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September- The Budgie
Posted:9/1/2008 12:00:00 AM

The BUDGERIGAR a.k.a. Budgie and or Parakeet is originally from Australia. To this day they can be seen in large flocks flying free and adding color to the landscape. The 'wild' Budgie only comes in a green color....the blues, white, yellows, etc., are considered mutations and occur due 'hobby breeders' which breed their Budgies for beauty and color.

In the wild, the Budgie only breeds in the rainy season and nests in hollow trees or on tree limbs. Because of their great numbers, they can deplete crops of grain which does not at all endear them to the farmers in Australia.

Australia banned the export of Budgies in 1894. Because of this ban, the Europeans had to breed their pets to continue having Budgies available for other potential owners. In the late 1920s, fortunately, the Budgie found its way to the United States. It was around the 1950s that they found their way into the Five and Dime Stores and became the most popular bird in the world.

Budgies are between 6 and 7 inches long and come in an assortment of colors and patterns. There are over 70 mutations to date with more being developed each year.

Budgies are sexually dimorphic, so it is easy to tell male or female by sight....but not until they are sexually mature which occurs at about 6 to 8 months of age. The adult male's cere ......the part directly above the beak....is usually blue and the female's cere is usually pink or a fleshy brown color. Telling the sex of babies younger than this is simply an educated guess.

English Budgies differ from American Budgies in several ways. English Budgies were bred for show and exhibition while American Budgies were bred to be pets. The true English Budgie are usually 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 inches long, quite rotund and a tad more 'laid back' or docile than its American counterpart. They also have a beautiful black 'necklace' around their necks.

Budgies make wonderful pets. They love to be included in their 'human' flock. Too many times they fall victims to young children's unsupervised roughness. They have a small beak but can nip extremely hard and can cause pain and minor injury to small fingers. They can be taught to talk and whistle quite well. The males are generally the better talkers but the females can be taught a few words and whistles.

The Budgie can live for 7 to 15 years but most don't make it past 5 years due to lack of nutrition, accidents and mistreatment. These little guys are sometimes seen as 'throw away' pets because of their small size, abundance and minimal cost. This is so very unfortunate. The little Budgies are also prone to obesity, fatty tumors and liver problems due to poor nutrition. Seed and millet are not enough to maintain optimum health. They need vegetables, fruits, cooked rice, pasta, eggs, etc., to balance out their diet.

Cage size is also an issue....because the bird is so inexpensive, many owners do not want to spend the money necessary to provide a roomy place for the pet to live and thrive. If the pet is going to live in a cage too small and become cramped and unhappy then maybe the potential owner needs to reconsider purchasing the little feathered pet in the first place.

Toys are as important as cage size.....imagine sitting in a room with nothing to do....no phones, t.v., radio, computer, books, magazines, nothing....think about how happy and content you would be. I get frustrated going to the Doctor's office and reading the same magazines I read the visit before!

No mirrors...you do not want the bird to bond with the image in the mirror....you want them to bond with you. Little dangly toys and small wooden toys are perfect for your pet. Change them often and check them for safety weekly. Because they can get a bit 'porky,' provide swings and toys for them to climb about. They require exercise...not flying around yourhouse, but climbing and swinging. Keep their wings trimmed....it is much safer than having them 'hit' the front window or flying out an open door.

These little colorful bundles make as wonderful a pet as the larger birds. They will love you unconditionally and provide years of fun and companionship with a good diet, clean environment, human interaction, plenty of stimulation with safe toys and a loving human family.

Have a peaceful month,
anne

 


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