Budgie is short hand for Budgerigar and are they native to Australia.
They are often referred to as Parakeets, but they are actually only one of the many members of the Parakeet family of parrots.
Budgies aren't very big, but they make up for in personality and intelligence. They are easy to tame, especially if you get a you hand fed bird.
In general the males tend to be better at talking than the females, but unfortunately it's difficult to tell the sex of a young Budgerigar.
Once they get older you can tell the sex of your bird by the color of it's cere. If it's a male Budgie it will have a blue cere, and if it's a female it will have a brown cere.
(The cere is the soft fleshy area on top of the beak surrounding the nostrils.)
Note that with some color variations this may not be a reliable way to sex your bird.
Budgie care - food
The normal lifespan of a budgie is about 8 to 10 years, but some do live to 15 years and beyond.
Their life span is going to depend a great deal on how well they are cared for. They need clean surroundings, proper nutrition, exercise and daily interaction with either you or another bird.
Budgie can become obese if they are fed an over abundance of fattening foods like spray millet, hulled oats and most of the other bird treats.
If your bird is active it's fine to give it some bird treats once a week, but for the most part it's diet should consist of good quality bird seeds or pellets along with fruits and vegetables.
They also need mineral blocks and cuttle bones to chew on to provide them with calcium and other essential minerals.
You need to be sure to keep fresh clean water available at all times.
Budgie care - exercise and entertainment.
Your Budgerigar needs daily exercise or it will soon become overweight. They should be allowed out of the cage for at least an hour a day to fly around and explore. Just be sure that all windows and doors are closed.
Never let your Budgie out of the cage unsupervised, they are curious and they like to chew. There are far too many hazards around the average home to just let it run or fly around at will.
Speaking about flying you should consider clipping your bird's wings to at least limit the speed and height it can fly. If they fly into a window at full speed they can break their necks.
Another reason for clipping is that if it does get out of the house you have a chance of getting it back. I lost a very nice budgie because it followed my wife out the door. Once it got out it just kept going up until it disappeared.
Finally they are easier to tame if you clip their wings at the initial stage of training. Once they become tame this isn't a consideration and you can let them fly as long as it's in a safe environment.
In case you are wondering wing clipping is not cruel or painful. All that is clipped are a few of the primary feathers which have no nerve endings.
Budgie care - entertainment and socialization.
Please don't leave your bird in a cage all day with nothing to do. Budgerigars are highly active and need a variety of toys to play with and chew on.
Even more important is that budgies are social birds and need company. Spend time with your bird, teaching it to talk and do tricks. They love it.
Budgie bird cages.
As far as the size of the cage goes, the bigger the better. Give them as much room to move around as possible.
At the very least it should be big enough to allow them to hop from perch to perch.
Budgies love to climb so horizontal bars are better than vertical bars.
The bar spacing should be no more than ½ inch to keep your Budgerigar from getting it's head caught.
Get a rectangular cage rather than a round one and place it where there is at least one wall. Budgies need a wall to retreat to.
Budgies tend to fly horizontally so wider is better than taller.
Place plenty of toys in the cage and rotate them weekly to keep your bird entertained.
Note avoid mirrors until after you have tamed your budgerigar. They will think it's another bird and may bond to it instead of you.
Use newspaper or paper towels to line the bottom of the cage. Don't use any kind of bedding material because they are breeding grounds for fungus.
Get a variety of different sized perches and avoid the sand paper covered ones.
The fact that they are easy to train and care for makes Budgie Birds an excellent choice for your first pet parrot.
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