As many people know, there are many different pets out there that you can choose from. Some people prefer more traditional pets, ranging from rabbits to dogs. Other people prefer animals that are a little bit more unique, such as fish, amphibians, and reptiles. In between these groups of people are the people who appreciate birds.
Birds are not only gorgeous to look at, but they can be extremely entertaining and rewarding to own and care for. However, if you are new to the idea of owning and caring for birds, you may not know where to start. One of the most common bird pets out there is the parakeet, with the most popular specific type being the Budgie. If you are looking to own a bird, these are often some of the best birds that you can begin owning with their incredible feathers and their memorable characters.
The parakeet is often an easy to care for bird, being a good starting place for beginning avian owners. They are as suitable for homes as a loud bird can get. They may not be the best in apartments that have strict rules on animals, as a parakeet can easily rival a yapping dog when it comes to noisiness.
This doesn’t apply as much to typical homes that are close together though, as while parakeets can be loud, their songs and squawks do not carry as far. They are often good starting pets for children, so long as an adult is assisting with the bird’s care, feeding, and maintenance. When all is said and done, a parakeet is one of the best ways to introduce yourself into the world of owning animals.
Where Did Parakeets Come From?
The term “parakeet” denotes a specific type of parrot, typically with a smaller size, thinner build, and with a long and colorful tail that tapers away. More scientifically speaking, the parakeet is a subfamily of the family Psittacidae, or the parrot family. There are about 115 different species that are considered to be parakeets, depending on who you ask.
Sometimes, parrots that are not technically considered parakeets, but have a similar appearance, will be included in this subfamily as well, making it harder to pinpoint some facts about parakeets.
For instance, with as many different species of parakeet out there, it is harder to determine where they all came from and where they all reside today. Most parakeets are found within the warmest regions of the world, typically in the tropics.
The most common places among this area include India, Australia, the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, and Central America. A good portion of these are kept as pets for their vibrantly colored feathers. The most popular species of parakeet is known as the budgerigar, or more commonly known as the Budgie. If you are purchasing a parakeet from a typical pet store, then there’s a good chance that you are purchasing a Budgie, as there are countless variations of color for these birds.
What Do Parakeets Look Like?
As there are over 100 different species of the parakeet, it is not simple to determine exactly what they all look like. However, many of them share the same features and can really only be told apart by small, discreet details that scientists have noticed.
They usually have small, beady black eyes. They can occasionally have some coloring above their beaks, which will depend on the species of parakeet that you adopt. Typically, most parakeets are around six inches long in length, with most of that being the long and iconic tail feathers. They have four main base colors which are blue, green, white and yellow.
Different species will have different patterns that may give the bird a strikingly different appearance, but most parakeets will have one of these four colors somewhere on its body. Many parakeets have markings on their eyes and feathers, and the most popular species (the Budgie) often does. These markings show up as small, black, wavy lines, which is where the budgie gets its original name.
How Do You Care for Parakeets?
Caring for a parakeet is usually pretty easy. The areas that you need to pay most attention to are giving it adequate social attention and making sure that it has enough space to fly around. Of course, it will also be important for you to learn how to recognize sounds and behaviors that can mean trouble.
It is important to start handling your parakeet from a young age if you want it to get used to you, your scent, and being held by you. If it is properly trained in this area, these birds can often become very affectionate toward their owners. Usually, doing this process involves hand-feeding your bird as well.
You will need to make sure that you have enough toys for your parakeet to play with as well. This is quite important, as parakeets are very active birds that need a lot of stimulation and attention. A cage with multiple perches is optimal for your bird.
You should also consider getting a cage with horizontal bars so your parakeet can climb around and explore that way. You should also provide toys with different shapes, colors, and textures to give your bird the most enjoyable time possible when you are not there to satisfy it.
You should prepare a room to be a bird-safe room for your parakeet to fly around in once or twice a day. If you are able to keep the bird supervised, letting it fly around more is optimal. These birds love to fly, so making sure that you have the time and environment for that is important. If your home is truly unacceptable for your bird to fly around safely in, and you still want to adopt a bird, consider trimming down the wings a little bit to inhibit its ability to fly so that it won’t be as inclined to fly around.
Finally, make sure that you care for your bird’s social needs. If you cannot be there for the majority of the day for your parakeet, consider purchasing a second bird to keep it company. While this will mean that you need to purchase a larger cage, it will be well worth it to keep it happy in the end. It is plenty possible to keep a bird on its own though, so long as you devote a good portion of your time each day to care for it, or else it will become depressed.
What Type of Home Do Parakeets Need?
Because your parakeet will be spending much of its time in its birdcage, it will be important for you to choose a home that is best for the bird. The minimum recommended dimensions are always going to be 18 inches in height, 20 inches in length, and 12 inches in width. A bigger cage will always, always be better for these flight-loving birds. If you can, you should also try to find a larger cage as it is common to purchase two of these birds at a time for the sake of the bird’s social health.
The cage should be able to fit a nest for sleeping, food and water dishes, toys for entertainment, and toys for chewing on. You should make sure that the spacing of all the bars in the cage are about half an inch or less so that there is no chance of the bird getting stuck or even escaping. The bars of the cage itself can be in any direction, although horizontal is best as it allows your bird to climb the cage walls and explore the world that way.
There should be several perches for your bird to rest on. These perches should be in different shapes and sizes, as well as even textures, to provide your bird with the best experience possible. This will also help keep your bird’s feet in shape, as your parakeet will move around on the perches.
How Is the Parakeet’s Health?
Parakeets are generally healthy birds. Depending on the species, you can get between 5 and 15 years out of your avian friend. Consider making sure that there is a local vet that handles birds before you adopt one, in case something does happen to your parakeet.
Parakeets are susceptible to goiters, psittacosis, scaly mites, and so on. It is important to do regular checks on your parakeet’s health when you are caring for it.