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.
Parakeet 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 parakeets 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.
A pair of parakeets 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 parakeet 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.
Parakeet Behaviour When Hot
An over-heated parakeet 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.
Parakeet 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.