Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Jul 16, 2013
I've owned two budgies in my life. I just love these cheeky little birds for their beautiful colour as well as their gorgeous chatter. We had fairly standard coloured and sized birds - Sonny blue and Buddy green, but they also come in a hefty size and a range of colours from white to yellow to aqua and turquoise!
My first budgie - Sonny - came as a 13th birthday present and was my first foray into finding out how amazing and intelligent these birds are! Over a few short months he learned first how to imitate whistles and trills then gradually telling himself and everybody what a prettyprettyprettyboy he was.
My second budgie came to us many years later when my children were quite young (around 2&3yo) and followed the same progression with singing and then speaking. Buddy, like Sonny, was quite a social creature and preferred to sit on people first and foremost. Whenever my mother came to visit, he would fly out to greet her in the hallway then stay perched on her for her whole visit. For some reason he really loved my mum.
I'm not 100%positive, but I think you can tell the gender of budgies by the colour of their noses - would you believe it but boys have a blue nose and the females are a pinky/brown. Apparently the boys are the more vocal ones and more inclined to talk.
Our budgies were both free-range and flew around the house all day, only really going in their cage when it was bedtime. They were curious and friendly with everyone who came to visit and yes, sometimes they did bite but only when they were manhandled - mostly budgies don't seem to like their wings being touched or held. If your budgies are going to be free range, forget having houseplants as budgies LOVE houseplants and will prune the heck out of every bit of greenery in sight. I remember hearing 'such a prettyprettyboy, Sonny's such a pretty boy' coming out of a particularly illustrious plant of my mothers.. boy was she unimpressed with Sonny's pruning.
When not chowing down houseplants, the birds ate regular seed, lettuce and they seemed to love cuttlefish from the sea side.. you know that chalky white tiny-surfboard shaped stuff you find washed up on the shore?
On the downside, these gorgeous little animals have quite a brief life after taking up quite a large place in your heart and your home. As with all our pets, it is such a sad day when they do quietly die.
Incidentally, the reason I recommended these animals for children aged 8 and up is because they are quite fragile birds with tiny bones. I believe my daughter accidentally squashed Buddy when trying to catch him.. although she was barely 2yo I could barely look at her for killing our poor Buddy!
Apart from small children and ceiling fans, these birds are unbreakable and easy to keep and such cheerful little companions with such big hearts!