Bird Families

Budgerigars: rules of care and maintenance

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Budgie is the most common flat-tailed parrot. He is very handsome, but his pleasant disposition surpasses the beauty of his plumage. The budgie can be a decoration of any home and win the love of even a person who is completely indifferent to birds. It is about the size of a sparrow (20-22 cm), but it seems a little larger due to its long tail.

It got its name for the transverse wavy strokes on the plumage, located on the back of the head, back of the neck, back and wings. The plumage of the wild budgerigar is bright, grassy green. The forehead, crown, cheeks and throat are yellow. There are several blue spots on the throat and cheeks. The stepped tail has long middle tail feathers in dark green and blue. The beak is straw-yellow, with a bare beak at the base of the beak. The wax is blue in the male, brown or white in the female. The limbs are bluish-green, pink in the home. Chicks of both wild and domestic parrots are colored in the same way as adult birds, but less brightly. The wax is pale pink in young males, pale blue in females. After 10-12 months, it becomes the same as in adult birds.

In the wild, budgerigars live in Australia, on the grassy plains. In search of food, these dexterous, graceful and graceful birds constantly roam, except for the breeding season, which falls on September-December. Their fast and swift flight is similar to the flight of small falcons.

The budgerigar was first described in 1794 by the researcher Shavu, but only in 1831 in the Museum of the Society. Linnaeus exhibited for all to see a stuffed bird of this bird, which at that time was considered a great rarity. Live budgerigars were first brought to Europe from Australia only in 1840 by D. Gould, an employee of the London Zoological Society's museum. And from that time on, they gradually became the subject of trade.

During the long journey from Australia to Europe, many birds died due to the great crowding and poor feeding. The budgerigar trade flourished during those days in England, Belgium, France and Germany. Due to overfishing, budgerigars in their habitat soon declined sharply and the Australian government banned their export. But the ban did not affect the distribution of budgerigars around the world as a house bird. By the indicated time, they had already learned how to successfully breed them in captivity, and even special firms arose that were engaged in breeding and marketing these birds.

The first successful breeding of budgerigars was carried out at the Antwerp Zoo in 1850, and in 1854 in Paris there was a manual for their breeding, written by M. Dolon. This date, probably, can be considered the beginning of captive breeding of budgerigars, since other information has not been preserved.

In the former USSR, budgerigars appeared much later and were rarely on sale, since they were imported from Western Europe. For the first time we began to breed budgerigars in the Moscow Zoo in the 30s. Nowadays, these birds are constantly in zoological stores and they are bred by many amateurs.

The first changes in the color of budgerigars occurred spontaneously due to the conditions of keeping birds in captivity. But these varieties, as a rule, disappeared without a trace, and only in our century has selection work become more successful. Some experience has accumulated in breeding new varieties of parrots. At present, the budgerigar can easily be called a room bird, since breeders have already bred over 200 varieties, which can be divided according to external characteristics into groups and subgroups that unite birds with plumage of a certain color, pattern or feather shape.

The first group includes monochromatic parrots in which one color prevails over the rest: with green plumage and normal waviness (original form), with blue plumage and normal waviness, ash-gray with black waviness. Each of the subgroups unites varieties that differ from each other in a shade of the main color. For example, birds with blue, dark blue, lilac and blue-violet plumage also belong to the subgroup of blue parrots. The second group includes parrots, in the plumage of which there are several flowers, located more or less evenly. There are subgroups here: speckled, harlequins (Danish piebald), penguins and crested. The most common of these are speckles. Their plumage has an indefinite pattern and an irregular distribution of color. The presence of a large number of speckles indicates that purposeful breeding work is not being carried out.

For harlequins characterized by horizontal, sharply demarcated in color, the color of the chest and abdomen. In addition, a reddish skin tone in males and a shiny waxy color in females is a special feature. Here, the varieties are determined by the color of the chest and abdomen, which can be very diverse. So, a budgie with a white chest and a blue belly is called blue and white harlequin... The coloration of the back is not taken into account in this subgroup. For penguins the coloration of the top (the back of the head and neck, wings, back) and the bottom (the front of the head and neck, chest, abdomen), which are determined by the color of which the variety is determined, is characteristic. A budgie with a sharply demarcated gray top and green bottom is called gray-green penguin.

