Budgies are native to Australia where they gather in huge flocks, travelling thousands of miles each year searching for seeds and water, fruit and little insects on scrub or grassland. They are very sociable creatures who are clever at adapting objects for tools or toys, they are curious, intelligent and playful. All of their behaviour and thinking is designed to living in a large group. Their eating, drinking, preening, napping, socialising, keeping guard and signalling for danger is all done as a flock thinking of itself as being safe in great numbers. If they are separated from all other of their kind and kept alone they often fail to thrive, wither and die from loneliness.
Their beaks are designed with the top bit covering the lower bit and folded in quite close to their heads which makes them very efficient and nibbling away at seed heads to get their food.
In the wild their feathers are green yellow and black. However, in captivity they can be bred to have yellow, blue white or purple feathers and many combinations of all of these. They have tetrochromatic vision which means they can see wavelengths that humans can’t see. And their plumage fluoresces under Ultra Violet light.
vThey have four toes the outer two point forward and the middle two point backwards. This means that they can grip onto a twig from the front and the back giving then a very secure hold.
vBudgies is the short name we give to Budgerigars which is a westernised version of the name for a species of small bird that has existed for over 5 million years. They were first heard of in the west in a book called ‘Birds of Australia’ written by John Gould in 1840. He said that they are “the most animated, cheerful birds you could possibly imagine.” The name Budgerigar was an incorrect pronounciation of the name given to the birds by the Aboriginal People of Australia which meant. “good to eat.”v
When this book was published, someone decided to bring Queen Victoria a pair Budgies. Of course when she had some everyone wanted them because they wanted to be like her. A trend began for having budgies as pets which still goes on now. After dogs and cats, they are the most popular pets, because they are small and cheap to look after they get to know their people and they can mimic human speech.v