These lovely birds are mostly known as Budgies, however, they can also be called Budgerigar Parakeets, just Parakeets or Grass Parakeets, and in a more formal setting they are called Budgerigars! Budgerigar is the most accurate name for these lovely little parrots, with Budgie being the more relaxed, familiar name. And for those who are interested in such things, their scientific name is Melopsittacus undulates.
The name Parakeet is applied to more than 100 species of small to medium sized parrots that have a long tapering tail. These species are from many areas, come in many sizes and shapes and are not all related; therefore the label of parakeet is really just a descriptive term. Other parrots called parakeets include Rosella, Alexandrines and Bourkes. So whilst parakeet is the accepted name for them in some countries it can be a little confusing.
Wild Budgies are small parrots, seven inches or 18cm long and 30-40 grams, that live in Australia. In the photo you can see they have a light green body, yellow head, back and wings with black markings from the forehead down their wings. The long tail feathers are a lovely blue. There is a patch of dark purple on each side of the face called a cheek patch, and several small black spots on the lower edge of the face. The nostrils of adult males are blue and smooth (as seen in the photo), whilst females are brown and rough looking.
The pet budgie
has been bred to be larger and in many different colours, by combining
these it is possible to breed hundreds of different varieties. This adds
to their already great appeal. They are still the same species even
though they often look very different from the wild type of budgie. In
the wild some of these colours do appear, but do not become common in
the wild populations. It is likely that a different coloured budgie
would be less camouflaged in the trees and grass and therefore more
easily picked out by predators. It is also thought that females have a preference for Light Green males so other colours are quickly bred out.
These are still the same species but have been bred as show birds for many generations. This name seems to cause quite a bit of confusion, with people thinking that they have an English Budgie because it has a 'poofy' head.
I believe the name came about because the exhibition budgerigars in England were far ahead of other countries, so they were being exported all around the world. So people were able to get show budgie from England, and called them English Budgies.
The 'ideal' for show budgies has led to them being bred to look quite different from wild ones. They have larger feathers which puff out to make them look much bigger and a different shape. In many places the label of English Budgie has simply become the name for good quality show birds. However, that is only really an accurate label if the bird came from England, or maybe if it was bred 100% from birds from there.
is really no difference between these budgies and any other, in the
same way that a Normal and a Spangle are both still just budgies.