PO  Box 126 Mitcham Vic 3132 ( Victoria, Australia )

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. budgerigar
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  • An Australian Parrot - that has been domesticated and bred for the vast range of colour combinations.
  • Scientific Name:  Descendents of Melopsittacus undulatus
  • Common Name/s:  BUDGERIGAR,  BUDGIE.
  • Sub Species in country / area of origin:  None
  • Origin / Distribution:  Original stock = from most of Australia except the coastal areas.
  • Habitat In Wild:  Original stock = most common in the dry arid interiors of Australia.
  • Status In Wild:  The domesticated variety is not found in the wild.  The modern domesticated budgie is a descendent of the original Bush Budgerigar
  • Status In (Australian) Captivity:  Common.  One of the world's most popular cage bird.
  • Age To Sexual Maturity:  About 3 months
  • of age.
  • Adult plumage:  Leave the nest with adult plumage.
  • Best breeding years (estimate): 6 months to about 5 years
  • Lifespan (estimate):  approx.  7 - 9 years
  • Sexing:  Monomorphic / Dimorphic
  • Mutations:  Vast number of colour mutation combinations.
  • Availability:  Bird dealers and pet stores.  Budgie Clubs often specialise in particular types and these clubs can offer these types to people who want to breed a particular type of bird or birds to conform to "Show or Competition" standards.
  • Temperament:  One of the world's most popular parrots.  In the wild the original true Bush Budgerigar is a highly nomadic bird.  In the aviary, budgies are hardy birds with an excellent temperament.  Makes an excellent beginner's bird.  Bush budgies must not be housed with the domesticated variety due to the possible hybridization of the two types. Can be kept as single pairs or in a colony.  May breed throughout the year if conditions are suitable.
  • Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: - Normal colour (Approx.) $10 upwards
  • Description Of Adults: Original Bush Budgie is One of the smallest of the Australian parrots.
  1. Length: Approx. 180 mm (or approx 7 inches)
  2. Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer photo/s above if available.
  3. Weight: Approx. 30 gms plus (or approx 1 ozs or bigger)
Aviary Notes:

Level Of Knowledge Required: Beginner / Intermediate / Advanced / Specialist Breeders Only.

Government Regulations & By-LawsRefer to " Government Laws " web page.

Housing Requirements:  Refer to " Housing Birds " web page for general details on the housing of Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

One pair of Budgies can be housed and bred in a normal budgie cage of about 600mm long x 400mm deep x 400mm high (24 in x 16 in x 16 in).  The young would have to be removed from a cage of that size as soon as they become fully independent.
Budgies will breed well as a colony in an aviary.  Care should be taken to ensure adequate nest boxes are available and a careful record of the young is maintained, usually with closed metal numbered leg rings.  Overcrowding must be avoided as these birds can breed quickly.

They will quickly destroy any trees, shrubs or growing plants in an aviary.  Most outdoor budgie aviaries look similar to a typical parrot aviary, but need a smaller mesh size to avoid escapes (generally about 12mm or half inch mesh).  Most outdoor aviaries have a fully covered roof, usually a transparent or semi transparent material.  Side walls and back wall are enclosed with metal sheeting.  Newer aviaries can be purchased in a number of Colourbond finishes to fit in with the decor of the environment.  An aviary or 2000 mm long x 1200mm wide and 2100 mm high (approx 6 - 7 ft x 4 ft x 7 ft) will be adequate for 3 or 4 pairs.

If space allows, a 3 metre x 2 metre ( approx 10 ft x 6 ft ) aviary in a planted environment (i.e. plants outside the aviary) can make a pleasant addition to a backyard or courtyard.  The larger aviary can be split into two separate sections.  One for the breeders and the other for the young birds.

Bird Play Toys or Bird Play Gyms can be added to the cage or aviary allow for mental and physical exercise.

A "Double door" or "Safety door" in an outdoor aviary is essential to minimise the escape of these quick flying birds.

Wild Bush Budgies should not be housed together with the domesticated type of budgies.  Keep the bush Budgie type pure.

Non-toxic leafy branches can be placed in the aviary for the birds to chew up. This will entertain the birds, help minimize boredom and give the birds some beak exercise. Natural branches of various diameters, and placed at various angles, can be used for perches. These natural perches may be chewed by the birds and may need to be replaced regularly. The birds may chew any flowers and fruiting bodies on the branches.

Diet / Feeding:  Refer to " Feeding Birds " web page for general details on the feeding of Australian Parrots or read on for specific details for this parrot.

