TELLING BUDGIES AGE
☝🏻 Most of mutations have black eyes when young, before white iris develops. It gets greyish at first and then becomes white when a bird is around 1 year old. The exception is recessive pied mutation that has black eyes, no iris, regardless of the age (hence super tricky to tell the age) 😀
Sometimes people message me saying „My budgie was perfectly normal this morning and dead by 5pm” 😧 Apart from the fact budgies can hide some illnesses for very long, there are some things that your bird might be exposed to, that can cause a sudden death. And healthy, normally behaving bird may die over night.
So things like: air fresheners, cigarettes, e-cigs, aerosol sprays, scented candles/sticks, perfume, pipe, incense sticks, cleaning products (especially those containing bleach or ammonia), scented oils (including heated scented oils) are TOXIC ☠️☠️☠️ to birds. Budgies have very sensitive respiratory system and are more prone to breathing problems than other pets or humans. They may cause severe inflammation and difficulty breathing, and after large or direct exposure, death can occur. Any pump spray or aerosol using a propellant can be dangerous to birds, and should not be used around budgies. So if you use those items around budgies (things that produce smoke or scent or fumes) you are killing your bird.. ❌❌❌ And speaking of fumes - teflon, used in cooking pans, irons, iron boards, iron shields etc. is very dangerous cause when heated, it produces fumes. They might not be sensed by humans, but are sensed by tiny birds’ air sacks and lungs. Therefore they should not be used where birds are. Self-cleaning ovens are also a cause of bad fumes thus not recommended around budgies. Water deprivation might be another reason of sudden death. Budgies can survive up 2-3 days without water. Broken water bottle or empty drinker may lead to dehydration and death. Next - budgies can’t tolerate excessive heat. A cage put in a direct sunlight can cause a hyperthermia and then death from dehydration. Please remove/don’t use any toxic stuff if you have budgies, keep them hydrated and in shade.
IS TAKING PICTURES WITH A FLASH BAD FOR BUDGIES?
Taking pictures with a FLASH. I’ve managed to find some scientific research about how (or if) using a flash has harming effect on birds eyes. You can come across different opinions - some say flash can cause a permanent damage to birds eyes. According to a research though 👉 (“Flash Photography and the Visual System of Birds and Animals” - article on Naturescapes.net) 👈 - flash DOES NOT harm birds eyes. Only extremely unfiltered bright light, focused onto the retina through surgical microscope lenses can produce permanent retinal damage. Strobe lights used in camera flash units produce light that is not focused, but diffused, upon reaching the object. What can happen though, when you use a flash, is that it may startle a bird, due to a sudden, unexpected burst of light. Flash will produce a temporary reduction in vision but not permanent damage. In total darkness, reduction of vision may last 5-20 minutes. It’s up to an owner then if they want to use a flash when taking pictures of birds. My personal opinion is NO, as I wouldnt like anyone to blind me with a flash directly in my face and dont want it for my birds either
TELLING SEX OF BABIES AND YOUNG BUDGIES
I’ve made this mosaic to help you understand how to tell MALE budgie from FEMALE budgie. Those bellow show FEMALES ONLY. Female budgies have white or pale blue cere when out of breeding condition (not wanting to breed). It becomes creamy/beige/brown when she’s coming into breeding condition. That comes and goes (hens might be in condition for weeks or months, it’s an individual thing) Whilst it’s easy to tell male from female when they’re adults (male - royal blue, female - white or brown), it can be confusing to tell the difference when they’re babies or very young. The mosaic I created shows young or baby FEMALES only. Their cere is pinkish-purple and pale, usually white around nostrils and pinkish in the edges. It’s easier to tell baby female from baby male when you compare multiple budgies ceres at once. Then you can see that some of them have ceres more pink in colour than others; some are deeper shade of pink, some are paler.
The ceres below are noticeably darker, pinker, even purple, and their colour is more intensive than ceres shown before. These are MALES ceres. They look like this when budgies are 3-4 weeks old, then they get even darker and more obvious (you wouldn't see any white in them) and eventually they turn royal blue (with exception of some mutations, where males ceres remain pink for all their life)
Below - baby male and baby female. As you can see - male cere's colour is more uniform. It's pinkish-purple. Female cere is also purplish, but it's white around nostrils. That's the first indicator you have a female. You should be able to tell the difference around second/third week of baby budgie's life. It's always easier to compare your baby budgies cere when they are side by side. When you look at their ceres and compare to one another, you'll see some are darker, more purple, than others.
Take a look at the picture below. Two, very young babies, 26 and 28 days old. On top picture you see the budgie on the right has her cere lighter than the budgie on the left. They are both purplish-pink but one has white colour around nostrils.
TELLING SEX OF ADULT BUDGIES
You may have heard that male budgies have blue ceres, right? It is true, BUT you need to pay attention to what shade of blue it is. I have seen many pictures of budgies when their owners were confident they had male budgies, whilst in fact - they were typical females. In most cases they were given wrong information at pet stores. And that’s because people working at pets stores have usually very little knowledge about birds (unless they’re bird fanatics or a store specialises in birds) All they know is that budgie males have blue cere and females have brown cere. Very basic knowledge, and not even entirely true... So here’s the thing: if cere colour is whitish/light/pale/pastel blue - it’s female. If cere is dark/royal/deep blue - it’s male (with some exceptions, in some mutations). There is also a difference between female cere in and out of breeding condition (breeding condition is, simply speaking, when she's in 'mood' to breed, or - if you want - her body is hormonally prepared for breeding). We'll talk about it in a moment. So if your bird has light blue cere, with white around nostrils - it's female. If the blue is dark - it's male.