Are Budgies Smart? (9 Interesting Facts)

Lately there has been a lot of interest in budgie intelligence. People are coming to realize that notwithstanding their relatively small size, budgies are actually quite intelligent birds. In this article, you will find answers to most of the common questions about budgies’ intelligence.

Are budgies smart? The answer is ‘yes’. Budgies are under appreciated for their intelligence. People don’t seem to give them enough credit for their level of smartness. Budgies have skittish character, and are not so easy to hand-tame and have a lack of cuddliness. Budgie intelligence is pretty much at the same level with most other parrots.

Are budgies smart
Are Budgies smart?

Looking at the things they are able to learn, the things they are able to remember and how they express their needs leaves you with no doubt that budgie intelligence is quite high.

By the end of it all, you will have gotten a chance to know whether budgies are truly smart, how intelligent they are, how their intelligence compares to that of other animals, what they can be trained to do and so on.


Are Budgies Smart?

This question (are budgies smart) often comes from people who are considering adopting these birds as pets. There are also those who, out of pure curiosity pose the question on are budgies smart. Then we have individuals who want to know are budgie smart for academic purposes.

So, are budgies smart? The simple answer is ‘yes’. Budgies – which are also known as the ‘common parakeets’ are remarkably smart. One piece of evidence for this smartness is in the budgie memory span. Another piece of evidence for the smartness is in the budgie trainability. Yet another thing that is evidence for the high budgie intelligence level is the birds’ sociability.

With regard to budgie bird memory span, we come to learn this is a bird that is able to remember stuff for long periods of time. A budgie may learn how to do something today, then go for years without doing it. Yet the budgie will still manage to do it properly (after years) when need to do it arises.

With regard to trainability, we are looking at a bird that is capable of learning how to speak some human words. It can even master abstract phrases.

Turning to sociability, we see that this is a bird that is capable of eventually learning how to function properly in a domestic setting. They often kiss each other to show affection.

More evidence for the high budgie IQ is in the fact that this is a bird that is able to learn from experience. And it is able to remember positive experiences as well as negative experiences. It is able to learn how to do things that bring about positive experiences, while avoiding things that cause negative experiences.

From all this, we conclude that budgies are truly smart.


Are Budgies Intelligent?

Another way of posing the question on are budgies smart is by asking whether they are intelligent. But for some people, ‘intelligence’ and ‘smartness’ are different things. There are those who argue that it is possible for one to be intelligent without necessarily being ‘smart’.

So, are budgies intelligent? Well, there are two ways in which we can go about answering this question. One is by administering a budgie IQ test. The other approach is by looking at what the budgie is able to do (and what it is unable to do) – then figuring out from that whether or not it is intelligent. We opt for the latter approach.

It turns out that the budgie can learn and master lots of things. Most notably, budgie is one of the few pets that can actually learn how to mimic human words. And beyond mimicking, it can actually get to a level of memorizing some human phrases, and using them in the right contexts. We can go further, and even mention that budgies can learn how to perform tricks. And of course they come to learn and recognize their names.

At yet another level, budgies are able to recognize who their caretakers are, and show appreciation to them. Further still, if you mistreat a budgie in a big way, it is able to remember (you for) that for its entire lifetime.

Further still, we see that budgies are able to communicate their needs coherently. For instance, when their food bowls are empty, they will alert their caretakers to this very clearly.

The only conclusion we can draw from all this is that budgies are very intelligent. Yet their heads/brains are so small. This therefore implies that their neuron density levels must be remarkably high.


How Smart Are Budgies?

A natural extension to the question on are budgies smart is where people seek to know just how smart these birds are. It turns out that for such small birds, budgies are remarkably smart. They have good memories. They are highly trainable. And they learn many things fast.

Moreover, they provide entertaining company. Budgies can go as far as reading emotional cues on their owners’ faces. So, all in all, we can assert that budgies are remarkably smart. Much smarter than they get credit for.


Can Budgies Learn To Talk?

Another question that usually comes up alongside the one on are budgies smart is whether these birds can learn to talk. And the answer to it is ‘yes’. With patient training, budgies can eventually learn to talk (human words).

One may then ask, can budgies talk as well as other parrots? And the answer is that with proper, patient training, budgies can eventually come to talk almost as well as the other bigger parrots. Actually, the most intelligent budgie can even get to a level of learning/mastering abstract phrases.

Yet another question that may arise here is along these lines: do budgies talk to each other? And the answer is in the affirmative. Budgies do constantly speak to each other. They make chirping sounds that seem to have meanings that are mutually understood within flocks.


Can Budgies Learn Their Name?

In answering the question on are budgies smart, one issue that tends to arise is on whether budgies can learn their name. And the answer is that a budgie can soon come to recognize the sounds that constitute its name. Then it is able to respond to that name – almost as well as a dog responds to its name!


Can Budgies Learn Songs?

