You have a cute budgie that you adore dearly. You want to spend time with it, play with it, and more. But come to find that, unfortunately, your budgie is biting you.
This will naturally cause you to feel worried and will make you wonder what may be wrong with it. The good news is, the reason for your bird biting you is probably not something that is too difficult to resolve.
Of course, if your bird bites you, this will not be pleasant for you, but you really have nothing to worry about. There are several reasons why this may be taking place, but the reasons for this mostly aren’t too serious.
The Difference Between Beaking And Biting
The first thing that you need to do, before trying to figure out why your budgie might be biting you, is to distinguish between “beaking” and biting. It’s not too difficult to do so.
Beaking doesn’t hurt as much as a bite. The difference is that a bite can result in a cut or another small wound, whereas getting beaked will not. We show you how much budgie bites hurt in detail in this article here.
It is important to realize that it is completely normal for your budgie to “beak” you, which is similar to a bite, but is, in reality, more so a poke with its beak.
Many people who have birds as pets confuse this with a bite, but the good news is, this is completely normal behavior for any bird.
The only thing that you can really do is simply put up with it. This should not be very painful. You can sternly explain to your bird not to do this, or you can call out slightly whenever the bird beaks you.
But, regardless of how you choose to communicate with your bird, do not yell at it too loudly. Budgies are sensitive birds and will become scared by this. It may even have a reverse effect.
So, if all your bird is doing is gently nibbling you, you can be assured that this is completely normal behavior and ignore it.
If you will be having guests at your home, or your family will be visiting, be sure to warn them about this possible behavior from your budgie. Assure them that this is not serious and that they won’t get hurt.
It simply is a normal bird behavior and should be expected if they choose to play with your budgie.
Also, tell them that they do not have to play with the budgie if they don’t want and if they request for you not to take the budgie out of its cage, make sure that you respect their wishes.
This especially goes for if your budgie is biting you. Avoid taking it out of its cage too much around others if it’s biting, unless if the problem is that it needs more social interaction.
However, it is not normal for a budgie to act very aggressively and full-on bite you. Birds are not particularly aggressive creatures.
The good news is, the reasons for this and the way to prevent a budgie biting you are rather simple, and the reasons are not very serious. After determining whether your bird is beaking you or biting you, look to see if there are any signs of illness.
Illness will naturally cause your bird to act differently than usual, and if it is sick, definitely take it to an avian vet to see what the problem may be.
(If your budgie is suddenly biting and aggressive, but was totally friendly before, I recommend that you read my article on sudden aggression in budgies here.)
Why Is My Budgie Biting Me?
So, here is a list of five possible reasons that your budgie is biting you and what you can do to fix it.
1. Your budgie is still scared
This is especially the case if you just purchased your budgie and brought it home. It is completely normal for any pet, not just a budgie, to not react completely well to being in a new environment.
It simply needs to get used to its surroundings, which may take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
There may be a number of behaviors that your budgie can exhibit when it is not used to its environment, which also includes biting. If a bird is worried, anxious, or feeling cornered, they are more likely to bite you.
You will understand why they bit you based on the body language that they exhibited before biting you.
Don’t be too forceful with your budgie. Understand that it will need time to get used to you and your home. Do not try to pet the budgie or play with it before it had a chance to get used to you.
If you do so, it may see this as a threat, and bite you as a result.
Also, do not handle your budgie too roughly, as this will especially make it feel afraid. Understand that, like all birds, budgies are nervous and sensitive.
Do not speak too loudly around it, and especially do not yell at it. You can say, “hey!” sternly if it does something that it should not, but make sure not to yell.
Also, do not stand over your budgie or chase it while playing. These behaviors especially can cause your budgie to feel nervous.
Once you get used to what upsets your budgie, and once your budgie starts getting used to you and your environment, it will gradually stop biting and will exhibit more playful behavior.
If your budgie seems to bite because he or she is scared of you, you should read our article on that here! It will help you to find out what the problem is.
2. Your budgie is playing with you
This may not seem to you like the likely reason, but your budgie might even think that you like it when it bites you. Since you probably will not yell at your budgie when it bites you, but instead use affectionate terms, it might think that you are rewarding its behavior.
You and your budgie might also be spending time together and playing a fun game. It can become carried away with the game and bite you, just like when you were younger and were playing a game with your siblings or friends, you might have accidentally hit each other or get hurt.
This is obviously not a problem.
