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Budgerigars are one of the smallest parrot species and by far the most popular pet bird in the United States. They are commonly referred to as parakeets in the pet industry, a misnomer since they are a different species.
Budgerigars or “budgies” originated in Australia but have been bred in captivity for centuries; budgerigar means “good eating” in the native Aboriginal language.
Centuries of breeding in captivity have produced birds in a variety of colors and feather patterns. Budgies come in green, yellow (lutino), blue, purple, grey and white (albino), as well as many color mixes.
Budgerigars are great beginner birds for kids and adults, and a good choice for people who work outside the home. While personality will vary by individual, in general they are energetic, easily tamed and love to play.
Male budgies usually are more vocal than females, even when young, and generally better talkers. While not considered the best talkers in the parrot family, careful training may encourage them to become proficient, although their speech is not as clear sounding as other parrots.
Baby birds are difficult to sex until they reach five to six months of age, when their pinkish to purplish cere will darken to purplish-blue to blue on males or to light tan to brown on females. Baby budgies that are not white or yellow have colored bars on their forehead that disappear at six months or so; very young birds will have a dark tip on their bills.
Budgies typically live from six to 10 years.