People often choose parrots for pets because these birds are beautiful and are very sociable. When a potential pet owner looks for a small parrot to bring home, they often encounter two options – a parakeet or a budgie. There seems to be a lot of confusion about these two, so let’s clear this up today.
Are parakeets and budgies the same? The short answer is yes. In fact, people who live in the US use the terms interchangeably. Parakeets and budgies are the smallest types of parrots found in drier regions all over the world. The Budgerigar, or budgie for short, is just another term for a parakeet. However, not all parakeets are budgies. Take a look at these to understand the difference better.
Definition of Parakeet
The term parakeet is used to describe a bird group that has a small, slender body and long tail feather. These parrots are smaller than the Amazons and Cockatoos. They are highly intelligent and quite easy to train. They can even be taught to imitate the sounds in their environment including human speech.
According to World Birds, there are dozens of types of parakeets out there. There is the Monk parakeet, Psittacula parakeet, Derbyan parakeet, Indian Ringneck parakeet, and more. However, when it comes to pets, the most popular type of parakeet is the budgerigar.
Budgies originally came from Australia. They are highly energetic, very curious, and sociable birds. Budgies can learn how to talk. They pick up words or even short phrases easily and love interacting with their owners. The budgie is the bird-of-choice of many households because it is seen as a low-maintenance pet.
Difference in appearance
Budgies come in a variety of color mutations. The common ones that you can find are bright green, blue, purple, or white. Most have black markings on their wings. Male and female budgies also show visual differences. Females have a pink or brown-colored cere. This is the fleshy band at the beak's base. The cere is often blue for males.
The average adult budgie’s height ranges from 5 to 7 inches. The tail makes up for a large part of this length. It can weigh anywhere from 30 to 40 grams. According to PetKeen, other parakeets can reach up to 18 inches. The adult parakeet’s average weight is from 30 to 50 grams. This indicates that the Budgie is indeed the small type of parakeet.
American Budgies have a small head that is proportionate to their bodies. English Budgies, on the other hand, are bred to have bigger heads and chests. They have significantly larger throat spots and bolder markings. The English Budgies are also much bigger than their American counterparts. The former can reach up to 10 inches in length.
Personalities of Budgies and Parakeets
Budgies are playful and curious animals. These characteristics make them amazing companions. Despite its size, the small parakeet has a big personality. Additionally, even if budgies are kept with other birds in their cage, they still enjoy interacting with their owners and tend to develop a strong bond with humans.
Compared to parrots and bigger types of parakeets, budgies are quieter and gentler. This makes them the ideal pet for young children. However, they can still make a lot of noise if they choose to.
Just like the bigger parakeets, budgies have different temperaments as well. However, one thing doesn’t change. All budgies are inquisitive and enjoy learning about the things that happen around them.
Training Budgies and Parakeets
When it comes to training, there is not much difference between teaching a budgie versus the bigger types of parakeets. They are all highly intelligent animals, making them easier to train than other pets.
Clipping the wings of a budgie is needed before handling. This step prevents your pet from panicking and flying away during its training sessions. Most pet stores do this before selling the birds, but it is best to inquire about it before making any purchase.
If you get a young budgie, begin its training by building the trust between the two of you. Hold it to your chest and let it stay there for a while. You can also let it crawl from one hand to the other. Adult parakeets require some warming up. They may seem tame for a couple of weeks. Don't worry. They are just adjusting to their new environment.
Budgie breeders are great sources of information regarding the types of tricks that you can teach your pet. It is important to note though that if you are bringing home more than one parakeet, it will be helpful to train the birds separately. This will yield quicker results than if you train them together.
Contrary to what many believe, budgies can develop a substantial vocabulary. It can even rival that of the larger parakeets and other species of parrots. These birds learn quickly and can memorize dozens of words in a short time. Some exceptional budgies can learn as many as a hundred words as long as the owner is patient.
Caring for the health of Budgies and Parakeets
Budgies may be smaller, but they still need a considerable amount of attention to live a healthy and happy life. Make sure that you provide your pet with adequate water and food.
Whether you have a budgie or a bigger type of parakeet, serve them a great variety of food. High-quality seeds and pellets are a must, but you also need to serve fruits and vegetables occasionally.
You can keep budgies in a smaller cage, but it should be spacious enough for them to flap their wings and explore safely. There should be space for a variety of toys and perches to provide your pet with physical and mental stimulation.
The cage should also be big enough to accommodate a tub of water. Both budgies and parakeets love splashing in the water for entertainment and as a way to clean themselves. Remember to replace the water in the tub every few days to keep the supply fresh.
So, are parakeets and budgies the same? They are essentially the same. Budgies are simply one type of parakeet. All budgies belong to the parakeet family. And there are many other species of birds in this family.
The two slightly vary in size and coloring, but both have the same characteristics and personality. They are both highly intelligent, social, and inquisitive birds. Additionally, they both require a lot of attention and stimulation. Budgies and parakeets make great pets and are ideal companions for any bird enthusiast.