Although budgies are often called parakeets, they are actually birds of the species Melopsittacus Undulatus. The term parakeet is a generic label used to describe any small, parrot-like bird that has a long tail. Generally, the color of the cere — the fleshy area above its beak where its nostrils are — is the best indicator of a pet budgie's sex. A male budgie will typically have a blue cere or it may be pink or pinkish purple in color. A female budgie will usually have a brown, white, light beige, or a reddish cere. Female budgies also have whitish rings around their nostrils.
Budgies are popular pets because they are relatively easy to care for. A budgie needs a cage that is at least 12"x18"x18" (30.48 x 45.72 x 45.72 cm), although larger cages are preferable if you have the extra room. Many experts recommend you purchase a cage with securely locked doors, since it’s common for pet budgies to learn how to open a basic lift-up door.
You can feed your budgie special bird seed purchased from a pet store or make your own homemade budgie cookies and biscuits to provide a fun treat. Pet budgies do not need grit in their diets, although a budgie should be offered cuttlebone or other types of mineral blocks on a regular basis. Budgies should also be provided with fruits and vegetables daily.
Budgies are very intelligent and adaptable birds. They are highly active and love to play with toys made from leather string, stainless steel clips, key rings, and wooden spools. Budgies are generally good around children, although you’ll need to provide close adult supervision in order to ensure that your child doesn’t accidentally injure the bird while playing.
In most cases, a pet budgie will live between ten and twenty years. The most common causes of death for budgies are poisonings from household chemicals and accidents resulting from owner carelessness. To keep your budgie safe, keep all cleaning or personal care products in a secure area and never allow your budgie out of his cage when unattended.
When you have a pet budgie, it’s very important to develop a close relationship with a local avian veterinarian. Although budgies are very susceptible to tumors, many people fail to catch their pet’s initial signs of illness and don’t get treatment for their budgie until it is too late. Seek immediate medical care for your bird if you notice that your budgie is chirping less than usual, sleeping excessively, not eating properly, or losing interest in playing with his toys.