Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Opposites do not attract

Photo ©
I found an interesting article online about mate choice among budgerigars. After reading this, it became clear that budgies often choose a mate that they can relate to. Just think of when you fall in love with someone, and suddenly he or she tells you about the great concert of last week. It happens to be your favourite band too! You admire the person even more. Having something in common like this, creates a bond. This is exactly the way it goes with budgies - although it's just one factor in the mate choice - they want a mate to share their song with - the song of their life.

Opposites do not attract

"Research conducted recently at University of California has revealed that female budgerigars choose a mate whose contact calls closely resemble their own. Males, in turn, also pay more attention to similarly-sounding mates than to females whose calls differ from theirs, grooming them often and defending them vigorously. When paired with such females, male budgerigars also devote substantially more time to the care of their young. This extra care translates into an increased rate of growth and survival for the nestlings."

 We sing the same song
"It has long been known that male budgerigars imitate the calls of their mates, and that doing so seems to strengthen the bond between the pair. Budgerigars have highly variable contact calls, more so than many other parrots. This may help the pair to maintain contact and to thwart competition within the huge flocks that parakeets typically form. The current research is the first to show that female mate choice is influenced by the initial sound of the male’s contact call, before he has begun to imitate her sounds.
Although budgerigars breed readily for pet keepers, this information may have important implications for hobbyists and zoos working with rare parrots that do not reproduce reliably in captivity."

Article information © thatbirdblog/


  1. This reminds me - we should take our budgies along to a Budgieman concert some time ;)

  2. Good to know, since Chubbs is now (finally) comfortable in her home, and I'm about ready to bring home a 'friend' for her. I'll have to listen for a little boy who sounds like her :)

  3. Sounds great ^_^ Budgies are always happier with other budgies around, no matter what!

    This is also an interesting factor in mate choice among budgies. I was really surprised when I read it:

  4. Um...
    When Buttercup came home, she had a completely different call form Tiger...
    a year later, 6 eggs?