How Big do Budgies get?

Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 10:37 pm

Written by Isra P

If you have wondered, “how big do budgies get?” you have come to the right place. Like all birds, budgies grow up pretty fast, and some become much larger than others. But what determines their size? Is it their environment or something else? Interestingly enough, their size varies depending on several factors.

American budgies may grow up until reaching 7 to 8 inches. In comparison, their English counterparts can measure 10 to 12 inches when fully grown. Wild budgies in Australia are even smaller than American ones, but not by a significant margin. Aside from the specific breed and environment, a budgie’s size seems also to be affected by gender.

Now, some budgies are not only taller but also heavier than others. These differences become more pronounced until they are fully matured. Keep reading and discover how long it takes for budgies to grow and under what conditions they become bigger.

Budgies are considered mature and full-grown at the age of 8 months. However, if you want to know for certain if they are younger or older, there are a few ways through which you can estimate their age.

A budgie with stripes all over its head and towards the base of the beak may not have experienced any molting yet. Therefore we can say that the budgie is still a juvenile.

Molting is a process in which a budgie’s feathers are replaced, indicating the bird is getting closer to adulthood. During that time, the budgie also increases its size.

Typically, molting takes place at the age of 4 months. So, a head full of stripes is a sign your pet still has plenty of time to keep growing.

Moreover, a budgie’s eyes can also tell you if it’s an adult or still a youngling. When budgies are babies, their eyes usually consist of a single color, such as coal black.

Similarly, upon reaching the age of 8 months, the pupils remain black while the irises surrounding them become light gray or brown. Thus, when they are full-grown, they can be identified by looking at their eyes.

We can say that budgies whose eyes are completely black are surely under the age of 4 months. Likewise, if the eyes begin changing color and are in the transitional phase, they are probably between 4 and 8 months old.

The cere can also tell us about the maturity of a budgie. The soft, fleshy strip that lies at the base of the beak where the nostrils of your bird are located is called the cere. In juvenile budgies, it usually has a grey or blue color.

As the bird gets older, the cere’s color becomes deeper. For instance, male budgies have a more deep blue color when they reach the age of one year. Females usually have white, pink, tan, brown, or light blue colors on their cere’s, turning into a darker brown or tan when they are ready to breed.

In the table below, you can see the size increase of an American budgie for the first few weeks after being born:

Budgie's AgeLength (inches)Weight (ounces)
One Week Old1.60.2
Two Weeks Old3.50.4
Three Weeks Old5.10.6
Four Weeks Old6.30.8
baby budgerigar

Once a budgie hatches, it almost doubles its size every week until about six weeks. That’s remarkable as it can achieve an adult’s size just weeks after coming into the world.

Are Female or Male Budgies Bigger?

By looking at budgies’ bodies, we can also determine their genders. For instance, in terms of size, males often seem larger than females (resource).

how big do budgies get

If they are both adults, the difference could be up to a quarter of an inch. Although it is not that significant, you may notice it if you pay attention. So why is that?

Males are likely to have brighter puffier feathers and longer tails which could also give the illusion they are bigger.

For them, the slight distinction is crucial as that might be essential for finding a good mate. Keep in mind that females are likely to prefer bigger males, so they feel protected against threats and have the healthiest offspring.

What is the Biggest Budgie Breed?

The biggest budgie breed is the English budgie. It is a subspecies of the native Australian budgie developed in England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries through selective breeding.

English budgie

They were raised largely for the pet trade and as “show” birds and are bigger than the wild Australian or American budgie.

Both in the United States and Europe, owners of pet birds adore these little, vivacious parrots because they make wonderful companions.

An English budgie, on average, may have a length of 12 inches and a weight of 1.94 ounces (reference). That’s almost twice their size and more than double the weight of American budgies, which makes them prone to have trouble flying. Furthermore, they are more laid back, easier to tame, and less vocal than American ones.

The most notable element is the size of their heads; English budgies have significantly larger heads when compared with wild Australian budgies.

Compared to wild budgies, English budgie feathers are longer and fluffier. However, the hue of their feathers is more noticeable.

Why is my Budgie so Large?

If you feel you have a larger-than-usual budgie, it might indicate that you hold an English variant. As discussed earlier, these budgies are specially bred to look more exotic and bulkier.

These are successfully bred after centuries of experiments to become larger than many wild and domestic budgies. Thus, these larger budgies are now successfully included in many competitions.

Now, it is also possible for you to have an intermediary budgie (source). It is obtained when breeding an English budgie with an American one. Its size and weight lie between both of these types.

A seemingly larger-than-normal budgie may also result from an illness that makes the budgie look bigger. Thus, it is better to visit a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment of the bird if anything seems out of place.

So how big do budgies get? It depends on the variety, environment, and gender. If you want a big budgie, the English type is your best bet. On the other hand, American budgies are ideal for those desiring smaller but more energetic companions. Still, whichever you pick, you will have a fantastic time with them!

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.