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It's a bird... It's a parakeet... It's a budgie!!
It’s a bird, it’s a parakeet, it’s a budgie!
I know here at the Audubon Aquarium of the America’s we have been anxiously awaiting the spring opening of Parakeet Pointe! The husbandry staff is gearing up for more animals and more staff. Parakeet Pointe will be home to over 800 birds- so it is like you're seeing a real wild budgie flock. Not only that but for $1 you can feed the birds.
It has been my experience in animal care that there is something interesting about every animal. There is always a great story or something that makes this animal unique. With all the progress and commotion for our new exhibit, it got me wondering a bit about these birds and what their story is.
Parakeet Pointe will be home to a type of parakeet known as budgies. These birds originally come all the way from Australia. Aborigines called them “betcherrygah”, which means “good bird” because they were good to eat.
The first budgies that came to England were dead specimens collected by naturalists on an expedition led by Captain James Cook. This grew a large interest in Europe and by the late 1800’s budgies were being imported and sold as pets. In the 1920’s they became very popular in the United States.
It’s not unusual to see flocks of a 1,000 or more! Their diet consists of different types of seeds, some wheat, fruits and vegetables- like lettuce and apples. They also love to roll in wet leaves to give themselves baths.
Budgies are actually one of the most vocal birds, ranking in the top 5 talking birds. In fact, the bird with the largest vocabulary (according to the Guinness Book of World Records anyway) is a budgie named Puck. His vocabulary included over 1,500 words! And if you think that is cool- once a budgie went missing for 4 days and was reunited with it’s owner when it recited it’s address and telephone number! Now that is pretty cool!