Updated: Apr 1
As with any pet, it's important to know how to tell the age of your budgie, so that you can provide the appropriate care and attention they need. In this article, we'll discuss how to tell if your budgie is old or young.
The first way to tell if your budgie is old or young is by examining their cere. The cere is the fleshy area above the beak where the nostrils are located. In young budgies, the cere will be smooth and pink or purple in color. As budgies age, the cere will become crusty and brown in color. Male budgies will have blue or purple ceres, while females will have brown or white ceres. This can be a good indicator of your budgie's age, but it's important to note that other factors such as breeding and diet can affect the appearance of the cere.
Another way to tell if your budgie is old or young is by looking at their eyes. Young budgies will have dark eyes that are completely round. As they age, the eyes will become lighter in color and take on a more oblong shape. This can be a good indicator of your budgie's age, but it's important to note that this is not a foolproof method as some budgies may have naturally lighter or darker eyes.
Also, you can tell if your budgie is old or young by examining their feathers. Young budgies will have a soft, fluffy appearance to their feathers, while older budgies will have more defined feathers that are harder to the touch. Additionally, young budgies may have a more muted coloration that becomes brighter and more defined as they mature. Again, this is not a foolproof method, as factors such as breeding and diet can affect the appearance of your budgie's feathers.
Lastly - you look at the head (usually white or yellow). Young bird, under 4 months old, will usually have black stripes on their forehead. At the age of 3-4 month, when budgie goes through its first molt, it loses the stripes and head is just white or yellow (depending on your budgie colour mutation).
By the way - molting season can be quite stressful for budgies. You may notice they become more nervous, irritable, stratch their heads or bodies more often, or act out of character. It will pass, don't worry. During that time, they need extra good diet that provides all important nutrients. Seed only diet is not recommended as it's not nutritional enough. THIS budgie food is full of goodies, like different seeds, but also fruits and vegetables. Make sure you provide your budgie with fresh leafy vegetables too (check our Budgie Diet section for it). It's recommended to add extra vitamins for budgies food that will support them in molting season. HERE you can find molting drops specially formulated for budgies.
In conclusion, there are a few different ways to tell if your budgie is old or young. By examining their cere, eyes, head and feathers, you can get a general idea of their age and provide the appropriate care they need.
It's worth mentioning that young budgie, even 3, 4 weeks old, is as big, or sometimes even bigger, than an adult bird, so you don't look at the size of a budgie to tell their age. As for other features, mentioned above, once a budgie turns around 1 year old - it doesn't change and you can't tell the difference between 2 year or 4 year or 6 year old budgie.
On picture below: top: young budgie (around 4 weeks old) and adult bird (bottom)