Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Budgies


When I was a little girl we had a pet budgie.  She was an albino, snowy white with pretty pink eyes, and we would let her out of her cage every day so that she could fly freely.  I loved her dearly, she would sit on my finger and chirp to me and I would try to chirp back at her.  We also had a Ginger Tom called Binkey.  Amazingly Binkey and Kim, although never great friends (and yes we always made sure our cat was out of the room when we opened Kim's cage), coexisted for the extent of Kim's natural life span. Kim crosses my mind every now and again, and even more so when we found the budgie aviary at Reston Zoo.


My in-laws were visiting.  Gregg and his Dad were in a different area while Celia and I went to look at a few of the exhibits.  I found the aviary on our last visit and knew she would enjoy it as much as I did.  It was busier this time, a very popular place, with lots of parents with small children.  At the entrance you could buy little sticks with seed stuck on the end of them.  We didn't know about the budgies at the time, and therefore didn't look for the food we could have given them. 


 It was entertaining watching the children feeding them.  Some were very excited and had to be coaxed to stay calm so that they wouldn't frighten the budgies away.  Others had this look of complete and total awe on their faces.  You could tell they had never fed a little bird from their own hands.


Budgies originated in Australia.  (How wonderful to see them flying around freely.  I can only imagine how noisy they would be in the trees.)  The normal color for them is a bright green with a yellow head.  These are and were always the only color budgie ever found in the wild.  These colors help them camouflage in the leaves. 


I also read online that budgies have two subspecies, the American budgie and the English budgie.  The American budgie is slightly larger than the wild budgie, but that is the only real diffence between them, other than the fact that the American budgie has more color mutations.  The English budgie is much larger than the other types of budgies.  Firstly it has a larger forehead.  Also these live from five to seven years with good care, instead of fifteen or more.  But both the American and the English budgie make very good companions.


The word "budgie" is a shorter version of the actual name "budgerigar", which is an ancient Australian word meaning "good to eat."  The Latin name of this species of parrot is Melopsittacus unduiatus.  


Budgies are found all over Australia, mostly deserts, farmlands and woodlands.  There are no actual threats, though large numbers of wild budgies die during drought.  But budgies can very easily reproduce and that makes up for the drought loss. 


They are sometimes found in huge flocks, flocks that can cloud up the skies.  Budgies like to gather in even bigger flocks near or at watering holes and are normally very active during the day.


I found all this information from a great site which you can find here.


One last shot, a close up of Celia's hand feeding this cute green and yellow one. A very nice gentleman heard me say that we would have to remember to buy some of those sticks next time we came.  He gave me one of his, a kindness that was very much appreciated by both of us.



38 comments:

Weekend-Windup said...

WOW! Beautiful birds. We too have these birds in our house. I used to enjoy the sound they make. They are having beautiful colors...

Linda said...

Lovely pictures! These used to be sold in dime stores but that got phased out some years ago because so many did not survive.

Linda said...

They are lovely, Denise! What a joy and a treat. :)

orvokki said...

Oh, how wonderful budgies. And special is that they can be in your hand.
Thanks for your information.
Have a nice day.

Margaret Adamson said...

They are ALL gorgeous.

you-wee because said...

Great memories,
as a boy I had several budgies, too. And a canary, "living" together with the budgies and fying freely in my boys room.

Elephant's Child said...

There were flocks of wild budgies (sometimes up to several hundred of them) near one of our homes. Noisy, but a delightful thing to see. Sadly I haven't seen any wild ones in years.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Reminds me of Bobby, who was my mother's little companion for many years and who could imitate her voice perfectly. Thanks for all the background information about the species

Gwen said...

We call them parakeets here. :) I've had several, but no matter how young I got them, nor how much I worked with them, I never got them quite as tame as I read they could be. I prefer canaries...at least they have a beautiful song if you get a male. Haven't had birds in over 15 years, though. Just dogs now. Glad you enjoyed seeing them!

Beatrice Euphemie said...

The children look very happy feeding the cute little birds! Interesting information about them, too. I have never had budgies, but I have a cockatiel. They do capture your heart! <3 Karen

llandudnopictures said...

Such friendly birds!

Valerie said...

Oh I loved this post, Denise, although I didn't know they had feeding sticks for birds. I could have had a lot of fun with some of those. As you know I am a bird lover and have, in the past, owned cockatiels, budgerigars, and a parrot. These days I stick strictly to garden birds. Let them do their own housekeeping!

eileeninmd said...

