Budgie vs Conure – Which Feathery Friend is Right for You?

Budgie vs Conure

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I love parrots. Their bright colors, silly antics, and ability to talk make them such fun pets. As a parrot owner and enthusiast, two of my favorite species are budgies (parakeets) and conures. But Budgie vs Conure which one is better?

Both budgies and conures have great qualities that make them awesome companion parrots. Here’s a breakdown of their similarities, differences, care needs and personalities to help you decide if a upbeat budgie or comical conure best fits your lifestyle.

Size Matters

When choosing a parrot, its full-grown size is an important consideration since this determines the cage size and room the bird will need to spread its wings.

Budgies are petite parrots, reaching 6 to 8 inches tall when full grown. The smallest of the parrot species, their compact size makes them perfect for urban and apartment living.

Conures are medium-sized parrots with lengths between 10 to 18 inches depending on the species. Some of the more popular conures kept as pets include:

  • Green-cheeked Conures – 10 to 12 inches
  • Sun Conures – 12 to 14 inches
  • Jenday Conures – 12 to 14 inches
  • Dusky-headed Conures – 14 to 16 inches

So if space is limited, a tiny budgie has an advantage over her bigger conure cousins. But some conure species like the green-cheek stay on the smaller side, ideal for cozier living spaces.

Size Comparison

Parrot Average Size
Budgie 6 to 8 inches
Green-cheeked Conure 10 to 12 inches
Sun Conure 12 to 14 inches
Jenday Conure 12 to 14 inches
Dusky-headed Conure 14 to 16 inches

Noise Level

All parrots use vocalizations to communicate, but some have more piercing calls than others that can bother sensitive ears.

Budgies tend to be less noisy than many parrot species. Males may chatter more while bonding to a mate or human companion, but these messages are soft chirping sounds. Flocks of budgies playing together can generate excitable squeaks and chatter too. But they rarely produce loud or unpleasant squawks.

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Conures are far more vocal and known for their loud, rambunctious screeches. Wild conures are highly social and use rowdy calls to communicate with their large flocks. Pet conures often scream to get their owner’s attention and as a sign of distress if needs aren’t met. Out of all the conure species, Sun Conures win the award for noisiest of them all and are best suited for deaf owners!

So if a quieter pet is preferred, a mellow budgie is the wiser choice over a noisy conure. But conure fans don’t mind the occasional screams and understand it’s just their chatty nature.

Color Preferences

Plumage color may influence your preference between these two colorful parrot cousins.

The petite budgie sports a bright lime green and sunny yellow coat. White, blue and violet budgie color mutations are commonly available too.

Conures dazzle the eyes with gorgeous red, green, yellow and orange hues. Some species like the green-cheek and red-masked conure live up to their names with vivid green and red feathers. While the sun conure and jenday conure flaunt bright golden plumage accented with vibrant red, blue and green wings.

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So if you adore green, the verdant budgie or green-cheek conure is a perfect feathered match. But for an eye-popping rainbow-hued bird, a fiery conure can’t be beat!

Cuddly Factor

Some parrot species bond intensely to their owners for petting, cuddling and trick training. Others prefer less hands-on interaction. Determining your need for a touchy-feely companion can help match you to the right parrot pal.

Budgies tend to be busy, active birds that don’t always enjoy constant physical touch. Though finger tamed budgies will perch on an owner and can learn to enjoy gentle head scratches. With regular positive interaction, they form close bonds with their special humans.

Most conures thrive on physical affection due to their higher attachment drive. Once tamed, conures relish scritches behind the head, neck rubs and just hanging out on their owner’s shoulder. Super cuddly Sun conures love to snuggle inside their person’s shirt! Of all the conures, Green-cheek conures tend to be less clingy.

If you desire an ultra-snuggly bird buddy, opt for a people-focused conure over a budgie. But mellow budgies can still form close relationships, just with less tactile interaction.

Activity Levels

Birds need adequate physical activity and mental enrichment to stay fit and prevent problem behaviors. Different parrot species have varying energy requirements.

Budgies are extremely active with nearly endless energy reserves! They dart rapidly around the cage and aviary with lightning speed agility. These feathery powerhouses enjoy several hours of high-energy play and exercise daily. Lots of room for flying plus a rotation of foraging toys keeps their tiny bodies healthy and happy.

Conures have a slightly lower activity level compared to the perpetual motion budgie. But conures still rank high on the parrot active list! Most conures are described as busy, high-strung and even hyper. They are quite acrobatic and enthusiastic climbers, hoppers and flyers too. Multiple hours of rowdy playtime exercises their sturdy physique.

For an owner able to provide oodles of interactive playtime and a spacious flight cage or aviary, either a budgie or conure makes a lively companion. Less active owners could be overwhelmed by their intense exercise needs.

Activity Needs

Parrot Energy Level Exercise Needs
Budgie Extremely high Several hours daily of very active flying, playing
Conure High Multiple hours daily of active flying, climbing, playing

Intelligence & Trainability

Parrots are renowned for their smarts. While all parrots boast higher intelligence, some species show greater cognitive abilities and trainability than others.

