We call them budgies, but there's more than one name for these colorful little birds. The budgie is also known as Budgerigar, Melopsittacus undulatus, parakeet, shell parakeet or budgerigah and is actually part of a tribe of parrots referred to as “broad-tailed parrots.” Although budgies are often called parakeets, the term “parakeets” actually refers to any of a number of small parrots with long flat tails. Our budgies are the most common type of these little birds and are referred to as an American/Australian Parakeet. And, to further complicate matters, there's a separate type of budgies called English budgies that are much larger than the type the Indianapolis Zoo exhibits and are more commonly seen in competitions and shows.
The Zoo's budgies are located in the Budgie Aviary in the Flights of Fancy: A Brillance of Birds presented by Citizens Energy Group exhibit. These birds are native to Australia, but have been domesticated for many years. Commonly green in color in the wild, the domesticated versions can come in at least 32 different color mutations. Lively and eager to play and interact with humans, budgies make great pets.
This is one bird that is not in danger of extinction. There are estimated to be five million of them in Australia, where they can be found in the dry parts of the interior continent, although they also like semi-arid and semi-humid environments. You can check out more budgie information at The Budgie Cage web site.