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A Look At Budgerigars (Parakeets)

Get a glimpse of the most popular parrot in the world, the Australian budgerigar, also known as the budgie or the parakeet.

Diane Grindol

Check out these wild budgies skillfully avoiding predators and grabbing a quick drink.

Do you own a budgie, a budgerigar, a parakeet or an English budgie? Believe it or not, all of these are the same bird! This is a case when it would be beneficial to refer to a bird by its Latin name and avoid the confusion of popular names, so just call your bird Melopsittacus undulates.

The parakeet from Australia, called the budgerigar or budgie for short, is the one we often refer to simply as "parakeet” in the United States. Some budgies are referred to as either American or English budgies. Both are the same species, but they have been specially bred to look different from one another, much like dog breeds are. In England, fanciers who show budgies have developed a larger bird with a pronounced brow. Here in America, budgies have remained small in size like their wild counterparts. Unlike the wild budgie, our domesticated budgies come in a rainbow of colors that generally do not exist in the wild.


Wild budgies in Australia are green birds with yellow faces and highlights of cobalt blue in their tails. Captive budgies come in many color variations and combinations. These are called color mutations and they do occasionally occur in wild budgies. However, a budgie of a different color in the wild would stand out in a flock, making it more likely to be seen and singled out by a predator. A wild budgie is less likely to mate with a close relative to carry on a mutation color. In captivity, we can breed to retain a color and have done so over the years with budgies and other companion birds.

A budgie is a parakeet. It isn’t the only parakeet, however, so using that name can be confusing to a bird enthusiast. Around the world, there are slim-bodied long-tailed parakeets of many different species. There’s the Indian ring-necked parakeet of East India, the Derbyan parakeet of the Himalayas, the Princess of Wales and other grass parakeets of Australia, the lineolated parakeet of South and Central America, and so on. Before it became extinct, we even had a parakeet native to the United States; the brilliant orange, yellow and green hookbill, the Carolina parakeet. So, our budgies are parakeets, but not every parakeet is a budgie!

Want to learn more about budgies?

Should You Keep One Budgie Or Two?
How To Train Your Parakeet

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Posted: April 29, 2014, 12:00 a.m. PDT

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A Look At Budgerigars (Parakeets)

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some day I'll make the trip to Australia to seem them in the wild.
Carol, Silver Spring, MD
Posted: 5/1/2014 6:49:59 PM
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