Two white and blue budgie parakeets sharing a perch.

How to take care of a budgerigar parakeet.

How to take care of a budgerigar parakeet.

Before we get into the how’s of parakeets. We need to cover what a parakeet is, and is not, and that parakeets and budgies are the same taxonomy. In the US these parrots are most commonly referred to as parakeets. The rest of the world calls them budgerigars or budgies. If you are into splitting hairs or feathers, it’s best to refer to these small gems of the parrot world as budgies. Parakeet is a common term that includes other hookbills like the Indian Ringneck parakeet, the Monk parakeet, the Plain parakeet, the Green parakeet, the Grass parakeet, the Moustache parakeet, and the Barred parakeet. To name a few. Hookbill birds are parrots. Budgies are parrots. The real question is, how do I take care of my parrot, who is a budgie parakeet?

Closeup photo of a green and yellow budgie parakeet.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

Budgie questions that need an answer first:

  1. Can my budgie parakeet eat fruits and vegetables? Absolutely. They are flocking ground foragers. Your budgie will naturally seek the bottom of their cage in search of things. To serve a budgie parakeet well is to serve meals on their cage floor. A 10-inch glass pie plate is a phenomenal item. Fill it with chopped fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, parrot pellets, small toys, timothy hay tops, fresh grass. Budgies love busy work! An unemployed budgie is a bored parakeet. Let their floor foraging bowl be full of fresh surprises often. It will be the best place to introduce new food ideas as well.
  2. Can my budgie parakeet take a bath? Yes! There is no end to the ideas and ways to offer a fresh bath to a budgie parakeet. Pie plates, Tupperware bowls, parakeet specific bathtubs that attach to their cage like this or this. Budgies love water. Add fresh cut herbs and flower tops to the water. A veritable rubber duck to a budgie bath. Offer bathing options often. Feather health is the frontline to a parrot’s overall health. If you’ve got a water bowl bather, don’t fight their tendency. It’s a thing in the wild. A parrot is messy if a parrot is happy.
  3. Should you have more than one budgie parakeet? A pair is better than a single budgie for their mental health. Particularly if you will be gone all day for work. Budgies flourish when they have a roommate.
  4. Do budgie parakeets talk? Some do. Some don’t. All parrots have the capability, but all have their own opinion on the matter. Whether a parrot can speak is irrelevant. It’s only important that you communicate with them. If you’re thinking about bringing home a budgie so they will talk like one you saw on YouTube. Stop. Stick to watching videos. The parrot will lose in that situation.
  5. Are budgie parakeets a good starter bird? There is no such thing as a starter bird. All parrots are messy, expensive, demanding, intelligent, needy, loud, opinionated, and emotional. You are not getting a pet; you are choosing a companion lifestyle that requires a relationship to succeed.
  6. How long do budgie parakeets live? Up to 25 years-ish. A bird’s lifespan is affected by their DNA, care, food, water sources, environmental cleanliness, happiness, stress, and your choices for them. They are sensitive to air quality. Bringing a parrot home means getting rid of all things smelly and spray. Candles. PlugIns, aerosol sprays, and bug control spray. Remember, if you can smell it, it is in your lungs. Parrots have lungs and air sacs that hold oxygen inside longer than a human’s respiratory system. They require clean air.
  7. Do budgies like music? Parrots love a good beat for the feet.
  8. Should I cover my budgie’s cage at night? That is up to your budgie. Every parrot is different about their cage being covered. My first budgie didn’t like it at all. I was 9-years old when Charlie showed me the first night. He tugged and pulled and yanked on his cover (a small scarf) until it fell to the floor. Which made me believe in ghosts for three days. But that’s another story.
  9. How big a cage should I have for my budgie? As big as you can afford and fit. Bar spacing should be close enough so that your bird cannot stick their head between. Choosing a cage relies on their being able to flap their wings with ease, after all their toys, perches, and bowls are inside and attached. Air space is everything.

Caring for a budgie is caring for a parrot. All parrots need the same basics. But not all parrots want the same things because of their size and instinct. That’s where splitting a hair and feather helps. Although I have to admit my macaw, Butters, prefers budgie toys to macaw toys.

Budgie taking a shower under a sink faucet while perched on her owner's hand.

Every single parrot is a single personality. You may bring home a precious little budgie, but she thinks she is a magnificent eagle with a grand destiny to fulfill. Try to keep up.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Comments

  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I have had budgies for many years, and believe they are severely underestimated. I was happiest when I had eighteen in my apartment, and they had many ropes and perches hanging from the ceiling to play on. Apart from night time, they were free to fly about, and then they would go one by one into their large cage and wait for me to cover them. I always made sure they had fresh seeds, pellets, fresh greens, (mostly carrot greens and pea shoots) , cooked brown rice, quinoa, and fresh vegetables sprinkled with chia seeds and hemp seeds. Most lived until they were well into their teens, happy and lively!

    Virginia Phillips on

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