiser Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you!
sanjouin-dacapo Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2008  Student Digital Artist
Welcome! I have a little green-and-yellow budgerigar with a yellow 'hat' on his otherwise barred head. He's such a cutie!
Neuro-Suspension Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2008
He looks like mine. ^_^
webcruiser Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I hove yours is a living one!
Neuro-Suspension Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2008
He is. lol.
NathanofCanada Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2008   Photographer
beautiful colour!!
Lydove Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2008  Student General Artist
he looks sleepy
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Submitted on
October 3, 2007
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Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/200 second
Focal Length
180 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Sep 30, 2007, 2:53:23 PM