It’s Fun Friend Friday once again. Today we’re taking a look at a feathery friend the Parakeet. Let’s see why this bird has been named the most popular pet in America.
The Popular Parakeet
The parakeet is so popular it has three names; budgie (UK), budgerigar (Australia) and parakeet (USA). This colorful bird is 18 cm (7 in) long, and weighs 30-40 grams, so it’s a perfect pet for any household. It originates from Australia and was first introduced as a pet in 1840.
Parakeets in the wild are green, but now come in a wide range of colors and patterns thanks to captive breeding; from white, blue, yellow, violet, purple, mauve, olive green, cinnamon, cobalt blue and everything in between.
In the wild parakeets flock together in large numbers to stay safe from predators. They lay from four to nine eggs that hatch in about three weeks. The baby birds stay with their mom until they are around five weeks of age.
Feathery Friend Fact…parakeets can live to be 15 years old.
What Did You Say?
Parakeets are natural communicators and love to sit and chatter to themselves in a mirror. And unlike your furry friends, parakeets can learn how to talk. Males are more likely to pick up words, sounds and whistles than females. If you want to teach your pet parakeet to talk you’ll have to spend time each day giving him his lessons – that’s right, your parakeet needs to listen and learn to repeat words – just like in school. Start with one word or a two word phrase like, pretty bird, until your pet gets the hang of it. Be patient. Talking may not come easily to your bird, but with time and dedication, he could be chatting up a storm.
Feathery Friend Fact…how can you tell a male parakeet from a female? The color of it’s cere (fleshy part above the beak). Males will have a blue or purplish cere. Females will be white, brown or tan.
Now that you’ve decided to get a parakeet, you will need;
~ a suitable wire cage of appropriate size
~ cups for water and seed
~ parakeet seed
Once you’ve picked out your special bird, remember that he will be a bit shy and, perhaps, scared when you first bring him home, so be patient and give your new pal a quiet place and some time to adjust. Talking to him in a gentle voice when you approach his cage and not making any loud or sudden movements will help him feel safe.
Make sure he has plenty of fresh food and water daily and clean out his cage (change the bottom liner/paper and scrub out dishes/perches) every week. Once your parakeet has adjusted to his new home, you can begin to handle him and teach him to talk. But just remember, like with any pet, your parakeet is a responsibility and should be treated with love and respect.
Parakeets enjoy the companionship of their human caretaker and will whistle and chatter when they’re happy. If you think this wonderful little bird would make a good pet for you, then grab a book on how to fully care for them. With lots of love and the proper care you could find yourself enjoying the company of a parakeet for many years to come.