Thursday, September 21, 2017

Budgies vs. Bourke Parakeets

Budgerigar Parakeets in a Pet Store.
This is our granddaughter, moving
toward loving birds, we hope!
It's been a while since I've posted any of the many questions that receives almost daily. This one today was fun to answer.

"I have found your wonderful website and am wondering if you might answer a couple of questions regarding the Bourke Parakeet. I have been searching for a young Budgie Parakeet from a responsible breeder, but have not located one near our home ... I recently came across the Bourke and am wondering if they make equally wonderful pets as the Budgies do? It seems they share similar qualities, but can you tell me if they do best with a companion Bourke (or other species) or as a single? We are looking to add either of these to our family and thought you might help us streamline our search. Thank you so much!" 

Our Answer: 
Budgies and Bourkes are approx. the same size and both eat Budgie seed mixes. Budgies are more likely to accept fruit in their diet. Bourkes don't seem to like fruit, but they love veggies. Their personalities are very different. Most Budgies are more active, louder and chew more. They climb and Bourkes don't. Bourkes need to fly for exercise since they aren't climbers. Bourkes are quieter and less messy than Budgies and less active. They love being talked to and, even if not hand tame, most learn to come to the side of the cage to be face-to-face with their owners. They love people.

Budgies can be more clown-like and silly. If not tame, they are more likely to bite, but a frightened Bourke will too. Either will tame down if adopted while very young. But, an older Bourke is more likely to become trusting than is an older Budgie. Bourkes have a sweet song and don't often do any screeching, which a Budgie might.

Bourkes are most active at dawn and dusk and tend to nap during the day. However, they wake and will interact with an owner if approached. Budgies nap too, but less often than a Bourke. Bourke eyesight is sharper in dim light than is a Budgie's. However, Budgies can mimic words or phrases repeated to them and owners will understand them. Bourkes wolf whistle and sing prettily, but their mimicking ability is very low.

We've had both and since we keep a large flock, and are fondest of peace and quiet, Bourkes work better for us than any other species. That said, however, a tame Budgie can be just as affectionate and as much fun as any Bourke. A bunch of Budgies, however, are raucous. By contrast, a room full of Bourkes may sound like a rain forest, but a softly quiet one. :-)

Young Bourke Parakeets we raised.
These four are siblings from same clutch.
All birds are happiest with another of their own kind. Even another bird helps because owners cannot always be present, and having another bird "friend" is advantageous. Bourkes are typically very gentle birds and Budgies can be aggressive, especially Budgie hens. Putting them together successfully depends entirely on the two birds. A Budgerigar hen is likely to be cruel to a Bourke hen. A male Budgerigar, however, might treat his Bourke hen as if she were his mate. They cannot interbreed though. Bourkes are only able to reproduce with another Bourke.

Because Budgies are more abundant, they are typically easier to find than Bourkes and cost less. You'll never find a "pink" or "rose" colored Budgie, in spite of the fake photos on Pinterest. The rare rose of Rosy Bourkes is what drew me to my first pair decades ago. Since then, I've grown to love the Normal (wild-colored) Bourkes and all other shades of Bourke Parakeet. These sweeties are my favorites.  Hope this was helpful.

Peace & Blessings,
(aka Rosie Bird)  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Black Budgerigars? Well, Maybe Someday.

When I was a child raising Budgies, I contemplated breeding an all black Budgie. What an accomplishment that would be. But, as an adult, I never dreamed of attempting it. Instead I went on to raise other varieties of birds.

Today on Pinterest I discovered these photos. Apparently, an all-black Budgerigar Parakeet has potential. These are not all black, but who knows what the future holds. I followed the photo links back and it said this new mutation of "Blackface" is very rare and only available in the Netherlands. They're interesting and unique birds. Worth sharing the photos of them.  

