We have had quite a few people ask how to tell the age of a new budgie they have just bought home, so we have put together this article with for some of the common things to look for when trying to figure out how old your budgie is,
Baby Bars Lack Of Iris Rings Excess Melanin In Very Young Babies
Baby bar examples in various mutations
Before their first molt a baby budgie will have bared feathers on their head from their cere (nose) all the way to the top of their head. As they start their first molt these barred feathers are replaced one by one with clear white or yellow feathers.
To the left you will see some examples of baby bars in different colors and mutations. Depending on the mutation these bars can be very dark and easy to see, or light and barely noticeable without looking carefully.
Babies with no iris rings
Very young babies will also have completely dark eyes with no visible iris rings, or very light ones you can usually only see in bright light as they start to develop.
Some of the mutations that are exceptions to this rule are recessive pieds, dark eyed clears, and sometimes budgies that are split for recessive pied. As mature adults these babies will not have the typical iris rings that most mature adults do.
Examples of babies with excess melanin in the beak/cere
In very young babies ( often until 10-12 weeks of age) depending on the individual and its mutation, some babies will have an excess build up of pigment or melanin. This extra pigment is often seen in the babies beak and cere (nose) causing it to look black or darker than normal.
As the baby grows this excess pigment is absorbed and the baby develops a a normal color.
A Clear Cap Developing Iris Rings
Adolescents with developing iris rings
At this age most budgies have went through their first molt and no longer have the baby barring that you can see above.
At this age we should also see iris rings which will be starting to develop, but are not as noticeable as they will be once they are fully mature.
Fully Developed Iris Rings A Clear Cap
Adult examples with fully developed iris rings
An adult budgie that is about a year or older will have a clear cap with no baby barring, and fully developed iris rings as you can see in the picture top the Left.
Again remember that the mutations that are an exception to this rule and that do not develop iris rings as mature adults are recessive pied, dark eyed clear, and sometimes birds that are split for recessive pied.