Budgies are endemic to Australia. While their range covers most of the country they prefer the drier inland areas and West coast. They are nomadic and flocks will move between scrublands, grasslands and open woods in search of food. In periods of drought they have also been found to visit denser forest and the eastern coast in search of water.
Wild budgies feed on a variety of seeds, fruits and greens. The proportions of each will vary greatly depending on availability. The wild diet of budgies is relatively easy to replicate in captivity due to the availability and affordability of seed. While a millet based seed mix provides a sufficient base for a diet specifically formulated budgie pellets are also provided to ensure the birds receive all their required essential nutrients.
In addition to seed mix and pellets, suitable fruits and vegetables are also provided including:
Budgies are considered to be opportunistic breeders and will breed at any time of year if conditions are favourable, in the wild this is typically during spring and early summer. While captive budgies are capable of producing a large number of clutches it is recommended they be limited to two per year to avoid parents developing nutrient deficiencies. Clutches typically contain 4-8 eggs with eggs taking 18-21 days to hatch. Eggs are often laid 2-3 days apart with the youngest egg of the clutch occasionally hatching before the last being laid. After hatching juveniles take a further thirty days to fledge.
Budgies like most Australian parrots nest in tree hollows or cavities on cliff faces. In captivity, each breeding pair has a nesting box available that mimics these hollows. The base of each box is covered in a layer on untreated saw dust or wood shavings.
Budgies are highly social animals which naturally live in large flocks so should be given every opportunity to interact to avoid becoming bored or stressed. One simple method is to provide a range of natural wooden perches for them to spend time preening one another. They will often shred leaves and flowers so these perches are regularly changed. Plants native to the bird’s home range such as gums are also used.
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