In the wild the natural foods of the Bush budgerigar are seeds from grasses and herbaceous plants. Seasonally available fruits, blossoms, fruit and flower buds, and various plant and vegetable matter balance the nutritional intake.  Insects may form part of their food intake.

Budgerigars require a quality "budgie seed mix" plus a variety of seeding grasses.  Many breeders add a piece of cuttlefish bone for them to nibble on for a source of calcium.  Additional green vegetables such as Silverbeet, endive, cos lettuce and Broccoli will be eagerly consumes and make up a valuable part of a balanced food intake.  Some seasonally available fruits can be offered, e.g. apple.

Some budgies may consume insects as part of their normal food intake if housed with, or beside, other birds that normally consume insects.

A basic overview only.
All Australian parrots will breed in hollow logs.
Dimensions are typical / average and can vary widely, influenced by the owner's preferences and the birds preferences.  Parent bird's preferences can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.  If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice.  Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season.  Try and keep that one for their exclusive use.  Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed.  If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is carefully cleaned to ensure it has minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
If a valued pair of birds is successful in a specific size/style nest-box and that nest-box has to be replaced for some reason, make or purchase one as close as possible to the same style, materials and size as their original one.

  • Nesting months: All year round if conditions are suitable
  • Log / Nest-box:
    Length / depth  Logs = 250 - 300 mm (or approx. 8 - 10 inches). Nest boxes = approx. 150 mm (or approx. 6 inches).
    Log internal diameter = approx. 150 mm. (or approx. 6 inches)
    Nest-box internal dimensions = approx. 150mm x 180 mm x 150mm high (or approx. 6 x 7 x 6 inches )  The same nest boxes that are used for "normal" domesticated budgies are suitable for bush budgies.
    Diameter of entrance hole = approx. 50 mm (or approx. 2 inches)
    Inspection hole (square or round) = Usually have a sliding panel as per commercial budgie box designs.
    A removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
    Location & height of log / nest-box = mid to upper height of aviary, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
    Angle of log or nest box = Commercial nest boxes are installed with the base horizontal.  Although rarely used for domesticated budgies,   logs can be on an angle of 45 degrees through to vertical.
  • Nesting log / nest-box material: None required in a nest-box.  In a log, decomposed non-toxic saw dust, wood shavings or other suitable material/s can be used.
  • Who incubates the egg/s: Hen / cock / both share.

Timber nest-boxes generally require a climbing structure attached inside the box below the entrance hole.  This is not a requirement in a typical budgie nest box.  Both logs and nests need an entrance hole/opening of about 50 mm diameter and about 50 mm (about 2 inches) from the top. Many species of parrots like the entrance hole to be just big enough to squeeze through.

More details on parrot nestboxes/logs and a selection of parrot nestbox/log photos can be found on the "nests", "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" web pages.  Click on "Up" then "Nests" then "parrot nests" and "parrot nestbox photos" in the navigation bars.

Breeding: Egg Colour White.  Clutch/s per year.. multiple - may breed all year round if conditions are suitable.  Eggs per nest 4 - 8.  Incubation approx. 18 days.  Fledge approx.  4 - 5 weeks.  Independent approx. another 1 week.

Excellent beginner's bird.  Usually good parents and very fertile.  Babies are usually leg rung with a closed metal numbered leg ring whilst still in the nest.  Parents usually allow the babies to be handled without abandoning any of the chicks.  Budgie clubs produce special numbered rings that show the year of breeding.

A good management plan must be implemented to avoid the hens over breeding.  Too many clutches per year can compromise the health of the parent birds as well as the young.

Fewer clutches per year usually produces more good quality birds.  That is better than lots of smaller, poor quality birds.

Artificial incubation and hand rearing or fostering will not be covered on this web site.  It is too complex and diverse in nature to be attempted here.

Health Issues:  Refer to "Avian Health Issues" web page for information and references.

  • Worming and parasite control and Quarantine requirements of new bird/s or sick bird/s are considered to require veterinary advice and therefore not covered on this web site.  Refer "Avian Health Issues" web page option.
  • Avian medicine is advancing at a rapid pace.  Keep updating your knowledge and skills.

General References:  Refer to references listed on "Book References" web page.

Local libraries usually have a range of books available covering all aspects of Budgie care and breeding.  Some libraries have Budgie magazines and Budgie videos for loan.

Most Budgie clubs have a library of books, magazines and videos available for loan to members.

Most Avicultural Clubs and Societies have members who breed budgies and other aviary birds who will share their expertise and have quality birds for sale.

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