Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Jun 30, 2013
I really do love budgies. They were my first pet bird (aside from canaries that my family own when I was small) and gave me an appreciation for that entire portion of the animal kingdom. I'm a huge bird person, and it's because of one little budgie that was given to me as a gift that shaped my life. Budgies are awesome, and probably not for anyone, but they make for a good introduction to the bird world.
Appearance - adorable. They are small birds: they would fit in your hand. They are also colorful, with a lot of color variation.
Friendly with owner - It depends on how you work with them. Generally, I've found that Cockatiels are more curious a species and more likely to come up to you and want to interact with you, where as budgie seem a bit more reserved (even if they can be little spitfires.) That's not to say they aren't friendly - you just have to be sure to work with them often. They can be your best friend, but they can also be that annoying little fluff of feathers that only jumps on your hand when it's convenient for her. That doesn't make them any less fun to own, however. But like with most birds, you would have a better chance of a relationship with your bird if there are no other birds in the house.
Friendly with family - again, it depends how much you work with him. Some birds may take a liking to sitting on someone elses hand, while other birds begrudgingly trust you, and not really anyone else.
Trainability - Budgies are very intelligent. I never did intensive training with my birds - the most I taught them was to step up. But I've heard remarkable stories about people who have worked with their birds, and all the tricks they would know. Plus, it's a good species to learn how to train a bird on. They are small, and if things don't go as planned, their bites can hurt, but they're not as bad as other birds.
Activity level - I've always had budgies that just seem to be go, go, go. They sing incessantly to their mirror, walking to the middle perch, before going back to their mirror. They hang upside down. They are determined to get what they want done. Even when I had a rescue bird who didn't want to move from his toy (the only toy he knew through his entire life), when I got him a companion budgie, he opened up so much and became very active. Like I said, they're little spitfires.
Song-vocal quality - Hmm....budgies have a very distinct chirp. It sounds almost metallic at times. I love to hear a budgie sing (or what I like to call budgie complaining), but I could see why other people wouldn't like it. Still, it's not so loud or piercing that it would disturb your neighbors, I don't think. Unless you have a window open.
Song-vocal frequency - It's been a while since I owned budgies, but I remember them being pretty long lasting with their singing. As they are flock animals, chances are when you are talking to them or in the room, they will become vocal, too. Having heard some budgies recently, I would say they are pretty frequent little chirpers. And I can always tell when walking by a house or apartment that there are budgies inside because I can often hear them singing.
Mimic sounds-words - I've heard of people being able to teach their birds words. They are more able than a cockatiel to mimic words, actually. But I've never done it, myself. I've heard that even if they do, it can be hard to make out what they say. I did have a budgie who learned to sing the tune of my music box: Did You Ever Know That You're My Hero~~. And that was cute, because he put it into his everyday song.
Health/vigor - unfortunately, Budgies are highly overbred by inexperienced breeders. They usually have poor health, and unless you can catch an illness early, it can be fatal very quickly. Sometimes, even with help, it doesn't help. I've had so many budgies that died in a day or two, even with vet intervention. It's why I stopped keeping budgies, even though they are adorable.
Maintenance/Care - Birds need attention, and budgies are no exception. They also need a clean cage, good, high quality food, yearly vet visits, and attention paid so that you'll know when you start seeing signs of illness in your pet. I put them at high maintenance because of how often I've had to take budgies to the vet for illnesses.
Seasonal Aggression - Like most birds, they can get hormonal during spring or whenever they think it's mating season. I've been bitten once or twice by otherwise shy birds because they were being territorial.
Low Cost to Own - Though vet bills can get high, and good quality food can get expensive, once you have the right cage and such, it shouldn't break the bank too much. Just be sure to have an emergency fund for the birds, because bird vets can be expensive.
All in all, I love budgies. They can be very rambunctious and full of energy. I've housed them with cockatiels before, and it's the smaller budgies who dominate the larger cockatiels. I've even had budgies who claimed the top perch, and won't allow cockatiels on their perch. By comparison, 'tiels are gentle giants! Budgies have a lot of personality, and should be given mind-engaging toys, as well as encouraged to use them by placing treats inside. They have the ability to last for around 15 to 20 years, though most don't make it past their 5th birthday. Still, they are a delightful species and enjoy the ride while it lasts!