This famous little bird has scientific name “melopsittacus undulatus,” which literally means “song parrot with wavy lines.” The proper name for this bird is budgerigar, and some may know it by its nickname, “budgie.” However, this bird is more commonly known as the parakeet. Parakeets belong to the parrot family, and a parakeet generally refers to any small to medium sized parrot with a long, tapered tail. The larger parrots tend to have stockier bodies and more squarish tails. In fact, the word “parakeet” means long tail.
Parakeets come from Australia where they live in large communal flocks. Being flock birds, parakeets are very social with each other and with people. They love attention and make wonderful pets. Most parakeets that you see in pet shops are bred in the United States. There are about 120 species with many sub-species. You can find parakeets in different shades of blue, green, yellow, white, red, and many other colors. Some species also have pretty plumes on top of their heads. Two of the most popular parakeet species are quaker parrots and ringneck parrots.
Colorful, friendly, sociable, intelligent, easy to tame, easy to care for, and relatively inexpensive, it is not surprising that the parakeet is one of the most popular and commonly kept birds. These birds are great for children, people who are just starting out with birds, and just about everyone else. Many experienced bird owners like keeping these birds as well, due to the parakeet’s manageable size, gentleness, captivating personality, and non-destructive behavior.
Parakeets are fairly intelligent birds that are relatively good at learning to talk and do tricks. They will learn to step up on your finger and other simple tricks, and almost all parakeets can learn to mimic a few words. In fact, the male parakeet has the capacity to learn over 200 words although their speech may be garbled. Parakeets are also full of energy and are a lot of fun to watch. Parakeets will stay very busy climbing, flying from perch to perch, chewing on toys and anything else they can reach, and performing other fun antics.
If you want your parakeet to really bond with you and become a close friend, get just one of them. It will bond more to you that way. If you get two or more parakeets in the same cage, the birds will bond more to each other. If you are planning on having one bird, you should provide plenty of toys such as rings, balls, swings, and bells. In addition to this, you should fulfill its need for companionship by spending some time with it each day.
Parakeets also love mirrors and other reflective objects. It is especially good to have a mirror in the cage if you have just one bird. They are very social creatures and will not be as lonely if there is another bird as a companion, or the reflection of themselves to admire. It is a good idea to get some toys even if you have more than one parakeet, as parakeets love to play. Parakeets like chew toys too. Chew toys made out of wood are good. Just make sure that it is a safe kind of wood for them to chew. It is best to get your wood chews at a good pet shop.
A parakeet is one of the easiest birds to take care of, and they can usually live ten to fifteen years if given good care. All you need is a medium sized cage, a good vitamin enriched food, millet or millet sprays, food and water dishes, a few toys, and a cuttle bone. Get a crushed cob litter or something similar for putting on the bottom of the cage, and change this lining at least once a week. Clean and change the water and food bowls daily to avoid the growth of bacteria.
Keeping your parakeet’s food and water fresh, as well as replenished, is very important. A bird can starve in a short amount of time if it runs out of food. A cuttlebone containing grit will provide a parakeet with the calcium it needs, aid in digestion, and keep the bird’s beak trim and from becoming too long. Parakeets also enjoy supplements of raw fruits and vegetables, but they should be offered in moderation. You may wish to clip your parakeet’s wings short so that it can’t fly. This will make it easier to tame the parakeet and will prevent it from flying out the door or into a pane of glass.
So if you have never had a bird, try a parakeet. They can be a lot of fun. If you already have a parakeet, or want to get one, just follow the basic care tips above, and you should have your parakeet for a good long while.
Tags: Birds and Wild Birds