The budgies or the common budgerigar, also known as the common waderbird, is the seed-eating parrots usually nicknamed the smudge bird, or in American English, budgies. Budgies are probably the oldest species in the family Melopsittacus with the exception of a few. Budgies belong to the Order Macrocaryon which also includes such familiar birds as the yellow-headed parrot and the purple parrot. Budgies come in many different colors but common to most are black and red, orange, white, yellow, green, and blue.
Like most parrots, budgies have short wings, stout bodies, a pointed beak, and short tails. The tail, however, can be quite long in some species. It helps budgies balance and reach heights that would be otherwise impossible for a bird of its size and physical characteristics. Generally speaking, budgies resemble the swallow in terms of their general plumage, except for the red-headed variety which can appear orange-red.
Budgies originated in Australia, but due to introduced birds getting to Australia too quickly, they have now spread all over the world, except for the Antarctica where they are thought to be rare. The most common bird in captivity in Australia, other than budgies, is the yellow-faced parakeet or cassia, sometimes referred to by some parakeets as the cassiope. It’s also the most popular and well-known bird in Australia, parrots in general being called parrots. Its close relative, the black cook, is known to be indigenous to Australia as well.
Unlike most birds, budgies are rarely seen, although they are frequently invited into bird houses and given food by the owners. One bird that is particularly fond of budgies is the purple Martin which is commonly called “the little purple bird”. The male budgies are small in size, ranging from five to seven inches in length, with males reaching one and a half to two feet in length. They have dark brown heads with some of them bearing tiny feathers while the females are white with various markings on them.
It was in the late 1800s that an American ornithologist named George Shaw made a remarkable discovery concerning the breeding of budgies. It was found that when he mixed the male with female Australian shepherds, called pinky budgies, in large amounts, it led to a high rate of reproduction. This was soon after Shaw’s experience of breeding Australian larks with the Black Australian devil, which led him to conclude that these two birds are one and the same. In addition to this, it was also revealed that the black-headed budgies were the first recorded breeding pair in Australia. Since then, numerous other birds such as the masked bunting, white-throated titmouse, common swans, white-tipped flies, black-chinned hummingbirds, goldfinches, and kookaburras have also been documented to be breeding with Australian shepherds.
Today, budgies have become extremely popular pets all over the world, even gaining popularity in some parts of the United States. There are many budgies breeders who can be found online, in breeding catalogs, or at local zoos. budgies also tend to do well in captivity and can live up to 15 years if properly cared for. In captivity, they do well with a variety of living conditions, such as concrete perching boxes, ceramic jars, aquariums, aviary, hanging nets, bowls with water, hanging cages with gravel or wood chips to provide surface traction, and trees. Budgies have even been known to dig a little.