So, this is where you need to reinforce preventative behaviors. Explain to your budgie that what it did is not acceptable.
Stop playing, and make sure that you don’t sound affectionate so that your bird does not think that you are complimenting it. Of course, don’t get too upset if your budgie accidentally bites you while playing.
It was more than likely just an accident. To learn whether your budgie is fighting or playing, read this article. It is about two budgies, but the behavior is the same as you are a big budgie in your budgie’s eyes.
3. Your budgie is defending its space
Budgies can become very territorial. If it thinks that you are trying to take stuff out of its space, it may become defensive.
When you are training your bird, do not let your bird go into and out of its cage without you helping it. This is because, if you suddenly approach its cage, it will think that you are threatening its private space and bite you.
The easiest solution is to keep your bird perched on your finger when you put it into and take it out of its cage throughout the day.
Then it will realize that you aren’t trying to hurt it and that you can have access to its cage, too. It is a natural instinct in all animals to defend their territory, and any other animal would react by biting you too in the same situation.
4. It is mating season
As you probably know, if you have other pets, their behavior tends to change when it is mating season. This is due to changes in their hormones, which will cause your budgie to become aggressive.
Your bird will feel sexual tension that will cause it to act out. If you only have one budgie, it may even start to think that you’re its mate and will become very bonded to you.
If you then pay attention to someone else, such as a friend, your budgie will feel jealous and bite you.
There is not much to do in order to deal with the sexual tension, other than allowing your budgie to get over it and not getting angry with your budgie when it acts out.
As far as it becoming jealous of you, you will need to teach it to spend time with others, too. If you live with other people, have them spend more time with your budgie so that it can break the bond with you.
This will stop it from being jealous if you pay attention to others, which will result in it not biting you.
5. Your budgie may be bored
If your budgie is bored, it may bite you so that it can try to get your attention. Your budgie is trying to tell you that you aren’t satisfying its needs.
Some of the reasons for its boredom may be: not having good toys for your budgie, a poor diet, and not giving it the proper attention it needs if it is the only budgie you have.
Your budgie might also bite you if you’re going to put it back in its cage. This also has to do with boredom.
Try to change up its routine and take your budgie out of the cage at different times than usual. Then, perhaps consider giving it a treat when you put it in its cage. This will let your budgie to learn that it’s fine to go back in the cage.
This one is a rather simple fix. If you do not have a lot of time, get your budgie a companion. Budgies are flock birds and like to have friends to be around.
Or, you can buy your budgie toys that are suitable for a bird. Make sure that they are non-toxic. If you need help with that, we highly recommend reading our Budgie Toy Guide here. We show you 15 awesome budgie toys there.
Perhaps, if there is an issue with your budgie’s diet, you can make some changes there too. Experiment and try out different things that your budgie might like.
And most importantly, make sure you spend enough time with your budgie. If you can’t make time for your pets, you shouldn’t have any.
6. Your budgie might be tired
Just as you are more likely to be irritable when you’re tired, so is your budgie. If you’ve been playing with it for a while and notice that it got tired, don’t be surprised if your budgie bites you.
If you’re trying to make your budgie play with you when it would rather be sleeping, it’s natural that your budgie will bite you. This would more likely be a one-time occurrence than something that happens frequently.
Take note of your budgie’s body language and see if it seems to be a bit tired.
The solution for this is to have some sort of routine and to have an established bedtime for your budgie. It is not recommended to have a bedtime after 9 PM.
Once you’ve put your budgie in its cage for the night, don’t play with it anymore. This is more than likely to resolve the issue quickly.
One of the most important things to remember is not to punish your budgie if it bites. Make sure that you don’t yell at it or wave something at it especially. Show your bird that this behavior is unacceptable and explain it to the bird in a calm manner.
You can even give your bird a timeout on its perch. Do not give it treats once you put it in its cage because then it will start to believe that you are rewarding it for its behavior.
Also, it is recommended to cover your cage when your budgie is supposed to sleep. Our article on that shows you why you should cover the cage and what makes a good cage cover. Read it here!
Don’t feel worried if your budgie is biting you. As you can see, the reasons why it does this are not serious.
If you see that your budgie is ill or none of these reasons seem to suit the situation, try perhaps taking the bird to an avian vet to see what the problem is. There may be an underlying issue that you may not have realized before.
Be patient, be accommodating, and make sure that your budgie is as comfortable and happy as possible.