Parakeets or Budgies?

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching an aviary full of these little parrots with the BIG personality? I’ve had several different types of parrots over the last 20 years, and I have to say that these tiny feathered dynamos are one of my top two faves!

Right now we have a cage with five Budgies and they start chattering at daybreak and don’t stop until the lights go out. Daddy Bird(aka Petty Revenge), Twitchy, Blue, Bubbles and Screamy are constantly in motion, and although I haven’t really made an effort to hand-tame them, they’re quite easy to work with.

So are they Parakeets, or are they Budgies? They’re both! Parakeets are just a long-tailed parrot, and they come in small to quite large. The Alexandrine Parakeet is around 25 inches long, and like most “parakeets” over half of that is tail.

Where did the term Budgie come from, then? There are a couple of different stories about that, but my favorite is that Budgerigar is from an Aboriginal word that translates to “good to eat”. Honestly, that’s kind of hard to buy, since they’re barely big enough to put on a cracker, let alone cook over a campfire!

One thing I get asked about frequently is wing clipping. Now, I’m aware that there are a lot of people who don’t clip their pet birds’ wings, but I have to say that I’m very glad that I do. I can’t count how many times I’ve had a bird escape to relative freedom in my house, only to collide with the window glass. Every time, I’m thankful that with clipped wings, they can’t get up enough speed to hurt themselves when they run into a window. Contrary to what many people think, wing clipping is NOT painful, and if it’s done properly, they can still land quit well without getting hurt.

Your pet Parakeet can get plenty of exercise in an apartment, and if his wings are properly clipped, and all the windows are closed, he’ll be quite safe exploring while you supervise.

Budgies come in a wide variety of colors, and if you’ve got your heart set on a blue bird, for instance, you won’t have too much trouble finding one. If you prefer yellow, white, or the traditional green, you’ll find those easily as well. And if you like a multi colored bird, you can get budgies in yellow with blue, green with yellow, white with blue or violet – the combinations are amazing!

Now, depending on your situation, two birds may be best. A single bird may get too lonely if you aren’t home a lot to spend time interacting with him.

Parakeets are very social animals in the wild, and they may flock in huge numbers to watering holes and feeding grounds. If you’re at work all day, and don’t have a couple of hours to devote to your feathered friend every evening, you should consider getting two. Budgies of the same sex usually get along just fine in the the same cage, especially if they’ve been raised together, so if you do decide to get two it’s best to get them young, before you can tell what sex they are.

A single Budgie will need a cage at least 1 1/2 feet on a side, with the bars about 1/4 inch apart . She can move around enough to be comfy when you’re not holding her, or letting her fly and explore. Two budgies need twice as much space, so that they have room to stretch their wings and flap a bit to stay in shape.

Parakeets are simple in their tastes, and a simple palm leaf, small stick, or hard plastic ball will all make fun toys for a Parakeet. A toilet tissue roll will get rolled around, and if you want to really have fun, let them help you “decorate” your holiday card envelopes by piercing them with their busy beaks.

I’ve gotten packs of those tiny lightweight hard plastic bracelets that little girls are fond of and given those to my budgies. There are a couple who delight in picking them up and dragging them all over the cage.

And, properly cleaned first, plastic soda bottle caps are also very popular toys. Those get fought over in my birds’ cage, even though there are plenty to go around.

Image by Liselotte Brunner from Pixabay

All things considered, Budgies are a fabulous pet, even for an apartment dweller. They don’t take up a lot of space, require only a regular cage cleaning besides the basic daily care of feeding, watering, and handling, and are great companions that constantly chatter but don’t ever get as loud as most parrots.

If you’re considering a Budgie as a pet, please consider carefully what having these lovely little birds in your life will entail, though. There are many birds that get re-homed every year because they were impulse purchases, and having to change homes and families is just asstressful for a bird as it is for a human.

Purchase “My Parakeet Journal” to learn more about Budgies, Parakeets, and how to care for them while you decide if a Budgie is the right pet for you. It’s available at

And, if you want to check it out on your Kindle, it’s free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

More references:

  1. – lots of great info about nutrition
  2. – more info about taking care of your parakeet
  3. – info about care and feeding

As always, thanks for reading! Comments, corrections or questions are always welcome at

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

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