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Budgie Parakeet Questions & Answers (FAQ)

What is a budgie parakeet’s personality like?

parakeets as childrens pets We’ve fallen head over heels for one of the best pets for city living, and I should know because I’ve owned and cared for almost every pet critter available. What is it? The parakeet — also known as a budgie, which is short for Budgerigar. Budgies are the most popular pet parrot in the world. They are intelligent, lively, comical, affectionate, social, expressive, funny, entertaining little lovebugs. They don’t squawk loudly like other parrots can — instead, they express themselves with a cheerful little chatter and can be taught to talk. When imprinted and tame, they sit on your finger, ride on your shoulder, cuddle with you, fly around your home, come to you when called and give you kisses. They don’t pee on the carpet, disturb the neighbors with noises or odor, or require walks in the rain.

Budgies are jovial little birds that love to play and explore their surroundings. While they look forward to time spent with their human companions, they can be quite independent, making them perfect for novice bird owners. These magnificent little creatures are simple and inexpensive to care for and they rarely require veterinary care. And you won’t break the bank to buy one, either — they typically cost between $10 and $125 each. They are oodles of inexpensive, low maintenance love and fun.

In spite of their small size, Budgies are big on brains and personality. They are just as intelligent as some larger bird species. Many have been taught to talk and whistle tunes. Male budgerigars are considered one of the top five talking champions amongst parrot species. A budgerigar named Puck holds the world record (1995 edition of Guinness World Records) for the largest vocabulary of any bird, at 1,728 words!

Some dedicated owners have trained their parakeets to do amazing tricks such as play fetch, ride mini skateboards, and navigate agility obstacles like tunnels, slides and ladders. See our training, talking and tricks page for videos!

What are the differences between an American Parakeet and an English Budgie?

An American Parakeet aka “pet” type (left) compared to an English Budgie aka “show/exhibition” type (right). These two boys are best buddies in our aviary.

American Parakeets and English Budgies are the same species (Melopsittacus Undulatus). But through years of selective breeding, the two varieties look (and sometimes behave) differently:

American Parakeets are more similar to their wild cousins. They are smaller and more agile than the English variety so they tend to be better fliers and acrobats. Sometimes they have a more nervous disposition when compared to the English variety. Most pet stores carry the smaller American Parakeet. Because the American variety is more active, they tend to live longer. Average length: 7 inches. Typical weight: 25-40 grams.

English Budgies are often shown in bird shows. The English (or “show”/”exhibition”) budgerigar is larger, heavier and has more feathering. They tend to have puffy head feathers, which sometimes obscures their eyes when you view them from the front. English Budgies tend to be more mellow and calm when compared to the American Parakeet. The English have a tendency to become overweight, which can shorten their lifespan if not provided with ample opportunities for flight and exercise. They are typically more expensive than American Parakeets. Average length: 9-10 inches. Typical weight: 40-65 grams.

Visit our budgie flock photo page to see many examples of the 3 types we raise: English, American, and crosses (splits) between the two!

What colors and mutations do budgie parakeets come in?

This clutch of four week old babies are American x English crosses.

They come in a rainbow of colors — everything except red and pink. Please visit our colors and varieties page for a variety of photos and descriptions.

How do I tell a male from a female budgie parakeet?

You can tell mature males from females by the color of their cere (the fleshy part above their beak and around their nostrils): A male’s cere is usually blue (American Parakeet on left); a female’s is tan, brown, white, or white with a little pale blue (American Parakeet on right).

The color of the cere (the fleshy area containing the nostrils) differs between the sexes:

Immature parakeets of both sexes have purplish-pink ceres, sometimes with a pale blue tint. A young male’s cere is usually a more even, translucent color, while young females can often be identified by a subtle chalky whiteness that starts around the nostrils.

A mature male has a cere that is usually light to royal blue, but males that are Albino, Lutino, Dark-eyed Clear or Recessive Pied retain the immature purplish-pink cere color their entire life.

A mature female has a cere that ranges in color from white, white with pale blue tinge, beige or pale brown (non-breeding) to dark, crusty brown (breeding condition).

Which makes a better pet: male or female? What are the behavioral differences between the genders?

Neither gender is better; they’re just different. Male budgie parakeets are typically extroverted, flirtatious, vocal, cheerful, and usually get along equally well with other male or female cage-mates. Both males and females sing and can learn to mimic sounds and words although they tend to be more pronounced in males; males can typically acquire larger vocabularies. But not every parakeet talks so don’t expect it! In my experience, females tend to bond more intensely to their human companion. Whereas males tend to be less discriminant of who they’re with, females are usually the first ones to fly over and cuddle with their favorite human.

Can a male and female parakeet live together in the same cage without laying eggs?

