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Huge personality, tiny body, tiny plops = perfect birdie!

Sharing your life with a budgie can be one of the most rewarding steps you can take...if you have the following mindset.

"Parakeets are NOT disposable pets!"

So many times, you'll see parakeets advertised as a perfect "beginner bird"...as though you are training yourself for the a "real parrot" ... "sometime in the future."

Now, true...parakeets are much easier to live with and take care of, compared to, say, macaws, amazons and cockatoos.  Unlike the larger birds, you:

  • Don't have to worry about bites that cause a wee bit of trauma to your hand (a macaw can break a finger)
  • Can easily transport them around
  • Don't have to have your ears sewn shut due to harsh squawking
  • Have much less of a food bill
  • Can easily incorporate them into an apartment setting
  • Won't have to deal with huge soggy plops
  • etc
Now, that's NOT to say that larger birds aren't wonderful too!   It's really a personality/lifestyle choice.  Some people have no problem training their large parrots to be a perfect parrot gentleman or lady!  These smart folk, however, have educated themselves as to what bringing a feathered friend home really requires.

So what does having a budgie require? 

To really have a wonderful life with your budgie, you should offer at the very least:

  • A good-sized cage (18"x18"x18" is a nice size)
  • Toys (you'll be surprised of what you can make too!)
  • Food besides seeds (healthy people food, pellets, bread, etc.)
  • Schedule (a well-rested budgie is a happy budgie!  Mine have 11 hours of sleep each night - I know this for a fact as I always cover the cage at 6pm and wake them up at 5am)
  • Background music if you're gone for long times (classical music, rock, jazz, etc.)
But don't just take my words on it!  Check out these wonderful budgie stories online.
As you can see, you have the chance for a supercalifragilisticexpialodocious time with parakeets if you provide them with ample space, food, toys and interactions.  When they're by themselves, they'll burble and chirp to each other/themselves quite happily, and if you've tamed/trained them, they'll play on you as well!  Lots of people take great videos of their feathered friends having a ball - consider:
Budgies are the best!

Budgies come in bunches and bunches of colors.  Sure, there are the green parakeets, and the blue parakeets (the two dominant strains), but from those spring mutations and patterns and intensities that can just make your head spin!  Take a moment now and visit
You'll see:

Coloration Mutations

Base Color Dark Factor Grey Factor Violet Factor Dilution Yellowface Lutino/Albino

Striping Pattern Mutations

Opaline Spangle Cinnamon

Pied Mutations

Dominant Pied Recessive Pied Clearflight Pied Dark Eyed Clear

Rare Mutations

Crested Fallow Saddleback Clearbody Slate Anthracite Blackface Mottled Lacewing Half-Sider

The mind spins.  One thing I've learned in my flock is that some budgies can even appear iridescent if the light strikes their feathers in a certain angle - my handicapped unique keet, Snow, is a red eyed white lacewing parakeet whose feathers are suffused with the palest light blue glow.  And Mattimeo, my Type II Yellowfaced handicapped budgie, has a turquoise sheen to his feathers as well.  Astonishing!

But budgies don't stop at mere glows (okay I'm babbling now, I admit it.  :-)   ).  Sir Rowan, my 1/2 English 1/2 American budgie most likely is a dilute cinnamon mauve birdie.....but his colors make him look like a teeny tiny Peregrin falcon.  Okay maybe not, but that's what I like thinking.  :-) 

Colors are not the be-all and the end-all in parakeets, of course.  Yes yes yes, it's quite true that everyone has their own preference (I myself love blue birdies), but it's the personality on which you should really focus when choosing a parakeet.  Boingy birdies (ie, birdies who would give the Energizer Bunny a run for his money) are great for their antics and their powerful personalities.  But more sedate parakeets might fit into your lifestyle as well.

Speaking of personalities, there's a good chance that any budgie brought home will sit quietly for at least a day and probably longer until she or her gets acclimated with his or her new surroundings.  It's to be expected (so you don't have to wonder, what happened to my perky birdie?).

Let's pause for a moment on colors and talk nationalities.  There are two different kinds of budgies availabe:

  • American
  • English

American budgies are the most common ones you'll see - they're the typical parakeets all stores carry (plus the version of budgie that lives in Australia).  They're slim birdies.  English budgies are much more stocky, have a fuller face of feathers, and seem to be much more laid back.  Their poop (fondly known as "plop" in my family) can also get stuck to their vent feathers, necessitating a bath.  In my experience, it's a very easy thing to do.

In America, English budgies as a rule are more expensive then American budgies.  Speaking of price, I've seen parakeets sell anywhere from $9.99 to $39.99 - older birdies are generally cheaper than babies (but it takes longer to train them).

As well as nationalities, budgies also come in (get this!) 2 genders!  Male and female.  Generally speaking, males are easier to tame and have a wider sound/vocabulary range, while females are more aggressive.  Keep in mind, this is generally speaking! 

Wow, it certainly right now must seem like there's an information overload waiting for you regarding your future or current parakeet.  But don't despair!  There's one simple easy wonderful way to really get yourself immersed in what's the best for you and your feathered buddie....and that's what I'm about to reveal right now.

Let us begin your journey!  .

It's time for you to make new friends and get some community from other parakeet fanciers as well. Click below and let's go!

Next > Chapter 2 - Budgie Networking

More information

Parakeets/budgies/keets/etc. are NOT disposable birds!  Please do your research before choosing to share your life with one of these wonderful birdies..

The Ultimate Internet Parakeet Toolkit

Copyright 2007 Barbara Ling and Owlbert