Sunday, December 19, 2010

Budgie blog on Christmas Holiday!

There won't be any posting during the next two weeks, because it's time for Bika's Christmas Holidays :)

The next post will be somewhere between January 5th - January 9th. I am going to tell you the story of one of the most amazing budgies that ever lived. Can you guess who that is?

I want to wish all budgie friends a merry Christmas and a very happy 2011!

PS I also want Erlend for Christmas ;) <3

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A day in the life of a wild budgerigar

A nice summary of the behaviour of wild budgerigars, from the Encyclopedia of Life:

"Budgerigars aggregate into large flocks and are strongly social. Their grouping allows for greater success in feeding and also helps in protection from predators. There does not seem to be any hierarchy in groups based upon the relatively few battles among individuals, but females are generally more aggressive than males.

Their activity, like most birds, begins just before sunrise with preening, singing, and movement within trees. After sunrise, the birds fly to the foraging area and feed throughout the day. They do not forage during midday or in extremely hot weather, instead they take shelter under shade and remain motionless. At the end of the day, they congregate by calling loudly and flying at high speeds around the trees. They then return to their roosting site just after sunset and remain at rest until the next morning (Kavanau, 1987)."

Image (c) Karenstock on Flickr

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

100 x budgies

To celebrate my 100th post, I gathered some more epic/funny budgie pictures:

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Budgerigar Quote

In The Birds of Jamaica: Being a History of the Bird, Its Structure, and Habits by Philip Henry Gosse, Alfred Edmund Brehm, Richard Hill (1874), there is a nice quote that describes the sweetness of budgerigars well:

"The male and female grass Parakeet (Melopsittacus undulatus) chirp together and caress each other in the prettiest way imaginable."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Economic Importance for Humans

Budgerigars are both seen as a benefit and a possible threat to humans.

Negative: a budgerigar flock can consume a large number of seeds at the same time and that concerns farmers.

Positive: budgerigars are the most known pet bird in the world. There are about 5,000,000 budgerigars in the world, allowing scientists to study them well. In fact, more is known of the budgerigars' biology than of any other parrot.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Vegetable Poll

A healthy, balanced diet is good for everyone, also for budgies.

Today I put up a poll, to remind all budgie owners in the world to give their budgies at least one vegetable a day, and to find out which vegetable your budgie likes best. You can find the poll on the top right of my blog.

Can you help me?

TIP: if your budgie doesn't want to eat his vegetables, you can mix it with the seeds. YUM!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Budgie" in different languages

We all know our little feathered friends by the common names budgerigar, budgie, grass parakeet, shell parakeet or just keet.

Do you know how people call budgerigars in other parts of the world?


Alemannic German: Wällesittich

Arabic: الطائر الطيب

Basque: Perikito

Belarusian: Хвалісты папугай

Bulgarian: Вълнист папагал

Catalan: Periquito

Chinese: 虎皮鸚鵡

Croatian: Tigrica

Czech: Andulka vlnkovaná

Dansk: Undulat

Dutch: Grasparkiet

Finnish: Undulaatti

Flemish: Grasparkiet

French: Perruche Ondulée

German: Wellensittich

Hebrew: תוכון

Hungarian: Hullámos papagáj

Ido: Perucho

Italian: Melopsittacus

Japanese: セキセイインコ
Korean: 사랑앵무

Lithuanian: Banguotoji papūgėlė
Navajo Language: Tsídii yáłtiʼí yázhí

Norwegian: Undulat

Persian: مرغ عشق

Polish: Papużka falista

Portuguese: Periquito-australiano

Romanian: Peruş

Russian: Волнистый попугайчик

Sami Language: Unduláhtta

Scottish Gaelic: Buidsidh

Slovak: Papagájec/Andulka

Slovenian: Papagájec

Swedish: Undulat

Tagalog: Melopsittacus Undulatus / Budgerigar

Telugu: మెలోప్సిట్టాసిని
Turkish: Muhabbet kuşu

Ukrainian: Хвилястий папужка

Urdu: بجریگر

If you know their name in even more languages, please let me know! Thanks!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Can budgerigars and cockatiels live together?

As a general rule, people advise not to mix any parrot species at all, due to various reasons.

The majority of people who've had both cockatiels and budgies in the same aviary, say the following things (based on personal experience) :
  • Cockatiels have a different diet and need more space than budgies
  • Budgies would play with the cockatiel, while cockatiels prefer to be left alone (this may result in a fight)
  • A weak or breeding bird of one species will be teased by the birds of the other species
  • Any conflict between a cockatiel and a budgie is in the budgie's disadvantage, since cockatiels are bigger and generally more aggressive (one example is the horror story of a cockatiel who bit off a budgie's foot during a fight)
So it's probably not a good idea. Of course, each bird has its own personality and some are more peaceful and tolerant than others. If you want to take the risk to keep budgerigars and cockatiels together, you should introduce them slowly to each other on neutral ground. This way, none of the birds will see each other as an intruder and start a fight. Keep them in apart cages and take them out together so that they can play and become friends. When everything goes well, you could risk putting them together, as long as you make sure there is plenty of space in the cage. When they fight, you will have to keep them apart because they might not stop and hurt each other. But it's not all bad news. Some people had a budgie and a cockatiel. The cockatiel loved to preen the budgie and talked to it a lot. He even taught the budgie to sing a little. So it really depends on the personality of the bird, and how careful you are as an owner.

