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Breeding and Identifying: Budgies and Parakeets

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Breeding and Identifying: Budgies and Parakeets

Post by lutinoman on Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:06 am

Physical Description:

Size:

Length: ~ t 7 inches (~18 cm long)
Weight: ~ 0.9 - 2.1 oz (~25 - 60 grams). Most of them weigh between 0.9 - 1.3 oz (25 - 36 grams.).

Note: Bird weight is an important indicator of good health or health problems (please click here for diseases associated with weight gain or weight loss). Monitoring your pet's weight regularly, establishing a healthy base weight and keeping an eye on changes are recommended as part of their general care regiment. Your vet should be alerted to any weight deviations that are not in line with natural weight fluctuations.

Plumage:

Wild budgerigars have green underparts and rumps, while the upperparts are barred with black and yellow. The forehead and face is yellow in adults, and barred black with yellow in young till they change into their adult plumage at 3-4 months of age. Each cheek has a small dark purple patch and a series of black spots across the throat. The tail is greenish blue or purple; outside tail feathers have a central yellow band. Their wings have greenish-black flight feathers and black coverts with yellow fringes.

Legs:

Greyish blue, with zygodactyl toes.

Identifying Gender and Approximate Age:

The color of the cere (the fleshy part above the beak) differs between the sexes and also changes as budgies get older or are indicators of the breeding condition they are:

Cere:

Adult Males (8 months +):

Breeding Male: Blue or purplish blue cere for normal varieties and bright violet or pink for recessive pieds, lutinos / albinos, dark-eyed clear, lacewings or fallow mutations.

Non-breeding Males: Pale-brown or Pink Cere

Adult Females (8 months +):

Breeding Female: Brown Cere

Non-breeding Females: White or Light Blue Cere

Young Budgies:

The cere is pink in both genders - however, immature males may show a purplish-pink hue. It is very difficult to sex budgies that are younger than 8 months because the cere has a tendency to change color.

Plumage:

Applies to normal color varieties only ... Budgies that are younger than 4 months will have a full head of cap feathers that are barred all the way down to the cere. At three to four months of age, the budgie will go through its first molt, and these cap feathers will be replaced by clear, non-barred feathers.

This does not apply for the color varieties Lutino/Albino and Recessive Pieds.

Behavior:

Males tend to be more vocal than females and have more variety in their songs. Females may be more aggressive than males. Males are often more active and outgoing.

Eyes:

Young budgies (up to 4 months old) have all black eyes.
Budgies ranging from 4-6 months have dark grey irises.
Budgies ranging from 6-8 months have light grey irises
Budgies ranging from 8 months and older have all-white irises.
NOTE: Exceptions to the above would be lutinos, albinos and recessive pieds. Dominant and recessive traits are also influence the color of the iris rings.

Taxonomy

Genus: Scientific: Melopsittacus ... English: Budgerigars ... Dutch: Grasparkieten ... German: Wellensittiche ... French: Perruches .

Species: Scientific: Melopsittacus undulatus ... English: Budgerigar, Shell Parakeet, Parakeet ... Dutch: Grasparkiet ... German: Wellensittich ... French: Perruche ondulée ... CITES Status: Common
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