Budgerigar: description

The budgerigar has a stepped tail, the length of which is about 10 centimeters. Thanks to the long tail, the size of the parrot itself visually increases, although the length of the body does not exceed 23 cm. The weight of an adult is no more than 50 grams.

On the back of the head, towards the back of the head and further along the back, against a yellow background, dark lines can be seen, in the form of waves, the thickness of which increases towards the back. In young individuals, this pattern is somewhat blurred.

Modern parrots bred artificially differ in a huge variety of colors, while characteristic waves may be absent.

The bird's beak is curved and strong, at its base there is a wax with nostrils and covered with a stratum corneum. The same thin coating is found on the tip of the parrot's tongue.

The color tone of the wax bean indicates the sex of the bird: an adult male has a bright blue wax, a young parrot has a purple wax, in an adult female it is brown or blue, and in a young one it is blue.

The parrot's beak functions differently from other birds, but is more mobile. The fact is that the longer upper part of it is connected to the skull using a tendon. The chicks have a dark or pale yellow beak, with a greenish tinge in adults.

With the help of its unique beak, the bird is capable of performing a number of rather important functions. For instance:

  • With the help of its beak, the parrot can hold and move various objects.
  • The bird uses its beak to grind small twigs, plant fruits, seeds and leaves.
  • The beak helps the parrot climb trees and other surfaces.
  • Often, the beak becomes a weapon for defense.

The parrot easily picks off the fruits, peels off the husks and crushes them due to the presence of horny teeth, which are located inside the beak. With the help of these teeth, the anterior part of the beak is also sharpened.

Interesting fact! Feathers of males, which are located on the forehead, emit a glow in the rays of ultraviolet radiation. The brighter this glow, the more attractive the male is to the female.

On each paw of a parrot (and there are two of them) there are 4 fingers of a grayish-blue or pink shade. In this case, two fingers look forward, and two back. This arrangement of the fingers allows the bird to feel great, both on tree branches and on a horizontal surface. In addition, the parrot turns on the functions of its paws when it feeds, since it can hold any objects with its paws in line with its beak.

Habitat, habitat in the wild

Australia is considered the birthplace of budgerigars, therefore it is in this country that the natural habitats of these amazing birds are located.

The habitat of these birds extends to the southwestern and eastern coasts, as well as to nearby islands, including about. Tasmania. At the same time, the bird avoids areas with dense forests located somewhat to the north.

Birds prefer to nest in the steppe and semi-desert zone, characterized by woodland.

In the northern part of the continent, budgerigars hatch their offspring, regardless of the season, and in the southern part, this period falls on the month of November-December.

Parrots lead a gregarious lifestyle, while in each flock there may be several tens, or several hundred individuals. As part of a flock, they migrate from place to place in search of food, as well as water. It is often possible to see flocks of budgies occupying the green plains, where they eat the seeds of grasses and other plants.

Parrots easily fly long distances, as they are able to fly quite quickly. Their flight speed reaches that of swallows.

Currently, the wild parrot population in Australia has declined sharply. As experts point out, the fault is the activity of a person who madly spoils the landscape of this continent.

Interesting to know! Aborigines (local residents) also had a hand in the fact that the number of budgerigars is constantly decreasing. The fact is that these birds are included in their diet.

Description of appearance, distribution area

Literal translation of Melopsittacus undulatus, means - a singing wavy parrot.

Their homeland is Australia. This is the most numerous species of parrots. In natural conditions, they gather in huge flocks, which number hundreds of individuals.

  • In the wild, the bird has a bright green plumage, with a small wavy pattern on the back and large waves on the wings.
  • The forehead and throat are yellow, on the "cheeks" on each side there is one purple spot, in the form of a comma, under which there are 3 black spots.
  • Domestic parrots have different color options.

This is interesting: in young birds, a small wavy pattern is also present on the forehead. A monochromatic “mask” appears after molting.

In the wild, wavy people rarely live up to 4 - 5 years, in an apartment they live much longer, on average, up to 8 - 10 years

Rules for caring for a budgerigar

Keeping budgies is not a big deal. They feel great at home.

Cell selection

When buying a cage, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  1. Safe, practical materials.
  2. The dimensions should be such that the bird sitting in the center of the perch, flapping its wings, does not touch the rods. The approximate size is 25x40x40 per bird.
  3. A tray in a cage is desirable with high sides to prevent debris from scattering around the room.
  4. Bathing glasses, sippy cups are desirable external, they are convenient to remove, without disturbing the birds.
  5. The shape of the roof does not matter, but the cage itself should be rectangular.

