Parakeet Budgie FeathersParakeets and budgies are birds, so naturally one of their primary descriptors is that they have feathers! When you first see a bird it's easy to think "Oh feathers are all alike". But it's amazing when you have your own pet bird in your home 24 hours a day how quickly you realize feathers are NOT all alike! It's like saying children are all alike. Sure they all have legs and arms, but if you spend time in a kindergarten class you find quickly that each little child has his or her own opinions, wants, desires and attitudes.
OK, this is Nazo, my green parakeet. Take a look at her picture. She has long flight feathers on her wings, which let her fly. Those are the feathers that most people think about. There are long feathers in her tail, which help her steer. But she ALSO has short, fluffy feathers on her chest, which help to keep her warm. She has even tinier feathers on her head, which are for decoration.
Above are some of the longer feathers. These fall out maybe twice a year, as new feathers grow in. They do not fall out all at once - if they did, she'd become unable to fly, and become a tasty treat for whatever predator was around! So the feathers fall out on a random schedule, so there are always enough feathers left to keep her aloft.
The above downy chest feathers seem to fall out ALL the time, being replaced with fresh, fluffy feathers. Parakeets shed the most in the spring and fall, as their bodies gear around to the new seasons. This is a good reason to keep a cage shield on the lower part of your parakeet cage, to keep these downy feathers from falling onto the ground. Not that they're really troublesome, but you end up with a bunch each week to vacuum up during those seasons. The parakeets pull some out during their normal preening and others fall out as they fly around during their exercise time. It's quite normal, just like you lose hair every time you brush your hair with a brush.
Next, look at Pinto. You can see how different all of the various feathers look on her. Not only are her head feathers different from her body feathers, but she even has different types of colors on various parts of her body.
In the below image, Santo has her wings fully stretched out as she lands on Bob's hand. You can see all of the flight feathers in her wings, and the "steering" feathers of her tail.
Parakeets and Flying
Caring for Parakeet Wings, Claws, and Beak
Cat / Parakeet Info Homepage