Budgie parakeets

Budgie parakeets

Budgie parakeetsDuring the past fifteen to twenty years the budgerigar has become so universally popular that a detailed description of this small Australian parrakeet would seem unnecessary.

It will suffice to mention that the bird measures some seven and a half to eight inches in length, two-fifths of this length being accounted for by a relatively long tail.

In colour the original bird was green, but through breeding in captivity many different colours have been evolved, and we now have colours ranging from the original green to blue, cobalt, bright yellow, violet, grey, cinnamon to purest white.

It is understandable that with this wide colour range the bird should become a popular favourite, but colour is not the only feature which makes the budgerigar THE most attractive cage bird. The little bird carries, in addition to its wonderful body colours, distinctive markings in the region of its face and in its wing plumage.

The "face" of the budgerigar is clear, rich yellow and right in the middle is the beak which, unlike that of a parrot or lovebird, is tidily tucked into the face and does not break the profile as does the beak of the parrot; the lower portion of the yellow face (commonly referred to as the "mask," since it looks just like a yellow mask covering the face) is termed the "bib" and along the lower border of the "bib" is a row of jet black spots; these, on the yellow ground and distinctive and found only on a budgerigar.

The wing plumage is generally black, but each feather is edged with a narrow border of yellow; this gives the plumage a scalloped effect which is really beautiful.

Just above the beak is a fleshy pad with two small apertures. The pad is termed the "cere" and the two openings are the nostrils. In young birds the ceres of the sexes are practically identical, but, as the birds mature and adopt the adult plumage and markings described, the cere in the case of the cock turns bright blue, whilst that of the hen becomes a rich brown. There is no difficulty in sexing adult birds but in the case of young birds just out of the nest, it is frequently very difficult to state with any accuracy which bird is a cock and which is a hen.

It is quite easy, however, to distinguish a young bird under five months old from an adult. The picture shown alongside gives the head of a young bird not more than five months old. Note the barred forehead, these come down almost to the nostrils, and again the eyes of the young bird are much blacker and would appear even larger than the adult birds shown below. This is due to the absence of the white ring round the pupil which does not develop until the bird has reached adult plumage at five to six months old.

The mannerisms of the budgerigar are yet another of its attractions; it is lively, active in climbing and in flight, rather playful once it has gained confidence and has lost fear of humans. It is easily catered for, robust and longlived.

Surely this is the ideal pet for everyone; it is easy to induce the budgerigar to reproduce its kind in cage or aviary and thus it is the ideal bird for the beginner in the hobby of bird breeding.