Parakeets for Sale: Vivacious, Brilliant, Vivid, and Complex Tiny Parrots
A parakeet for sale is a vivacious member of the parrot family, frequently sought out because it is often a great talker, comes in vivid beautiful colors, and is more manageable than larger birds. Parakeets, or budgerigars, require a considerable time commitment from their owners to be happy and to reach their full potential as companion birds. Parakeets can make great pets for dedicated children as well as adults who have time to engage with and train a bird daily.
Overview of Parakeets for Sale Near Me
Parakeets are small-sized parrots with a tapered body and long, sometimes flashy, tail feathers. They also have hookbills, so named because the upper part of the beak curves like a hook. Finally, a parakeet has X-shaped feet, meaning two toes point forward, and the other two point backward as the bird perches. Parakeets, budgerigars, and budgies all refer to the same grouping of parrots. Budgies bond better with their owners if they are handfed. Parakeets often go through a bluffing phase or period of aggression that lasts a few weeks to a year or more depending on the bird and the species. Daily interaction is crucial. Healthy birds should have shiny feathers and bright alert eyes.
Although parakeets originated thousands of years ago, a zoologist first described them in written reports around 1805. The little parrots are native to Australia and started moving to Europe as pets in the 1840s. Captive breeding of parakeets or budgerigars began around the 1850s and experiments with different colors took off about 20 years later. As with other pet birds, parakeets exploded in popularity in the 1900s and expanded into the United States. The demand for parakeets has persisted over the years.
Colors of Parakeets
Wild parakeets typically have colors based around green and gold. The other major color group for parakeets propagated in pet birds is blue and white. Parakeets are often classified by color patterns rather than breeds. Genes that affect the shades of parakeet colors are dark factors.
- Dark factor zero – light green or sky blue
- Dark factor one – dark green or cobalt
- Two dark factors – olive green or mauve
- Grey factor – grey-green or smoky grey
Light green is a dominant color in parakeets, and blue represents a naturally occurring gene that suppresses any yellow coloration. Other color variants, including dark and olive green parakeets, involve selective manipulations by breeders. Some of the colors that you might see in pet parakeets for sale follow:
- White base
- Yellow base
- Yellow face – face can be yellow to green on a blue parakeet; if yellow spread into the feathers on the body, you can get a turquoise bird
- Dilutions can affect 50% of the plumage, all of it, or just the wings – gray
- Cinnamon – dark markings on the parakeet become light brown
- Opaline – dark stripes on head are narrower making the white marking more striking; self-colored markings present on the body
- Pied – prominent yellow or white markings on the body
- Albino – white bird with red or pink eyes
- Spangle – incomplete gene that injects yellow or white into the bird’s color; single factor bird shows alterations of markings on wings and tail; double-factor spangle gives you a solid yellow or white bird with a slight hue of color possible (these birds are distinguished from albinos by their dark eyes)
Types of Parakeets
Parakeet species number in the hundreds with over a hundred color variations. A comprehensive discussion of all types is impossible. However, you can get a good handle on the more common types of parakeets.
Australian Budgerigar or Budgie (Melopsittacus undulatus)
Plum Headed Parakeets (Psittacula cyanocephala)
- Native habitat: Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka
- Size: 13 inches long, 2.3 ounces
- Personality: bond more strongly with people if hand-fed (breeder, preferably not you), affectionate, not cuddly, standoffish with unfamiliar people, require constant interactions to remain tame, relatively quiet
- Colors: green base; male has purplish head and black ring around the neck, females have blue-grey head sometimes with yellow-tinged feathers in the neck area
Bourke Parakeet for Sale or Bourke’s Parrot (Neopsephotus bourkii)
- Native habitat: Australia
- Size: 7 or 8 inches long
- Personality: intelligent, laidback, cuddly, gentle, good-natured, do not talk
- Colors: brownish-grey with a brown tint; pink on breast and belly, blue tail feathers; male has blue on forehead
- Lifespan: up to 25 years
Quaker or Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)
- Native habitat: Bolivia, Argentina, and southern Brazil
- Size: 12 inches long not including tail, weigh 4 or 5 ounces
- Personality: feisty, energetic, comical, and charming, will learn to speak
- Colors: brilliant green with grey cheeks, breast, and throat; mutations are albino, cinnamon, pied, and a blue hybrid
- Lifespan: 20 to 30 years or more
Although sometimes called rainbow parakeets, the correct name is rainbow lorikeet, and they belong to a different family of parrots. People will often list rainbow lorikeets under parakeets for sale because of their pleasant personalities and striking multi-colored feathers.