Generally speaking, yes. For parakeets to come into breeding condition they need long daylight hours (or full spectrum indoor lights), a nest box (or nest-like spot), and at least one or two other pairs within their near vicinity to convince them that it’s a good idea to start a family. Avoid these 3 things and your male and female will most likely live together happily ever after… without eggs.

Should I keep one, two or more?

Budgie parakeets are highly social animals and crave companionship. (American x English cross chick on left; American chick on right)

A solo budgie is a depressed budgie. So unless you can spend hours every day keeping one bird company then I HIGHLY RECOMMEND MORE THAN ONE. Some people worry that if they keep more than one budgie, the birds won’t bond with them. But consider this: wild budgies are social flock animals who live in large communities — they have lots of friends! As long as you spend ample time with them, they will consider you a part of their flock family and bond with you as well. Two or more budgies can come out of their cage and play with you, then keep each other company when they have to go back ‘home’ to their cage. And watching budgies interact with one another is VERY entertaining — it’s one of the highlights of budgie keeping! Without exception (that I can recall), everyone who has adopted one budgie has soon come to the conclusion that two would have been better.

Can I train my budgie parakeet to talk and do tricks?

Yes! Parakeets are small parrots with big brains! Take a look at the videos we’ve posted on our training page.

Lifespan: How long will my budgie parakeet live?

In captivity, budgerigars live an average of 3 to 10 years with some living 15-20 years. The maximum recorded lifespan is 26 years. Their life expectancy depends on genetics and health and is highly influenced by exercise and diet. Birds get hardening of the arteries and heart disease just like people. Obesity can decrease a bird’s lifespan by 70 percent. As responsible breeders, we do everything in our power to create budgies that will live long, healthy lives. When you take one home, the rest is up to you; their fate rests in your hands. Feed them a balanced and nutritious diet, provide regular opportunities for exercise, and consult with an avian vet if needed.

Diet: What should I feed my budgie parakeet?

Malnourishment is a leading cause of premature death in pet birds. Furthermore, “Avian veterinarians estimate that poor nourishment is the underlying cause of about 75 to 80 percent of the medical problems they see.” (Source: Bird Talk April 2010)  We provide lists of healthy foods and tell you exactly how to feed your budgie parakeets on our food and nutrition page.

Housing: What kind and size of cage do I need for my budgie parakeet?

We provide complete specifications and detail everything you’ll need to make your feathered friend healthy and happy on our budgie cage and care page.

Origin: Where did budgie parakeets come from?

Common Names: Parakeet, Budgerigar, Budgie.
Scientific Name: Melopstittacus undulatus.

Wild budgerigars are found throughout the drier parts of Australia, where the species has survived harsh inland conditions for the last five million years. Budgerigars in their natural habitat in Australia are noticeably smaller than those in captivity. Bred in captivity since the 1800’s, they are widely acknowledged as the most popular pet parrot in the world and possibly the most popular caged bird.

More Budgie Parakeet Pages:

Nutrition and Food Recommendations: Birds fed seed-only diets have a much shorter life span. We provide lists of healthy foods and show you how to grow your own sprouts.

Colors, Varieties, Mutations, Genetics: Budgie Parakeets come in a rainbow of colors. This page has beautiful photos with variety and mutation descriptions.

How To Care For Your Budgie Parakeet: What is the best cage and how should I set it up? How do I keep my budgie healthy and safe? What are the best toys and playtime activities? How do I trim their wing feathers?

FAQ (frequently asked questions): What is a budgie parakeet’s personality like? What are the differences between American parakeets and English budgies? How do you tell a male from a female? Should you keep one, two or more? How long do they live? Where did the species originate?

Training, Tricks, Talking: A step-by-step guide for finger-training, trust-building, and bonding. Watch informative and entertaining video demonstrations. Find out how many words they can learn to say.

Play gyms, Stands and Perches: How to make your own (or order a custom one from us).

Homemade Aviaries and Flight Cages: How to converted used furniture into large flight cages and beautiful indoor aviaries.

Parakeet Food and Supplies Market: We offer organic, homemade bird food plus other essential bird supplies.

Budgie Parakeet Breeder in Colorado: Our family raises, hand-feeds, trains and adores budgie parakeets! Learn more about our selective breeding program and view our gorgeous, tame birds.

Inside Our Aviary: See where our birds live — flight enclosures, breeding room, play gyms.

Our Flock of Budgie Parakeets: Take a peek at our gorgeous feathered friends. Lots of photos with color mutations listed!

Adorable Pictures of Our Hand-fed Babies: Come ooh and aahh over all the cuteness and watch them grow up!

Pre-Adoption Questionnaire: If you are interested in adopting one (or more) of our parakeets, please respond to these questions.

Budgie Baby Waiting List: I know how hard it is to wait when you’re excited but I promise you, the wait is worth it!

