Live and let’s fly!
Though commonly seen in a cage at granny’s house, wild budgerigars are usually found in small nomadic flocks in the open environments of Australia.
However, during times of drought, their main food sources, grasses, wither as surface temperatures climb to a crippling 65°C. The birds group together to form superflocks of up to several million individuals and embark on a mass search for thousands of kilometres to search for areas with enough water.
“These large flocks occur primarily due to safety in numbers,” says Damien Farine, an ornithological research associate at the University of Oxford. “If there are few watering spots, then a predator will just need to sit at one and wait for birds to arrive. One phenomena that happens when groups become very large is that they completely confuse, or dazzle, the predator. By being in very large groups, individual budgies have almost no risk of being predated.”
The savvy birds have also been known to shadow kangaroos, who dig for water in damp ground.