How Old Is My Budgie?

Find out how you can use one quick strategy to estimate your budgie’s age.

"How Old Is My Budgie?"

It’s a common question, especially for owners who didn’t get their budgies from breeders and don’t know their hatch dates. 

Luckily, there’s an easy way to get a ballpark estimate. Baby budgies have barring on their forehead running all the way down to their cere. As they undergo their first molt (usually around four months of age), the young budgies get a new set of forehead feathers which do not have barring on them.

In this photo, we can see an adult male budgie on the right. He has a clear yellow forehead with no barring. Meanwhile, the chick on the left has barring running all the way down to their cere. 

Even if your budgie no longer has barring on their forehead, try looking back at old photos, if you have any. If your budgie had forehead barring in any of those images, they were likely four months old or younger at the time the photo was taken. 

Look Into Their Eyes!

Budgies of most color variations are born with dark eyes (or all red eyes in albino budgies). As they age, they will gain a distinctive yellow ring in their eye, usually around 6-8 months of age. 

Some budgies, like recessive pieds or dark eyed clear budgies, will never develop an yellow eye ring due to their color mutations and retain the dark, all black eyes their whole life.

From Juvenile to Adult!

Young budgie chicks fledge from the nest and as juveniles, they will have a different color cere than their adult counterparts. Juvenile budgies that have not reached sexual maturity have light pink or purple ceres. As they age and reach sexual maturity, the presence of reproductive hormones changes their cere color. Adult males will develop the dark blue cere color in most color variations. Females will develop a light blue/light brown cere if they are not reproductively active or dark brown if they are. 

For most budgies, this is often around 6-8 months of age. There can be some variation in time depending on other factors but if you see a budgie that is losing their juvenile cere and gaining their adult cere color, they are a maximum of a year old. Most budgies have their adult ceres long before a year of age. 

Again, certain color variations like lutinos and albinos are exceptions here and can retain a light colored cere all throughout their life. 

It's Not Always The Bird!

If you have an adult bird that has already gone through all of these juvenile phases, all hope is not lost! Most budgies have a band on their leg placed by the breeder with ID numbers and a year on it. Use some millet and ask your budgie climb up the side of its cage so you can take a good look and see if there is a year on the leg band that might give away their hatch year!


Wrapping up

Want to know more about the budgie lifespan? Check out our article on how long budgies live.


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