Budgie Vs. Parakeet – Differences and Similarities




Budgie Vs. Parakeet - Differences and Similarities are explained at PetRestart.com.

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Parrots are one of the world’s most popular pets. Unfortunately, many of us are not ornithologists; we are just ordinary pet owners. Therefore, it is almost impossible for most of us to keep up with the difference between these pets, particularly what their nomenclature means and which species is which.

But one of the questions that most of us ask is Budgie Vs. Parakeet – what are the differences and similarities?

Key Takeaways

  • Enthusiasts bred the English budgies for bird shows and exhibitions, so they tended to have bigger bodies than the parakeets.
  • Thanks to their colorful bodies, the budgies are a tad costly.
  • These birds can trace their origins to the Land Down Under.
  • The budgies are parakeets and not the other way around.
  • Parakeets include about 115 parrot species that are loved worldwide.
  • The American parakeets can live for over 14 years, while the budges have a maximum lifespan of 7 or 8 years. 

There is no difference between budgies and parakeets. These two terms refer to the same species found in different parts of the planet. This species is known as parakeet in the US and budgerigars or budgies in other parts of the world.

In this article, we’ll answer the question, Budgies vs. parakeet, what exactly is the difference between the two, if any? We’ll also show you the origin and meaning of these two names. We’ll also show you the different types of parakeets and budgies.

Budgie Vs. Parakeet: What Is The Difference?

Recent estimates confirm that over 5 million homes in the United States keep birds as pets. Irrespective of the difference between these lovely birds, they’re considered the world’s third most popular pets after dogs and cats. Native to Australia, these parrots have been popular as pets for centuries. 

They originated in Australia, where they reside in the dry grasslands. These birds are known for migrating in huge flocks, searching for water during the dry seasons.

They’re formidable creatures that can survive in tough times. But even though they’re the same species from different parts of the world, they have some key differences. Most folks assume that parakeets and budgies are the same, as they refer to small-sized parrots, but they’re pretty different. So what is the difference between parakeets and budgies?


As aforementioned, these names refer to similar species on different sides of the planet. These species of parrots have the name budgies in other parts of the earth; however, in the US, they are called parakeets. So before we talk about these birds, we should find out the source of the names and why they refer to the same species.

History Of The Name Budgie

Scientists have proposed several origins of the name budgerigar or budgie. One of the popular ones claims that it’s an alteration or mispronunciation of the term “gidjirrigaa” from Gamilaraay or “gijirragaa” from Yuwaalaraay.

Another rumor claims that the name “budgerigar” is an altered form of” boojery or budgery,” and “gar” refers to a cockatoo. Being a native of Australia, you won’t be surprised to learn that Budgerigar is an aboriginal name that means “good cockatoo.”

Another alternative spelling of this name includes “betcherrygah” or budgerygah, with the previous used by the locals in New South Wales. Some of the alternative names for this bird include shell parakeet or shell parrot.

John Gould first described the Budgerigar in 1805 and gave it its current binomial name. Its genus name is a Greek term meaning “melodious parrot,” while its species name,” Undulatue,” means wave-patterned or undulated.

Budgerigar shortened to the budgie. The story of this name traces back to the European explorers that discovered the Land Down Under. These explorers spent a century studying the region’s flora and fauna; they claim this might be the origin of this bird’s name. So how did it become known as a parakeet in the United States?

The Origin Of The Name Parakeet

The Origin Of The Name Parakeet is explained in detail at PetRestart.com.

Parakeet was used to describe particular parrots long before the west discovered Australia. Its usage in the 1620s placed its origin with the Spanish being “perquito” and, before that, “parroket” in the 1580s in English. Among the French, the origin of this name is “paroquet which means “little priest.”

Eventually, the name was adopted to refer to small parrots by the European explorers residing in the United States. After the Europeans discovered these birds, they exported them to other parts of the world. Therefore naturally, their names drifted to the one the Aboriginals gave them in Australia.

In the US, the term parakeet refers to the budgie, a parakeet species. So are there any anatomical differences between Budgies and parakeets?

Are A Budgie And A Parakeet The Same Thing?

Even though the term parakeet meant small parrots in the past, it describes Budgerigar today. Anatomically, they’re the same species that are grouped slightly differently by a group of people. It’s the same as cats being one of the many felines. A budgie is 1 of the 115 species of parakeets in the world.

However, folks are usually confused between parakeets and budgies since budgies are called parakeets in the US. They’re the simplest parakeets to own in the United States.

Why Are Budgies Known As Parakeets In The US?

