These cute and popular birds are instantly recognizable as parakeets or budgies. Their formal name is the Budgerigar or Shell Parakeet. Whatever you call them, we know them as one of the park's many popular residents.
These small, long-tailed parrots are seed eaters. Wild parakeets are found living throughout the drier parts of Australia and are noticeably smaller than those found in captivity. Naturally green and yellow with black, scalloped markings on the nape, back and wings, breeders have created a rainbow of blues, whites, violets and yellows, grays and even some with small crests. Budgies are popular pets around the world due to their small size, playful nature and their ability to learn to whistle tunes, mimic human speech and learn to do tricks.
Budgies are closely related to the lories and fig parrots but here in America, we call them parakeets; a term that refers to any number of small parrots with long, flat tails.
Budgies are intelligent and very social animals; they enjoy playing with toys and interacting with humans as well as other parakeets.
It is usually easy to tell the difference between a male and a female budgie that is over six months old, mainly by the color of the area containing the nostrils called the cere. Behavior and head shape will also help you tell the difference.
A mature males' cere is usually light to dark blue but can be purplish to pink in some birds. Males generally have a rounder head and are very vocal.
Females' ceres are pink as immature birds; becoming beige to white when they are not in the breeding season, brown during mating season. Typically female parakeets have a flattened back of the head, right above the region of the nape.
You won't want to miss our newest popular attraction, The Parakeet Budgie Encounter, a walk-through aviary where you can experience up close and personal, the beauty of over 500 parakeets. You can buy a “bird feed stick” for $1 and have parakeets eating right out of your hand.
Visitors agree, the Parakeet Budgie Encounter is one of their new favorite experiences at the zoo!