Budgerigars have quite a few different names: Melopsittacus undulates is the scientific name, and they are also known as budgies, parakeets, shell parakeets, and common pet parakeets. In terms of taxonomy these birds are small parrots from the Platycercini - a tribe of broad-tailed parrots:
|Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
- Kingdom - Animalia
- Phylum - Chordata
- Class - Aves
- Order - Psittaciformes
- Family - Psittacidae
- Subfamily - Psittacinae
- Tribe - Platycercini
This hardy little bird has been around for five million years and is native to the harsh arid climate of the Australian bush. Budgies have been bred in captivity in an array of attractive colors, and some of the best known are:
- Crested opaline cobalt budgerigar
- Grey budgerigar
- Grey-winged sky blue budgerigar
- Light green budgerigar
- Lutino budgerigar
- Opaline dominant pied budgerigar
The light green budgerigar is the original native specimen and the others result from selective breeding of mutations. There are now thousands of possible color variations.
The crested opaline cobalt budgerigar is one of the budgies with a crested mutation - this crest of feathers on top of the head is quite distinctive and looks like a flat-top haircut. The cobalt coloring is very impressive and is enhanced by the opaline pattern of the plumage. This parrot lives to around seven years and grows to around seven inches.
The gray budgerigar has not only gray plumage but also gray feet. Like most other budgies it grows to seven inches and lives for around seven years. It has a white head and a series of notable black spots between the head and gray body.
The gray-winged sky blue budgerigar's mutation of gray wings was first identified in 1918, and the way these blend with a sky blue breast make a very attractive bird. The birds face is white or yellow. You can identify the female by the brown cere.
The light green budgerigar with its yellow head and green body is the classic budgie which you can see in is a native habitat of Australia.
The lutino budgerigar's bright yellow plumage capture's many an owner's hearts. It is the absence of melanin that means that there are no black spots. Looking closely you will note that the wing feathers are lighter than the rest of the bright yellow body.
The impressively named opaline dominant pied budgerigar (melopsittacus undulatus) can have a variety of different markings from light through to dark green. It first emerged in 1935, and you will often see three distinctive markings on the side of their face.