Beautiful and cheeky, delightful and enchanting, wild or tamed, budgerigars are Australia's gift to the bird world.
They know how to count, can grasp simple grammar and have incredible feats of memory. They're masters of mimicry. They dance and they yawn. They've been coveted by royals, been companions to the great and famous as well as to grannies in suburban kitchens around the world. They've rendered in the finest porcelain, baked in pies and have been depicted on postage stamps of more than thirty nations. And their image has been used to sell everything from whisky to laundry detergent.
Surprising and charming, Budgerigar is a curiosity of everything you ever wanted to know (or realised you never knew) about Melopsittacus undulatus, the beloved budgie.
Sarah Harris, a 30-year veteran Australian journalist, is a former London correspondent and crime reporter for News Ltd newspapers. In more recent years she's worked as a feature writer and columnist for Fairfax and freelanced widely.
Don Baker is a retired journalist who was formerly editor of The West Australian, editor The Western Mail (Perth), deputy editor The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney), night editor and chief of staff The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne).