Budgerigars or “budgies” are indisputably the most popular pet birds around. In fact, after dogs and cats, the budgie may just be the most popular household pet in general! So why are these charming little birds so widespread and appealing? Well, for one thing, budgerigars are friendly little birds which, when raised lovingly, can be quite tame and comfortable interacting with humans. Budgies are social, they breed readily, and they are relatively inexpensive to keep and maintain when compared with the large commitments required for keeping most other birds.
What’s more, for people who are fascinated by talking birds, a budgie can be a shocking alternative to more advanced parrots such as African Grays. The current Guinness world record-holder for the living bird with the biggest vocabulary belongs to a budgie named Oskar! Budgies may not be as inclined towards speech as African Grays, but they are clearly quite capable of mimicking plenty of phrases. (1)
In the wild, budgies gather in massive flocks of brilliant green birds. For Australians, the budgerigar is just one of the many birds, mammals, and reptiles which make the country unique. In this article, we’ll take a look at many of the budgies unique traits and examine what it means to interact with one of these sociable little parakeets.
Budgerigar Symbolism and Meaning
The first thing that the budgerigar symbolizes is domesticity. As stated above, budgies rank just behind cats and dogs as the most popular household pets. These birds are connected with the home and family, with sociability, and with friendliness. On top of making great pets, budgies are also very social with one another and thrive when kept with other budgies. A budgie might represent friendship or bonding. (2)
In the wild, budgies form monogamous pairs which rise their offspring together. These pairs separate at the end of the breeding season. In captivity, though, budgies tend to form much longer lasting bonds. Budgie romance is quite expressive, as bonded birds will preen one another, share food, and initiate all sorts of snuggly contact. So, budgies may represent romance, affection, sweetness, or courtship. (3)
We previously mentioned that budgerigars are not only capable of mimicking human speech, but also quite adept at it. In fact, budgies can have record-breakingly large vocabularies of human words and phrases. For this reason, budgies tend to represent communication, imitation, speech, and intelligence.
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Budgerigar Native American Symbolism
Budgies are not native to the Americas at all, however several types of parrot are found in the region. Amongst the Zuni people, for example, the macaw symbolizes summertime and the South. Although macaws are generally found in South and Central America, due to extensive trade networks, many North American tribes were familiar with these birds. Some groups even kept macaws in captivity. Macaw feathers were traded throughout the United States and are associated with authority, wisdom, and shamanism. (4)
The meaning of the budgerigar in the Americas can be assumed to be similar to that of macaws or similar parrots.
Budgerigar Christianity Symbolism
Budgerigars are seed-eating birds which gather in massive flocks in the wild. These large colorful flocks fill up trees and landscapes in Australia with a sea of green feathers. This image reminds me of the following quote from Matthew.
“Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”— Matthew 13:32 (5)
By connecting budgies with this passage, this bird can be seen as representing the bounty of the earth and the potential of small efforts to yield massive results.
Budgerigar Celtic Symbolism
As domestic birds, I would connect budgies with the Celtic myth of the birds of Rhiannon. Rhiannon is a Welsh goddess of queenship, femininity, and supernatural power. She is often described as entertaining visitors to the Otherworld by allowing them to listen to her choir of birds: the “birds of Rhiannon.” This music is said to be so exquisite and enchanting that one could listen without noticing that a hundred years have passed. (6)
Budgies are only found in the Celtic world as pets and only in the last few centuries. Even so, the popularity of these birds as pets which entertain with their vocalizations makes budgies similar enough to compare to the birds of Rhiannon.
Budgerigar in Dreams
Dreaming of a budgie may represent one’s home. Budgerigars are most often found in the majority of the world as pets. So, dreaming of budgies represents the realm of the home and its inhabitants. Dreaming of a singing budgie represents positive feelings towards one’s surroundings. Dreaming of a sick, injured, or deceased budgie may indicate dissatisfaction with one’s home or home life.
Dreaming of a single budgie represents loneliness and isolation. Budgies are normally meant to be kept in pairs or groups. They don’t tend to thrive by themselves. So, a single budgerigar in a dream may represent a person who is struggling because they feel disconnected from others.
Dreaming of budgies in the wild represents freedom. For most people, budgies are purely pets. To dream of wild budgies represents a desire to break out of restrictive patterns. Someone who dreams about wild budgerigars might be feeling an unanswered call to adventure, to be spontaneous, or to express their self in a new way.
Budgerigar Encounters and Omens
A budgerigar encounter is more likely to be in the context of pet ownership than something wild and random. In Australia, however, budgies are common enough in the wild to be encountered quite often. In either case, a budgie encounter often represents close social relationships. Budgies remind us to communicate our thoughts and reach out to others in order to make necessary connections.
