If you are a bird enthusiast, you may be keen to keep some as pets. However, there is a misconception that birds are easy to care for, and you should be aware of how they behave, and what you can expect of them.
This is where we come in handy. Here at Raising Parrots, we are able to offer advice, guidance and information on our favorite birds, and how to care for them!
Parakeets are some of the most popular birds to keep as pets. They are beautiful creatures that sing melodious songs, and can even mimic sounds.
So, what exactly is a parakeet, how are they different from parrots, and are male or female parakeets better? With our guide, you can find out all of the above, and which types of parakeets are friendlier pets.
What is a parakeet?
A parakeet is the term used to describe any one of a large group of small to medium sized species of parrot that typically have long tail feathers. A parakeet can also be known as a budgie in other regions of the world.
These types of parrots comprise about 115 species of birds and are generally very small, or a slender build, and with long tails. Parakeets typically have a seed based diet, and tend to occur in warmer regions such as India, Australia, Sri Lanka, the tropics and the Pacific Islands.
They also come in many different color varieties, and can often be found in pairs or in large flocks. Parakeets are also highly active, and can sometimes be a little pugnacious or aggressive when faced with other parakeets.
As the term for smaller species of parrots, parakeets can come in various different shapes, colors and sizes, with unique characteristics, plumage and tail feathers.
What is the difference between a parakeet and a parrot?
The biggest difference between a parakeet and a parrot is that a parakeet is a small to medium sized version or species of a parrot. A parakeet is the title for a wide range of small sized birds belonging to the parrot family, and generally have long tail feathers, brightly colored plumage, and shorter lifespans.
For the most part, the term parrot is a broad label for a wide range of colorful and intelligent creatures, whereas the term parakeet simply refines the species and narrows it down to the smaller counterparts of the parrot family.
Similar to parrots, parakeets can also mimic sounds, and can be very vocal. However, parakeets are more likely to tweet, sing a song, or just mimic sounds that they hear a lot, whereas a parrot is slightly more intelligent and able to use words in context, rather than just repeat words that they hear.
Although, parrots do also do this along with repeating phrases that they like, and learn language from their owners.
A parakeet is more likely to understand what you say as you speak by your tone rather than the actual words, whereas studies show that parrots can understand meanings behind some words and phrases.
Are male or female parakeets better?
All types of parakeets tend to be extremely active, very energetic, talkative, loud and entertaining. They can be very nice companions to keep, but you should be aware that they can be a bit too energetic, rambunctious and aggressive at times.
It should be noted that female parakeets can have slightly different personalities and behavioural traits than male parakeets, as they often have smaller vocabularies and meaner bites than male parakeets. Female parakeets are definitely the more aggressive of the genders, and can be particularly aggressive towards other females.
If you already have one female parakeet, it is not advisable to get another and keep them in the same cage as they will more than likely become aggressive, and fight.
Female parakeets are typically more aggressive because they can become stressed, angry or irritated as their hormones fluctuate up and down. In addition, when a female parakeet is ready to breed, she may display more aggressive or fighting behaviour than normal.
However, it does depend on the particular bird as some male parakeets can be more aggressive, and females can be more docile and willing to talk and sing.
The personality of your parakeet will depend on how much time you spend with it, whether you have formed a bond, and whether you play and entertain your parakeet. The gender sometimes has nothing to do with it.
Are female budgies quieter than males?
Again, which gender of budgie is quieter depends on the particular parakeet or budgie in question, as they all have their own personalities and traits. However, as a general rule of thumb, female parakeets and budgies tend to be less talkative and prone to singing or noise than male parakeets.
Typically, female budgies will chirp and speak less than males, and can exhibit fewer social behaviours with humans. However, this does not mean that all budgies and parakeets are this way inclined, or that they are quiet, boring and unsociable.
Many budgies love to hear the sound of their own voice, and may tweet, chirp and even screech from time to time. As a species, parakeets also love to mimic and repeat words and phrases that they hear often, so they are not always quiet.
In addition, animals are the product of their environment, and you can encourage or discourage certain behaviours. If you have a budgie that does not make much noise, you can encourage this by repeating phrases around them very often. They will naturally pick up on this, and can mimic your voice and repeat it themselves.
Are male or female budgies friendlier?
Male budgies tend to be friendlier as female budgies can exhibit more aggressive behaviours due to their hormones. Male parakeets tend to enjoy head bobbing, talking and being sociable by singing and mimicking, whereas female budgies can talk less, be more noisy and enjoy gnawing and biting more.
Male parakeets are much less likely to bite, and so they are considered far friendlier than their female counterparts. However, if you have a young bird, studies show that handling them often from a young age can encourage them to be more sociable, and display less aggressive behaviours later in life.
As a rule, females are considered the more angry and aggressive parakeets, and should not be kept together. If you are planning on keeping more than one budgie in a cage for breeding, then a male and female together should be fine, although the female will definitely boss the male around.
However, if you are planning on keeping two of the same sex budgies in a cage, then it should be males as they are far less likely to fight, as females do not take well to being placed with other females and will try to dominate the other.
How to tell if a parakeet is a male or female
If you are unsure of the gender of your parakeet, then there are ways that you can find this out. You could always ask a veterinarian or expert to examine and define their gender, however you can identify this yourself.
The best way to sex your parakeet is to check the cere. The cere is the term for the fleshy, colored area above the budgie’s beak.
Young parakeets tend to be harder to sex as the color of the cere may not be as pronounced, however from 12 months onwards, this should be clearer. Male parakeets tend to have blue, pink or purple ceres, whereas female parakeets will have thicker ceres in brown, white or tan colors.