Budgie Quick Care Guide
Budgies are colourful, playful pets, with hearts of gold.
Did you know?
Budgerigars (budgies) are native to Australia and are a species of parakeet.
The name ‘budgerigar’ is from an Aboriginal dialect and can also be spelt ‘boodgereegar’ and ‘budgerygah’.
It means ‘good bird’ although some sources say the name also means ‘good food’.
Wild budgerigars can be found in Central, Eastern and South-Western Australia.
Budgies are curious, playful birds that love interacting with humans.
In the wild, they travel in large flocks to avoid predators.
The Budgerigar was first bred in captivity by Countess Von Schwerin in Berlin in 1855.
Green is the natural colour of the budgie but there are many colour variations.
This is a result of genetic mutations and selective breeding.
Budgies can learn to talk.
They can say words and short phrases. Some can learn a vocabulary of 20 items!
Like all birds, budgies have specific diet and health requirements. It’s important to know these well.
- Cage – the bigger, the better. Budgies love to move, play and flap around
- Perches – provide a variety of surfaces and sizes
- Quality budgerigar-specific seed mix – should form 60 – 70% of the bird’s diet. Topflite’s mix of canary seed, millet seed and hulled oats closely resembles the diet of wild budgerigars
- Millet spray or seed bell – presenting seed this way more closely mimics the wild as effort is required by birds to obtain their seed.
- Cuttlefish bone – a vital source of calcium
- Oyster shell grit – needed by the bird’s stomach to grind up food and aid digestion
- Budgies are social birds and are happiest when kept in groups of two or more.
- Place the cage in a spot close to human activity. Budgies love interacting with humans
- Fresh, clean water must be available at all times and refreshed daily.
- Adding linseed to the diet during the cold winter months gives budgies the energy to maintain their body temperature
- Teaching budgies to talk is relatively easy once a rapport is established. Start with repeating the same greeting each morning in a soft, animated voice and build vocabulary from there.
- Mouldy food – remove uneaten food before it goes mouldy as it can make birds sick
- Sprayed fruit and vegetables. Wash produce thoroughly before introducing to the cage
- Too much time in the cage. Once birds are well socialised to their surroundings, give them opportunities to fly around the
- Air fresheners and fly sprays – they can be harmful to birds so avoid spraying near cages
- A seed dish that appears full. Budgerigars will ‘hull’ their seed, that is they remove the protective husk before eating the nutritious contents within, dropping the empty husk back into the seed dish. Look closely at their seed each day and top up.
For a more detailed information on keeping budgies, see The NZ Budgerigar Society