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English Budgie Vs. American Budgie: Identification Guide

English Budgie Vs American Budgie

Budgerigars, commonly known as budgies or parakeets, are small, highly social birds. They come in a variety of colors ranging from green, blue, yellow, and white. Budgies also have different patterns depending on the mutation. The commonly known varieties are the American and English budgie.

The English budgie, sometimes known as the show budgie, is larger, less social, and has distinct patterns along its length. These are only a few differences between the two budgerigars. There are many more distinctions between the two that we will look at.

According to recent statistics, almost 90% of budgie owners do not know what type they own. This article will help you understand the distinct characteristics of English and American Budgies, and maybe then you will be able to tell which budgie you own or want to own.

English Budgie Vs. American Budgie-what are the differences?

Both the English and American parakeets originate from Australia. They are close relatives of the wild budgies. The only difference is that the English and American budgies are domesticated and have a larger size difference than their wild cousins.

English Budgie Vs American Budgie

Budgies, like dogs, have been cross-bred to improve their shapes and sizes. English parakeets, also known as exhibition budgies, were initially bred as show birds. According to research, they come in various colors such as light green, standard violet, and cinnamon light green

So how do you tell an American and English Budgerigar apart? Here are the key differences.

English budgievs.American budgie
Weight 1.5-2.2 ounces0.7-1.4 ounces
Lifespan 7-9 years8-18 years
Height 9.5-12 inches7-9 inches
Flight Likely to hop on swings and stay on the bottom of the cage.They fly around the cell and are most likely to sleep on the highest perch in the cage.
Ability to talkHas more vocabulary than the American budgie.They talk but do not have as much vocabulary as the English budgie.
Personality More laid back, calm, and quiet.Very aggressive, active, and makes a lot of noise
Trainability Easy to train and handle due to their quiet personality.They can be pretty challenging to handle and train. You should teach them when at least ten weeks old.
Family-friendlyFriendly for people of all ages. They do not bite or nip.They bite and nip. They take a while before they bond with the owner.
Cost They are expensive. They cost about $50-$100Cheap. They cost $20-$30

An overview of the English vs. American budgerigars

English and American budgies have key differences ranging from physicality to behaviors. Here is an overview.

Physical Characteristics

English budgie

English parakeets have undergone selective breeding since the 1800s to showcase more distinct features in bird competitions.

See also:  Can Budgies Sleep with the TV On?

They are relatively larger than the American parakeets. Their weight ranges from 1.5-2.2 ounces(42.52g-59.53g)and a height of about 9.5-12 inches. Their weight makes them fly less, so you will probably find them swinging from perches and mainly at the bottom of the cage.

English Budgie

They have more distinct patterns than the typical Australian budgies. The most prominent design is around their neck. English budgies also have larger cheek patches than American budgies. Their tail feathers are also longer than those of an American parakeet.

American budgie

American parakeets are smaller than their English counterparts. They weigh about 0.7-1.4 ounces and have 7-9 inches. They are less distinct markings than the English budgie and are the most commonly found budgies in pet stores.

American budgie

The easiest way to differentiate an English budgie from an American budgie is by checking the size of its head; English budgies have larger heads and taller bodies than American budgies.


English Budgie

Due to the numerous crossbreeding experiments that have been done on English budgies over the years, they tend to be frailer than American budgies.

They have several complications, such as; they cannot fly as much, and their long head feathers almost blind their eyes.

Therefore, English budgies have a shorter life span of about 7-9 years.

American Budgie

They have not undergone crossbreeding like English budgies; hence they have a life expectancy of about 8-18 years.

Behavior differences And Personal Attributes

English Budgie

As previously stated, English budgies were crossbred to be show birds, so they are more laid back than American budgies. English budgerigars are easier to train and domesticate; you can teach a young budgie to talk more quickly than its American counterpart.

English Budgie

Due to their quiet, subdued nature, many people are unaware of their excellent mimicry abilities. English budgies have the world’s largest vocabulary of the most learned words, i.e., over 1700 words.

They follow basic commands, rarely bite, and even when chirping, they make as little noise as possible. 

American Budgie

American budgies are more closely related to the wild budgies; therefore, they are more aggressive, loud, and challenging to tame. They are not easy to handle and are prone to biting and nipping.