Other posts in this series:
Can budgerigars and lovebirds live together?
Can budgerigars and canaries live together?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dancing Budgie

The title says it all ;)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Budgerigar Health

You always have to keep a close eye on your budgie's health. Be sure to weigh him regularly, as weight loss is one of the easiest ways to find out your budgie is sick.

It's very important that your budgie has a balanced and healthy diet of seed, fruit and vegetables and pellets (without preservatives, artificial flavourings, added sugars or colorings).
Budgerigars need plenty of time out of their cage in order to stay healthy and fit. Many budgies don't grow older than 5 or 10 years because most people give the wrong diet to their budgies, or keep them locked up in their cage.

How to recognize a healthy budgie?

A healthy budgie has bright clear eyes, a slim acrobatic shape and strong shiny bright feathers.
Healthy budgies also have a shiny beak (non-flaky or crusty cere). Another good sign is when they're very lively and enthusiastic and fly about all day long, chattering happily.

How to recognize a sick budgie?

If your budgie sits huddled up on the floor, you can be sure he is ill. Or when he just sits on the perch with his eyes closed, using both his feet to rest. It's always better to take your budgie to the avian vet quickly in that case, although they don't always know the answer. My mum was told once that one of our budgies had cancer and that he wouldn't last longer than 2 weeks. Today it's almost one year later, and he is the healthiest budgie of the whole flock!

Other symptoms:

  • poop change, runny/lack of droppings
  • poop stuck to vent
  • decrease talking/activity
  • picking/plucking at feathers (not regular preening)
  • feathers dirty/stuck together/ratty
  • discharge from eyes/nose/beak
  • abnormal breathing
  • dull/swollen/runny/cloudy eyes
  • falling off perch
  • hunched over
  • lumps/bumps/sores or swelling
  • weight loss
  • not eating
  • weak/fluffed up
  • tail bobbing
  • bleeding
  • convulsing
  • runny/inflamed cere
  • vomiting (not the regurgitation they do as part of bonding)
Symptom list (c)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wing Clipping

Do you want to be your budgie's friend? Do you want to be there for him, comfort him and gain his trust, so he can be sure that he is in safe hands?

I suppose the answer is yes, otherwise you wouldn't decide on buying a budgerigar.

Some people like to clip their budgie's wings. Their main reasons are so that the budgie can't escape or hurt itself while flying in the room. There are also stories of budgies with an "agressive" behaviour that get a lot calmer after their wings are trimmed. Some other people just like to clip their budgie's wings because they want their budgies to be tame. That's the "easy way", you know.

My answer to this is very simple: you can avoid all this trouble without even touching their wings.

Budgies are airborne creatures that need to fly around every day. But you can't let them escape out into the wilderness where they will only perish. So you must let them do it indoors.

Here you can find a checklist to make sure the rooms are clear of hazards when your budgie wants to fly around inside. Don't come up with lousy excuses like "I don't want my budgie to get hurt so I have to keep him in the cage", just clear a safe path for him. If you don't allow your budgie to fly around freely, you're not suited to be a budgie owner.

If you have an "aggressive" budgie, don't just brutally clip his/her wings but try to get to the source of the problem. The budgie may be stressed, or jealous (e.g. when you're keeping two females and one male). Or maybe they're living in a space that is too small? After you find out what the problem is, get to the solution. Remove the element that causes the budgie to be stressed (this could be an annoying noise like a barking dog, the rattling of a child toy, the buzzing of a lawn mower) or just move your budgie to a quiet room. In the case of jealousity, you can temporarily keep the two females apart until they both calmed down. Of course, when you clip their wings, they calm down because they're too scared to make a wrong manoeuvre and fall down without being able to fly back up again. Wouldn't you be?

Besides, there are very few to no conflicts between budgerigars. They love playing and they might go as far as playfighting, but they would never injure each other. When it comes to breeding, they might be a bit more aggressive. But then again, it usually doesn't go any further than a single peck that serves as a warning.

If you want to tame your budgie, you have to do it kindly. Clipping their wings is not kind at all. There's not only a high risk of hurting them, but you're also horrifying your budgie while you are doing it. For the rest of your life, he will regard you as the monster who stole his wings so that he cannot be a real budgerigar anymore. Real budgerigars need to fly.
With doing it kindly, I mean that you have to gain his trust. Whisper soft words to him, feed him little tidbits of food, just talk to him and tell him you're there for him and care about him. After a while, he will come to you automatically and offer you his friendship in return for your kindness.

Do you want to know why I'm writing this? Today, my mum bought a young dark green budgie in the local pet store. The little budgie is not even eight months old. When I saw him, I immediately saw the horrible thing they had done with his right wing. His breeder has cut HALF of his wing off. It looked so ugly that I was amazed that the budgie had survived it. If you still want to have your budgie's wings trimmed - consider all of the above facts first. The budgie that my mum brought in today is not able to fly and flutters around like a drunk hurricane. This can be just as dangerous as letting a budgie fly around in the room - and much harder to avoid accidents.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Budgie Body Language (3)

Despite their enthusiastic and lively nature, budgies can be shy too. When you're making a budgie shy, you will notice how he suddenly looks the other way, a little confused. He might start preening his feathers, scratch himself or peck at some random grains. Amazing how much this resembles our human body language!

Other posts in this series:
Body Language of a sleeping budgie
Body Language of a preening budgie (Budgie Body Language 1)
Budgie Body Language (2)

Budgie Body Language (4)

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Here's another funny budgerigar comic (click on image to enlarge) :

I actually really enjoy listening to singing budgerigars :) they make me happy.

Comic by a certain Matthew a.k.a. "meta"