34 comments… add one

  • lisa

    can u send me a link or info on training and taming please as cant find it on here

    • Hover your mouse over the Budgie Parakeets tab located in header on the upper right of this page. Then you’ll see a drop down list of all our pages.

  • Rebecca Wainwright

    Can american and English budgies be kept in the same cage? Thanks, REbecca

    • Usually, yes. Although the English variety are often 2-3 times larger, it’s the feisty Americans that tend to pick on their larger cousins!

  • Iris

    I got my parakeet from a box-o-budgies and was looking at your training tips, which are really helping me out. There are only 2 main problems that I’m having with her, first, whenever I have her perched on my hand, she flutters off. Her wings are clipped so she doesnt actually fly, but I’m so worried about her landing and is she is hurt. The other problem I have is not so much about my budgie, but the materials I use to make stuff for her. Thinking that the PVC pipe play gym was a good idea, I made one, while I was I used a glue and, even though she has been on it countless times, I was wondering if any glues were toxic. Thank you so much for the additional advice for feeding and training, keep up the fantastic work!

    • Thanks for your compliment of my web site. Yes, most glue is toxic to birds. With PVC, you can put the gym together without glue — just push the fittings on tightly.

      • Gail Wencj

        Can I feed my 4 rescue parakeets the following snacks?
        Gerber banana cookies
        Beechnut naturals:
        Strawberry fruity oat
        Nature Valley:
        Crunchy oats ‘n honey

        • While I don’t know what the ingredients are in these products, I don’t recommend feeding your parakeets any processed foods, especially those with added sugar.

  • Pam

    Hello I have had my budgie now for 3 weeks. She likes to be out of her cage but she’s not tame to come to me or hop on my finger. Normally she just go back in her cage when she’s ready. How can I get her to come to me?

  • Jenna Berry

    Hello. I just found your websIte and I am so thrIlled I have been tryIng to fInd someone that sells budgie other then pet stores I just love parakeets and I have already sended you a EmaIl submitting your Questionnaire. also I am 13 and i am being homeschooled. please respond thanks 😉

  • salma

    I have two parakeets and they climb on my hand and chew lightly on my fingers?I’ve read everywhere and the only reason is their exploring my fingers? how can i stop this?Please help?

  • Haider

    Can we made english mutation from normal budgies?

  • Dorothy


    It is mid-2013 and I do not know if you are back from your break. When you are my children and I are wondering if you can help us with a problem. We have two American parakeets. A male and a female. We got them to keep each other company when we weren’t playing with them. Unfortunately, they do not get along. Recently the male nearly killed the female. She responded by biting his foot into a bloody mess. We were wondering if we could bring the female to you so she could pick out a new mate? Once she is happier we’ll consider the male, who at this time still gets a lot of attention from the kids because he is happy to play with them. I look forward to hearing from you. Dorothy

  • Jane Musser

    We have a question. We recently bought an English parakeet. He’s about 3months old now and has been hand raised. My husband, who is very patient and loves birds is frustrated. The bird doesn’t do anything! He doesn’t play with any of his toys, very rarely chirps in spite of much encouragement. Mick takes him out at least 5 times a day, puts him on the table with toys, talks to him A LOT.
    Any suggestions?
    Jane Musswe

  • Cheryl Weatherby

    I have 10 parakeets and one green cheek conure. They have a cage but never go in it – have free roam in the house sleeping on ropes and recently three females have holes in the walls they sleep in. 9 months ago one of the female parakeets had five babies. their father is now being affectionate with another female who is sitting on eggs in the wall. the mother parakeet (of the original five) was about to lay another egg a few days ago and I put a nesting box high up by the ceiling. she has been residing in the box and the parakeet who has been affectionate with her and regurgitates to her through the hole is one of her babies from 9 months ago. do you know if it’s possible that one of her children is the father or could it be that he (or she) knows she was pregnant/laid eggs and is feeding her because the father is busy feeding and being affectionate with a different baby mama? thanks!

  • Bhargav rajpara

    I had a pair of budgies. A female expired & we purchased a new female. Does a female settle with a already settled male?
    & that female is very inactive & her eyes are fully black,she sits very quite where the male is not quite,he whistles a lot,flies a lot in a cage;then can these both match ?

