Budgie Bird [what is a budgie? can budgies talk?]

Budgie Birds are small Parakeets that can be trained to mimic the sound of human speech. They are one of the most popular pets in the world because of their cheerful personality and relatively easy care requirements. They are technically Parrots.

If you’re considering a Budgie for the first time, you may have questions.

What do Budgies eat?
What kind of environment do Budgies need?
How do Budgies and their owners interact? 

where do budgies come from
Where Do Budgies Come From?

Even if you’ve cared for a Budgie before, you may be curious. 

Where did Budgies come from?
How did Budgies become one of the common pet birds?
How did Budgies get their names?
What kinds of sounds can Budgies make?

What is a Budgie?

The official Budgie designation is Melopsittacus Undulatus. In English, a rough translation is ‘songbird with wavy lines’.

You may have also heard them called by their longer name, Budgerigar, Parakeet, or Shell Parakeet.

Budgies are considered to be exotic birds in the United States because they originated in Australia.

What is a Budgie
What is a Budgie?

Whatever name you choose to use, experts classify Budgies as a breed of small Parrots. They’re known to be one of the smallest parrot breeds in the world. 

Budgie Appearance

Budgie Colors

Budgies come in a variety of different colors but it also varies based on if they are birds in the wild or domesticated.

Wild Budgies Colors

Wild Budgerigars are primarily green with black barring. Other markings include yellow face feathers, with purple or dark blue markings on the cheeks. 

You’re also likely to see budgies in the wild with dark wings and tails, though the wings often have yellow fringes.

Domesticated Budgies Colors

Budgies bred as pets come in a wide variety of colors. Breeders have encouraged several mutations over the years. 

There are 70 color mutations to date, including the all-white variation.

Budgie Colors
Budgie Colors

Special breeding is also responsible for the fluffy crest you can find on some Budgies. Budgie breeders have been enjoying their trade for over a century, leaving you a wide variety of choices in appearance.

Budgie Size

Budgies are small birds. Including the tail, most Budgies don’t exceed 8 inches in length. Their wings usually fall within the 10 to 14-inch range.

Budgies are also fairly light. Full-grown, a Budgie is unlikely to weigh more than a few ounces. If you’re looking for a bird you can hold easily, a Budgie definitely qualifies. 

Exception: The English Budgie

If you want a larger parrot species, the English Budgerigar or English Show Budgie might be an option. They are larger than their American counterparts. 

Also, Show Budgies are often up to twice as large as wild birds or ones you find in pet shops. These birds are also reputed to have fluffier head feathers, for a flashier flyer.

Differences Between Male and Female Budgies

How do you tell if a Budgie is a male or female? Experts on BeautyofBirds say the best indicator is the color of the cere, the fleshy area above the beak.

  • Dark Blue or Purplish for Breeding Males
  • Pink or very Pale Brown for Non-Breeding Males
  • Brown for Breeding Females
  • Beige, White, or Light Blue for Non-Breeding Females

You should be aware that albino Budgies will have different coloration of the cere.

Budgie Lifespan

According to some experts, Budgies generally live 5-10 years. Others say the expected lifespan of a Budgie can be up to 15 years.

The longest recorded lifespan is ~20 years.

Budgie Lifespan
Budgie Lifespan

How Do You Care for a Budgie?

Purchasing the proper Budgie food and equipment is only part of what you need to consider before you welcome your new feathered friend. Here’s what PetMd says your Budgie definitely needs:

Budgie Habitat

Budgies are known to be fairly low maintenance, but there are some things you’ll definitely need before you choose your new companion.

  • Budgie Cage:
    • A cage should, at minimum, have enough room for your Budgie to fully spread its wings without touching the bars.
    • If you have space for a larger cage, you should consider it, to give your Budgie more freedom of movement.
    • Cage should be made of easy to clean materials.
    • Metal cages are often recommended due to sturdiness.
    • Avoid things that might rust, stain, or have an easy-to-chip coating.
  • Perch:
    • Some cages come with a hanging perch already installed.
    • If your cage doesn’t have a perch, you’ll need to set one up.
    • Make sure it’s relatively secure, and comfortable.
    • Perches are important for your Budgie to relax.
  • Cage Lining:
    • Cage linings can be any sort of easy-to-clean or easy-to-dispose of material.
    • Newspapers are a frequent choice, due to the inexpensive nature of it.
    • Experts recommend sand, or sand-covered paper because it better mimics a Budgies natural habitat.
  • Food Dish:
    • A food dish is a crucial component of Budgie care.
    • Experts recommend a small bowl that can clip to the side of your Budgie’s cage.
    • It’s also recommended that it be situated off the cage floor, for your Budgie’s comfort.
    • Experts recommend something sturdy and easy to clean, like a hard plastic container.
  • Water Dish:
    • Some experts say a wide, shallow bowl is good enough.
    • Others say that a covered dish is better, in order to keep the water clean for longer.
    • Water dish should not necessarily be near food dish.
    • Should be checked frequently and refilled as needed.
  • Budgie Toys:
    • Budgies are intelligent birds that need stimulation, so a wide range of toys is recommended.
    • Experts recommend that at least one toy be made of stiff bark or cuttlebone.
      • This gives them something to sharpen and clean their beaks on.
      • Helps them trim their beaks as well.
    • A hiding place is also suggested for your Budgie to play in.
    • Bark or sandy floors give your Budgie something to clean and sharpen it’s talons on.
    • Experts on sites like PetMd recommend against woods like balsa, redwood, cedar or treated pine.
    • Soft ropes and bobbles are considered a good option.
  • Birdbath:
    • Birdbaths are an optional feature.
    • A birdbath can help your Budgie with grooming.
    • Should be a wide shallow container.
  • Grit:
    • Some form of grit is recommended, in a small bowl.
    • According to experts, swallowing a bit of grit will help your Budgie digest its food.
  • Iodine Block:
    • Avian Veterinary practitioners on sites like PBSPetTravel recommend an iodine block to reduce the risks of iodine deficiency.
  • Pet-Safe Detergent:
    • Important for cleaning cage.
    • Use of this will help prevent some illnesses, or things like mites.
    • Also helpful if your Budgie gets injured and you need to clean the wound.

