Conures and budgies (also known as parakeets) deservedly count among the most beautiful parrots you can get. Despite a similarity in personality, nutrition, and even intelligence, they remain two different kinds of parrots. Should you be caught in the middle, picking between a conure and a budgie, which should you choose?
Conures are bigger than budgies and more territorial. The former lives longer than budgies and are more expensive. Budgies need more attention than conures but are easier to train. Both conures and budgies share the same meals, although the conure’s meals tend to lean more on pellets than budgies. Overall, both birds are fantastic emotional companions.
There is a lot to know about choosing between budgies and conures. How do they look? What type of specific personalities does each of these parrots have? How much will each cost you?
Read on to find the answers to these exciting questions and many more.
Budgie vs. Conure: Physical appearance
The budgie is colorful, with its body commonly dressed in a light green plumage enhanced with yellow waves and a profoundly black mantle.
There are other color variants of budgies where the body is predominantly covered in blue.
An adult budgie can grow as long as 18cm and weigh as much as 40g.
Conures are significantly bigger than budgies. They can grow up to 30cm in length and weigh up to 120g. You can tell a conure from its distinctive pointed and lengthy tail enhancing its slender frame.
The eye-ring is another signature physical attribute of conures. This is because these parrots’ eyes are bare of feathers.
Conures are even more versatile color-wise than budgies. Conures come in blue, yellow, green, and red.
Budgie vs. Conure: Personality
The budgie and conure share a generally enthusiastic demeanor. Both are friendly and open to frolicking with peers and human handlers.
However, budgies binge more on attention than conures. The conure – despite being way bigger than the budgie – is a bit more introverted.
It is keener on its privacy than the budgie. Therefore, the conure is more territorial, preferring to have its space to itself in a while. It can resort to aggression to protect this space if needed.
The budgie practically has no social boundaries. It doesn’t mind you staying with it and playing with it all day long.
This demonstrates that if you have lesser time to spare your parrot, you are safer going with conures. When starved of attention, budgies readily develop destructive tendencies.
Budgie vs. Conure: Intelligence
Both the conure and budgie are brilliant guys. They both can comprehend cognitively intensive tasks like mimicking human speech and advanced problem-solving.
The budgie and conure are very observant and quickly catch on to routines. But if you were to measure the budgie directly against the conure on the intelligence scale, the conure comes on top.
Conures are smarter than budgies. This is not totally unnatural as bigger parrot species (like conures) exhibit superior intelligence to smaller ones like budgies.
Despite being smarter than budgies, conures are more difficult to train than budgies. Conures are a bit obstinate, periodically rebelling against your authority.
Budgies are far more subservient and ready to do its master willing to court your favors. Nonetheless, both the conure and budgie are trainable.
When training them, ensure you isolate them in a quiet environment – with minimal distractions – where they can concentrate on grasping your instructions.
Ensure both birds are calm when you train them. As typical birds, the conure and budgie learn faster in a training regimen flavored with positive reinforcement.
When they catch your instructions, reward them with their favorite treats or toys. Lastly, you don’t want to over-exert the conure or budgie when training them.
Therefore keep the training sessions as short as you can. A session shouldn’t exceed 15 minutes at most.
Else, you run the risk of your conure or budgie becoming disinterested. The moment they lose interest, that moment they stop learning.
Budgie vs. Conure: Nutrition
These two birds share a lot in what they eat. Their meals – as characteristic of parrots – are loaded with pellets, albeit in varying proportions.
Pellets should constitute 60-80% of a budgie’s meal plan. The budgie’s diet can be further enhanced with veggies, nuts, fruits, seeds, and treats.
For conures, their meal should contain around 80-85% of pellets. This can be supplemented with berries, leafy greens, melons, veggies, and brightly colored fruits.
Once in four weeks, you may spice up your conure’s meals with a special treat of beans or pasta.
Budgie vs. Conure: Lifespan
Conures live way longer than budgies. A budgie’s lifespan ranges between 8 years. But if you adequately care for your conure, it can live up to 35 years.
This means that if you are looking for an emotional partner that stays around longer, you should go for the conure (if you can afford it).
Budgie vs. Conure: Vocalization
Conures and budgies don’t have much separating them in this department. Both birds would chatter before they sleep.
Both characteristically lick their tongues, purr, whistle, or chirp when they are elated. When scared, both will scream and squeak.
When upset, both the budgie and conure furiously click their beaks, growl, or hiss.
However, when irritated or when trying to protect a valued commodity, the budgie is more likely to bite.
On the other hand, when upset, the conure, despite being stronger, prefers to scream.
Related Article: How to Stop Lovebirds From Screaming (and Other Bird Pets)
Budgie vs. Conure: Health
The conure and budgie are fundamentally healthy parrots. However, they are prone to different diseases.
Conures are prone to psittacosis, aspergillosis, psittacine beak and feather disease, and proventricular dilatation disease (PDD).
For budgies, they are more vulnerable to avian gout, iodine deficiency, avian gastric yeast (AGY) infection, and other liver issues.
However, budgies are more mischievous in masking their health conditions. Unless particularly keen, you may not notice your budgie is ill until the disease has reached an advanced stage.
You can tell an ill conure from ratty feathers or if it is looking fluffed up. On the other hand, you can tell a sick budgie from an overgrown beak, dramatic increase (or decline) in weight, and in more severe illness, bleeding, and swelling.
Budgie vs. Conure: Sexuality
Conures and budgies don’t give birth to their young one’s live. Rather, both birds lay eggs.
The conure and budgie have similar mating styles. When they mate, the female moves its tail to divulge its cloaca to the male’s.
The male then manipulates its body to bring its cloaca into physical contact with its female partner’s. When both rub their cloacas, the male transfers sperm into its partner’s ova.
For conures, there is no distinctive deviation between their males and females. That said, female conures are more emotional while males are more territorial or introverted.
It is the opposite for budgies. Their males are way more sociable and welcoming, while their females are more protective and territorial.
Budgie vs. conure: Cost
Conures are more expensive than budgies. While there are no definitive prices for both, you can get a budgie from your everyday pet shop for as low as $12.
Averagely, budgies sell for between $40 and $60. However, as you would expect, those with more exotic plumage cost more.
Specifically, a budgie with such exotic plumage hand-raised by a specialized breeder can cost you north of $500.
It is different for conures. The average cost of a conure sits between $300-and $500. That said, you can get a conure for as low as $100 from a regular pet shop.
But an exotic conure hand-raised by a breeder can cost more than $2000. Aside from that, conures cost more to raise or maintain.