Title - The Wild Budgerigar
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Text and photo courtesy and © Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Australia.

Native Bird Information BUDGERIGARS Melopsittacus undulatus. (The only member of this genus)

Male Wild BudgerigarThe Budgerigar is the most widely known of all parrots as a caged bird. They are mainly found in the interior of Australia often congregating in very large flocks.

Budgerigars are extremely nomadic. Flock movements are dictated by the availability of water and grass seed. During drought the birds are seen outside their normal range, that is in coastal and wooded areas. Budgerigars are mostly found in the vicinity of water and favour timbered water courses and lightly wooded country.

During early mornings and late afternoons they are most active. Visiting waterholes to drink, scurrying through the grass in search of seeds and flying from tree to tree. They shelter in trees and bushes in the heat of the day moving little, probably to conserve moisture.

Their natural diet consists of grass seeds, including spinifex, weed seeds and sometimes ripening wheat.

Flocks on the move are hard to miss because of the noise. Their swift flight seems erratic yet it is remarkably precise and the entire flock twists and turns as one.

Budgerigars seldom bath like other birds. They like to roll in soaking wet long clean grass.

The natural breeding season is October to December. The average clutch is five to six eggs. The hen starts to brood from the first egg. The eggs are laid on alternate days. The incubation period is from 17 to 18 days. It will be seen from this that the chicks will differ in age when all the eggs have hatched. The hen alone broods and is fed by the cock at regular intervals. The young leave the nest about 30 days after hatching. A week later they are able to fend for themselves.

In the wild Budgerigars occur only in one plumage which is predominantly green and yellow. Selective breeding has led to numerous colour forms. Females have brown or light blue ceres (at top of beak). Males have bright blue. They also have long graduated tails.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Australia
Text and photo courtesy and © Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia.

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