If you own a budgie or spend enough time around them, you start to notice their wings get to flapping every now and then…so naturally, your mind begins to wonder and think about why your budgie is flapping his wings, which is what we are going to talk about today.
Why is my budgie flapping his wings? Your budgie is flapping his wings because he is getting some exercise. They get their blood flowing by sitting on the perch and flying in place. They may even make some sounds while doing it. Wing flapping rarely is a sign of health problems or discomfort in budgies.
Budgies do this as part of a morning routine in most cases. They like to get their circulation going, kind of like how us humans might stretch when we first wake up or do a little exercise to get going. Budgies may make “angry” sounds when they do it when they get really into the action!
Why Should A Budgie Flap His Wings?
You know how you are seated at your desk for a few hours or so at work, and then you stand up, take a quick walk, stretch your arms or twist your back to get some activity? This why budgies tend to flap their wings. It is their method of stretching.
This is also a way for a budgie to get some exercise. After all, they like to keep their flight muscles in good shape. If you have a budgie who gets lots of free time out of his or her cage, you may find they don’t do this as much.
However, birds that have clipped feathers or those who stay in their cage too often will tend to do this flapping a lot more.
No matter the reason for your budgie flapping his wings, you should pay close attention to it.
He may be trying to tell you something. When birds do this, they are either seeking some attention or showing off how happy they feel.
If you notice a budgie flipping- not flapping -his wings, this might be a signal that he feels upset. If the wings are dropping, he may be feeling tired or sick. Pay attention and call the vet if necessary.
Overheating is another huge reason you should always pay attention to how your budgie is using his wings. If you notice your budgie doing the following things, your bird may be overheated and require some treatment:
- Open mouth panting/breathing
- Holding wings away from the body, trying to cool off
- Stressful behavior
Many of our beloved budgies are accustomed to an air-conditioned or heated environment. Therefore, if you take your bird outside or your air conditioner goes down, be sure you are keeping a close eye on your budgie.
Never leave them unattended in your car if you take them for a ride. Be sure you monitor lamps and other objects nearby that might make him hot.
Should your budgie get overheated, try these solutions:
- Mist or spray the feathers with cool water until he is wet to the skin
- Place legs and feet in cool water
- Wrap in a cloth to prevent getting too cold
- Monitor him for shock.
- Call your vet.
Cage Size Matters for Budgies
One important thing that relates to this particular topic is the cage in which you are keeping your budgie.
Cage size really matters for these birds. After all, they need enough room to live comfortably and also flap their wings. A budgie flapping his wings may be a sign that his cage is too small.
Uninformed pet owners believe that having a small cage is good enough for a small bird like the budgie. Every bird needs enough room to play, exercise, fly around, and explore, no matter how big or small they are.
A bigger cage is always your best bet, so go with the largest size you can get for the space you have. All birds need time outside of their cage to flap their wings and get some exercise.
For budgies or parakeets, you will want a cage that is of the following dimensions: 18” x 18” x 24” at the very minimum, preferably with a 1/2 “spacing between the bars.
It is common among bird owners to clip the wings of their pets so they cannot fly away. This practice is debated among bird owners about its ethics, but no matter which side of the fence you are on, every bird needs a place to exercise their wings.
The recommended cage size for a budgie is simply a recommendation. However, you should always go with the largest you can find. It is also assumed that your birds will have ample time outside of their cages to flap their wings or perhaps fly.
It is advised that budgies, in particular, get at least 2-3 hours of time outside of their cages each day. If this is not possible, then it is imperative your bird gets a bigger cage.
This should also be well-stocked with toys and accessories so that they have a stimulating environment.
Budgies are birds that love to climb. Therefore, you will want to seek out a cage with horizontal bars instead of one that features vertical bars.
If you can provide your budgie a cage that lets them climb freely, you will enjoy many displays of cute and healthy athletic behaviors.
Cages are also a way for your budgie to feel safe, just as your home makes you feel safe. Therefore, you should provide your budgie a rectangular or square cage so he can hide in the corner when feeling scared.
Although a circular cage may have a cool aesthetic, it makes birds feel vulnerable and unsafe.
If you have a good cage, but your budgie still seems to be scared all the time, maybe YOU are the problem. Maybe your budgie is scared of you and you don’t even know about it. Read this article to learn why your budgie is scared of you and what will help.
The Importance of Perches
As we discussed earlier, budgies love to climb and explore their surroundings from many different angles. You will want to place perches at a variety of different heights so that they can fly and hop around from different heights.
This allows them that valuable exercise they so need and want.
Plus, budgies love to sit on the perches and flap their wings. A variety of perches will give them a reason to fly, jump back and forth for fun, and of course stretch his wings as a means of staying active.
Aim to have perches placed at opposite ends of your bird’s cage so that he gets plenty of exercise when he goes from one perch to the other.
When you have two or more perches, do your best to make sure they are made from different materials and are of different diameters as well.
The act of stretching out feet and wings for birds is therapeutic and giving them a variety of perches encourages this behavior.
Remember, not every perch is a good perch. So you really want to make sure that you get the right perches for your budgies which are actually healthy for their feet.
Let us help you with that! We have created a huge budgie perch guide in which we show you the 5 Best Perches For Budgies. Read it here!
Fun Toys for Budgies
Your budgie likes to exercise by way of flapping wings and by hopping from perch to perch. But did you know there are some fun toys you can get your budgie to encourage healthy behavior?
Your budgie can have fun with a play gym. Play gyms give your budgie the chance to climb, chew and ring bells. A ball is also a fun and simple toy for a budgie. A lightweight ball is fun for a budgie to roll and you can lightly toss it as a game with your budgie.
One owner even reported teaching her budgie to play soccer with a tiny ball!
Not every toy is good for budgies though. You need to make sure that the toys have the right size, do not contain toxic materials, and so much more. If you need help with that, read our budgie toy guide here! We show you 15 awesome toys your budgie will love!
What Are Some Signs of a Budgie Dying?
The following are signing your budgie needs immediate veterinary care.
- Sneezing (We show you why your budgie is sneezing and when you should worry here!)
- Discharge or crust around nares
- Tail bobbing when breathing
- Wheezing or clicking noises
- Inability to exercise
- Difficulty when breathing
If you need some detailed information on that, read our article about dying symptoms in budgies here!
Why Is My Budgie Running Back and Forth? Your budgie may do this as a means of getting your attention. You will also want to make sure your bird is not bored. Lastly, pacing back and forth in the cage can be a signal that your pet is not well, so be sure to monitor him carefully.
Do Budgies Like Music? Yes! Budgies like music that is loud but not too loud. They like to feel that music is all around them. They do not want to be alone. After all, they are “flock spirit” birds-they enjoy being with other budgies.
Why Is My Budgie All Puffed Up? Birds fluff up their feathers as a means of keeping warm. They also like to do this when relaxing for sleep. A bird who does this most of the day-sitting puffed up, that is-is likely in trouble. Be sure that if your bird is puffing up at inappropriate times, you get him to his vet.
Budgies may flap their wings for a variety of reasons, and thankfully, most of the time these are for good reasons. Your budgie is likely just seeking to get his blood pumping and get a little exercise in the process. He also may be showing how happy he is.
However, in the event, your budgie is flapping his wings for a different reason, be ready to offer him aid.