KINGDOM : Animalia PHYLUM : Chordata CLASS : Aves ORDER : Psittaciformes SUPERFAMILY :Psittacoidea FAMILY :Psittaculidae GENUS :Melopsittacus SPECIES :M. Undulatus The Parrot Enrichment Activity Book
The budgie, or budgerigar, ( Melopsittacus Undulatus ) is most commonly referred to as the more generic term “parakeet” in the United States. The wild budgie is similar to the birds we see today in pet shops, though smaller (between 6 and 7 inches long), and only found in the nominate color, green.
The origin of the budgie's name is unclear. First recorded in 1805, budgerigars are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, and ability to mimic human speech. They are the third most popular pet in the world, after the domesticated dog and cat. The name budgerigar translates as “good to eat” in the native dialect of the Australian Aborigine.
Budgies are bred in captivity with colouring of blues, whites, yellows, greys, and even with small crests. They have over 1,000 possible color combinations.
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.
The budgie is native to Australia, where it still dominates the grasslands in large, undulating flocks. The wild budgie is similar to the birds we see today in pet shops, though smaller, and only found in the nominate color, green.
Adult males and females of these creatures usually have green and yellow coloring on their chests and back. The head and back feathers also have varying patterns of black markings. Males have blue coloring around their beaks while females have pink or purple coloring in that area.
They naturally live in trees and make their nests in knots or other depressions that are just large enough to hold their nests and eggs. Budgerigar birds are highly social amongst themselves and with humans. Males and females will pair up and live together in loose colonies in both the northern and southern territories. Their lifespan can be up to 15 years out in nature. Budgies are social creatures.
This bird species is rather easy to tame and does make a good pet. They become extremely attached to their owners and will be able to recognize you even if you change your hairstyle or your clothes. They also can develop a large vocabulary and love talking with humans. Some budgies have been able to speak hundreds of words.
Female budgies reach adulthood around eight months of age. In the wild, these birds will pair up to mate and raise offspring. The females normally lay between four to six eggs in a single clutch. These eggs can take up to 20 days to incubate before the chicks will start to hatch. Sometimes, it will take another week to 10 days for all the eggs to hatch.
Chicks are born blind and without down or other feathers. Their mothers are responsible for keeping them warm constantly over the first 10 days or so until their eyes open. They will then begin to grow down and feathers, but it will be another four or five weeks before these younglings can leave the nest.
Between six and eight weeks, fledglings will begin to learn to fly and try to leave the nest. The age varies depending upon the number of chicks in the brood and the age of each chick. For example, chicks born with no other nestmates often learn to fly sooner than birds from larger clutches. These only children benefit from their parents extra attention. These birds can live up to 15 years in the wild, but they often die between five and 10 years in captivity.