A budgerigar encounter may also represent somebody who is feeling trapped or stuck. Caged birds are often used as metaphors for people who are struggling to move forward in life or who feel stuck in a particular lifestyle or routine. Encountering a budgie may be a reminder that the cage is open and you are in control. Feel free to take the reigns and shake things up when you’re feeling stuck!
Budgerigar in Mythology & Folklore
The word “budgerigar” comes from an older Aboriginal word. These birds feature in several Aboriginal myths, however it is almost impossible to find the content of these myths written in English and readily available online.
As stated above, finding English versions of Aboriginal Australian budgerigar myths has not proven possible for me in the time that I have had to research and write this article. Note, however, that many sources make reference to these myths and so their basic content is made known.
Much Aboriginal art and storytelling refers to budgerigars as keepers of wisdom who are especially connected with finding sources of water. Because budgies gather around water sources, large flocks of budgies symbolize water, food, and oases. In fact, the motif of budgies in Aboriginal art often signifies finding one’s way. Where the budgies are, so is prosperity and survival. (7)
Budgies also seem to be connected with music and with ceremonies. The site where budgies are found is sometimes depicted as a sacred site wherein rituals take place.
Budgerigar Spirit Animal
If your spirit animal is the budgerigar then you are likely a social person who enjoys making connections with others. People with the budgerigar as their spirit animal tend to be outgoing and happiest when they can experience deep relationships with a wide circle of friends and loved ones.
The budgerigar spirit animal loves to communicate. People with this spirit animal tend to struggle when they feel as though they are not being listened to. To ignore the budgie spirit is the ultimate disrespect. People who have this spirit animal are not at all timid and will readily share their honest opinions, even when tact might have been a better option.
The budgie spirit animal is romantic and amorous. People with this spirit animal tend to be “serial monogamists.” They will suffer through a string of bad relationships if that is what it takes to find “the one.” While their hearts are in the right place, budgie spirits don’t always make the best decisions where romance is concerned.
The budgerigar spirit animal loves to play and to be entertained. People with this spirit animal are gregarious and tend to have good senses of humor. The budgie spirit animal is always looking for reasons to share a laugh with others.
Budgerigar Totem Animal
The budgerigar totem animal is connected with the home and family. People with this totem animal tend to be great at building cozy home environments. For the budgie totem, having a safe place to call home and to welcome others is essential.
People with the budgerigar totem can be territorial. When it feels as though somebody is threatening the home that they have built, the budgerigar totem may grow hostile or destructive.
The budgie totem animal is playful and enjoys making connections. People with this totem animal often find that they make new friends wherever they go. People naturally connect with the personable nature of the budgie totem.
Budgerigar Power Animal
The power of the budgie lies in communication and expression. People with the budgie as their power animal are bound to be gifted at communicating their true feelings. This is important socially, but it also lends itself to artistic abilities.
When the budgie creates art, its true spirit shines through in whatever it creates. This is the budgie’s power of expression. People with the budgie power animal are especially prone to being great singers and performers.
The communication of the budgie power animal can be a great tool for healing. People with this power animal behind them are deeply gifted at talking their friends through their problems. The budgie power animal can be found in therapists, advisors, and mediators.
Budgerigar Tattoo Meaning
For an individual from Australia, or someone who enjoys visiting this country, a budgerigar tattoo may represent Australia itself or the wealth of unique flora and fauna which inhabit the land down under.
For somebody of Aboriginal descent, a budgie tattoo may hold additional significance. Budgies may represent the sacred. They are connected with a literal and metaphorical “oasis in the desert.” They may represent prosperity or finding one’s path.
For most people, a budgie tattoo would probably represent a fondness for pet budgies. A budgie tattoo may also represent friendliness, sociability, playfulness, or romance.
Because budgies are the most popular pet birds around, a budgerigar as a tattoo might represent a general interest in pet birds or exotic animal husbandry.
The budgerigar may be best known as the most popular exotic pet around, but these unique little birds represent a wealth of things to a variety of people. From their first scientific description in the early nineteenth century, these pleasant little parrots have had an unparalleled relationship with the pet trade. People from all over the world can attest to the budgie’s personality and charm. (8)
For Australians, the budgie is much more than a common pet. It is a wild green blanket which falls over trees, devouring seeds and filling the air with joyful noises. The budgie is one of the most significant pets in the world, however we often forget how remarkable these birds are within their natural habitats. It is there, I think, that the budgerigar’s beauty shines the brightest.