What Is a Budgie in England?

What Is a Budgie in England?

Even though you’ve probably seen many budgie color variations, there are only two types of Budgerigar; The traditional budgie and the English budgie.

Traditional Budgerigar originates from Australia and is the only naturally occurring Budgie.

They all have the same coloration which is green and yellow with black stripes, flight and tail feathers with a mix of blue, green, and black.

The English budgie, on the other hand, does not occur naturally as it was bred specifically for the pet trade market.

This explains why there are so many amazing Budgie colorations!

The color variations of the English budgie are sub-grouped into white-based and yellow-based variations.

The white-based variation includes the Sky blue budgie, Albino budgie, Cobalt budgie, Mauve budgie, Gray budgie, Violet budgie, and a White budgie.

The yellow budgie includes the Light green budgie, Dark green budgie, Gray-green budgie, Olive budgie, Yellow budgie, and Lutino budgie.

So, what is a budgie in England?

A budgie in England also known as the English budgie, Show Budgie or Exhibition Budgie is a variety of the traditional Australian budgies that were developed through selective breeding in England in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Their size is greater than the wild Australian budgie, and they were bred primarily for the pet trade and as ‘show’ birds.

These small, active parrots make excellent pets not only in England but also in the United States and Europe.

Budgerigars come in only one species, with Melopsittacus undulatus being its scientific name, and according to parrots.org, it is endemic to many interior regions of Australia.

All budgies are originally green and yellow, but selective breeding has introduced many color and size variations, and English budgies are the result of such breeding efforts.

While wild budgies are about 7.5 inches long (18-20 cm) and weigh about 1 ounce (28 g), the English budgie has a larger size and can tip the scales at almost double the weight of a wild bird.

They have long tail feathers and hook-bills.

One of the features that have made them so popular in the pet bird market is their brightly colored plumage, which comes in a variety of colors.

The English budgie also has a larger head, as well as a beard-like growth of feathers on their necks.

Young budgies cannot be successfully sexed. However, once the bird reaches about six months of age, the coloration of its cere (the part of the beak with the nostrils) can be used to identify the bird’s gender.

While males have blue ceres, females have brown ceres when they are breeding and white when they are not breeding.

Related: How to Tell if a Baby Parakeet Is Male or Female

Today, except for dogs and cats, the English budgie could be considered the most popular pet both in the United States and Europe.

Where did the English budgie come from?

The English budgie comes from Australia as a subspecies of the traditional Australian budgie. It is a variant of the native wild Australian budgie whose genetic makeup was altered in England due to selective breeding.

The first British explorers and voyagers noticed them in the mid-1700s, but it wasn’t until 1840 that they were brought into England.

In its native land, the bird wasn’t as common as it is today.

Selective breeding in England altered the genetic makeup of the smaller Australian budgie.

Years of deliberate study and breeding yielded a new breed, the English budgie.

The Australian government banned the exportation of native budges in 1894 due to the depletion of stock, while breeders in Europe and North America were producing new species by the thousands.

Budgies were so popular and precious at the time that Queen Victoria was gifted a pair in 1845.

Afterward, the financial appeal of Show budgies inspired breeders to train the birds for pet shows and exhibitions, as other restless birds were unsuitable.

The mid-20th century saw a boom in the popularity of English budgies. This species has never been found in the wild.

Are there budgies in England?

There are budgies in England most of which are known as the English Budgies. The American budgie is also present in the country.

The existence and acceptance of budgies (regardless of variety) among pet owners in England is such that they are considered the most popular companion bird in the UK.

What is the difference between a budgie and an English budgie?

With so much being said about English budgies and so little being said about their wild, Australian, or American counterparts, it’s only fair to point out the differences.

Here is the difference between a budgie and an English budgie:


To begin with, an English budgie’s feathers are longer and fluffier than those of a wild budgie.

The color of their feathers is more noticeable.

When compared to American parakeets, their feathers are usually brighter.

And with the complexity of color mutations on the feathers, this difference becomes much more apparent.

They also have a larger head, which is covered with fluffy feathers that resemble an Eskimo hat in some breeds.

English budgie also has beard-like feathers around its neck.


Common American parakeets are very active and hard to tame compared to English Budgies.

English budgies are easy to train, even by their owners and children because of their calm nature.

Also, American budgies are noisier than English budgies. 

They will usually squawk, click, and even scream when alarmed.

However, English budgies are relatively quiet and have a low tone, which further reduces their sound. 

So, an English budgie can be kept without your neighbors knowing, but not an American budgie!


This factor should have come first because it is usually the first thing you notice when comparing these two budgies.

The weight of an English budgie can be more than twice that of an American budgie.

It’s also a little longer and taller. This is due to their selective breeding for exhibitions.


American budgies are reputed to have a longer lifespan than English parakeets.

Although this is not always the case, the average lifespan of an English budgie is 5-7 years, compared to 7-12 years for its American counterpart.

However, English budgies can live longer and have fewer health problems if they are properly cared for.

How can you tell if your budgie is English?

Here is how you can tell if your budgie is English:

  • It is significantly larger than the American Budgie and wild budgie
  • It does not vocalize as loudly or as frequently as the American Budgie
  • It is more laid-back and more of a domesticated pet with a gentle personality than the American Budgie that needs consistent and regular handling.
  • It has larger and more defined markings than the American Budgie even though there are hundreds of acceptable colors and markings.
  • It is calmer, easier to handle, and can be taught some basic commands more easily.

Do English Budgies Talk?

Yes! English budgies do talk and they can learn a lot of words if they are taught.

This is one aspect of their personality that I admire a lot.

In fact, an English budgie holds the record for the most words by a bird with over 1,700 words learned.

Sadly, because of their low voice, most people aren’t aware of this quality.

Can English budgies see?

Yes! English budgies can see very clearly even though their eyes are covered with full-blown head feathers that make it look like they have blindsight.

So, do not be deceived by the fluffy feathers around their face.

Can English budgie fly?

Yes! English budgies can fly. However, they have a greater tendency to hop, swing, and play around bobbing their heads than to fly.

English budgie size

On average, English budgies are 10 inches (25.4 cm) in length and weigh 3.0-4.2 oz (85 -119 g). This weight is almost twice as much as the wild budgie which weighs 1.6-2.2 oz (45.3-65.3 g).

Indeed, the English budgie is much larger, longer, and taller than the American budgie.

Also, the weight of an English budgie can be more than twice that of an American budgie.

All of this is due to their selective breeding for show purposes.

How long do English budgies live?

On average, English budgies live for as long as 5-7 years. This compares to the American budgie which has an average lifespan of 7-12 years.

American budgies are generally known to have a longer lifespan than English budgies.

However, English budgies can live longer and have fewer health problems if they are properly cared for.

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