Budgies, also known as parakeets, are one of the most popular pet birds in the world. These colorful and intelligent birds are native to Australia and have been kept as pets for over 150 years. In this article, we will explore 10 fun and interesting facts about budgies that you may not have known before. Whether you’re a seasoned bird owner or just curious about these charming little birds, read on to learn more!
1. Behind the name a story
According to a popular narrative, the English asked the indigenous people of Australia for the name of budgies in their language, to which they responded with “betcherrygah,” meaning edible or good to eat. Thus, the name “budgerigar” was coined in the English language.
2. Multiple names but the end result is the same
Budgies were known by various names before the term “budgerigar” became widely accepted. These names included the shell parrot, the warbling grass parakeet, the canary parrot, and the zebra parrot. In the United States, they are typically referred to as parakeets. In the Middle East, the general public often calls them lovebirds, while the breeding community uses the term budgies.
3. Introduced to Europe in the nineteenth century
In 1840, the ornithologist John Gould brought budgies to Europe for the first time. Since then, the species has undergone several color mutations, including the first yellow mutation in 1872 and the first blue mutation in 1878. Today, they are one of the most popular species of caged birds.
4. Doesn’t Eat only seeds
Budgies have a varied diet that can include more than just millet seeds. Other types of seeds like canary seeds, oats, flaxseed, and niger can also be included in their diet. Besides seeds, they also enjoy eating boiled eggs, vegetables, and fruit.
5. A Small parrot but not the smallest
Although budgies were once thought to be the smallest parrots, there are actually smaller parrot species such as the Pygmy parrot and Parrotlet. The Pygmy parrot is a tiny bird that is found in New Guinea and the surrounding islands, and it is considered to be the smallest parrot in the world. The Parrotlet, on the other hand, is a group of small parrots native to Central and South America.
6. Can utter some words like us
Budgies are capable of learning words and phrases if trained, although it’s worth noting that males tend to be better talkers than females. Some individuals can pick up new words faster and more easily than others, while some may not learn to talk at all despite training efforts.
7. Can learn to repeat many words
The budgie named Puck holds the world record for the largest vocabulary of any bird, having been able to speak 1782 words before passing away in 1994. Puck’s impressive linguistic abilities have earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, with recorded evidence to support his achievement.
8. Budgies can live longer than expected
The typical lifespan of a budgie is around 5-10 years, but Charlie the Budgie from England lived to be 29 years old, setting a Guinness World Record for the oldest parakeet ever recorded. While genetics play a role in a bird’s lifespan, proper care is essential to ensure a long and healthy life.
9. Differentiating sex is not easy when immature
It is not easy especially for a beginner, to know the gender of a young budgie before reaching three to four months of age. At this age, the male will typically develop a blue cere (the area above the beak where the nostrils are located), while the female’s cere will usually be brown or tan. The colors on the nostrils become more apparent when birds mature
10. Budgies are warm-blooded creatures
Budgies are warm-blooded birds that have developed fascinating adaptations to regulate their body temperature in response to environmental changes. They breathe quickly to lower their body temperature and fluff their feathers to store body heat. Additionally, they can adjust their metabolic rate to cope with extreme temperature changes, allowing them to survive in their natural habitats. These clever birds can tolerate high temperatures up to 110°F (43°C) and low temperatures down to 40°F (4°C).