8 Budgerigar Facts: What to Know About the Budgerigar

By PetMD Editorial. Reviewed by Melissa Witherell, DVM on Feb. 25, 2024
Budgerigar playing with toy

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In This Article

What Are Budgies?

What Are Budgies?

Budgerigars, also known as parakeets or “budgies,” are the most popular type of parakeet. They tend to be very friendly, talkative birds. There are about 115 different types of budgies, all seed-eating parrots of small size and slender build.

Budgerigars are about 7.5 inches long and come in hundreds of brilliant shades of greens and yellows. These birds tend to have a shorter lifespan than some other parrot species, generally living between 6–12 years.

8 Facts About the Budgerigar

1. Budgerigars Eat a Varied Diet

Budgerigars need a varied diet that includes:

  • Formulated pellets

  • Fresh vegetables and fruits

  • Seeds provided as only an occasional treat

Most avian veterinarians recommend that formulated pellets make up about 70% of the diet. The rest of the budgerigar diet may come from:

  • Fresh or frozen vegetables

  • Fresh or frozen fruits and grains

  • Small amounts of other protein sources, such as cooked egg or meat (served as a treat only—consult with your veterinarian on best protein sources for your unique pet)

While seed may be a favorite food among budgerigars, an exclusive, seed-only diet is not recommended. Seeds are deficient in nearly all vital nutrients.

2. Budgerigars Need Regular Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary check-ups with a bird-savvy veterinarian are vital. Budgerigars can experience a variety of medical problems, including:

  • Traumatic injuries to limbs or beaks from scuffles with other animals

  • Obesity

  • Liver disease

  • Gastrointestinal parasites

  • Other infections

Birds commonly mask signs of illness for as long as possible, so an annual or bi-annual veterinary exam is important to help detect problems early and establish a normal baseline for the bird. Consider annual blood work and fecal analysis to screen for underlying health issues. 

3. Budgerigars Can Talk

Budgerigars can develop surprising vocabularies. Depending on the individual bird and the amount of training they receive, budgerigars are capable of learning dozens words in different languages.

4. Budgerigars Love to Fly

Whether or not you allow your budgerigar to fly freely in your home depends on your living situation. While it is nice to enable your pet bird to fly as they do in the wild, pet parents should make sure their home is safe for flying. Look out for dangers to a budgerigar including:

  • Other pets in the house

  • Windows

  • Mirrors

  • Ceiling fans

  • Open doors

Flying may not be practical for all budgerigars, and wing clipping—or trimming the five outermost flight feather to prevent lift—may be the more prudent choice. Consult your veterinarian with any questions about free-flying or wing clipping.

5. Budgerigars Like to Be Warm

Generally, budgerigars are found in warm regions around the world. These birds prefer temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s F (particularly in areas of Australia, where they form large flocks in the grasslands).

Budgerigars love warmer temperatures in your home as well. The use of a ceramic heat lamp is recommended if your home is particularly cool in the winter.

Budgerigars will also enjoy supervised time out in natural sunlight (in a cage for their protection) whenever possible. Ultraviolet (UV) light is critical to enabling birds to make vitamin D in their skin, which then enables them to absorb calcium from their food. Supplemental UV lights can also be used.

6. Budgerigars “Shower”

Budgerigars should be allowed to “shower” with water daily (or a minimum of twice per week) for optimal feather and skin health. 

Pet parents can help their budgerigars shower by providing a small water dish and gentry misting them with warm water from a clean spray bottle.

7. Budgerigars Play with Toys

Budgerigars usually enjoy a wide variety of bird toys, including:

8. Budgerigars Make Excellent Companions

Budgerigars are smart, silly, and tend to bond closely to their pet parents if they are handled consistently. It is important to move slowly at first to establish a trust-based relationship. Once a budgerigar accepts you, they love to spend time with you.

Budgerigar FAQs

Are budgies parrots?

Yes, budgerigars are small hookbill parrots.

What's the difference between parakeets vs. budgies?

Budgerigars are also known as parakeets; the two are the same.

Are budgies loud?

Budgerigars are not as loud as many other parrot species but still like to talk and chirp.

What are the different types of budgies?

Budgerigars come in many different colors and patterns, including:

  • Albino

  • Blue

  • Cinnamon-ino (lacewing)

  • Clearwing

  • Crested

  • Dark

  • Dilute (suffused)

  • Greywing

  • Opaline

  • Pied

  • Spangled

  • Violet

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