Budgies are among the most popular birds in the world to keep as pets. If you live in the United States, then you’re likely more familiar with parakeets.
Budgies and parakeets are actually the same, but it’s just that the name parakeet is what has stuck in America. No matter what you like to call these birds, it’s easy to see why they’re so appealing to keep as pets.
Many bird owners say how smart their parakeets are, and there are instances when parakeets do appear to be quite intelligent. Are budgies really smart, though, or are owners just exaggerating the intelligence of these birds?
Read on to learn more about parakeets and just how smart they are. It’ll help you to gain a greater appreciation for parakeets moving forward.
Parakeets Are Considered to Be Smart Birds
Parakeets are definitely considered to be smart birds. A budgie is a type of parrot, and scientists even consider budgies to be the most intelligent bird that they have encountered.
It’s said that the reason that parakeets why are so smart compared to other birds has to do with brain size. A parakeet has a large brain in comparison to the size of its body, and that is why it is comparatively smart when put up against other birds.
Numerous studies have been performed on these birds and it has been discovered that parakeets have a significantly higher neuron density than other birds. The only other birds that score as high as parakeets are other types of parrots and songbirds.
The neurons are present in the forebrain, and this is the area that is responsible for controlling cognitive function. It would seem that this is what explains why parakeets are smart, but scientists are still looking to learn more.
Parakeets are capable of doing a lot of different things that you wouldn’t expect birds to be able to do. This is very interesting and it’s one reason why parakeets are studied so much by scientists.
Keep reading to get examples of just how smart budgies can be. This should help you to understand exactly how smart parakeets are.
Parakeets Can Talk
Of course, one of the main reasons why parakeets are so remarkable has to do with the fact that they can talk. It’s possible to teach a parakeet to talk, and it should be able to learn a number of different phrases.
You might even notice that your parakeet will start to mimic you after some time has passed. These birds can do a good job of learning specific words and even entire phrases.
Quite a few parrots can talk, but parakeets are capable of having larger vocabularies than many of the larger parrots. It’s been proven that parakeets can have a vocabulary of hundreds of words and some might even be able to memorize a thousand words.
Not only can parakeets learn these words, but they can learn to make mental connections so that they will use the words appropriately. They even learn to understand body movement and commands made by their owners.
Of course, male parakeets are the ones that most commonly learn to talk, but female parakeets will still be quite loud. Parakeets seem to communicate with each other using noise, but when they’re “talking” to each other, the noises are high-pitched and hard to understand.
Parakeets will also use their talking capabilities to get your attention when they need something from you. For example, if a parakeet needs food, it’ll likely call out to you using a simple word such as “food” or “feed me.”
Of course, you’ll have to teach the parakeet these words for it to know them. Even so, it’s still very interesting that parakeets can learn to use vocabulary to communicate with you and get what they need.
Parakeets Can Learn Tricks
You can actually train parakeets really well if you’d like to spend some time with them. Parakeets are trainable and they can learn tricks with relative ease if you spend some time teaching them.
It’s possible to teach a lot of cool little things to parakeets that will be fun for owners to do with their birds. Some people teach their parakeets to do somersaults in their hands.
Parakeets can learn lots of different things from you if you take the time to teach them. Some parakeet owners will teach them to play little games.
One of the more famous games involves parakeets placing rings on poles. It’s essentially a ring toss for birds, but it gets more impressive than that.
You can buy these ring toys for birds that have different colors, and there will be a colored ring that is meant to go with the matching pole. Parakeets are actually smart enough to learn how to match the colored rings and place them where they’re supposed to go.
The fact that you can train parakeets to this extent is very impressive indeed. Parakeets are significantly smarter than many people know, and they possess a remarkable ability to learn new things.
You might even be able to come up with some unique ideas for how to train your parakeet. With how smart budgies are, it’s hard to deny that the potential is there for them to learn a great many things.
Parakeets Need Mental Stimulation
If you want your parakeet to stay as smart as possible, then you’re going to need to stimulate its mind. Mental stimulation is something that will help your parakeet to stay sharp, and this means that you can’t ignore your parakeet if you want it to do well.
When parakeets become bored, it’s going to be a very bad thing. Parakeets that aren’t given the proper mental stimulation might become depressed and stop acting how they normally do.
In fact, parakeets have even been known to harm themselves when they’re depressed. Self-harm usually presents itself as the bird pecking at its feathers, and it’s something that you want to prevent.
There are quite a few ways that you can go about providing mental stimulation to your parakeet. Paying attention to the parakeet and playing games will help, but even placing different perches in its cage will make a difference.
