Budgie parakeets > Talking birds > Australian Shell Parakeet

Australian Shell Parakeet

This is the most popular and desirable variety for keeping in captivity, and it is known through the world as the Budgerigar, Budgie or Undulated Grass parakeet. They are quite small birds, the body being only about the size of a canary, and in fact they frequently go between the wires of a canary's cage and should therefore be kept in a finch's cage.

Owing to the fact, however, that the feathers are quite fluffy they look much larger than a canary and the tails are long and graceful, making the entire length of the bird from seven to nine inches. The beak is rounding, with a thin long point to the upper mandible.

The color is a beautiful shade of light green, handsomely mot­tled with dark green, yellow and black, and with spots of blue on the head. Owing to their loving attentions to each other they are often known as "love birds."

They are natives of Australia, but are usually bred in captivity, thousands of them being- reared by bird fanciers throughout Europe, the greatest numbers perhaps coming from Rus­sia. They are very hardy, easily cared for, be­come great pets, and can readily be taught many cute tricks. They sometimes sing, and have in rare instances been taught to repeat words and sentences in a droll little voice.

One which was on exhibition in Berlin, was a source of wonder to the thousands of people that visited the expo­sition, who thought it most marvelous that so small a bird should talk. They prefer a plain diet, subsisting largely on millet and canary seed, though they enjoy green food, and seem to care little for sugar or sweets. They should always be kept in pairs, and they attract a great deal of attention in an aviary where they live contentedly with the various kinds of finches and other birds.