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CoMmoN pArAkEeT bEhAvIoRs
Common Parakeet Behaviors
    These are all normal, and commonly displayed parakeet behaviors. These will help you understand your bird better. Never scold your bird for doing something wrong; especially for one of these behaviors, they are all natural instincts.


Preening: This is when a bird takes
Oil from its oil gland and the starts straitening its
Feathers. This gland is located at the top of the rump. This behavior is to keep its feathers neat, zipped, and in place.


Chewing
Chewing - It is a natural behavior for budgies to chew and tear up things. This is how they keep their beaks in shape. It is important to provide them with an outlet for their chewing. You should know that a cuttle bone just won't cut it, since they are much too soft. Most pet stores sell toys that are made for birds to chew up. Just remember that because their beaks are smaller and softer than parrots, budgies need a softer material to chew. So toys made of popsicle sticks or soft wood would be good, but ones made of manzanita sticks would not. Pet budgies should always have a toy or item in the cage that is meant to be destroyed, so keep in mind that such a toy would need to be replaced every once in a while.


Bonding - If you keep male and female budgies together, you may notice some of them pairing off. In bonding, a male budgie will sing to his mate and bob his head at her, as well as feed her regurgitated food. A male and female budgie will touch beaks often, as well as preen each other's head and cheek feathers. If you have multiple budgies in one cage, especially in a flight, you'll notice the bonded pairs will often stick together.

Bathing: Your parakeet should bathe at least once every week. This is to keep a clean body and clean feathers and helps skin stay healthy. It may run in and out of the flow, fluff and possibly sing.
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Beak wiping:   this is when a bird rubs its beak on a stick, wiping excess food off of its beak. Or to scratch hard to reach places. This can also be a displacement behavior, when the parakeet is torn between two decisions.

Sleeping:   when sleeping, a parakeet tucks its head into its back feathers. If your parakeet has its eyes closed, but is not tucked into its back, it’s probably just tired.


Beak grinding:   before your parakeet gets ready to sleep or is very content and relaxed, you may hear it making little grinding sounds with its beak. This is perfectly normal behavior.

Sleeping on one foot:   This is when a parakeet stands on one of its feet. This is to help it retain heat because a bird’s foot is the place where most of its body heat is lost. If your bird doesn’t do this it could be sick. But if your bird is always standing on one foot throughout the day, it probably has a foot problem.

Yawning:   this is just when the bird yawns like us. It opens its beak wide to take in lots of air. But, if your parakeet seems to yawn several times in a row, it may have a serious breathing problem and be gasping for air.

Head bobbing: if you have a mirror in your bird’s cage, you may have seen it bobbing its head rapidly in front of it. Your bird is telling the “other bird” that it likes it. You may have also seen it do it to another parakeet, or even you.

Eye pinning: This is when a parakeet’s pupil will expand and then retract repeatedly. This usually indicates that the bird is exited. This happens when it sees a favorite toy, treat, or person, or is about to bite.

Side stepping: This is when your bird runs up and down a perch, even looking like it’s   dancing. This is also an excitement indicator.

Fluffing: This is when a parakeet fluffs up and shakes all its feathers rapidly. They will do this several times a day and it serves as a stress reliever, sign of contentment, or a common behavior after preening


Feather picking: This is not a common behavior in parakeets but is still very serious all the same. This is when a bird plucks all its feathers off of its body. Common places include, breast, around legs, back and even flight and tail feathers.

Regurgitating: This can either be a good or bad sign. It’s usually when a bird “Pukes” up its last meal for a mate to show its affection. So if your bird regurgitates for you, although disgusting on your part, be flattered. If your bird regurgitates on the cage bars, to no one, and several times a day, this could indicate illness.

Stress: Stress can show itself in a number of ways. This includes diarrhea, rapid breathing, shaking, screaming, feather picking, loss of appetite, loss of sleep, tail fanning, and aggressiveness. Taking introducing new things slowly reduces stress. Also, bonding and talking to your parakeet helps.

Stretching: A bird does this in the morning (usually after it wakes up) and sometimes randomly throughout the day. It may stretch one leg and the corresponding wing out far, and then the other, and raise both its wings.

Jealousy: Jealousy shows itself in a number of ways, including, screaming, aggression to their favorite person, and destroying their cages. To prevent this, be sure to provide lots of entertainment, out of the cage time, and love. If you have two birds, and one is jealous of the other, simply, take each one out of the room individually so as the other can’t see it.

Pair-bonding: Many parakeets kept together display this behavior. They will preen each other, and often impersonate each other’s actions by eating, vocalizing, stretching and playing at the same time. Parakeets can also become bonded with their owners, and close parakeets of the opposite sex will display this behavior to.