Peace & Blessings! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Many Tame Bourke Parakeet Youngsters For Sale, July 2017

Our current babies, already weaned. Tame and adorable. Write to us at for more information.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Bourke Parakeets Growing - Blossom's First Clutch

We have four hens on nests right now and two others resting. Blossom and Songster surprised us with how their very first clutch looks. Nothing we expected!  We have seven hand fed birds still available for sale that hatched in May. The babies in this video will be available in late August or early September. Write to us for information:

Peace & Blessings!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bourke Parakeet Babies on 6/20/2017, Available for Sale

So many baby Bourkes for sale this year! 
These are ready now with more coming! All are very pretty, sweet and TAME! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bourkes Blossom & Songster's First Clutch of Tiny Babies

Have a look at our amazing new clutch. Blossom's four eggs all hatched and three have red eyes! Will they be Lutinos like she is, or Opaline Fallows like her mate, Songster? Excited over these beauties.

Peace & Blessings!
For information write to us at: 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Bourke Parakeets in Three Colors Being Hand Fed

Have 7 baby birds I'm hand feeding and more in nests. Some earlier clutches sold, some of these have deposits, and still have many others available. :-)

We're on the south coast of Oregon, near Coos Bay.  Unable to ship these sweethearts, but this area is a great place to visit.

Peace and Blessings!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Baby Bourke Parakeet April, 2017 Update

2017 Baby Bourkes for sale,
hand fed and very tame.
All the photos in this post are of young Bourke Parakeets from the first clutch of Pretty Boy and Rosie, or from Stormy and Peaches. Rosie hatched three Rosy Bourkes from four eggs;   Peaches hatched five of her six eggs, producing three Rosy Bourkes, two normals (wild color) and one lutino. Although Stormy is a normal Bourke, he carries a gene for lutino from his father, a lutino Bourke.

Normal 2017 Baby Bourke,
hand fed and for sale.
One of two Normal Bourke Babies
Hand fed and very tame.
Flame and Fuchsia are our oldest pair of Bourke Parakeets.  She always lays five eggs per clutch and in the past usually hatched and raised them all. However, last year none of her eggs were fertile. This year, she's not had much success either. But, she does make a wonderful surrogate mother.

Young Opaline Rosy Bourke,
a tame swinger.

Our newest hen, Bella, a normal, laid four infertile eggs. Then, in her second clutch she had two fertile eggs out of four. They both hatched. However, the first baby died and it appears to me that it was not fed. Sometimes young, inexperienced hens do that... Sad, but true.

So, when the 2nd egg hatched two days later, I removed the baby and gave it to Fuchsia who is sitting on her usual five eggs. Some might be fertile in this, her 2nd clutch, but they haven't hatched yet. I candled them and removed one that was definitely fertile and replaced it with Bella's baby. I'm confident that Fuchsia will raise this little fuzzy creature and will probably have saved its life.

2017 Opaline Rosy Bourke,
tame and for sale.

I've been hand feeding those eight babies from the two clutches so they will be very tame. Each one is beginning to eat on its own and will be ready to go to a new home very soon. We're located on the south coast of Oregon near Coos Bay.  Sorry, but we are not currently shipping birds.

Below is Rosy Bird's Latest Video:


Monday, March 6, 2017

March Hello about Bourkes

Hi All,  Sorry I've been away for a month ... so much going on. Too many trips out of town.

Rosy Bourke Parakeet, Fuchsia, on five eggs
We gave in to birdie demands and put nest boxes up a bit earlier than usual. Three hens have fertile eggs: Fuchsia, Rosie and Peaches.

Rosie, on four eggs. She is a Rosy Bourke Parakeet hen.

Peaches on six eggs. She's an Opaline Fallow Rosy Bourke.

Bella is on four infertile eggs, but she's new at this.

Bella on four eggs that can't hatch
because they're infertile.

Blossom and her mate have not ventured into the nest box yet. They're a new couple too, so we are hopeful they will soon take advantage of the nest box.
Songster in front and his hen, Blossom, behind him.
Songster is an Opaline Fallow and Blossom is a Lutino.

We have two lovely Lutino hens that need mates. Sunny is a mature girl from outside our flock, but none of our guys will have anything to do with her. All found mates elsewhere. Can't imagine why. She's very pretty and sweet.

Sunny, a mature Lutino Bourke Parakeet hen.

