How to Calm a Stressed Budgie? What Causes Stress?

How to Calm a Stressed Budgie What Causes Stress

There can be numerous reasons for a budgie to be stressed out or depressed. A small change in the routine can result in a stimulus for stress.

Like humans, stress can play a crucial role in the overall health of a pet bird and all other animals. Unlike other animals, birds, parakeets to be specific, tend to be more sensitive pets when it comes to dealing with stress.

You need to recognize the stress in your pet bird to make the environment more livable physically as well as mentally for your friend. If you are a pet owner, it can be helpful if you make a move to learn about monitoring your parakeet’s stress levels and make adjustments to make him stay happy and calm as per the needs of him.

What Causes a Stress in a Budgie

Such as humans, there can be numerous reasons for a budgie to be stressed out or depressed. Parakeets are birds of habit, a small change in the routine can result in a stimulus for stress. Minor changes such as moving a house, neighbors’ pets, excessive noise- construction, trucks, and thunder, etc.-, a particular color of the wall, or even a change in the cage’s location can prove out to be a stressor. If your parakeet is prone to wild animals from a window such as a deer, raccoons, hawks, or something that you feel will upset your parakeet.

Exposure to different lights can also be inducing stress such as moving to a darker room, covering the cage, or saving the daylight can make your pal depressed.

Signs of a Lonely Budgie

Parakeets can manifest stress in several ways. Some of which can be more physically damaging but all of the signs must be noticed. Each of them must be considered serious if found and should be consulted with a vet as soon as possible. You may want to look for the signs such as:

  • Appetite Loss
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Feather Picking
  • Mutilation of Self
  • Fear
  • Boredom
  • Stereotypical Behavior
  • Shift in Vocalization
  • Appetite Loss

A budgie, who normally follows a healthy appetite routine and eats on time, suddenly stops eating, it can prove to be one of the indicators of stress or/and health problems. The smart act to pull out in this situation is to make an appointment and take your pal to the avian vet to be sure that your parakeet is not ill or even injured.

Once your friend’s health report comes out clean, then you may take initiative to search out for the at-home stressors that are triggering the loss in the appetite of your budgie.

How to Calm a Stressed Budgie What Causes Stress

Aggressive Behavior

If your parakeet all of a sudden, out of nowhere starts to impose aggressive behaviors such as hissing, biting, lunging, or/and excessive yelling; it is also a red signal that your friend is facing some serious stressful activities in his environment or surroundings.

If you’re noticing such a change in your Lil buds behavior, as mentioned above, it can be a great idea to take him to visit his avian vet for a health checkup. If the check-up reports come out all set, then you can start looking around his environment for the stressors and make changes accordingly. Make adjustments in a way that can make your budgie more comfortable than he was before.

Feather Picking

Feather picking in birds can be one of the many common outward exhibitions of stress (also boredom). It mainly happens in large species of birds such as parrots, African gray parrots, and cockatoos. But sometimes, it can also be found in smaller species such as budgies. Many birds begin to pull this act as a result of some excessive noises such as construction, traffic, or thunder.

They continue to pick their feathers even after the reason to start this behavior has gone. You should get your feather-picking budgie checked medically, into deep, which includes blood examination to point out any possible health-related issues.

How to Calm a Stressed Budgie What Causes Stress

Mutilation of Self

Some very stressed budgies will continue picking their feathers to an extent of chewing on their skin or even deeper into their muscles and bones. This act can prove to be severely traumatizing.

You must not only get your parakeet examined by a vet immediately but also start on antipsychotics as well as get him fitted with Elizabethan collar-the ones that dogs wear. It will prevent your budgies from being able to damage themselves further while you can figure out what is the matter.


A budgie that feels happy when you hold him, suddenly seems frightened from you or other members of your family, then you or the other person might be acting as a stressor towards him. You may not even realize it, you may not even do something odd to him that could stress him out.