Mutual preening: This is simply when two birds that are either mates or good buddies preening each other. They may preen pin feathers off for the other, for these are itchy and painful. An advantage for birds that do this is that they can get places preened that they can’t reach themselves, like the head and neck.

Head cocking: This is when a parakeet cocks its head to one side. Parakeets usually do this if they are looking upward, or if they see something interesting.

Courtship “dance”: This is when a parakeet shows off to a mate by wildly babbling and running all up and down perches, ringing bells, and regurgitating for its mate. This usually results in preening after word. This usually happens in the morning, at night, or when two birds are exited when they’re out on their play gym.

“Kissing”: If you have two budgies, they may display a behavior that looks like they are kissing. One’s actually
Regurgitating some seeds for the other and slipping one or two at a time between each other.

Chewing: Parakeets love to chew. Don’t keep books, magazines or paper near or against the cage, or your bird may chew right through it. Don’t scold your bird for doing this, it’s a natural behavior. Instead, make a paper or cardboard chain or octopus toy for it to chew on instead.

Mourning: Parakeets mourn just like people do over the loss of a mate. Signs of mourning include, loss of appetite, depression, withdrawals form its owner, and stops singing or chirping. Your bird should get over it within a few weeks.
Common Vocalizations
Parakeets have many vocalizations that they use to communicate.

Group Vocalization: In the wild (and in your home) Parakeets vocalize at dawn and dusk to make sure the whole “flock” is present. In the morning when a parakeet wakes up, it sings too other flock members too tell them too wake up and too tell everyone too be alert for predators. It can also indicate that it’s time to move to a different location.   At night, these calls often mean that it’s safe to fall asleep.

Contact Calling:   This will usually happen when you separate two birds from each other, and they can’t see each other. The budgies will then start making short shrill calls back and forth to each other. This is so each bird knows where the other is and that they’re both ok.

Little chirping noises: this indicates that your bird is happy and content. If your bird stops singing for days,
It could be sick, or lonely due to the loss of a mate.

Screeching: this noise shows your bird feels distressed or in danger. Sometimes your parakeet does this for fun, but after a while you can learn the difference between whether your bird really feels threatened or not.

Noises that sound like laughing: sometimes when you go up to your birds’ cage or put your hand near it will puff up its feathers and start making this sound, it might even bite. This is the parakeet saying “Leave me alone!”


Screaming and chirping all at once: if you see your bird chirping, screaming and\ or practically beating a toy it may be mad at toy it’s screaming at! A bird will get mad at a toy if it’s playing, loving and talking with it, and it doesn’t give any response back. Therefore, the bird gets mad and gives it a savage beating and a good lecture.


Coughing noise: if your parakeet seems like its sneezing or coughing, it’s normal.   Just like you, a parakeet coughs and sneezes too! Sometimes, if it’s on your shoulder it will sneeze on your face, and you might even feel some wetness. But, if the bird sneezes too often (over 3 times every time you take it out) take it too the vet because your bird could be allergic to something.


Flocking Together: Budgies are social flock birds. The flock is a very important part of a budgie's life. Almost everything a budgie does is normally flock oriented. Preening, eating, napping, socializing are all done as a flock. It is important to make sure your pet budgie is part of a flock. If your budgie is lone and is not tame and does not have much interaction with anyone in the household, he will be missing a vital aspect of his life. In this case, it is best to provide your budgie with a flock-mate, another budgie, in an appropriately sized cage for two. If your budgie is tame, you must make him feel like your family is his flock. Your budgie needs daily time out of the cage, with plenty of interaction. Have your budgie on your shoulder to watch TV with you. Have him sit down for a meal and give him some healthy tid-bits off your plate. Make sure you get some one-on-one time with him and talk to him like you guys are friends. You and your household can be a sufficient substitution for a budgie flock as long as you provide him the interaction and inclusiveness that a budgie flock would. You will find the friendship that grows between you and your budgie very rewarding.



Exercising: Especially in the morning after just waking up, you may notice your budgie getting some exercise. Budgies do this by vigorously flapping their wings while hanging onto a perch. It's part of a morning routine to get the blood flowing.


Napping: Every budgie usually needs to take a mid-day nap. Napping is a flock behavior. All or most of the budgies in a flock will nap at the same time. You can see a flock of budgies napping above. The nap may last about 15 to 45 minutes. Some budgies nap standing on two feet. Others nap standing on one foot. Some budgies nap with their head forward. Others nap with their head tucked back.
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