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- An Australian Parrot -
that has been domesticated and bred for the vast range of colour
- Scientific Name: Descendents
- Common Name/s:
- Sub Species in country / area of origin:
- 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
- Adult plumage: Leave the nest
with adult plumage.
- Best breeding years (estimate):
6 months to about 5 years
- Lifespan (estimate): approx.
7 - 9
- Sexing: Monomorphic
- 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
- Cost (Victoria) Per Pair: -
Normal colour (Approx.) $10 upwards
- Description Of Adults: Original
Bush Budgie is One of
the smallest of the Australian parrots.
- Length: Approx. 180 mm (or approx 7 inches)
- Colour ( "normal" colour ): Refer
photo/s above if available.
- Weight: Approx. 30 gms plus (or approx 1 ozs or
Level Of Knowledge
Required: Beginner / Intermediate
/ Advanced /
Specialist Breeders Only.
Government Regulations & By-Laws: Refer to " Government Laws " web page.
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
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:
/ depth Logs = 250 - 300 mm (or approx. 8 - 10 inches).
Nest boxes = approx. 150 mm (or approx. 6 inches).
diameter = approx. 150 mm. (or approx. 6
Nest-box internal dimensions = approx. 150mm
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.
hole = approx. 50 mm (or approx. 2 inches)
(square or round) = Usually have a sliding panel as per commercial budgie box
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.
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
- 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
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.
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
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.
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"
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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