Budgerigar (Budgie)

(Melopsittacus undulatus)

Habitat and Distribution: Found in scrublands, grasslands, and open woodlands throughout most of Australia, except for the far southwest, Tasmania and the majority of the east coast.
               

Size: 7-8 inches long; 30-40 grams

Wild Diet: Primarily seeds (from spinifex, porcupine grass, saltbush, other grass weeds, and sometimes ripening wheat); also grains and nuts

Predators: Snakes, raptors, domestic cats and dogs

Reproduction: Budgies are monogamous and breed in large colonies. Breeding can take place year-round (June-September in northern Australia and August-January in the south). They nest in fence posts, logs, and eucalyptus trees. Females lay 4-6 eggs that are incubated for 18-21 days. The young fledge about 30 days after hatching.

Behavior: Budgies are highly social and do most of their foraging in the morning. They are normally found in small flocks, but can form very large flocks (up to 25,000) under favorable conditions. Flock movement is tied to food and water availability; for example, drought can drive flocks into more wooded habitat or coastal areas. Pet budgies (usually males) can mimic human speech and other sounds they hear regularly.

Conservation

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Budgies are widespread throughout a large range and face no major threats. Their worldwide population has facilitated extensive research; more is known of their biology than of any other parrot.

Did you know?

  • The colors of a budgie’s plumage appear much brighter under ultraviolet light.
  • The cere is blue in males and ranges from pale brown to white in females.