Australian Budgerigar (‘common parakeet’)

When I was going through my photographs the other week, I realized that I actually a picture of the Australian budgerigar, or ‘common parakeet’ from my few years out in Boston.

I’d taken this picture one afternoon when I was on a walk with my dog and I found it funny that there was a parakeet just sitting on the sidewalk in the middle of Boston. I’d figured that someone possibly had accidentally let his or her bird loose that day.

Usually when one spots a budgerigar, they’re either in the pet store, sitting in a bird-cage in someone’s house, or in the zoo.

Common parakeet seen ‘walking’ in the neighborhood in Boston.

I could tell that it was a ‘pet’ that might have gotten loose, due to the coloring.

That is the main distinction between wild budgerigars and those bred in captivity.

The wild budgerigars are a mix of green, black, and yellow–the body is green, with black and yellow wings, while the head is yellow.

Those bred in captivity can range in color from green/black/yellow to shades of blue, gray, violet, or white. This one was a mix of yellow, white, blue, and possibly black. The most common colors for the pet store budgerigars are blue, green, and yellow.

The wild budgerigars are also smaller in size than some that are bred in captivity (they’re only about 7 inches in length, while some that are breed in captivity are twice the size).

The budgerigar is native to Australia, and is a nomadic bird that moves around the country based on the current weather conditions.

Range map of the Budgerigar, modified from map found at

In Australia, they can be found in open habitats such as the scrublands, grasslands, and open woodlands. But when there are droughts, they can be spotted in more wooded areas and even along the coasts.

There is an feral population of budgerigar parakeets around St. Petersburg Florida, though competition with other introduced (and native) birds has caused a slight decrease in their population. They have been introduced in other locations, but have not established ‘feral’ stable populations.

They are a popular bird to have as a pet–and therefore can possibly be spotted in other countries–sitting in a bird-cage in someone’s house.

Their diet consists mainly of seeds of plants such as different grasses and grains.

I would have to say that my big photography goal for the budgerigar is to take a trip to Australia and get a picture of one in thier natural habitat, and if possible get a picture of a group flying or grazing on grass seeds.