- Native habitat: Australia
- Size: 10 to 12 inches long, weighs 2.5 to 5.5 ounces
- Personality: sweet, affectionate, comical, excellent talkers, potentially aggressive to other birds, escape artists
- Colors: green with blue head, red feathers in the underwings, green rump areas, orange-yellow breast, yellow neck ring, and deep blue belly
- Lifespan: to 30 years
Alexandrine Parakeet (Psittacula eupatria)
- Native habitat: India and Sri Lanka, feral in many parts of Europe and the Middle East
- Size: up to 25 inches long, mostly tail
- Personality: loving, intelligent, excellent talkers, powerful voices
- Colors: green with blue-grey cheeks and nape, yellow-green belly, red beak with yellow tips, red shoulder patches, yellow under the tail and blue above; male has a black and rose-colored ring around the neck
- Lifespan: 25 to 30 years
How to Care for a Parakeet
While many people site parakeets as being easy to care for because of their size, depriving them of anything you would provide a larger parrot is unjust and not supported. Budgies have the same social needs and requirements for exercise and mental stimulation that a cockatoo or Amazon parrot does. They simply require less space and are easier to handle.
A parakeet for sale may come with a cage. It is your job to make sure the cage is big enough for your bird and safe. While you want more than one perch, too many perches can clutter the cage and make it unsafe for parakeets that readily fly. Wooden perches are best for developing the strength of your parakeet’s feet. The minimal dimensions of a parakeet’s cage should be 12 inches long x 18 inches wide x 18 inches tall. This is designed for budgerigars that do not spend much time in the cage outside of sleeping. A more ideal starting point for caged parakeets is 18 inches long x 20 inches wide x 18 inches tall. If you decide to get two parakeets, you will need to more than double the size to account for additional perches, food and water dishes, and toys.
Toys will go a long way toward providing mental enrichment for your parakeet. Make sure to get toys appropriate for your parakeet and not designed for a larger parrot. Just as for any pet, inspect and avoid sharp edges, choking or foreign body hazards, and toxic coatings. An additional precaution to take with pet bird toys is to check for any potential for entrapment. Wood toys make excellent choices for chewing. Do not use painted toys, but acrylic or plastic items with bright colors are easy to clean. Budgies like to swing and climb, so get ladders, ropes, ready-made swings, and bells. Finally, you can get foraging toys to serve as puzzles. Stimulate your bird to explore things by offering different textures and shapes.
Exercise and Interaction
Parakeets should get a minimum of two hours of daily exercise outside of their cage. Ideally, exercise and your interaction with your bird should total three to six hours every day. Playing interactive games and holding your bird on your hand or shoulder will satisfy some of its social needs and mentally engage it. You can also train your bird to talk and dance.
Parakeets require a nutritionally balanced base diet. There are several options available in the form of Nutri-berries, cakes, or pellets. Budgies can have about three-quarters of their diet comprised of seeds. One of the most important factors in your parakeet’s diet is that it be varied as well as balanced. In the wild, parakeets eat from a huge range of foods available and need that same stimulation in captivity. You should supplement your bird’s base with fruits and vegetables such as oranges, berries, bananas, asparagus, broccoli, and green beans.