Much depends on what you mean by ‘learning songs’. If you refer to getting the budgies to learn how to recognize and respond to specific songs, this is something they can do with ease. But if you refer to getting the budgies to learn how to actually sing, then this may be expecting too much from them.

To put it differently, are budgies smart enough to learn how to recognize (and respond to) songs? The answer is yes. And are budgies smart enough to learn how to sign songs? The answer is that this may be too much for them.

The songs that budgies are likely to learn how to recognize and respond to are those that soft, especially when you play them at low volumes.


Can Budgies Learn Tricks?

To put it differently, are budgies smart enough to learn tricks? The answer is ‘yes’. Budgies are able to learn simple tricks. You can teach a budgie to fly to you. You can also teach a budgie to sit on your shoulder.

There are even folks who manage to train their budgies to sit on their fingers. We have even seen people managing to get their budgies to somersault on air on cue. So budgies can learn various entertaining tricks.


Do Budgies Learn Words?

Many of the people who consider adopting budgies as pets do so with the intention of ending up with pets they can converse with. This leads to the question: are budgies smart enough to learn words? And the answer is ‘yes’. Budgies can learn words.

They can even learn simple phrases. You just have to ensure that you start the training early. Then you need to be patient in your training. Male budgies seem to have slightly better speaking ability than females.

Are budgies smart
Are Budgies smart?


Do Budgies Remember Their Owners?

Budgies have the ability to remember their owners – especially if those owners also double up as their caregivers. But if you are a passive owner (having delegated the budgie caregiving work to someone else), the budgies may come to view that other person – the caregiver – as their ‘owner’.

But in simple terms, do budgies remember faces of their owners? Or, to put it differently, do budgies remember you as their owner? The answer is yes. And this memory can often persist for long.

Therefore even after you are gone for some weeks or even months, the budgies may still be able to remember you when you come back. That is especially likely to be the case if you had created a strong bond with the budgies.


Are Budgies Smarter Than Dogs?

There are ways in which budgies are smarter than dogs, just as there are ways in which dogs are smarter than budgies. For instance, while a budgie can learn to mimic human words, this is obviously beyond the ability of a dog. While a smart budgie may learn how to recognize [and repeat] abstract phrases, that may also be beyond the ability of a dog.

So while dogs are definitely smart creatures, there are a few aspects in which budgies are smarter than them.


Are Budgies Smarter Than Cockatiels?

The general consensus seems to be that the cockatiels are somewhat smarter. But this is at a general level. At an individual level, things can often be quite different. It is not uncommon to find an individual budgie that shows more smarts than a cockatiel.

Then again, it is worth remembering that the budgie tends to be much cheaper than the cockatiel. So this means that if you don’t have enough to buy a cockatiel, yet you still want an intelligent parrot, the budgie can be a good compromise.


Why Are Budgies So Smart?

The reason as to why budgies are so smart is probably in the fact that they have higher neuron densities in their brains. Therefore in spite of their brains being small in size, they manifest more intelligence than some other animals with manifestly bigger brains.


Are Budgies Trainable?

In other words, are budgies smart enough to be trained? The answer is yes. Budgies can be trained to talk (mimicking simple human words and phrases). One can also train them to perform tricks – like sitting on the shoulder, and even sitting the owners’ fingers. At yet another level, one can train budgies to respond to certain simple cues. So all in all, budgies are trainable.


How Do You Train A Budgie?

First you start by figuring out what you wish to train the budgie to do. Different things require different training approaches. The approach on how do you train a budgie to talk may be quite different from how do you train a budgie to stand on your finger. So you start by figuring out what you want to train your budgie to do.

The next step is to demonstrate what you want the budgie to do. In doing this, you have to be patient. The budgie learns through repetition. You can then consider rewarding the budgie when it manages to do what it is expected to do. This positive reinforcement approach is bound to hasten the learning process.

It is best to start training the budgies when they are young. They learn better then. You can consider investing in budgie intelligence toys to stimulate their learning capabilities.

If, for instance, you are training a budgie to speak, you are likely to have more success if the budgie is solitary than if it is in constant company of other budgies. That is because if it has other budgies to talk to, it will keep talking to them in ‘budgie language’, hampering the human language learning process.

So the most important thing is to first identify what you want the budgie to learn. Then demonstrate that to the budgie repeatedly, until the budgie internalizes it. Consider using rewards for positive reinforcement, which is likely to hasten the learning process.


Final Verdict – Are Budgies Smart

As we have seen, budgies are quite smart. They are definitely smarter than they are usually given credit for. The fact that the budgies are smart means that they can provide enjoyable company consistently. And they can learn simple human words/phrases as well as simple tricks.

Are budgies smart
Are Budgies smart?

On the downside, the fact that they are smart means that they may be prone to being bored easily. This means that you need to plan mentally stimulating activities for them on an ongoing basis, lest they start getting bored.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet parakeet a good and comfortable life!

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