Budgerigar a.k.a. Parakeet or Shell Parakeet – Spec.Name: Melopsittacus undulatus
They are informally nicknamed the budgie, is a small, long-tailed, seed-eating parrot, and the only species in the Australian genus Melopsittacus. Wild budgerigars are found throughout the drier parts of Australia, where the species has survived harsh inland conditions for the last five million years. Naturally green and yellow with black, scalloped markings on the nape, back, and wings, breeders have created a rainbow of blues,
whites, and yellows, grays, and even forms with small crests. Budgerigars are popular pets around the world due to their small size, low cost, ability to mimic human speech and playful nature.
The budgerigar is closely related to the lories and the fig parrots.] Although budgerigars are often, especially in American English, called parakeets, this term refers to any of a number of small parrots with long, flat tails.
Budgerigars in their natural-habitats of Australia average 18 cm (7 in) long, weigh 30–40 grams (1.1–1.4 oz), and display a light green body colour (abdomen and rumps), while their mantle (back and wing coverts) display pitch-black mantle markings (blackish in fledgelings and immatures) edged in clear yellow undulations. The forehead and face is yellow in adults but with blackish stripes down to the cere (nose) in young individuals until they change into their adult plumage around 3–4 months of age. They display small, purple patches (called cheek patches) and a series of three black spots across each sides of their throats (called throat-spots). The two outermost throat-spots are situated at the base of each cheek-patch. The tail is cobalt (dark-blue); outside tail feathers display central yellow flashes. Their wings have greenish-black flight feathers and black coverts with yellow fringes along with central yellow flashes, which only becomes visible in flight or when the wings are outstretched. Bills are olive grey and legs blueish-grey, with zygodactyl toes.
Like many birds, budgerigars have tetrachromatic color vision, but all four classes of cone cells operating simultaneously requires the full spectrum provided by sunlight. Additionally, budgerigars are known to see in the ultra-violet spectrum, which brightens their feathers to attract mates. The throat-spots in budgerigars reflect UV and can be used to distinguish individual birds.
All photographs are © H.J. Ruiz – Avian101