Photo by PuppiesAreProzac
Budgerigars - Species Profile:
Origin: Central and Southern Australia
General descriptionBudgerigars, also known as budgies, are small pet birds whose length from the beak to the tip of the tail is about 8 inches. Budgies come from grasslands and woods of central and southern Australia. In the wild, these birds are usually striped green and yellow with dark green (almost black) flight feathers. Selective breeding has produced budgies of almost every colour of the rainbow; more and more colourations appear every day.
The sex of Budgerigars can be determined by the bird's colouration. This quality is known as dimorphism. Mature males develop bluish-purple ceres, whereas mature females have tan or brown ceres (the cere is the top part of the beak where the bird's nostrils, also known as nares, are located).
The average life span is 7 to 9 years, although some individuals have lived up to 20 years and more.
TemperamentIn spite of their small size, Budgies are big on brains and personality. Many have been taught to whistle tunes and talk, and are just as intelligent as some larger bird species. Budgies are very lively; they love to play and explore everything around them. They enjoy every minute spent with their humans, but they can also be quite independent, which makes them really good pets for novice bird owners. Given enough daily attention, budgies can live a happy life as a sole pet. However, any bird is a flock animal, so it's still recommended to buy and keep at least a couple of budgies: they won't feel lonely and bored when you're not around.
Health and nutritionBecause of their active nature, budgies need daily exercise to stay fit and healthy. If your birds live in a small cage, they should be allowed out for at least two hours every day in order to explore and stretch their wings. Make sure the area in which you let them out is secure.
While there is a variety of commercial seed diets for budgies, those alone are not considered proper nutrition. It's recommended that budgerigars are fed extruded pellets. They contain important vitamins and nutrients, and can be fortified with additional supplements. Budgies should also be given fresh fruits and vegetables such as apples, grapes, and leafy greens.
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