In the United States, budgies are known as parakeets because it’s easier to pronounce that name than a budgerigar. Plus, the exact origin of this term has some negative connotations. These birds first came to the US in the 1920s but became famous by the 1950s. By then, they had been common in the UK for over a century. Therefore, the breeder assumed the Americans would love the budgies, but they had to market them correctly.

However, pronouncing the name budgerigar would have been hard for most folks, which wasn’t ideal for marketing. Plus, they needed to market these parrots as cute pets, which meant that the name budgerigar could have been quite heavy for these tiny creatures. After all, it was an Australian aboriginal name that meant good to eat.

Therefore, to eliminate this pet’s crude name, they decided to call them by their classification name: parakeet. The name parakeet is easier to say and ideal for many small parrots. This marketing strategy worked, and this bird became known as a parakeet in the United States. Despite their differences, the Americans referred to the budgies and all the other parakeet species as parakeets.

Parakeets vs. English Budgies

Parakeets vs. English Budgies are explained at Petrestart.com

The main difference between these two species is that the budgies are easy to train and bigger. And that’s because the budgies are popular show birds bred for competitions. That’s the key reason you’ll hear these birds referred to as exhibition or show budgies. The English budgies are between 10 to 12 inches tall, while the parakeets are between 7 and 9 inches tall.

The English budgies are great pets that can sit still without squawking for an extended period; therefore, they’re easier to train than the parakeets. On top of that, they vocalize less than the parakeets and can even learn a few vocabularies. The budgies come in similar colors as the other budgies; unfortunately, their plumages are fluffier, particularly at the head’s crown.


Other than appearance, another critical difference between these two is their lifespan. Regarding lifespan, the American parakeet tends to live longer than the English budgies. The parakeets can live for a maximum of 14 years, while the English budgie can live up to 8 years.

The leading cause of the difference in lifespans is inbreeding. It means mating closely related relatives. Inbreeding has shortened the lifespan of these parrots over the years. After all, the breeders wanted certain traits, which resulted in them overdoing it.


The price of these parrots varies with species, with the English budgies being more costly; because the English budgie is an exhibit bird. The cost of English budgies ranges between $20 and $100, particularly the show quality options. On the other hand, the price of American parakeets ranges between $15 and $30.

The show quality English budgies are more colorful, while the parakeets have dull colors. The difference in quality is the reason why these birds have different prices.

Difference Between Budgies And Other Parakeet Species

Budgies vs. Lineolated Parakeet

Lineolated parakeets, or barred or Catherine parakeets, are tiny creatures in South America. They are in the Venezuelan Coastal Range, Colombia, Bolivia, southern Peru, Panama, and Mexico. The significant difference between these two is their striped appearance and vocalization levels; the English budgies are more active.


The lineolate parakeets get their unique name, “barred parakeet,” from their striped appearance. The wild options are greenish with dark or black-green stripes on their bodies. On the other hand, budgies are yellow or green and don’t have a striped body.

Young barred parakeets don’t have some visible stripes, but these lines become visible as they grow. On the other hand, juvenile budgies have stripes when hatched; however, they fade as they grow older.

The natural color of barred parakeets is green, but breeders breed them in a wide range of colors. These colors include yellow, gray, brown, violet, brown, gold, and blue. The colors of budgies are blue, white, gray, green, and yellow. 

The lineolate parakeets have messy and fluffy plumages, while the budgies have a slicker and streamlined appearance since their feathers are closely matted to their bodies.


Learn about Budgie's temperament at PetRestart.com.

Compared to the budgies, the lineolate parakeet is more even-tempered. After all, they prefer to climb and walk, while the English budgies prefer to fly. The budgie has more attitude, particularly when they become adolescents, and are much messier. Their personalities influence the parakeets’ temperament can mean you might get a moody sassy parakeet. Who doesn’t like a sweet, sassy bird? 


Generally, the budges are louder than the English budgies. The parakeets can learn to speak and vocalize but are shy and prefer to chip softly. Their sound levels are slightly lower than the budgies, making them ideal for parrot lovers.

Types Of Budgies

Generally, there are two types of budgies: English and American budgies. These two budgies have different characteristics that make them unique. Despite the differences and similarities, they’re pretty popular among pet lovers. Some pet lovers have mistaken one for the other. So what are the different types of budgies, and how do they differ? Let’s read on.

American Budgie

The most common and popular budgie is the American budgie with a less pronounced cere and round head. The American Budgies are the domesticated budgies we’re used to and found in local pet stores. Their average weight is 1.1 ounces, and they can attain a height of about 8 inches.

