What do you know about budgies and their lifespan? In the United States, the budgie, also known as its full name budgerigar, is more usually referred to as a “parakeet.” You will undoubtedly encounter pairs of these colorful birds sitting together, which is why they are commonly referred to as lovebirds. These brightly-colored birds are distant cousins of macaws and scarlet macaws, as they all belong to the same parrot family.
Budgies are native to Australia and can be found throughout much of Australia’s interior west of the Great Dividing Range. They make great pets and many people find that these gentle birds make for a great companion. Curious to learn more about this adorable little bird? Let’s explore the budgie lifespan and how you can extend its life.
How Long Do Budgies Live?
The average lifespan of budgies in the wild is 4-6 years. In captivity, budgies have been known to live longer, living an estimate of 5-10 years when properly cared for. In comparison to many other parakeet species, the budgie, unfortunately, doesn’t have a long lifespan.
Let’s take a look at how the budgie’s lifespan compares to other parakeet species by looking at other averages:
- Monk parakeets: Sometimes known as Quaker parakeets, these birds have a lifespan of roughly 20-30 years.
- Golden parakeets: With adequate care, the Golden parakeet may easily live up to the old age of 30 years in the wild and up to 20-25 years in captivity.
- Rose-ringed parakeet: The lifespan of a rose-ringed parakeet is around 25-30 years. One rose-ringed parakeet has been known to live for up to 50 years!
- Plain parakeet: The plain parakeet lifespan in captivity is about 15 years. However, with excellent care, they have been known to live up to 18-20 years.
As you can see, when compared to many other parakeet species, the budgie lifespan is much shorter. Nevertheless, budgies are still incredible pets to keep and there are many proactive steps that you can take as an owner to keep them alive for as long as possible.
With our newfound knowledge of the budgie lifespan, let’s move on to the budgie life cycle.
The Average Budgie Life Cycle
Budgerigars, like many other birds, undergo a similar life cycle. Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
Breeding & Nesting
Parakeets typically reproduce in reaction to rainfall in Australia’s Outback. This typically occurs between June and January. Parakeet nests are simple in nature. Nests are built-in holes in trees, fence posts, or on the ground in the form of logs.
Budgies typically lay anywhere between 4 to 6 eggs. If viable, the eggs are one to two millimeters long and pearl white with no coloration. Female budgerigars can lay eggs in the absence of a male companion, but these unfertilized eggs will not hatch. The four to six eggs that are fertilized are then incubated for the next 18–21 days.
The eggs hatch one at a time, with the first hatching after 17-19 days. The chicks are born naked and blind. Their first food is a liquid from the hen’s crop known as parakeet milk. This is an important first meal since it is high in nutrients and antibodies. After 10 days, parakeet chicks open their eyes. They grow soft down at this stage, with ‘pin feathers’ developing after two weeks.
Budgies can attain maturity at a young age of 7 to 8 months. Budgies’ normal mature size ranges from 6 to 11 inches long. Parakeets are ready to reproduce when they reach the age of one year. A parakeet pair forms strong ties because both parents spend so much time parenting their young. This is why they do not like to live in isolation from other budgies.
What Factors Impact The Budgie Lifespan
As the budgie lifespan is not very long, it is helpful to know what impacts their lives. There are a few issues that budgies can run into, including predation and other external factors. These include:
- Predators: Many larger birds feed on other birds, including parakeets, in tropical conditions, usually during the parakeet nesting season. Large birds, such as eagles and falcons, are the most likely to prey on parakeets. Parakeets must also watch out for snakes and monkeys as well. Snakes and monkeys frequently scale tree branches to reach juvenile parakeets nesting in trees. They will often eat parakeet eggs as well.
- Isolation: When left alone for extended periods of time, parakeets can become their own worst enemy. Parakeets crave attention and build close friendships with other parakeets and people. They must be entertained and have a social outlet or else they will get depressed and engage in self-mutilation.
- Stress: If budgies don’t feel safe in their living environment they will begin to get stressed out and unhappy. They value regularity in their days and do not like loud noises.
How To Extend The Life Of Your Pet Budgie
Many factors influence the budgie’s lifespan. If you are interested in getting a pet budgie, then you’re going to want to know everything you can do to provide them with a great and long life.
Here are the best tips to help extend your budgie’s lifespan:
- Healthy feed: Providing your budgie with a healthy diet is a great way to keep their life long. Its healthy diet should include seeds, nuts, pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. However, don’t forget to keep its diet balanced. Too many nuts and seeds can cause weight gain and create health problems.
- Providing them with toys: Physical and mental stimulation is essential for an energetic and lively budgie. Budgies love having toys to play with. If you leave these birds alone with a favorite toy, they will be incredibly happy. Add some ropes for them to climb on or puzzle toys for them to solve.
- Allow them to fly around: Allowing them to stretch their wings at least once a day is essential for their well-being. Your budgie will be happy for the exercise and opportunity to do what they do best!
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Vyaseleva Elena/Shutterstock.com
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