What Do Budgies Eat In The Wild? (Wild Budgies Food Habits)

Budgerigars or budgies are small, colorful, and long-tailed parrots. They belong to the species of genus Melopsittacus. People call them parakeet in American English.

If you are eagerly waiting to welcome your feathery friends to your home, know what they eat. They are usually wild, and you can’t feed them anything.

To start with wild budgerigars’ food habits, they are usually grass and seed feeders. Grass and grains are their primary intakes, especially in the wild.

Budgies roam in flocks. You can see thousands of wild and beautiful budgies flying and feeding in thousands in native Australia.

What food do budgies eat in the wild?

Budgies, surviving in the wild, eat fruits, seeds, vegetation, berries, plants, etc. You can find them mostly near the ground while enjoying food. They love to swallow a variety of season-based food.

Can you feed normal food to wild budgies

Being a budgie owner is not that easy. You have to take immense care of their health and food habits. No bird is meant to be caged. But, if you have or bring a budgie friend to your home, take advice from local vets. Fresh fruits must cover 40% of budgies’ diet.

Fresh fruits:

  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Melons
  • Pear
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Blueberry
  • Raisins
  • Kiwis
  • Nectarines

Vegetables:

  • Carrot
  • Cabbage 
  • Tomato
  • Pepper 
  • Cucumber
  • Beetroot
  • Rocket
  • Lettuce
  • Celery
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet potato
  • Sweet corn

Eating habits of wild budgies

Seed mix/ pellets:

Avian vets advise giving pellets to your cute budgies as they will get lots of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from them. You will get pellets especially prepared for budgerigars from good shops.

Nugget-shaped pellets contain vegetables and grains. Parakeets can digest them easily. Try to give as much fresh food as you can. One tablespoon of pellets every day is okay.

Added, if your birds are eating seeds, give them sprouts and seeds that cover 40 to 60 percent of their diet. Do not stop feeding them fresh food.

What seeds do budgies eat in the wild?

Wild budgerigars consume a diverse variety of seeds depending on the season.

Usually, commercial seed mixes involve approximately two to eight types rich in fat and carbohydrates. However, these seeds may lack an adequate amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.           

Besides, wild budgies often prefer millet seeds. Many bird owners provide honey sticks, song foods, molting foods, and conditioning foods. But, these foods are not nutritionally sufficient.

Grass seeds:

Around 50% of budgies’ intake are grains and grass. Therefore, grass seeds are considered the staple food of budgies. The following grass plants are:

  • Annual meadow-grass or Poa annua
  • Meadow foxtail or Alopecurus pratensis
  • Perennial ryegrass or Lolium perenne
  • Velvet grass or Holcus lanatus
  • Orchardgrass or Dactylis glomerata or cock’s-foot
  • Rough bluegrass or Poa trivialis
  • Timothy grass or Phelum pretense
  • Poverty brome or Bromus sterilis
  • Yorkshire Grass or Holcus lanatus or Meadow soft grass
  • Soft brome or Bromus hordeaceus or soft chess

Herb seeds:

Good seed mix contains herb-derived seeds. Storing herbs in sealed jars will keep them in favorable condition.

The mixture has the following:

  • Cabbage
  • Alfalfa
  • Dill
  • Clover
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Black, red and yellow mustard 
  • Red clover
  • Coriander leaves
  • Fenugreek
  • Chia
  • Groundsel
  • Radish

Seeds rich in fat:

Budgies or parakeets love to feed fat-rich seeds. But, it would be best if you give these following seeds sparingly:

  • Flax
  • Niger
  • A pumpkin after soaking and germinating
  • Millet
  • Hemp
  • Sunflower
  • Sesame
  • Rapeseed

What plants do budgies eat in the wild?

These beautiful birds love to munch vegetables. These are as follows:

  • Asian greens
  • Spinach
  • Corn
  • Carrot
  • Carrot
  • Peas
  • Broccoli

Herbs like rocket, basil, parsley, and mint are safe for these birds.

However, budgerigars also readily eat weeds, including:

  • Milk thistle 
  • Chickweed 
  • Dandelions 
  • Cow vetch
  • Plaintain
  • Shepherd’s purse
  • Seeding grasses
  • Nettle
  • Ribwort
  • Worm-seed mustard
  • White clover
  • Teasel

What are the safest household plants for budgies?

Your little busy feathery buddies can nibble on your houseplants. Though all houseplants are not healthy for them yet some are there that provide wholesome nutrients to the budgies.

Always remember to keep non-toxic plants in your home or surroundings.

Safe plants for budgies are:

  • African Violet or Saintpaulia inonantha
  • Jade plant or Crassula argentea
  • Peperomia or Peperomia spp
  • Spider plant or Chlorophytum comosum

What are the toxic plants for budgies?

Certain plants are unsafe for these birds. They can lead to gastrointestinal issues, seizures, poisoning, anorexia, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, irritation in the digestive tract and mouth, skin irritation, tremors, etc.

Avoid keeping these plants in your house as they are toxic to your parakeets.

  • Amaryllis
  • Holly
  • Daffodil
  • Lilies
  • Ivy
  • Morning Glory
  • Mistletoe
  • Shamrock
  • Poinsettia
  • Philodendron

Related Read: What Not To Feed Wild Birds? ( Harmful Foods For Wild Birds )

What do baby budgies eat in the wild?

Any bird requires properly balanced nutritious food, including carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, and water. This is applicable for both pet birds as well as wild birds.  

Baby budgies, like other birds, are fed by parent budgies. Fruits and insects are the two most common food items parents bring for their little babies.

Parakeets are nomadic in nature. Hence, when nothing is there in hand, these wild omnivore birds migrate to the place where they get grass seeds, seasonal fruits, and vegetables. Then, they bring the same for their babies, waiting for food.

If you have wild budgies and their babies in your home, give cooked rice or cooked lentils to the father or mother so that they can feed them to their babies. But, of course, the food must be soft.

What are the foods that budgies can’t eat?

It will help if you stay away from giving budgies certain kinds of food. If they wish to pick something from your plate, restrict them from it.

Foods that are harmful to budgies or parakeets:

  • Salt
  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Chips
  • Pizza
  • Alcohol
  • Fried food
  • Bacon
  • Caffeinated tea
  • Cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Vanilla
  • Biscuits
  • Pastries
  • Bread

Final Takeaway:

Treat your budgies with wholesome food full of balanced nutrients, nothing more and nothing less.

Natural food is the best for them. Wild budgies will find their nourishment directly from nature.

So, if you pet some of them, try to give them a balanced diet that they would have if in the wild.