American Budgie

If you want to train it, you should start when it is ten weeks old. That way, it will have enough time to learn how to hop on your finger and talk.


English Budgie

English budgies are exotic birds, so they tend to be more pricy than American budgies. They cost about $50-$100.

American Budgie

They are the most common type of budgie in any pet store; therefore, they are relatively cheap. They cost about $20-$30.

Health And Care

English budgerigars have more health issues than the American variety. Therefore, they require proper care and delicate handling. 

See also:  Here's What We Gave Our Budgies Today

There is not much difference when it comes to diet. Both budgies require fresh water and a balanced diet comprising fresh vegetables, seeds, and occasional treats such as fruits

You should clean their cages regularly and bath them irrespective of which type of budgie you own.


English Budgie

English budgies are more suitable for people who do not like much noise. Due to their laid-back personality, your neighbors will not even know you own a bird.

Research shows that English budgerigars like solving puzzles and exploring new stimuli. Therefore, ensure their cage has various toys to help them exercise their minds.

English Budgie

They are family-friendly and relatively easy to train. They do not bite so that people of all ages can handle them. They are more recommendable as pets for children than the American parakeet.

American Budgie

American budgies are similar to their wild counterparts and require an owner that does not mind the noise they make. They take time before they bond with you, so you have to be very patient. Train them from a very young age to easily connect with you.

American Budgie

Also read: Do Budgies and Cockatiels Get Along?

Can English budgies and American budgies live together?

Yes, they can. English budgies are quiet and live in peace with other budgies. The only thing you should consider is their size. 

They are quite large and require more space. Ensure your cage is big enough to accommodate American and English budgies.

Can English budgies and American budgies live together

However, the American budgie is more likely to bully their English counterpart. If this happens, put them in separate cages first and let them get used to each other first then, you can put them in one cage.

Can American and English budgies breed?

Yes, they can breed. They are from the same species but different, so you do not have to worry about breeding. If you do not want them to mate, keep the same-sex budgies in other cages.

American and English budgies

Budgies tend to breed during the warm seasons rather than cold seasons. So during the summer months, keep the budgies separated. Avoid neutering as it is harmful to your budgies’ health.

Related questions

Here are other questions people ask about English vs. American budgies.

1. Which One Is More Likely To Talk?

Both the English and American budgie are likely to talk. With training, the budgies can learn to talk and whistle. However, the American budgie takes longer than the English budgie in training. So you should train it from an early age.

2. Which Breed Is Right For You?

Both breeds make excellent pets. However, the English budgie is more suitable if you want a more subdued budgie. Suppose you do not mind the noise and have patience when training, the American budgie is the budgie for you.

3. Why Is It That American Budgies Live Longer Than English Budgies?

English budgies have been subjected to cross-breeding experiments over the years. They are mainly inbred, which causes them to have a lot of health issues. This makes their lifespan to be shorter than that of any other budgie.

Related: Budgie Bleeding Under Wing


Now you know the critical differences between the two feathered friends. If you want a laid-back budgie, go for the English budgie. The American parakeet is for you if you wish to own a more outgoing budgie.

English budgies are larger and taller than American budgies. They have more distinct patterns and vibrant colors that are easily identifiable. I hope you can now differentiate them and choose the budgie that best suits your needs.


Peter Kaestner

Hi there, my name is Peter Kaestner and I am the owner of As a avid bird watcher and enthusiast with a passion for ornithology, I want to share my knowledge and experience with other bird lovers through this blog. As someone who regularly participates in bird-related forums and groups online, I am dedicated to helping others learn more about these amazing creatures. However, it's important to note that while I am happy to share my expertise and advice, it is always crucial to consult with an avian veterinarian before making any decisions that could potentially impact your bird's health or well-being. Your bird's health and happiness should always be your top priority, and consulting with a professional is the best way to ensure that you are making informed decisions on their behalf. I hope that through my blog, I can help make a positive difference in the lives of birds and the people who care for them. Whether you are an experienced bird owner or just starting out, I encourage you to use this resource as a way to learn more about these fascinating animals and how to provide them with the best possible care.View Author posts