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Parakeet Aggressive Behavior

Parakeets are rarely aggressive by nature: their burst of temper will come and go quickly. They may fight over food, and will often clash briefly over friends, toys or territory; but all of this is normal in parakeet society. 99% of the time, these aggressive outbursts are to do with food, personal space or mating. A cock bird will jealously guard his hen during the nest-building and mating period. A hen can also become aggressive during this period. AS long as things don’t get out of hand, then there’s nothing to worry about.

If you notice that a bird’s aggression is increasingly becoming focused on one individual in particular, it may be time to separate the two. On rare occasions this can be because two birds are simply not compatible, for reasons we still don’t understand. This is unfortunate if they are your only two birds, but for the well-being of both of them, it is best to separate the two and perhaps re-introduce them at a late date, first by putting the two cages side by side and then, if that goes well, allowing them to cohabit once more.

With mating season testosterone bubbling in his brain, a dominant cock bird might try to make life miserable for his neighbours. This can also be the case with a hen during nesting season. It’s important not to overreact in these situations, as this will normally bubble-down once the mating/nesting season is over, and as long as it’s not just one bird having to put up with all the grief, the flock will sort it problems out on its own. If a single bird is being bullied all the time, you may have to remove it while the aggressive one is attempting to be king or queen of the roost.

parakeet aggression
An aggressive parakeet will use its beak as a weapon

Parakeet Dominant Behavior

A dominant bird, whether cock or hen, will show aggression by squawking and biting. It will often raise its wings as it squawks -- the kind of behaviour you will encounter daily if you own lots of parakeets.

Actually spotting aggression in your birds may be hard for beginners or first time parakeet owners, as these little birds are more often than not hyperactive, vocal and socialising physically without being aggressive. Here are some of the tell-tale signs to look out for:

  • Raised wings – the parakeet equivalent of raising your fists.
  • Hissing – the throaty hiss of the parakeet says “keep away!”
  • Biting another bird’s feet – this is never done as part of a mutual grooming session, and is always meant aggressively.
  • Picking at another bird’s feathers or head – if done gently, with a happy recipient, this is simply mutual grooming, which is what contented birds do. If the action is violent, you’re witnessing a fight. It will usually fizzle out once the less dominant bird has had enough and retreats.
  • Chasing birds around the cage – if an aggressive bird pursues another individual for any length of time, you might have a problem on your hands. If this happens regularly, one of the two birds will need isolating for a week. Keep a close eye on the birds once they have been reintegrated.
  • Not letting another bird eat or drink – small outbreaks of bad temper around food and water are normal. Providing more than one feeding station – or a sufficiently big one – usually sorts this problem out. If a parakeet is going out of his way to keep another bird from feeding for any length of time, you have a similar problem to the chasing issue mentioned above.
  • Targeting a new bird – a restocked flock will need to find its own balance. Keep an eye on behaviour, and only intervene if there is persistent, detrimental bullying. Jealousy may be an issue in a smaller cage set up – your established bird may resent the attention you are giving the newcomer. Keep the older bird happy with finger treats and attention, and his tantrum should subside.
  • Defending a perch or food bowl – this is usually a symptom of overcrowding. Make sure you’ve given your birds enough space and provided plenty of different perches and bowls.

parakeet open beak aggression
Parakeets will defend their territory if the cage is overcrowded

  • Biting your finger – your hand may become a target if inserted into an angry parakeet’s cage, but a parakeet’s beak (unlike larger members of the parrot family) cannot inflict much damage on an adult hand. Children might find it off-putting, however, if their beloved pet launches an attack on their inserted finger. Discourage them from interfering with a grumpy or dominant bird. If he’s been finger-trained, some gentle belly-stroking will often calm the parakeet down, or he will hop onto your finger and nibble the spray of millet you’ve very thoughtfully wedged between your forefinger and thumb.

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Bunny, 5 June 2021

We got 2 rescue budgies they are both males we have had them for 6 months or so they are both in the same large cage but just recently they started fighting my husband has actually had to break them up i bought them a new toy recently could they be fighting over that toy they have never fought before i am desperate for info please i luv my budgies

Alanna, 24 March 2021

I have a man female body they are about 1 to 2 or 1 1/2. I have a nesting box they’re calcium blocks and water to multiple food purchases and to swings. It’s a very large cage well not too large but large enough. I have a nesting box in there because I’m trying to breed them. When the mail goes to mount the female she would bite him and his foot he always put it on her shoulders so I was wondering why won’t she let him mount?

Cheyenne, 19 March 2021

birds are 50% dog and 50% two yr old human . most tricks and training can be used for either. in your case redirect your birds attention by spraying him with water which will give him a bath and he will focus on pruning. if he raises his wing he is saying get under here too.

Sakif, 23 March 2020

I am first time breeding my budgies.Everything was going well my female budgie laid 5 to 6 eggs. The male was feeding the female well .After 15 days the male is starting to fight with female pickling all her feathers even fighting in the nest box I have never seen male fighting with female during breeding After that I have put a partition in the same cage. After 2 hours I removed the partition again the male started to fight with female Then I have to put the partition again Will the female alone will feed for herself and hatch the eggs Waiting for expert advice

Nishigandha, 5 March 2020

I had new 4 budgies and from last 3 days I was out in some unwanted emergency I couldn’t change their food and water today when I came back home I saw 1 female budgie is fully injured on her right leg looks like almost eaten by some other budgie and I can see my old male buggies mouth quit covered with blood. Now I don’t know what to do nearest avian doctors are available after 1 hour till the time what should I do???? Please help

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