Acquired: Bred bird myself
Posted Jan 22, 2014
Budgies are often called “good starter birds”. Many will say that this is wrong notion because if you really want a larger bird, then that's the one you should get. I'd say it's wrong because budgies are awesome pets in their own right.
Budgies can be excellent mimics – in fact, the Guiness World Record for largest vocabulary in a bird belonged to a budgie. My female budgie, Crazy, never talked; generally, females are not known to mimic, perhaps because the male has the instinct to try and impress a mate. Crazy did “talk” to me, though. I'd get home from school and she'd tell me about her day, as it seemed to me, in non stop chirping with pauses only for some kisses. It's odd how much it did feel like a conversation when only chirps came from one side.
They are also pretty carefree. Even though they love attention, and do need it, they are also quite capable of staying entertained as long as they have toys and a room with a view. While a parrot of any kind is not a good choice for people short on time, budgerigars are more manageable time-wise than other parrots.
They can learn tricks, but it's not easy. Imagine teaching a 5 year old with ADD. Now imagine that 5 year old is also energetic and runs abnormaly fast, and is smalled than your hand. That's a budgie. They're very intelligent, as it becomes obvious from the way they interact with you and the world, but they cannot for the life of them pay attention.
Crazy was a great friend for me as a kid. It's one of the few birds I'd advise for children – though always with adult supervision, of course. I had Crazy for over 8 years. Now I'm an adult, and I have a new, baby budgie, so it would seem that you don't outgrow them, either.