Important: in a rectangular cage, the bird feels more comfortable, since the walls give a feeling of security and safety.

Budgerigar diet

For beginners, the question always arises: "How to feed budgerigars?"

A varied, nutritious diet is the key to the health and well-being of your pet.

Grain mix

The cereal mixture can be bought ready-made, or you can prepare it yourself.

The following composition is considered optimal:

  • Millet (mixture of varieties): red, yellow, white, black - 80%.
  • Oats - 10%
  • Canary Seed - 5%
  • Small sunflower seeds - 5%.

Greens

Parrots love dandelion greens, clover, bummer. They are happy to eat seeds of plants in the stage of milky - waxy ripeness: dandelion, plantain, oats, canary grass.

In the winter period of time, seedlings of oats and wheat are great.

Vegetables and fruits

Birds can be offered almost any kind of fruit. From vegetables, you can use carrots, lettuce, pumpkin, red pepper, in small quantities - cabbage.

Branches of fruit trees

Budgerigars do not eat tree branches, but they like to nibble bark from them. You can use branches of apple, bird cherry, willow.

Mineral supplements

For normal life, wavy lines need minerals and additives. They must be present in the cell at all times.

  • Lump chalk.
  • Sepia is the shell of a cuttlefish.
  • Egg husk.
  • Charcoal or activated carbon.
  • River sand, with grains of sand of different sizes.

Prohibited foods

The following foods should not be offered to birds as food:

  • Roasted sunflower seeds.
  • Confectionery, fresh bread.
  • Spicy and pungent greens.

Talking budgie

A talking pet always brings joy and is the center of attention. But not every bird can be taught to imitate human speech.

When choosing a wavy, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • Age. It is advisable to purchase a young chick, at the age of 1.5 - 2 months. Little chicks are gullible, less shy, so the taming process will go easier.
  • Boy or girl. The male, by nature, is more calm, not so fearful than the female, he has higher ability to talk.

Males

  • In young chicks - boys, the wax is purple.
  • An adult bird has a bright blue wax color.

Females

  • In chicks of girls - the color can vary: blue, beige, light blue with a beige tint.
  • The adult female has a brown or blue wax.

How to teach your budgie to talk

In order to succeed in the learning process, you must follow certain rules:

  • Complete trust between owner and pet.
  • One person is engaged with the bird.
  • Consistency, regularity of classes. Only multiple repetitions will lead to the desired result.
  • Food reinforcement. In the process, or after the lesson, the bird can be offered a treat, then the learning will go faster.
  • Start with simple words. After the parrot has mastered one word, move on to the next.
  • Regular repetition of the material covered. Students have a short memory for words, without frequent repetitions, they will speak less and less.

Important: you should practice when the parrot has a desire to sit quietly and listen. When active and excited, there will be no effect.

Budgerigar diseases

Each bird owner should know what a healthy pet looks like in order to recognize the disease in time and take action.

Signs of health

A healthy parrot will look like this:

  1. Active, looks cheerful, climbs the twigs of the cage, chirps.
  2. The talking bird speaks, willingly makes contact.
  3. Sits on one leg while resting or sleeping.
  4. The plumage is bright and even. The exception is the molt period.
  5. Beak and wax, smooth, shiny.
  6. The skin on the paws is smooth, without outgrowths and lagging scales.
  7. Good appetite.

Diseases arising from violation of conditions of detention

Violation of the conditions of detention, can lead to illness of budgerigars. However, adequate patient care and elimination of inaccuracies will correct the situation.

Increase freedom of movement, replace perches.

Provide quality feed.

Infectious and parasitic diseases

Birds can also be susceptible to infectious diseases, with some diseases being transmitted to humans.

Signs that should alert the owner of a feathered pet:

  1. Decreased appetite.
  2. Apathy.
  3. Discharge from the nose or eyes.
  4. The bird is in a crumpled state for a long time.
  5. Heavy breathing, wheezing possible.
  6. It itches constantly or very often.
  7. Stained feathers around the anus.
  8. Growths or delamination appeared on the paws or wax.

Important: the presence of two or more symptoms indicates an illness. The parrot should be shown to a specialist as early as possible. Self-medication is unacceptable.

Subject to the simple rules of care, the birds feel great at home. They have become very common, especially in families with children, for whom they become real friends.

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