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Budgie Behaviour

Although all budgerigars have different personalities, they share certain behaviours. This is just as well, as a knowledge of normal behaviour versus abnormal behaviour is important when deciding whether all is well in your cage or aviary.

Budgie Behaviour, Male and Female

Generally, there are no big behavioural differences between cock and hen birds. They both feed, chatter and socialise in the same way, and both can be either passive or aggressive depending on their mood, personality and circumstance. Hens have a louder and more shrill voice than cocks, and often squawk more too. They are also less inclined to learn human words – although it is not unheard of for female budgies to talk.

In the mating season – a vague and sprawling concept, as in captivity the ‘season’ can be pretty much any time of year – both sexes can become more territorial and aggressive than usual. Females can be particularly sensitive in these times of surging hormones, and a normally placid bird might suddenly attack your hand. Fortunately, its beak is no sharper than usual in these hormonal periods, so there’s little danger of bloodshed. These spells will last three to six weeks.


Budgie cock and hen
A pair of budgies in peak mating condition

Hormonal birds will also want to mate, and if there’s no willing or available mate, the bird’s toys, food, or indeed you, might become the centre of its sexual attentions. This instinct can be gently discouraged by putting the budgie back in its cage if it’s taking out its frustrations on you. Removing mirrors and potential nesting spaces can also help get things back to normal.

Budgie Behaviour When Hot

An over-heated budgie will raise his wings slightly as he perches. The feathers around the cere (the nose area) might be raised too. If he’s very hot he will open his beak and pant. Always make sure there’s a shady area in the cage in which he can cool himself down.

Budgie Behaviour When Cold

A chilly bird will sit huddled on his perch, with his feathers fluffed up. Move him somewhere warm or, if the bird is outside, provide some warm shelter, or switch the aviary heater on.

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Comments

Rita, 13 March 2020

I've had my female budgie 5 years shes never been a social bird ,recently shes started squeaking when I go near cage I talk to her to calm her down and she hardly chirps shes eating drinking and playing ok .I have not frightened her in any way I love her to much but I'm concerned about this noise ,she lost her mate about 7 month ago


Rita, 13 March 2020

I've had my female budgie 5 years shes never been a social bird ,recently shes started squeaking when I go near cage I talk to her to calm her down and she hardly chirps shes eating drinking and playing ok .I have not frightened her in any way I love her to much but I'm concerned about this noise ,she lost her mate about 7 month ago


John, 21 January 2020

My non-flying budgie has just started laying eggs. just had three in quick succession. The Third one is under the bird in a corner of her cage. The last two have not produced chicks. If I reintroduce the male bird, will they breed again while the female is on the eggs? Im currently investing in additional cages. Its been a complete accident as the female has been unwell for some time and thought not to be impossible to lay eggs? I just need a means to stop her having further chicks. Regards John


Ryan, 27 November 2019

I have a female budgie parakeet I've had for about seven years. Today she started acting very odd. She's panting, and seems very clumsy. When I put my hand down she climbs up on my hand, so she doesn't seem afraid of anything, and at one point she even arched her back and went into the mating trance. However, she's been in mating egg laying mode dozens of times over the years, but I've never seen her act like this, and I've certainly never seen her so clumsy. Also, I don't cage her. She has a cage where her food, water, little enclose egg laying house is, plus all her perches and toys, but I just let her fly around free in the house, and always have. She never wanders more than twenty feet or so from her cage. However, now it seems she isn't even able to fly at the moment. Is she just heavy with an egg, or eggs, and that's why she's behaving so odd? I'm just concerned for her. I'd have to see her suffer. Here's a video I just took of her. Any ideas what might be the matter with her, or is this normal, and I've just never noticed it before? https://youtu.be/QMS6YoE3vq0


Anne, 16 September 2019

I have a male budgie he was given to me a year ago I replaced his cage but now he just sits on his perch only eats his food and millet no fruit now his feathers have started coming out , he is very quiet but he isn’t a friendly bird can you give me some advice please

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