Try to place perches at various levels of the cage so that your parakeet can enjoy different perspectives from time to time. It helps to keep the parakeet from getting too bored of its own environment, and this is an easy way to make your parakeet happier.
Try to buy perches that are made out of natural wood if at all possible. Some perches that are made out of plastic might be sprayed with toxic chemicals, and these can cause certain health issues that you want to avoid.
You Need a Cage That’s Large Enough
You might need to consider how large the birdcage is that you’re planning to use for your parakeet. Parakeets can easily get depressed and anxious when they’re placed in cages that are too small.
Ideally, your parakeet should feel as though it has enough room to move around. You want a parakeet to be able to comfortably spread its wings, and it’s going to appreciate being able to fly around a little bit.
If you place a parakeet in a cage that makes it feel as if it’s trapped in a claustrophobic space, then that won’t be good for its mental health. This will not help you when you’re trying to keep the parakeet sharp and in good spirits.
Buy a cage that is wide enough and tall enough for your parakeet to thrive. Remember that buying cages that have square tops will be better because it gives the parakeet the most space possible.
Buy Toys and Games for Your Parakeet
Another thing that you should try to do is to buy toys and games for your parakeet. This is a good way to keep your parakeet entertained, and it can be fun for you to play with the parakeet as well.
There are many different things that you can buy for your parakeets that will work nicely. Some parakeets might like having little swings in their cages, and others will like to be able to play with bells.
You could choose to buy a variety pack of toys so that your parakeet will have many options to consider. This one has many different hanging toys that your parakeet will find to be interesting, and it’s well worth looking into.
Having different toys will make a difference and will help your parakeet to stay occupied. Hanging toys can keep your bird mentally stimulated even when you aren’t around to talk to it and play.
There are other games as well that you can play with your parakeet. You could buy a little parakeet basketball hoop and teach it to place the ball through the hoop.
The important thing is to remember to buy toys and games for your parakeet so that it can have fun. If you don’t do this, then your parakeet could easily get bored and depressed.
Socializing Is Crucial
Socializing with your bird is crucial, and you’re going to need to spend time with it to keep it happy. Parakeets are very social creatures, and they’re going to crave attention from time to time.
If you’re a very busy person who doesn’t spend enough time at home, then keeping a parakeet as a pet might not be ideal. You should be able to spend time with your bird to talk to it and play with it.
Things might be better if your parakeet has a friend to hang out with, though. Some people choose to pair parakeets of the opposite sex together in cages so that they can socialize with each other.
Even if your parakeet does have a mate, it’s still going to be good to spend time with it. Talking to the parakeet can improve its mental health and make it happy.
Parakeets really enjoy interacting with humans so long as they’re nice and gentle. Do your best to be a good parakeet owner and your parakeet will certainly grow fond of you.
Try to Let Your Parakeet Out to Fly From Time to Time
It can be very good for your parakeet to actually get out of its cage so that it can fly from time to time. A parakeet isn’t going to want to stay cooped up in its cage every single moment of the day.
Of course, you’re going to need to approach this the right way so that you can do things safely. Before letting your parakeet out of its cage, it’s going to be necessary to close off the room and make sure that all of the windows are closed tightly.
Your parakeet will likely enjoy flying around in a bigger space and you can interact with it freely in the environment. When it’s ready, it should fly back into the cage door after it has received some exercise.
If you have a pretty big cage, then this might not be completely necessary. Even so, it can be fun for the parakeet to get out of the cage this way.
Many parakeet enthusiasts like to let their parakeets out of their cages at least a few times per month. How often you choose to do this is up to you, though.
Parakeets are so smart that many people wind up being surprised at what they’re capable of. These are very smart birds that can be taught to talk, and they can even learn hundreds of words.
Some parakeets have learned as many as a thousand words, and they’re able to use the words appropriately too. It’s remarkable how easy it is to train parakeets to do different tricks and tasks.
For this reason, keeping parakeets as pets has the potential to be very fun and fulfilling. If you’ve been considering getting a parakeet for a while, then it might be good to go forward with it.
Just remember that parakeets need attention and mental stimulation in order to stay happy. If you aren’t able to provide this, then it could be detrimental to the mental health of the parakeet.
I have two Associate’s degrees, one in Medical Assisting and the other in Computer Technician, and I am roughly five classes from a bachelor’s degree. Though I never ended up working in the medical field, I have five and a half years of experience in IT. I recently became a stay-at-home mom to my two young boys and also have two dogs and two cats. I grew up with pet dogs, cats, hamsters, budgies, cockatiels, and fish and also love horseback riding. In my spare time, I love to bake and read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.