Main Page

Younger, hand-raised generally means easier to tame

Don't cast the above in stone, as there are exceptions, but generally you want to choose a young parakeet that's ideally been hand-raised (ie, has had lots of interaction with people).  Let's talk about:

Clipped Wings Or Not

Almost always, you can choose to ask for the budgie's wing feathers to be clipped.  This prevents the parakeet from flying away when you want to train/tame it.

Clipping wings is almost a religious issue for some folks.  Some people swear by it, others will call you the demons from heck should you do such a thing.  Chapter 6, Taming Budgies, goes into much more detail.

Budgie Age

For the most part, parakeets have a built-in age predicter - baby parakeets have bars on their forehead going all the way down to their cere (the fleshy part above the beak).  This is called a "barhead". 

Young budgies also have all-black eyes.  After 4 months or so, you'll see a dark grey iris (the part surrounding the pupil) and after 8 months, it might be lightened up to light grey/brown.   There are some exceptions here:

Lutino/Albino, Lacewings and Fallows - They have red eyes and pink iris.
Recessive Pied, Dark-Eyed Clear - These birdies have dark plum eyes.

Some very useful sites regarding budgie age is:

Next, ask yourself - do you want a male or female budgie?

Budgie Gender

Generally speaking (have you yet noticed a whole lot of this chapter is "generally speaking"?) males are less aggressive and more talkative than females.

That being said, my female parakeet, Glyphie, is the gentlest next to my handicapped birdie...and also the most adventurous to boot.  She's the first one to get a beak into anything new and tends to lead my flock.

Grown up male budgies have a blue cere, females have a pink/tan cere.  For more information about discering what sex a budgie is, visit:

Next, consider:

Budgie Color/Mutations

No, one color generally isn't smarter than another.  It's all a matter of personal preference.

Budgies span the spectrum (except for red/orange) in colors and intensities. 

Here are some great online examples:
Green Parakeet Photos
Blue Parakeet Photos
Yellow Parakeet Photos
White Parakeet Photos
Mixed Color Parakeet Photos

As well as a one-page description of them all:

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

Click Here to see photos of mutation combinations...

As you can tell, lots of colors, lots of mutations, lots of appeal.

Finally, you need to ask yourself:

Hand-raised or Bin-o-budgies?

Budgies from your typical all-pet pet store are usually parakeet mill birdies - ie, wholesale birds bought to be sold.  No real human interaction has happened.

Parakeets from a parrot-only store are often much more tame (ie, have been handled a lot more) and easy to integrate into the family.

Now, that's not to say that a bin-o-budgie parakeet won't be easy to tame!  It might take longer, mind you...but if they're young enough, you can probably discover a fine parakeet this way.

There are several ways to find hand-raised budgies.  Alas, as parakeets are, well, cheap in price, most pet parrot breeders don't specialize in them.   Still, though, you can try the following.

Look for parrot-only stores

You can find parrot stores several ways.  Here are some directories:
You can also visit sites like Yahoo Local! and search for

bird store

within your area code.

Next consider:


Many people will breed parakeets in their homes as well.  You can look thru:
If you cannot find any breeders/parrot-only stores close by, simply look thru your phone book for the pet shop listings.

Budgie Checklists

There are many useful sites that offer you a super checklist you can use prior to birdieBuying.  They include:
Once you've chosen your budgie and your cage, there's still several more items of critical importance.  Let's tackle something parakeets cannot live without - food!

And so now it's time for:

Next > Chapter 5 - Budgie Food

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