The budgerigar, a relative of the parakeet and the lorikeet, is one of the most popular companion birds in the world. It’s not hard to see why, as this quiet bird comes in a wide variety of bright colors and can be found in almost any pet shop.

Budgies are puffy and cuddly, and tend to be timid rather than aggressive, which makes them a great choice for people who have never raised a bird before. They grow to a little under 8 inches (20 cm), and their life cycle is rarely longer than ten years, so budgies are preferred by aspiring birders who are not sure how much time or space they can commit to a pet. Budgies have helped millions of children learn the proper ways to treat animals with respect.

Of course, uneasy is the head that wears popularity’s crown. Some domesticated budgies come from disreputable breeders, and they can be a little more prone to sickness than some of the hardier, more exotic birds, such as the macaw. If you fall for a budgie, make sure you keep an eye out for changes in mood and appetite.