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Michael Palin presents the wild budgerigar from Australia.

Michael Palin presents the wild budgerigar from Australia. Budgerigars are small Australian parrots whose common name may derive from the aboriginal "Betcherrygah' which, roughly speaking, means "good to eat" though it could mean " good food" as budgerigars follow the rains and so their flocks would indicate where there might be seeds and fruits for people.

Where food and water are available together; huge flocks gather, sometimes a hundred thousand strong, queuing in thirsty ranks to take their turn at waterholes. Should a falcon appear, they explode into the air with a roar of wingbeats and perform astonishing aerobatics similar to the murmurations of starlings in the UK.

Although many colour varieties have been bred in captivity, wild budgerigars are bright green below, beautifully enhanced with dark scalloped barring above, with yellow throats and foreheads. With a good view, you can tell the male by the small knob of blue flesh, known as a cere, above his beak.

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2 minutes

Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)

Webpage image courtesy of Jouan and Rius /

NPL Ref 01218825 © Jouan and Rius /


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