Saturday, July 31, 2010

The art of flying

Budgies who live in the wild are always on the move - they fly around in huge flocks, often twenty to fifty budgies at once, sometimes even more than one thousand budgies!

The co-ordination among the flying budgies is astonishing. When they have to make a sudden turn, the flock won't give you the impression that it consists of individual birds, but they will fly like one - without any collisions.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Glowing Budgies

Photo: BBC News

Budgies have feathers on their cheeks and the crowns of their heads which reflect ultraviolet light. These ultraviolet pigments on budgerigar's feathers play a big role in their attractiveness to members of the opposite sex!

That means that budgies can see ultraviolet light. They have four types of colour sensing cells in their eyes, while humans only have three. These pigmented feathers appear very bright to a budgie, and the female budgies fall for it.

If you put a budgie under UV light, the invisible comes partially visible. Green budgies and yellow/lutino budgies will fluoresce in the dark. Blue and albino budgies, however, don't glow in the dark because they lack yellow pigment. That is why they are less likely to find a mate, unless they get the chance to be alone with a budgie (without any "competitors" around).

For more information:


More amazing budgie facts in August!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Male or female?

There's an easy way to find out whether your budgie is male or female.

Young male budgie's ceres are pink

Young male budgies have pinkish or lavender ceres, while the ceres of a young female budgie are often light blue.
Now, it gets more complicated... the ceres change while your budgie is growing up.

Green and blue male budgies have blue ceres. White, yellow and multicoloured male budgies often keep the pink-coloured ceres from their youth.
All female budgies from all colours get brown ceres. No exception there :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Amazing Senses pt. 3

This picture belongs to "evilmini" on

The ears of your budgies are covered by feathers. They are small openings behind the eyes.
Budgies have a well-developped hearing, since it plays an important part in communication with their congeners. They will also be able to recognize your voice after a short while.

In the ear, there's an organ of balance. When the ear gets damaged by an illness, your budgie won't be able to fly (well) anymore or keep his balance on the perch. If your budgie hangs his head a bit crooked, or if there are any other signs that he lost his balance, then you might have to take him to the vet.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Old and wise

With the right care and the right food, the life span of a budgie varies between 15-20 years.

That means they outlive most of the pet rodents and maybe even cats, who generally die after 14-16 years!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Happy twittering

Budgies love attention, and if you're a chatterbox yourself they will like it even more. The more you talk to your budgies, the more devoted they become to you. Sometimes, you might even hear a flute concerto when they see you! A budgie is a social bird, and when there are lots of them together, they will all be twittering cheerfully together.

They are also likely to make a funny little noise when they see you approach with delicious food (like a juicy applepiece) and if you give it to them, they might make the same little noise every time you do that ^^

Monday, July 12, 2010

Together forever

(this picture belongs to Ron Hanko on

Budgies have one partner for life. They make nests together and look after one another. Budgie couples stay together forever and never quit each other :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Bird with the Largest Vocabulary in the World

Puck, the champion of all talking birds (photo:

"Puck, a budgerigar, or budgie (popularly known as a parakeet in America), was accepted into the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records as "the bird with the largest vocabulary in the world." He was acknowledged as having 1,728 words when the Guinness Book went to press. The documentation for his feat took place over a six-month period when 21 volunteer observers in 21 separate sessions took notes on what they heard Puck say. Several observers were members of the Redwood Empire Cage Bird Club (Sonoma County, California), and most were familiar with various species of parrots. Two of the volunteers were avian veterinarians.

In addition to the volunteer observations, tape recordings and a video were provided as documentation for Guinness. Puck's owner/caregiver, Camille Jordan, of Petaluma, California has about 30 hours of Puck tape recordings, videos and detailed records of every word she heard spoken! Puck appeared on several Bay Area newscasts in December 1991 after an article was written about him in American Cage-Bird Magazine. Another article about Puck appeared in Bird World (Vol. 15, No. 6, 1994).

Rather than just mimicking, Puck created his own phrases and sentences. He often used the appropriate phrase in a situation, and sometimes displayed an uncanny understanding of his environment.

For example, on Christmas morning, 1993 Puck was entertaining himself on the coffee table in the living room when Camille and her husband heard him say: "It's Christmas. That's what's happening. That's what it's all about. I love Pucky. I love everyone."

Unfortunately, Puck's life was too brief. He was only five years old when he died of a gonadal tumor on August 25th, 1994(rip). He had been accepted into the Guinness Book only a few months earlier.

Puck appeared in the 1995 through 1998 Guinness Books, was omitted from the 1999 through 2002 editions and reappeared in the 2003 and 2004 editions. The 2005 paperback Guinness Book has not been released at the time of this writing. Readers should note that recordholders will not necessarily appear in every Guinness Book!"


Friday, July 9, 2010

Amazing Senses pt. 2

Budgies have a well developped tactile sense. A brooding female is able to sense and follow the movements of her chick in the egg by means of the "brood patch" (a bald patch on her belly).

Even more special is the tactile sense in your budgie's legs: they can sense vibrations extremely well. This way, budgies in the wild know when the enemy is trying to sneak up on them, for example a snake!

This is the reason why caged budgies have to get used to all kinds of vibrations in or around the house during the first months, like a lorry that drives by. Don't scare them unnecessarily by putting them on a vibrating device like a refrigerator.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bathing time!

It's very common to get heatwaves in Belgium during the Summer (this week temperatures above 30°C again) and budgies absolutely love taking a bath. In fact, they prefer taking a bath each day, no matter what time of the year it is. You could either buy special bird baths in the pet store or just put a little bowl in their cage. Note: the water should be lukewarm and the water should never be too deep. The cage or bathing area should be free of any breeze of draft. It's also better to bathe your budgie in the morning so he or she is completely dry by bedtime. And last, never try to towel dry or blow dry your budgie! They only air dry.
You can also wash budgies with a plant sprayer (of course with pure water and nothing else). Me and my mum used to do it in the Summer, and it's so much fun to see them shaking their little feathers and come closer to the sprayer because they always want more :D


Other bathing tips I found:

- bathing in a soup plate

- bathing under a wet lettuce leaf

- bathing under the sink faucet in your hands (if your budgie is tame), make sure the water jet is not too strong and never leave your budgie alone


Monday, July 5, 2010

Real climbers

If you take a loot at their feet, you can tell that budgies are different from songbirds. Those have three toes in front and only one behind. Just like parrots, budgies have two in front and two behind. That makes them good at climbing, and they love it just as much as parrots do!
So when you buy a cage for them, don't forget to choose one with horizontal bars. You can also put some ladders in it, or a swing for your little acrobats :)


Extra tip: buy wooden perches in different thicknesses rather than plastic ones, it's much better for your budgie's legs :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Budgie comic 1

I decided to put a comic in here, for a change. It's a bit silly, but I still like the way it turned out :)
Anyway, here's Chester the budgie (click to enlarge) :

Comic by a certain Matthew (