Thursday, April 7, 2011

Budgerigar Personalities vs. Splendids or Bourkes

A safe way to hold baby Budgies and not have them fall off
 a child's lap. These four pale blue babies haven't fledged yet.
I love Budgies and have owned many of them in my lifetime. My grandfather raised and sold them before Bourkes or Splendids were even heard of in the USA. As everyone who loves birds knows, each individual bird has its very own personality, just like every other animal and person.

That said, there are some similarities among related species. Budgies tend to be active, fun and intelligent little birds. They come in almost every color of the rainbow, excluding red, pink or solid black ... although I'd expect to see a solid black Budgerigar parakeet someday if anyone sets out to give it a shot (something I once considered, but never attempted).

Budgies like to chew on anything interesting, and will sample crumbs off your table, or nibble the page edges off a book, newspaper or magazine. Houseplants need to be a safe variety that won't hurt them, and you may want to keep an eye on your Budgie if he or she lands on a curtain rod holding expensive curtains. There's no guarantee they won't chew holes in them too, or the molding around windows, or picture frames. That said, they won't all do that.
Male Rosy Bourke.

Bourkes usually aren't chewers, but they also aren't the playful little clowns that Budgies are. They are less active, but develop an attachment to their owners too. Most tame Bourkes will kiss, sing and climb all over you, just as a Budgie does. Like Budgies, they are curious birds, but typically they take fewer risks than a Budgie will. They tend to be more cautious. Bourkes sleep a lot during the day and become very active at daybreak and dusk. Budgies are happy to be active any time the sun is shining.
Male Splendid or Scarlet-chested
Parakeet.

Splendids chew almost as much as a Budgie. They have active personalities like Budgies, and spend more time awake during the day. They aren't a morning and evening bird like a Bourke. They love water and will put anything and everything into their drinking water, requiring that it be cleaned frequently. Like Budgies, Splendids love swings and other toys. They are clever birds and I've seen them learn to open cage doors.

Albino Budgerigar Parakeet.

Budgies are good mimics and will try to copy what you say to them. Bourkes and Splendids won't. However, Bourkes do wolf whistle naturally and have a pretty song. Budgies chatter and talk more than the other parakeets, and some of them can become noisy... particularly during breeding season.

Male Splendid on left and Normal-colored Bourke male on right.
The uncommon coloration in Splendids and Bourkes makes them a uniquely beautiful pet.  Budgies are inexpensive birds with great personalities and, when tame, they make wonderful, affectionate pets ... especially for kids! Every parakeet variety has its advantages, and it's fun to learn as much as you can about each of them before selecting the right one for you.

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