Our animal lab consists of two colony rooms and one testing room. Currently, we house over 20 budgies in the colony rooms.
The budgie, short for budgerigar, is a parrot species native to Australia. Wild budgies are nomadic, prefer a dry desert climate, and follow rainfall to find their food, mainly consisting of fresh grass seeds. Like humans, budgies are vocal learners, meaning that they require exposure to vocalizing conspecifics to learn their vocalizations. Both budgies and humans are also vocal mimics, able to mimic sounds in addition to learning from conspecifics. Thus, vocal production of both human and budgies is based in their auditory perception.
Our animal lab is maintained by Marisa Hoeschele and her team.