Budgerigar

The Budgerigar is a native to Australia.  Since its discovery by John Gould in 1794, it has become internationally popular as a cage bird.  The first captive breeding was performed in about 1840, by John Gould’s cousin, Charles Coxon.   Since this introduction into captivity, it has been bred into a variety of colour forms, including pure white, blue, yellow, mauve, olive and grey.  Naturally, the Budgerigar is green and yellow, with black barring above, and a small patch of blue on its cheek.  Yellow birds are an uncommon naturally occurring colour form, called lutino.  White, or albino, birds are also naturally found.  The first pair of budgerigars advertised for sale, was in England in 1859, and were advertised for two pounds. The first ‘unnatural’ coloured Budgerigars were entered into a competition in 1910.  This colour mutation was apparently bred in Belgium in 1881, but the British pair were the first exhibited.  These birds were sky blue in colour.  These, extraordinarily-coloured birds were worth about 100 to 125 pounds, a huge sum, considering the relative value of the pound, and one pair of pure white budgerigars was reportedly sold in Japan for 1000 pounds.

Interesting fact: The Australian Aborigines had several names for the Budgerigar.  The current name is derived from one of these, Budgery-gah.  The first part of this name translates as ‘good’, while the second part means ‘food’ or ‘to eat’.  The young chicks are taken from the nest and quickly roasted before eating.