Starfire is a tame daughter from Peaches and Stormy. She's too young to mate, but doesn't have a fella waiting in the wings yet either. Tee-hee.
Sweet Starfire is a Lutino hen from Peaches & Stormy.
She is young, only hatched last year. 

With this many hens, we should limit how many clutches the gals have this year. Every year I'm fearful we won't be able to sell all the babies, that we will have more offspring than people interested in them. Fortunately, that hasn't happened yet.

Eventually two or three of these pairs will find new homes. We still hope to have only four tame pairs, but it's difficult to part with any of them. Sometime down the road, we need to have a large indoor aviary in a room where the lights can go out early so they won't be stimulated to want to breed, giving them all an early retirement. But, I do love seeing the miracle of new life each Spring. So wonderful.

Even though we should downsize, I still hope to find a mate for Starfire and keep those two! For now, she's my favorite. All the older, original birds, will always remain with us too. Love them all. Smile.

Peace & Blessings!
May all your eggs hatch and your birds stay healthy and happy. 
You stay healthy and happy too!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Rosy Bourke Lutino hens Blossom & Starfire on Video

Sister Rosy Bourke Lutino hens: Blossom, hand-tamed, was hatched in 2015 and parent-raised by Stormy and Peaches. Starfire, hatched in 2016, was hand-fed from two weeks of age until weaned. She is also out of our Normal Bourke, Stormy, who also appears in the video below. Their mother is an Opaline Fallow Rosy Bourke, named Peaches. Both Stormy and Peaches were hand fed and very tame.

Although Blossom is not hand-fed, she became tame very easily. It probably helped that her parents are tame and she was handled in the nest as she grew up.

Be sure to enjoy our other Rosie Bird videos on You Tube.  

Peace & Blessings!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Now on Pinterest as "Pink Birds" and "Bourke Parakeets"

We are PINK BIRDS.  Why, you must ask? We think you will guess. Smile.

Second account is as BOURKE PARAKEETS:

It amazes me how many of my photos appear on other people's sites. Some give an attribution to The Splendid Bourke Bird Blog, but many do not ... 

Peace & Blessings. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

A Reader Contribution. Rosie Loves Wild Birds Too!

From Scotland, Margaret Cook writes:

"Am sending you a picture of a coal tit feeding on my hand... I've been in Speyside many times and never seen this before. Taken by Dave Slater. Sometimes the blue tits get brave, and even a crested tit, but mostly it's coal tits. Magic!" 

Coal Tit in Speyside, Scotland. Photo by Dave Slater.
Very sweet photo, thanks! We have similar birds come to our outdoor feeders in Southern Oregon, USA. Ours are Chickadees, and related to Coal Tits. Your photo urged me to check for others on the internet. Hence the one below.

Black-Capped Chickadee by Nadine Cox.
This photo is from Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
Like Coal Tits, our local Chickadees are easier to invite onto our hands than most other wild birds. I've not fed one on my hand yet, but can stand next to our feeder and talk to them as they eat. They're not easily frightened.

I read that Willow Tits are the most closely related to Black-Capped Chickadees. Although called Chickadees in America and Tits in Europe, all varieties of Chickadee and Tits have a relationship to one another, as do those in other parts of the world.
You Tube has videos of Chickadee, Coal Tit and Willow Tit songs. Interesting that there are similarities in how they sound, as well as looking much alike, even though often continents apart. 

Aren't all birds amazingly unique and beautiful?
Peace & Blessings!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bird Cages and a Recommendation for Bourkes

Naturally the bigger the bird, the larger the cage. However, take into consideration how your bird lives. Some fly, some climb. Some chew, some do not. Finches can live in lovely wooden cages, but hook bills can't. They'll chew through the posts, both damaging them and escaping.

Toys like these are necessary for a happy bird.
Tall cages are excellent for climbing birds like Lineolated Parakeets or Splendid (Scarlet-chested) Parakeets. Wide cages are better for birds like Bourke Parakeets that need to fly and do little climbing.

