6-7 inches in length, weighing about 1-1.5 ounces.
About seven years on average, because of over-breeding. Up to fifteen years.
The cere or “nose” of the parakeet, which is pink in juveniles, turns a blue or purple in males when they become mature and white or brown in females.
Budgies are highly social animals, and as such compatibility can often depend on the individual personalities of the birds. Very often multiple birds will be compatible, but care must be taken to ensure they accept each other. Also, pairs will pay more attention to each other and tend to shun their owner.
Inland Australia, budgies are nomadic birds. The common parakeet has been bred in captivity for almost two hundred years.
Warm and dry.
Diurnal (awake during the day)
70-80 degrees Fahrenheit
No special lighting is required, but budgies, like all creatures will benefit greatly from natural sunlight and a normal day cycle.
Ambient humidity is ideal (60-70%).
Light forest and grassland.
Aspen shavings (cedar and pine shavings can emit gasses that may lead to liver problems), compressed hardwood pellets, or recycled paper products. Uncoloured newspaper is sufficient if changed whenever it is soiled.
Budgies will enjoy an area high in their cage which makes them feel secure. Soft felt or fleece tents are available, or simply a high perch surrounded by hanging toys.
The rule of thumb for most birds is to have a cage at least half again the length of their wingspan in all directions. For a parakeet this means 18x18x18 inches as a minimum. If you decide on a larger cage make sure that the bird has an area of the cage where it can feel protected and secure.
Pelleted diets are ideal, nutritionally speaking, but many budgies would rather starve then eat them. If you have a picky bird a high quality seed diet that does not contain sunflower seeds is acceptable, or you can attempt to transition your bird slowly onto a pelleted diet. In either case the bird’s diet should be supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables.
A multi-vitamin supplement is a great way to ensure your bird is getting proper nutrition, especially a seed-only bird. Calcium supplementation is also critical, and can be achieved by adding cuttle bone or calcium block to the cage.
Avoid fatty foods or mixes containing fatty foods (like sunflower seeds) as your bird may pick through the mix and eat only those. Lack of calcium supplementation will lead to fragile bone structure and possible egg impaction in females. Do not give your bird chocolate, avocado, coffee, or rhubarb.
Feed fresh food and water daily, supplementing the budgies normal diet with a good variety of vegetables and fruits. Parakeets can be finicky eaters and may take awhile to accept new food items; be persistent and your bird will be healthier in the long run.
Some parakeets can learn to drink from a water bottle, which should be kept clean and free of algae. Else, a seed cup filled with water and mounted in the cage is fine, but should be changed daily or whenever soiled.
Budgies are very clean animals and will preen themselves and each other (and maybe you too!) meticulously. Misting your bird with a clean spray bottle once or twice a week will help keep their feathers bright and clean. Alternatively, a dish of water can be placed in the bottom of the cage and your budgie may bathe itself.
Oral and Foot Care
Nails should be trimmed monthly, either by your vet or by us at Wilmette Pet. Special ‘manicure’ perches help to keep nails trim. A variety of perches should be placed in the cage to avoid foot atrophy. Hard lava blocks or beak conditioners as well as cuttle bones should be put in the cage to wear down the beak. If it becomes overgrown it will need to be filed down by your vet.
Many parakeets can be taught to step onto their owner’s finger. However, if allowing your bird out of its cage, the wings should be clipped (by us or by your vet) to avoid accidental injury. If you need to grab your bird, use a towel and gently take the body in the palm of your hand holding the head between your thumb and index finger to prevent your bird from hurting itself.
Substrate should be changed whenever soiled. Perches and the cage itself should be scrubbed down when they become dirty, usually every week or two. Health Concerns Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems and should be kept away from drafty areas as well as kitchens and laundry rooms as fumes from these areas can be enough to kill your bird. Too cool temps can lead to respiratory infections.