What species: Parrots of the Old World
What they look like: mostly green and yellow, with violet-blue spots on the cheeks, scaly markings on the neck, back and wings. Male: usually blue nose cap. Female: usually pink to light beige nose. 25 to 60 g.
Where it comes from: Australia (everywhere except the coastal areas)
How long they live: 15-20 years
Number of eggs per nest: 4-5, but sometimes up to 9
Did you know? In the wild, budgerigars gather in the tens of thousands in the morning to drink and bathe.
Budgerigar: The parakeet par excellence
The budgerigar is one of the most popular pets in the world. Perhaps because it’s a very easy and charming little bird, and ideal for beginners. However, none of them come from down under. All budgerigars are bred here in Europe, and in many more colours than just yellow-green.
Social behaviour and care
The budgerigar is a very intelligent, curious, gentle and affectionate bird responds very well to gentle handling. It is a wonderful companion, especially for older, responsible children, under supervision. It’s best not to keep budgies alone, however, because doing so could cause behavioural issues. At the same time, it is better not to cuddle or pet them too much.
Budgerigars are quieter than other parrots, although they can still chatter a lot when they are together. You can cut down on noise, however, if you give the budgie enough to do. Toys, or fresh willow, poplar and unsprayed fruit tree branches give them lots to entertain themselves with. Anything to counteract boredom.
You can also train the budgie to step on your hand or to speak. They often speak more clearly and use more words than other parrots.
In captivity, the best thing to feed a budgie is pellets, maintenance or breeding food, and supplement this with vegetables, fruit and a small amount of seeds and nuts (up to 20% of their diet can include these). The pellets contain all the essential nutrients in the right proportions.
If you give them a seed mix, go for a mix enriched with vitamins and minerals. Supplement with egg food, especially during the breeding season.
A budgerigar can be kept in either a cage or an aviary. For one pair, you need a cage that’s at least 100 x 80 x 50 cm or an aviary with a dimension of 180 x 80 x 180 cm. It’s important that the bars are horizontal so that the parakeets can climb. You should also provide toys, perches and, for the aviary, a draught-free room where the temperature is at least 5 °C. In addition, there should of course be a feeding and drinking trough and a bath.
As ground cover for the cage, shell sand is a good choice. In the aviary, you can spread wood shavings made from broken beech wood, among other things. You should change this substrate regularly. You should also clean the toys, perches and bath every day, and change the drinking water and feed.
It’s best to wait until a budgie is ten months to a year old before breeding so that the bird is sexually mature and mentally capable of raising its young. During the breeding season, the female budgie’s nose is completely brown. She then lays an egg every day in a breeding block. After six weeks, the youngsters are fully grown and you can take them away from their parents.