bird sa What do budgies do when they are scared?

What do budgies do when they are scared?

Budgies are naturally timid creatures.

Are you surprised?

Budgies are small, fragile, and evolution has taught them that there are countless threats in the wild that they better watch out for. This life-saving instinct is still present in pet budgies after countless generations of breeding.

What may seem harmless and insignificant in your eyes may look quite different from your bird’s perspective and scare it. Then the budgie will show its typical fearful behavior.

You can learn to recognize when and what your budgie is afraid of – and avoid it!

How does a budgie show that it is afraid?

Budgies show with their body language when they are nervous or afraid. Typical fear behaviors include:

heavy breathing and increased heart rate, sometimes with an open beak
wide open eyes with small pupils
tense body posture with close-fitting feathers
elongated body, sometimes in a squatting position
wild flapping with the wings
wild flying around in the aviary or in the free flight room
continuous screeching
feather plucking
thin feces
fluffing of feathers

If your budgie is scared, it won’t demonstrate every single sign right away. On the contrary, as flight animals, budgies tend to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible when in danger. With any luck, a predator might overlook a wild Welli this way.

So at first, you’ll only see that your budgie is scared and tense if you look closely.

As the threat gets closer, the budgie will want to escape as quickly as possible. Then a budgie can be seen flying around like crazy, squawking or flapping its wings.

If your bird feels increasingly uncomfortable, for example because a situation that seems threatening to him lasts for a long time, he can creep into a corner very quietly and trembling. Stress behaviors such as watery droppings, fluffing up or even plucking out feathers may occur.
What are budgies afraid of and why?

Budgies can be afraid of many things. We would like to explain the most common causes in the following chapter.

1: Animals

To survive in the wild, a budgie must be alert. After all, in its natural habitat in Australia, there are countless other animals and dangers. Many of these are significantly larger than the budgie. Larger birds such as eagles, owls or hawks can be dangerous to wild budgies.

But danger is not only from above: There are also predators on the ground, such as snakes.

Therefore, budgies have an innate instinct: Fear of larger animals.

It doesn’t matter that your dog is totally sweet or your cat shows no hunting behavior. Your budgie will be afraid of its animal roommates. Birds flying by the window, such as magpies or crows, can also scare your Welli.

Wondering if your budgie could survive in the wild? Here’s the answer.

2: Unfamiliar noises

Unfamiliar noises make budgies sit up and take notice and can scare them. Especially loud noises like the siren of an alarm system, the smoke detector, screams or when a door slams loudly scare budgies. But some quiet sounds that are unfamiliar can also stress the birds. These include sounds such as hissing, hissing or rattling that reminds them of predators.

It is usually different with recurring noises. Many budgies are not afraid of the vacuum cleaner, the microwave or the television. On the contrary, such sounds animate the birds to join in.

3: unknown people

From a budgie’s point of view, people are just big animals. And animals might want to eat the budgie, which is why the bird is instinctively afraid. You probably remember how long it took your budgie to trust you when it was very freshly moved in with you.

At first, your budgie was probably suspicious, skeptical or scared. Only with time you could tame him and he became trusting.

It is the same with unknown people. Towards them the budgie is cautious or fearful. Only after a while the budgie loses its fear towards strangers.

4: Red

The color red is unfamiliar to many budgies. If your budgies do not like red (and sometimes orange), it is recommended to minimize such colors in the environment. Don’t wear a red T-shirt in the house and don’t paint your fingernails with red nail polish.

And don’t be surprised if your bird won’t eat red fruits or red vegetables like tomatoes or peppers. Some budgies are not afraid of red things and they love red peppers. So you’ll have to try it out on your Welli.

5: Changes

Budgies don’t like changes and are afraid of everything that is new at first. Even of things that might be good for them or fun. If you hang a new toy in the aviary or put a new piece of furniture in the room, your budgie will react fearfully to it at first. Instead of inspecting the new toy, budgies often fly around new things.

Even when things that are actually familiar are suddenly placed in a different location, budgies can experience anxiety. Keep this in mind if you’re going to completely redesign the aviary.

6: Hands

If you’re a newbie to budgie keeping or have taken in a new budgie, you’ll know that hands scare birds. It can take several months for budgies to stay relaxed when you hold out your hands to them. But humans would probably be scared, too, if a giant hand suddenly tried to touch or grab them.

New rings and bracelets on their hands or painted nails can further frighten the birds.
Can budgies die from fear?

Budgies are flight animals. No wonder with their body size! Or can you imagine a budgie fighting with other animals? Its tactic is to be as inconspicuous as possible at first and to flee in case of emergency.

Internally, the budgie is tense all the time. Breathing and heart are accelerated. And this is exactly what can be the undoing of a budgie that is afraid. Older budgies, as well as specimens with congenital or acquired cardiovascular weakness, can die from anxiety. They suffer cardiac arrest.

But that’s not the only reason budgies die from fear. Unfortunately, it is more common for a frightened budgie to try to escape hastily and collide with furniture, walls or windows.

The panicked fear causes the bird to overlook known obstacles. The collision can result in serious injury and even death from broken neck.


Budgies are sensitive animals that quickly become fearful of a wide variety of things. If you see the typical fearful behavior, you should briefly consider what is frightening your budgie. Try to eliminate the cause as soon as possible.

For the health and well-being of your budgie it is important that the bird develops fear only in exceptional cases and is relaxed in everyday life. Then you will have a healthy and happy budgie as a companion for many years.

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