They are easy to train and can live for about 7.5 years.

English Budgies

On the other hand, these budgies are larger, docile, and colorful; after all, their primary purpose is exhibitions and pet shows. Being more significant than the American budgies, these parrots weigh 1,4 ounces and can attain an average height of about 11 inches.

They have some unique color markings with several variations and color patterns. But thanks to selective breeding, they have a reduced lifespan of about six years.

Types Of Parakeets

Other than budgies, a wide range of parakeet species belong to different families and genera. The most popular options include the rose-ringed parakeet, monk parakeet, alexandrine parakeet, and lineolate parakeet.

Rose-Ringed Parakeet

The Rose-ringed or ring-necked parakeets, commonly called Pakistani/Indian ringneck parakeets, are medium-sized parrots. (6) these birds are known for their rose-colored ring around their necks. They have green feathers covering their bodies, with their beaks having black and red hues. The rose-ringed parakeet is an ingenious bird that can quickly learn more than 200 words.

Another crucial thing about this species is that it can quickly become affectionate with many people, making it a great pet. They’re larger parrots with an average length of about 16 inches, unlike the Alexandrine parakeet.

Monk Parakeet

Also called the Quaker parrot, the monk parakeet is an actual parrot in Psittacidae. It’s a small bright-green parrot with a greenish-yellow abdomen and grayish breasts. It has an average life span of between 20 and 30 years. Its appearance resembles the monk’s hood, which earned them the name monk parakeets.

This parrot’s body has green feathers, particularly on its tail and wings. They’re clever and can easily imitate our speech. They’re as big as the English budgie, which measures about 11 inches long from tail to head. The main difference between the two is a weight difference of about 3.5 ounces. 

Alexandrine Parakeet

Alexandrine Parakeet - learn about them at PetRestart.com.

Commonly referred to as Alexandrine parrots, these parakeets are medium-sized birds from the Psittaculidae family. After Alexander the Great, this bird transported different bird species from India to other Mediterranean and European nations. He then presented them to warlords, nobility, and royalty as prizes.

This bird was first described in 1760 by Jacques Nathurin, a French zoologist. He names it Psittaca Ginginiana after Gingee town, the bird’s hometown. But it’s believed to have been in captivity. Carl Linnaeus later described it in 1766 and placed it under the genus Psittacula.

The Alexandrine parakeets are the biggest, weighing between 7.1 and 10.6 oz. They measured between 22 and 24 inches from the tip of the tail to the head. It is predominantly greenish, with a red patch on its shoulders, yellow-green abdomen, and blue-gray sheen nape and cheeks.

Can Parakeets Mate With Budgies?

Generally, budgies can’t mate with parakeets, like cats can’t mate with dogs. Since they don’t belong to the same species and genera, they can’t produce offspring since they’re incompatible in courtship rituals and genetic makeup.

Since they have differences in ideal temperature and nutrient intake, they are less likely to produce a progeny.

Final Verdict

Despite several similarities, these birds are very different; the American parakeets are smaller than the Parakeets. Remember, the Budgies are show birds bred to be bigger and have some show-quality characteristics. Unfortunately, the search for a showbiz budgie has resulted in a reduction in their lifespan.

The American budgies are more affordable than the budgies, but they do live longer. People do tend to mistake one for the other all the time. But budgies are parakeets and not the other way around. 

They belong to the same family, but why do they have different names? Well, it’s all about marketing. When breeders introduced the parakeets in the US, they wanted to sell them as lovely small birds; therefore, they settled for parakeets since the name” budgerigar” was a mouthful. 

  1. CDC staff, Birds kept as Pets,https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/birds.html/ Accessed March 15, 2023
  2. Wikipedia contributors, Budgerigar,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budgerigar#Etymology/ Accessed March 15, 2023
  3. Wikipedia contributor, parakeet,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parakeet#Etymology_and_naming/ Accessed March 15, 2023
  4. Karen Cook, John Gould (1804-1881): Birdman in the Australian Bush,https://blogs.lib.ku.edu/spencer/john-gould-1804-1881-birdman-in-the-australian-bush/ Accessed March 15, 2023
  5. Wikipedia contributor, Barred parakeet,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barred_parakeet/ Accessed March 15, 2023
  6. Wikipedia contributors, Monk Parakeet,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monk_parakeet/ Accessed March 15, 2023
  7. Wikipedia contributors, Alexandrine parakeet,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandrine_parakeet/ Accessed March 15, 2023

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