Too often I've seen Bourkes housed in pretty cages that were too narrow for them to fly in circles. The result is that the strength of their wings weakens and they don't remain adequate fliers. While out of their cage they may lose control in flight and crash exhausted to the floor, or only take short flights from here to there because they know they cannot do more. A once-a-day flight out of their cage is healthy for them, but not enough. They need to be able to fly when caged.

The minimum-sized cage for a pair of Bourke Parakeets is 18 inches wide, 30 inches long and 18 inches wide. We recently decided to take advantage of a discount on several of these cages so that they can be offered to buyers of our birds.  It saddens me to say that the local pet shops and marts we've visited do not carry bird cages that are sufficient in size ... only "pretty." Very sad. Fortunately, they are available on the internet.

This cage has a large door and a smaller one in the middle of it.

We also purchased duplicates of the toys and swings our birds have, along with everything else that is necessary. We don't plan to profit from the cages. We simply want the birds we sell to go to healthy homes, so the complete set-up is $65. This same cage is available online in different colors, and usually for a higher cost. All of ours are black.
This is one of our set-ups, ready to go. Different sized perches, toys, swings, cuttlebone and mineral block are essentials. In addition to water cups, it's wise to add a water bottle on the side of the cage. The one in the photo is plastic because recently we've not found them in glass. However, glass water bottles are preferable to plastic ... the water stays fresher longer.
Although not shown here, we like to line the bottom
of the cage with newspaper, not in the tray, but on the floor.

The new cages came with an additional side door. Very low to
use for a nest box, but might work, depending on the pair.

Birds love spray millet. However, much of what is pre-packaged in grocery stores and even pet shops, is often old. Small isn't a problem, but graying millet indicates it's not fresh. California Golden spray millet is shown below next to some that was given to us with a rescue Bourke. She was being fed this. I put it outdoors at our bird feeder and the wild birds ignored it. What does that tell you?
The package had two left of four sprigs that were gray and dry ... actually looked worse than they do in this photo.

Make sure the millet you buy is golden in color.
Old millet will appear grayish.
Peace & Blessings!

Sunday, November 20, 2016


Most of my posts these days are of the videos Rosie Bird puts up on You Tube. Only so much time in a day, and I apologize for not posting more specific topics recently. Search the Label List for anything you might want to know about Bourkes, or if you don't find what you want, write to with a question.

We hand fed 15 baby Bourke Parakeets this year and parent raised 15 others. It was thrilling to get several Lutinos and two Rubinos as well as very sweet, friendly Normals, Rosies and Pinks.

Normally, I allow the parents to raise one or two clutches and then remove that year's last clutch,  sometimes their second, but most often their third clutch. We can then remove the nestboxes and discourage any further clutches. Bourkes would go right on raising offspring if allowed to do so.

In the house, where interior lighting simulates day length, they don't recognize that it's fall or winter and time to stop breeding. Our one-year-old hens are asking to mate now too, but won't be given a nest box until 18 months to two years of age. Until their mate checks out a suitable box for nesting, a male won't mate (at least typically they won't -- have yet to see an exception, but never say never). 

About hand feeding Bourke Parakeets, the more you hand feed at once, the more difficult it is. I fed nine the first time, then let the parents raise some before taking out third clutches to hand feed seven more. It becomes difficult to keep the food warm and so I fed half, then made a second batch for the rest of them.

Got smarter with the second set of seven. We bought a small cup warmer by Mr. Coffee. It gets too hot, so I kept one small bowl of formula on it and one that wasn't. When one got cold, I could dip into the hot formula and mix some in with the other to warm it. Always test the formula so you don't feed hot formula to the babies. Better too cold than too hot. In fact, once the birds feather, it's less important that it stay warm.  The younger the chick, the more important that the temperature is right...very warm, but not hot.

We also learned this year that our Bourkes love rice chex cereal. It's such a treat for them that I was able to hand tame some babies simply by offering it to them by hand. Of course, it helped that some of the hand fed babies were already eating it from the hand. We typically use spray millet in this way, but our birds are even crazier about rice chex cereal. Who knew!


May your Thanksgiving be blessed
and that you will give if your able, or receive if you're in need.

God bless you and your feathered companions with good health and happiness.