A lot of people say their job is for the birds, well with my job this is absolutely true. At the John Ball Zoo near our Hobby farm we have an aviary filled with Budgies, or as they are more commonly known as Parakeets. The Budgie originates from Australia. They are common in the pet trade all around the world. Pet owners are drawn to them for their small size, low cost and an ability to mimic human speech.

When looking at a Budgie you can tell if it is a male or a female but not in the way you might think.  You can look at the birds cere, which will be located right above the beak. The color of the cere will tell you what you need to know.   If the cere is blue,  you are looking at a male bird, and if it is brown the bird is a female. In the wild - Budgies can be found in large groups and are considered a pest to farmers because they decimate grain crops in just minutes.

At any given time there can be between 200 to 300 birds in our aviary. We feed our birds a mixture of seeds, greens, bananas, apples, oranges, and mixed vegetables. We also give them different enrichment items like cuttlebones, fresh peppers, and the occasional parrot toy.

You can come to our aviary to be amongst the birds for free!  What a deal!   Or - You can purchase a budgie feed stick for only $1 to add another level of fun to your Budgie experience. The Budgie feed stick has a few clumps of millet seed on it. The video attached to this blog is just a small clip of what you can experience when you buy a feed stick. The birds will land on the stick and eat the seeds giving you an up close and personal look at a Budgie. The Budgie feed stick is a treat for the bird and for the person holding the stick. You can feed the birds in our aviary at any time during the day. So make like a bird and flock to the Budgie aviary at the John Ball Zoo.




About Jacob Hoorn

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Jake is a seasonal zookeeper aide at JBZ, and has been for the last 2 summers. Before that he was part of the teen and adult volunteer program.  

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