Budgie Diet

When caring for your Budgie, a proper diet is essential. Most experts recommend purchasing pre-made Budgie food from a pet store.

Did You Know? Budgies Love Eating Leafy Greens such as Spinach!

If you’re looking for treats for your Budgie, you can give them small amounts of the following:

  • Seeds – Grass seeds or wheat seeds preferred according to experts
  • Nuts
  • Fresh Fruits or Dehydrated
  • Cooked Brown Rice
  • Honey Sticks – Only give your bird these in moderation as they contain a lot of sugar
  • Millet Spray – This is a unique treat your birds will love

Things you DON’T want to Feed your Budgie include foods like white rice, onions, avocados, wild bird seed, and chocolate.

Budgie Diet
Budgie Diet

How to Keep a Budgie Bird Happy

Budgies are intelligent, social animals. You don’t want your Budgie to get bored or lonely, so you’ll need some ideas to keep them happy. 

Toys can be part of it, but there are other things you can do.

  • A Companion Bird

If you have a busy schedule or spend a lot of time away from home, you might consider getting a second Budgie.

Having a friend will help keep your Budgie from getting lonely while you’re unavailable.

You’ll need more supplies and more room if you choose to go this route, but it can be well worth it.

  • Social Time

Spend time with your Budgie. Budgies can be easily trained to sit in your hand or on a finger. Budgies, especially if you only have one, thrive on contact with their people.

Spend time teaching your Budgie new tricks or words. Budgies can be taught to repeat certain words or actions.

Spending time teaching your Budgie words or tricks is a great way to bond with your bird.

Cautionary Note:

  • If you have young children, be careful to keep your Budgie out of reach. It’s important, as a young child might accidentally injure your Budgie while handling.

    It’s equally likely that your Budgie may accidentally inflict injuries with its beak or talons.

Budgie Health Problems

Budgies sometimes suffer from various health conditions. Some of them can be avoided by supplementing your Budgie’s diet with fruit and vegetables.

This is especially true if you regularly feed them seeds or pellets.

Budgie Health Problems
Budgie Health Problems

Symptoms of Budgie Illness

Listed below are the most common indicators of poor health in a budgie. If you notice any of the following, you may want to make an appointment with an Avian Veterinarian.

  • Watery Droppings
  • Perpetually Fluffed Feathers (Or Excessive Molting)
  • Unusual Lack of Energy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Limping or Keeping One Leg Up
  • Unusual Swellings
  • Scaly Legs or Beak

Budgie Illness Treatments

If your Budgie starts exhibiting symptoms, the best course is to seek expert counsel. However, it doesn’t hurt to know some of the more common ailments your Budgie might suffer from.

Here’s what experts at PetPlace say are the most likely issues to affect your Budgie.

  • Tumors: 

Tumors can happen in a number of areas. Fatty tumors are common in Budgies who don’t have a balanced diet.

  • Goiters:

An enlargement of the thyroid gland. Generally a result of iodine deficiency. This is easy to solve with the introduction of an iodine block.

  • Mites:

The most common are Knemidocoptes Mites. They cause scaly buildup on the feet, legs, and beak. Left untreated, they may cause beak deformities.

  • Liver Disease:

Usually, an issue involving nutrition. Can be solved by alterations to your Budgie’s diet.

  • Psittacine Disease:

This causes deformation of flight and tail feathers. In many cases, there are no flight or tail feathers, resulting in what’s known as ‘creepers’.

  • Megabacteria:

A form of yeast infection. It requires antifungals and professional care for treatment. Untreated it will cause severe chronic weight loss.

While some of these may be easy to fix at home, you want to check with an avian vet to be sure. 

