Why Does Your Budgie Stare At You?

If you have a budgie, you know how strange it can be when it starts staring at you without a particular reason. Like most other parrot owners, you may feel odd in such a situation and feel confused about its desires. So, let’s try to solve the mystery of what your little bird wants to tell you.

Avian behaviorists are not completely sure why budgies stare at their owners and other humans. They only assume that budgies and other parrots stare because they are curious, but there is a possibility your bird wants to show its affection, or it is afraid.

In this article, I will do my best to explain such conflicting budgie attitudes. You will also see whether there are scientific confirmations for usual claims.

Reasons Why Your Budgie Stares At You

Open staring

Budgie owners know how fast their birds can change their mood from playful to reserved or even demanding. The typical way for your parrot to show you what it likes and wants or what bothers it is by using body language as the only option it has. So, it will communicate with you through its eyes, voice, and body postures.

Your curious budgie will often stare at you with wide-open pupils without visible reason. It is believed it is the bird’s way to express its affection and curiosity, but there is still no scientific research to confirm that.

It seems that your parrot will do that when feeling comfortable next to you and is interested in playing and sharing activities.

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    When the bird looks at you for several minutes, it likely tries to identify something exciting or unusual on your face. It can also signify satisfaction with your company, similar to a cat purring.

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      There is one more thing. Since your budgie’s eyes are on the head sides, it can’t clearly see directly ahead. So, it will focus on you with just one eye when you make an unexpected movement, suddenly enter a room, or something else in your attitude intrigue it.

      On the other hand, you can notice your bird staring at someone unknown while entering the room, particularly when that person looks directly at it. You can be sure that your budgie is alert, insecure, or frightened in such a situation.

      Eye pinning

      One of the fascinating things about birds is their ability to control the eye pupil dilation and narrow. Pet parrots often react to their owners by eye pinning (flashing). A quick dilatation and constriction of the bird’s pupils is the way to respond to external stimuli.

      You will know that your budgie is excited when its pupils dilate quickly and its eyes start flickering. The tricky part is that birds do the same thing when interested in something but are also scared, angry, or aggressive.

      The only way to conclude what is happening is to check the bird’s body language and observe the surroundings thoroughly. Only after that can you guess the budgie’s emotional state and react appropriately.

      Roots of Budgie Staring

      In nature, parrots avoid frequently blinking since every split second can be a good opportunity for a predator to attack. Even a short blinking can be hazardous and even fatal. Therefore, they reduce the danger by timing each blink and coordinating it with gaze shifts.

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        Assistant Professor Jessica L. Yorzinski from the Yorzinski Lab published a study in 2016 about eye blinking in birds. She observed freely-moving peacocks and examined the relationship between their gaze shifts and blinking in different situations in their surroundings.

        This research unequivocally shows that birds inhibit blinking when they are watchful. In fact, they react like humans who inhibit blinking when visual information they get from the environment is vital for them.

        Since this trait is characteristic of all birds, including parrots, you can be sure that your budgie’s blinking means it has dropped its guard and decided to trust you.

        On the other hand, your budgie can sometimes stare at you when concentrating. It is the way to see more clearly and register all necessary details from surroundings.

        What Does It Mean When Your Budgie Blinks at You?

        Blinking in your direction is another unusual behavior budgies are often prone to. Besides keeping eyes moist and clearing them from debris, your parrot will blink at you to express its emotions.

        Some avian behaviorists claim that slow blinking is actually the bird’s way to inform you how satisfied and happy it is. It is also a sign that your parrot feels safe near you, but such behavior sometimes only means it is sleepy.

        Birds always react to any changes in their environment and adjust their behavior accordingly. For instance, two experiments have shown that a great‐tailed grackle reacts by blinking to rain or wind.

        What to Do When Fear Is the Reason For Staring?

        In nature, when one parrot closes its eyes, all others start resting. So, you can use this game to help your budgie calm down when it is upset or afraid. It will be enough to close your eyes, slightly bow your head, and relax until the little bird does the same.

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          Budgie blinking eyes game

          Since your budgie stares and blinks to show its emotions toward you, you can expect it to interpret your blinking the same way. So, playing this fun game is an excellent way to connect with your feathered pet.

          Start by blinking at your parrot and waiting for its reaction. Once it reciprocates, you should blink again and prompt the bird to repeat the move. You can be sure that it is satisfied and happy with its life if it happily accepts the game. Otherwise, it may mean it is afraid of you (read more on that here).

          Why Does a Budgie Close Its Eyes In Front of You?

          As you probably know, budgies live in open forests and savannas. So, their lives depend on their alertness and immediate reaction when danger comes up. The only reason for your parrot to sit next to you with its eyes closed is absolute trust.

          It is a reaction to feeling safe and protected with someone who cares for its needs. In other words, such relaxed and atypical behavior for a timid and always cautious bird is a sign that this tiny creature has accepted you as a protector.

          Sometimes, you can notice your budgie closes the eye facing you while another is wide open. It is often a sign that it doesn’t want to play anymore since it is time for rest.

          Conclusion

          As any other budgie owner, you can be confused with your bird’s tendency to stare at you without a particular reason. The probable answer to why it does such a thing is an affection to the extent a parrot can sense towards a human.

          Always check your bird’s body language to be sure whether it is cheerful because of your presence or staring and blinking are signs it is upset, scared, or sick. In most cases, you will determine budgie’s mood correctly only by comparing its behavior with the situation in the environment.

          Photo of author

          Gaurav Dhir

          Gaurav is an animal enthusiast. He lives in beautiful Ontario with his energetic family. As a part of his work at beautyofbirds.com, he has been working with ace parrot trainer, Cassie Malina to understand bird behavior and learn more about how he can train his feathered companions.

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