The typical budgie ranks on the lower end of the parrot IQ spectrum. They can learn tricks through positive reinforcement training, but often lack the drive and focus compared to other parrots. Budgies use their intelligence to forage and navigate flock dynamics rather than impress their owners.

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In contrast, conures are keen students eager to learn new behaviors for treats and praise. Their higher reasoning skills allow them to master complex tricks like retrieving objects by name, answering yes or no questions and performing stunning aerial stunts. Conures especially excel at obstacle course training. Of the conure family, the Green-cheek conure shines as the star pupil.

If you seek an attentive trainee to show off clever antics, opt for the smart cookie conure over the occasionally scatter-brained budgie. But even budgies surprise owners with their capability to learn basic behaviors when motivation strikes.

Costs: Purchase & Care

First acquiring your dream parrot followed by caring for their lifetime needs adds up financially. Budgie and conure costs can sway decisions between prospective parrot owners.

An average budgie price runs just $15 to $50 for common mutations. Rarer show budgie breeds reach up to $200.

Conures cost significantly more with most species ranging from $150 to $500+. Red-masked conures fetch well over $700 due to scarcity.

But the purchase price is just the beginning! Expect to spend roughly $500 to $1000 yearly on a single parrot for a proper diet, sturdy housing, vet visits, toys and other essentials no matter the species.

Budgies eat less than larger parrots, so their feed bills run lower. And their petite stature allows for smaller, less pricey cages. But they still require the same routine veterinary care, toys and other supplies summing up over time.

The bottom line is that parrots of all kinds require serious financial commitment for top-notch care. Budgies may cost a bit less overall, but never choose price over your ability to responsibly provide for a parrot’s lifetime needs.


Bringing any parrot into your home means an investment of over a decade…sometimes decades! Average lifespan should be considered when choosing a parrot to ensure you can grant them a forever home.

The typical budgie lifespan ranges between 5 to 8 years on average. Though some have reached 15 years when well cared for.

Conures enjoy notably longer life spans between 15 to 30 years depending on species, heredity and conditions. For example – Sun conures average 20 to 30 years while Green-cheek conures live 15 to 20 years.

So if longevity is a priority, conures have the edge over budgies by a long shot to spend more years gracing you with their delightful antics.

Personality Profile

Saving the most important for last…parrot personality should be top priority when selecting your breed of choice! Budgie and conure temperaments differ in their own charming ways.

Budgies flit through life full of childlike joy and enthusiasm. Peacefully flocking species, they thrive on social bonds with other budgies as well as human companionship. Budgies are gentle, affectionate and easily trained pets when handled regularly from a young age.

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Conures strut around commandingly with huge parrot personality packed inside their medium frames! These natural attention seekers closely bond with favorite humans but tend to choose just one special person. Some conures often bite strangers so careful socialization is essential. They also adhere strongly to regimented schedules and environments. But their dynamite character wins over the hearts of most conure devotees. Of the conure clan – Green cheeks offer the mellowest temperament while Suns and Jendays rank more dramatic and demanding.

Ultimately there’s no universally superior choice between these two iconic parrots. Budgies and conures both share wonderfully endearing qualities certain owners will treasure over others. Asses your lifestyle fit, preferred traits and abilities to fulfill all essential parrot care duties. Then let your heart guide you to feathered bliss!

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Which is better for kids?

Both budgies and conures can make good pets for kids with proper supervision and handling. However, budgies are usually recommended over conures for children because of their small size, more gentle nature and lower noise level. Conures can be nippy and loud which may be frightening or overwhelming for young kids.

Which is better for apartments?

Budgies are best for apartments and urban living thanks to their tiny stature, quieter nature and lower space needs. Some of the smaller conures like green-cheeks can adapt to apartments too but have louder vocalizations. Screechy Sun conures definitely don’t make good apartment birds!

Which species is friendlier?

Well-socialized budgies and conures both make very loving, affectionate pets. However, conures tend to bond more intensely to their owners. Green-cheek conures offer a good balance of friendliness without the clinginess of other conures.

Which parrot is easiest to take care of?

For beginner bird owners, budgies are usually the easiest parrot to care for given their smaller, less demanding needs. Their minimal noise, reduced costs and shorter life span also make budgies a more manageable starter bird before considering a bigger parrot commitment.

Which is less likely to bite?

Budgies rarely bite compared to conures when properly trained and socialized. Budgies use their beaks mostly for climbing and cracking seeds and nuts. Even untamed budgies don’t usually bite their owners. Green-cheek conures tend to be calmer and less prone to nipping than other nippy conure species.

Which makes a better first pet bird?

The consensus among veteran bird owners is that the budgie is still the best parrot choice as a newcomer’s first feathered pet. Their pleasant nature, pint-sized care needs and lower costs check all boxes for an ideal “gateway bird” to parrot companionship. Once hooked on parrots, conures also make enticing second birds!

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