Budgie History

Budgie History
Budgie History
  • Budgies have been popular pets for over a century, ever since the 1840’s.
  • Budgies are actually native to Australia and New Guinea.
  • They were originally discovered by naturalist John Gould, and his brother Charles Coxen.
  • John Gould first introduced the pet Budgie in Europe in 1838.
  • In 1850, this Australian bird was showcased in a display at the Antwerp zoo in Belgium.
  • Budgies became popular in homes of the wealthy, due to their colorful plumage and personality.
  • In 1898, Australia banned exportation of Budgies.
  • Budgie breeding gained popularity in Europe after the ban came into affect, and new mutations became more available.
  • In the 1920’s Budgies were first brought to America.
  • The American Parakeet became popular as a pet in the 1950s.
  • In the 1960s, A Budgie named ‘Sparky Williams’ was introduced to the public with a vocabulary that included multiple rhymes and 360 phrases.

    His vocalizations were later recorded, and over 20,000 copies were sold.
  • In 1995, a Budgie named Puck entered the Guinness World Book of records for largest Vocabulary: 1,728 words

Budgie Sounds

Budgies are well-known as one of the most vocal birds around.  In addition to whistling, Budgies are also one of the few species known for being able to reproduce human speech.

Budgie Sounds
Budgie Sounds

Do Budgie Birds Talk?

Male Budgies are historically noted as being the more vocal of the genders. According to experts, they learn words more easily than females do.

If part of your interest involves teaching your Budgie new words, you may want to take that into consideration.

Your Budgie’s vocabulary will vary according to how much time you spend teaching them. It will also depend on their natural ability and interest.

Most Budgies only learn a few phrases, like their name, or common household phrases.

Some Budgies can be taught simple songs or rhymes. When teaching Budgies to mimic human speech, patience and repetition is the key.

Budgie Noises

Budgies make a wide variety of sounds. Knowing the range can tell you if your Budgie is happy and healthy.

Happy Budgie Sounds

  • Singing 
  • Low contented chirps
  • Beak grinding

Unhappy Budgie Sounds

  • Insistent, harsh chirps
  • Squawking
  • Hissing

Budgies can make many other noises as well. If you’re not certain whether a sound indicates a positive or negative reaction, look at their body language.

Happy Budgies will be relaxed and calm. They may also be playful and teasing.

Upset Budgies may be restless, and prone to flapping their wings or shifting about.

Budgie Names

It is always important to have a great name for your pet! Here is a list of popular Budgie names.

  • Alfie
  • Buddy
  • Daisy
  • Griffin
  • Jade
  • Kiwi
  • Lilly
  • Mango
  • Salt & Pepper (if you have a pair)
  • Violet

Related Budgie Questions

Are Budgies a Good Children’s Pet?

Most experts advise against purchasing a Budgie as a child’s pet. Their small size makes it easy for them to get hurt if they aren’t handled carefully.

How Often Does a Budgie Poop?

Most experts agree that Budgies will relieve themselves every 10-15 minutes. It sounds like a lot, but you need to remember these are very small birds.

Did You Know? Budgies Poop Every 10 Minutes! (or less)

What Are Some Similar Breeds to Budgies?

In terms of size, the closest relatives are Fig Parrots and Asian Hanging Parrots

In terms of Vocalization, the closest breeds are African Gray Parrots and Ring-Necked Parrots.

How Can You Train a Budgie to Talk?

Human interaction is essential. You’ll want to expose them to a lot of conversation, so they can pick up the words. For more focused or specific training, repetition is the key.

How Long Will it Take For a Budgie to Learn to Talk?

It depends on the individual bird and the amount of time you spend with them. Experts say, however, that it can be several weeks or a few months.

Famous Budgies

There once was a Budgie named Sparkie Williams that could speak 500 different words!

Famous Budgies
Famous Budgies

Are Budgies Flock Birds?

Yes, wild Budgies are flock birds ranging from just a few to over a hundred in the group.

Can You Keep a Single Budgie as a Pet?

Budgies are social birds and are much happier in pairs than being alone so we suggest two.

How Much Does a Budgie Cost?

You can usually buy a Budgie bird for $20 to $30 at most pet stores.

Are Budgies Good Pets?

Yes, Budgies make good pets for the right person. In fact, they are one of the most popular pets in the world.

Are Budgies Bad Pets?

Some will tell you that Budgies do not make good pets for several reasons. Here is a short list.

  • Budgies are known to chirp loudly on a regular basis. Some make noise all day.
  • Budgies do not like being alone. If you only have one, they will require lots of attention.
  • Budgies can be messy. They poop every 10 minutes or so.
  • Budgies tend to get sick easily.
  • Even though Budgies are cheap to buy they do cost a good amount of money to maintain.
  • Budgies are known to chew up things in your house.
  • Budgies are prey animals. Be careful with them around other pets.


If you’re considering a Budgie as a pet, you’ll have a cheerful presence in your home for years to come. Many people underestimate the value of these highly social birds.

Budgies can be great pets, providing you with lots of entertainment and joy. Experts agree that they can be an excellent companion pet, for all levels of expertise.

Budgie Bird

Similar Posts