Sunday, October 17, 2010

Australia: Homeland of Budgies (4)

In the wild, budgies build their nests in cavities and hollow tree trunks. They do this because the closed-in space makes them feel safe.
Domesticated budgies will also feel safer if you help them make a nest instead of giving them nest boxes.

Wild budgies prefer the branches and trunks of Eucalyptus trees to build their nests in. In these Eucalyptus trees, there are cavities in various sizes. The budgies will pick out the small cavities and make it their home, while larger birds like cockatiels will occupy the larger cavities.

This budgie is already excited to become a dad!

To find the perfect nesting areas, they have to find water. They aren't always lucky - sometimes their feeding grounds are 50 km away from the nesting areas.
The ideal place is of course a river bank: there's bound to be food and water around!

A creek is also a dream-home for a budgie: creeks are small streams, often shallow so the budgerigars can easily drink from it. And they love bathing! On top of that, it's probably bursting with food supplies during and after the rain season.

After the rain has come, budgies finally get ready to start a family of their own. They have to take advantage of the sudden big food supply, while it still lasts. The Australian Outback is known to be very hot and very dry and it often gives the budgies a hard time.
Each pair of budgies looks for a nice-looking little cavity in a hollow tree or log. The mother budgie lays four to six eggs and has to keep them warm for nearly three weeks.

In case the breeding cavity is too small, the female budgie can make more room with aid of her beak. Female budgies indeed have a harder bite than male budgies, because evolution made their jaw muscles stronger. So beware!

Father budgie isn't allowed to take a good look at the nest yet; his only task consists of bringing food to his mate and guarding the territory.
Once the baby budgies hatch, they're completely helpless, and remain that way for the next three weeks. When they start growing feathers, the father is allowed into the nest and helps to take care of his babies, so mother budgie can have a break every now and again.
Just a few weeks later, and the baby budgies are ready to spread their wings and join the big flock in their adventure of life. If the conditions are right - if there's still enough food and water around - Mom and Dad might start a new family right away.

The fact that budgies are colonial birds is yet another survival technique. When times are good, you can often see budgie couples bring up their babies at the same time, in the same eucalyptus trees. Nesting in colonies, as it's called, is an effective way to guarantee a maximum safety for each flock member. Many birds have a lot of eyes, and they're constantly watching the nesting grounds and the area surrounding it.

Budgies have different dialects that differ from flock to flock, but they will always understand each other when it comes to surviving. It is a certainty that budgerigars have a unified language, wherever they may come from. Otherwise they wouldn't be able to warn each other in case of danger. It goes as far as that budgies can even communicate certain information to other conspecifics (birds belonging to the same species). When there is danger, everyone needs to know.

Information and images (c);;;;


  1. Wow!

    Do you know why budgies evolved stronger jaws in females?

  2. because they carve out the nesting holes, I think ;)

    Love you baby <3