Nature’s Gems Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

Nature’s Gems Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)
Nature’s Gems Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

The most well-known of bird species in Australia has to be the Budgerigar or “Budgie”. 

This small bird is familiar to us all due it being a common cage pet in Australia and overseas ranging in a variety of colours. 

Budgerigars are a bird that I was very familiar with when I was growing up but it was not until I saw the bird in their natural environment that I truly appreciated them.  The colour of these small birds is a bright green with yellow forehead and cheek patches.  Male birds have blue at the top of their bills. 

Ray White Canungra

Seeing these small parrots flying in flocks of hundreds and thousands is truly something that one never forgets.  Their movements are so in sync it is like fish swimming in a school together. 

Budgerigars are commonly thought of as birds of the arid interior. However, they will come into coastal areas depending on weather conditions.

Over the last few years, I have seen Budgerigars in coastal areas south of Townsville and near Chinchilla on the Darling Downs. 

On both occasions, the birds were only in small flocks. 

In arid areas, these birds can regularly be seen coming to drink morning and evening and will rest in trees along watercourses and other water sources through the day. 

Their musical chattering call is usually what gives away their presence. 

Budgerigars favour a hollow limb to breed in and in the arid areas I have seen these birds nesting in the winter months.  In some instances, several pairs of the bird will use the same tree or even the same hollow branch.

These birds utilise a variety of habitats including farmlands, inland watercourses, spinifex and sand dune country. 

Throughout their range in Australia, excluding Tasmania, they are common and relatively easy to see. 

For me, no trip to the desert country of western Queensland is complete without seeing these small green flashes coming into drink at a waterhole.