Origin of the Budgie and Its Journey to Become a Popular Pet

Budgie pic

Budgie
Image: thespruce.com

For more than eight years, A Maze’n Farmyard has operated as a family amusement park in Eden Valley, Minnesota. Featuring attractions for all ages, one of the park’s most popular activities is interacting with animals. In addition to feeding and petting kittens, goats, and rabbits at A Maze’n Farmyard’s barn, guests can enjoy more than 250 parakeets at the birdhouse.

Although there are around 100 known species of parakeets, budgerigars, or budgies, are the species that is most associated with the term. Sociable and inexpensive, budgies often feature yellow, green, and blue color combinations.

Native to Australia’s Outback, most wild budgies prefer warm climates. Although it’s unclear where the species got the name “budgerigar,” many believe it came from either a combination of Australian slang terms or the Aboriginal term for “good to eat.”

George Shaw, a zoologist and botanist from England, first documented the budgie in 1805. However, scientists believe budgies actually lived in Australia for upwards of 4 million years. Roughly 35 years after Mr. Shaw’s documentation, John Gould introduced the budgie to Europe, and captive breeding of the species began in 1850.

Through breeding, the color of wild budgies changed slightly. In Australia, wild budgies were primarily green with a yellow face and black banding on the wings. After 20 years of breeding, the colors began expanding to the blues and yellows seen today.

Thanks to the species’ sociable nature, budgies became a popular house pet in the 20th century, and they continue to be an enjoyable pet for many.

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