The budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) is a small sized parrot which belongs to the tribe of the wide-tailed parrots (Platycercini). It is sometimes considered to be a subfamily (Platycercinae).
The budgerigar can be found throughout the drier parts of Australia where the species has survived harsh inland conditions for the last five million years.
Budgerigars in their natural habitat in Australia are noticeably smaller than those in captivity.
This particular parrot species has been bred in many other colours and shades in captivity (e.g. blue, grey, grey-green, pieds, violet, white, yellow-blue), although they are mostly found in pet stores in blue, green, and yellow. Like most parrot species, budgerigar plumage fluoresces under ultraviolet light. This phenomenon is possibly related to courtship and mate selection.
Budgerigars are nomadic birds found in open habitats, primarily in scrublands, open woodlands, and grasslands of Australia. The birds are normally found in small flocks, but can form very large flocks under favourable conditions.
Budgerigars will chew on anything they can find to keep their beaks trimmed. Mineral blocks (ideally enriched with iodine), cuttlebone, and soft wooden pieces are suitable for this activity. In captivity, budgerigars live an average of five to eight years, but life spans of 15–20 years have been reported.
Breeding in the wild generally takes place between June and September in northern Australia and between August and January in the south, although budgerigars are opportunistic breeders and respond to rains when grass seeds become most abundant.