Denise, what a great post on the Budgies. I call them parakeets here and used to have a few as pets when I was a child.. The children must have loved feeding them, so cute. Wonderful post!

TexWisGirl said...

they're adorable. we always had budgies, too. my father whistled back and forth with them a lot. they recognized the shuffle of his feet and would begin chirping to him as soon as he got up (early) in the morning.

Red said...

Interesting feature when people can go in and mix with the budgies. It would be something some people would never forget.

Linda Kay said...

Denise, these are so cute, and how fun for the kids to be able to feed them on the stick. Nice memory of your bird. Never have owned one.

Gill - That British Woman said...

My nana had a budgie, a blue one, trying to remember it's name.......

SweetMarie said...

sooo cute!! I had finches when I was a little girl. :) fantastic captures!

Sandra said...

we call them parakeets and my grandmother had one, a blue one just like the one in your photo at the top that is gobbling food... he lived a long life and was her only companion since she lived alone. i would love to hold them like these kids did in the aviary. great post.

gigihawaii said...

I call them parakeets, and had 2 in a cage in my car port. One day, someone stole the birds and cage and we never thought to have them replaced. Boy, some people have the nerve.

carolann said...

I had three budgies in my life. The green one, the blue and then the green again. I am so glad finally someone has shown them.

They all loved to sit on my shoulder when I was in the kitchen or dusting some days.

I had no luck them talking but they loved to be on my shoulder

and they would chirp,chirp and give me a peck on my cheek. When I ran the water they would jump off my shoulder and stand at the counter and nod their head and do a little foot work I call it. Being joyous.

Then all three died so early. They are sweet pets. I won my firs Budgie at a fair and the Gage to go with it. Knocking down pins all of them. Then he yelled winner. They kept it till I was finished the fair.

William Kendall said...

Beautiful shots! We had one ourselves when I was growing up.

Pierced Wonderings said...

What a great collection of photos and such a lovely remembrance ;) Thank you for sharing!

Visiting from image-in-ing ;)

Karen S. said...

Oh my goodness, last fall we all got to feed the birds like that, and it was such a blast. Don't know who enjoyed it more the birds and their treats they just couldn't get enough of or young and old all so darn happy to have a bird land for treats and take a photo moment too!

Gunilla Bäck said...

They're fantastic little birds! The first budgie I had was young when we got him and he was very tame. Great memories!

Tanya Breese said...

i've never heard them called budgies before, we call them parakeets! love all the different colors!

Stephanie said...

You bought back memories for me as I grew up with budgies in your house. The first one the albino and the second one was a beautiful shade of blue. What a treat to see your post this morning to see all these gorgeous shots of budgies, so colorful. They do make wonderful pets. They are easy to train according to my father. He was great with them. Thanks for sharing!

What Karen Sees said...

What a great post! I loved all the budgie information to go along with the great photos. I wish we had more colorful birds here in Utah where I live.

Adam said...

cute little birds

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

Wonderful photos. I love parakeets and budgies.

Kathie Brown said...

Budgies are so cute. We had one when I was a child as well. I saw some footage on a nature program once with those huge flocks of them in the wilds of Australia. Oh my word! After having only known them as parakeets in a cage, it was amazing to see them in the wild! The flocks were HUGE! it made me wish they could all be free. They do make good companions, though. Nice post with great info.

Chandra Eswaran said...

Hi Denise,
Such beautiful, colorful birds they are.
Kindness is wonderful, isn't it?
How nice would it be if everyone was kind all the time? :) I do wonder...
Have a Beautiful Day!
Peace :)

Carver said...

Fabulous shots of the birds.

Roy Norris said...

Its not a very popular thing now in this country as it was in those days Denise, keeping budgies.

Ela said...

So beautiful birds !!
Lovely pictures !!

Lowcarb team member said...

Denise, those budgies look great.

Growing up we always used to have a 'budgie' in the house, invariably a green one ... great memories.

All the best Jan

Kay said...

I was just wondering if budgies and parakeets were the same because they sure look the same. I see that others already knew. These are such pretty birds.

pattisjarrett said...

This brings back fond memories. I had a yellow budgie--Tweety, of course, after the cartoon.