  • crystal martinez

    Hi I am extremely interested in one of your beautiful birds….I am not picky as far as color, or sex. I just want the sweetest most outgoing keet,or budgie you can provide our family with.
    Thank you for your time

  • Lynn Adcock

    I have a yellow female parakeet that I purchased from Petco in March of 2005. Recently, I have noticed her back feathers are not growing in fully. The wings are fine. Some of the tail feathers are not growing in fully either. She is 10 yrs.old almost 11. Took her to the vet a few months back & they said she was fine just needed weight. I feed her pellets, seed & special vegetables like broccoli. She eats & gets on my cockatiels cage. Now she spends most of her time sleeping & hanging her head down. She stands on 1 foot. Is all this possibly age related?
    I would appreciate any knowledge you might have on this issue. Thank You!! Lynn



  • Faun

    How long does a male Parakeet stay fertile

  • greeny

    I have a question… my mom brought more then 10 budgies and 3 cockatiels from a pet store this april out of pity because they were looking sad and sick in those crowded cages, they are our first pet birds, it was a bit stressful for couple of months but now we are getting used in taking care of them. We didn’t even thought about breeding them, but few months ago we found an egg on the cage floor so we decided to place nest on their cage, we thought we will remove those eggs, but the budgy started getting aggressive when we moved our hands around her nest so we changed the decision of removing eggs, and 2 other pairs started to breed. so we have 3 couples of budgies now. one of the male budgy accidentally flew away last week, and his mate have 4 eggs in her nest. So we placed another male budgy for her so she won’t feel sad and lonely, and she accepted him in his first day and they mated in the same day, but from the next day the female budgy started staying in the nest longer and she only comes out to eat. and she ignore s this new male budgy, so whenever we opens all the cages so they can all fly outside, this new male budgy follows the other female budgies, but when we keep him inside the cage he goes and sit on the top of the nest of the female budgy who lost his mate, but then from couple of days ago, the female budgy comes out to eat and she kisses the male budgy but she don’t let him breed. So I noticed he is trying to force her to mate when she is busy eating and she tries to escape, in this process he don’t let her eat and keeps trying to climb on her to breed and not letting her eat. So I grabbed him out of the cage and kept him into the cockatiels cage, because in other cages there are females, and I have noticed that this male budgy keeps bothering and forcing the other female budgies too.
    but the cockatiels are looking bothered by him and making him to go away by pretending to try to bite him whenever he tries to get close to them by he keep clinging to them getting closer to them. So should i place him alone in another cage or something else?

    • Unless you have a very large aviary (think room sized), budgies and cockatiels should be housed in different cages. Keep all nests out of aviaries to avoid breeding. If you do want to intentionally raise chicks, place pairs into separate breeding cages rather than allow colony breeding.

  • liza

    My budgie put an egg, but she doen`t care about it, not does she go into the egg box either. Can you help me?

    • She will lay an egg every other day, and often will not start to incubate the eggs until she has laid 2 or 3.

  • Pat K

    Will other birds in my big cage try to harm the baby parakeets? I have 2 females and 2 males and a nesting box that has 6 eggs. The eggs are not hatched yet but will the other 2 birds try to harm them? Should I separate the other 2 birds?

  • Barbara Davis

    I apparently have a neighbor who has lost a gorgeous yellow parakeet. She sits in a tree outside my house as I usually throw out bread crumbs for the wild birds. She won’t come down to talk to me or sit on my hand/head or any type of interaction. I don’t know which neighbor lost this little one, but I am concerned that it can’t live in the wild. Any suggestions? How long can this little one live outside in our 100 + temperatures? Thanks…. Barbara Davis, Belton, Texas

  • i bought my mam a budgie a few month,s back everything is fine with him but i have noticed hes going for his seed and constantly trying to feed its toy bird is this normal or should i remove the toy becouse im not sure if the budgie will get depresed if i remove it from the cage

    • It sounds like he’s trying to feed the toy as if it was a mate. It is best to rotate toys on a weekly basis to encourage play and exploration without bringing on breeding behaviors.

  • mel

    Just got two young budgies. One is Blue and the other yellow. The blue one keeps puffing up except for when it eats or when i take it out and it cant see the yellow one. When they are both in the cage it has to be right next to the yellow one. Any idea what might be going on with the blue one?

  • Debra

    I have a parakeet that looks like he has a very small lower bill and only eats tiny seeds and it takes him a long time and he is a rescue bird and he does not eat treats. Is he defective?

  • shahmeer

    my budgies pair laid 3 eggs and after incubating the eggs for 16 days they threw one egg out of the nest box. it had no crack so i placed it back in the nest box. the next day all 3 eggs were missing and i couldn’t find them anywhere. Did the pair ate the 3 eggs?
    I am confused please tell me what could have happened.

  • Cheryl grim

    My one parakeet wants to take a dust bath. I offer her a water bath regularly but she ignores that and tries to bath in the seed cup. Is there something I should be getting her?

  • Scott Ruplinger

    We are getting a skirt around the bottom of the cage of are parakeets. My question is what colors should I avoid.

  • Curtis Williams

    I have a mating pair of budgies after about 1 1/2 yrs the female finally laid this wk. laid 2 eggs 3-4 days apart not in the breeding box but must have allowed them to just fall from the perch to the bottom of the cage where they were totally ignored and one broken like it never happened. she goes in the breeding box all the time. It seems like she just allowed the eggs to fall like she had just pooped

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