The budgie (parakeet) is often thought of as a “beginner bird,” however, this social, outgoing little bird deserves just as much care and attention as larger parrots. Budgies are playful, love food and they can rival any parrot in terms of talking ability.
Care & Feeding
Budgies can live between 7 to 15 years, though the average is far less than seven due to mistreatment, accidents, or lack of knowledge about appropriate bird care. It seems that this little bird is often seen as a “throw away” pet because it’s inexpensive. Budgies are also prone to obesity, fatty tumors and liver, foot disorders, scaly face, and intestinal parasites, all of which require veterinary care.
Personality & Behavior
The budgie is often underestimated as a hands-on pet. It is certainly good as a “watching only” pet, especially if kept in pairs or in a colony, but it’s easily hand tamed and can become a loyal, loving little friend to a patient owner. Budgies are social birds and won’t do well in a life of isolation. Budgies housed together do remain friendly if given enough contact, though a lone parakeet is often the best choice if you want a “pet-quality” bird.
Parakeets are okay with children if the children are respectful of them. This small bird can easily become victim to a raucous child. Adult supervision with any pet is advisable. This bird’s beak isn’t as powerful as some of the other birds of its size, but it can certainly hurt little sensitive fingers.
Speech & Sound
The budgie is the best talking bird among the parrots, able to learn words, phrases, and whistles easily. One budgie has been recorded repeating more than 1,700 words! The males are the best talkers, though females can learn a few words and can also whistle well.
Health & Common Conditions
Budiges are prone to tumors, goiters (due to iodine deficiency) and other conditions related to an all-seed diet, psittacosis as well as scaly face/leg mites (which presents as a scabs around the nare and eyes and/or legs).
Get a Budgie (Parakeet)
Budgies occur in a large assortment of colors and patterns, over 70 mutations to date, with more developed each year. The fancier mutations are available through hobby breeders, though most people are happy with the standard green, blue, yellow, and white.