Sometimes, some minor things such as the color of your shirt or a hat, your new mustache or beard, or even the look on your face can pull the fearful behavior out of him.

Once you find a way to identify a stimulus, it gets easier to find a remedy to cure this behavior. A bird can be trained to gradually tolerate this form of the stressor by patience and proper bonding methods.


If your parakeet begins to manifest damage-causing behavior, it means that he is very stressed out. It can be a possibility that more likely the offender, in this case, is boredom. Despite being the most intelligent birds that they are, if they are held captive, they often do not get an adequate amount of activity and mental triggers. This can lead them to frustration, depression, unacceptable behaviors, and even unhealthy life.

How to Calm a Stressed Budgie What Causes Stress

Stereotypical Behavior

Budgies are one of the species that exhibit stress as repetitive behaviors such as screaming, toe-tapping, pacing, and head swinging. Frequently, parakeets manifest these behaviors to trigger themselves if they are getting bored. These behaviors are perhaps of no harm, but they can be a sign that your budgie is not happy. You as an owner, need to pay attention to these little actions before they turn into more destructive ones such as feather-picking or even self-mutilation.

A Shift in Vocalization

Your budgie will begin to scream more than usual if he is stressed out. Although occasional ear-splitting noises can be typical, loud and distracting and a sign of stress may be purposeful screaming. On the other hand, decreased vocalization can also indicate the underlying stress or unhappiness in budgies. If your budgie suddenly begins to vocalize less, he may be stressed out, bored, or even ill. Hence, it is necessary to go for a medical examination to make sure that there are no health-related issues that are triggering the shift in vocalization.

What are Budgie Stress Bars?

When simply placed, the visible lines which run crosswise across the budgie’s feather are known as budgie stress bars. There is typically a change in the width of the feather along with the lines, it looks like the growth on both sides of the feathers has stopped and it has taken place from the middle section of the feather. To analyze it, there is no need for an avian vet to realize that something is going on with your parakeet.

Feather stress bars, according to Good Bird Inc., are abnormalities of the feather that can dramatically reduce its effectiveness. Of course, the lives of most pet birds do not depend on their flight, but there is still a problem with feather breakage. It is as much a problem as any other stress signs.

It can be a problem to identify stress bars on feathers that are still on your budgie’s body, but mottled feathers can help in quick identification of stressors in the environment.

They are an indicator that you begin to look for the stressors that are disturbing your parakeet.

What are Budgie Stress Bars

The Effects of Long-Term Stress on a Bird

Long-standing stress in budgies can harm your parakeet’s physical health, the same as it does in us human beings. Your parakeet can be able to lose weight or undergo nutritional deficiencies by not eating properly if he has been unhappy and constantly facing stress.

Extremely stressed out budgies can damage their skin follicles permanently who pick feathers and mutilate themselves. They might become unable to grow their feathers back, and leave their skins scared for a prolonged period.

Moreover, female budgies who lay eggs and are active in reproduction may end up having difficulty laying ones if they are stressed. They may reach a stage called egg-bound, where the eggs get stuck inside the bodies of birds. It then needs an avian vet to invade into their bodies through surgery and take the eggs out.

Lastly, birds that are excessively depressed or irritated can often suffer from impaired functioning of the immune system, rendering them more vulnerable to infections and other diseases.

How to Cure a Stressed Budgie?

If you find any stressor in the environment of your budgie, cutting it off can get the thing sorted entirely. If you find the behavior of your parakeets self-destructive such as feather-picking and self-mutilation, you may want to concern an avian vet as soon as possible. Ask him to come up with a treatment plan without giving it time.

In this scenario, your pet’s vet can suggest two options. Either he can provide you a prescription for your pal or he can give you an option to concern a behavioral specialist.

There are a few tips you can practice at home if your budgie has started to act out because of stress, and you need to try to restrain its actions.

Don’t yell at your bird:

No matter what your parakeet does when he is stressed out, no matter if he screams or bites you, you cannot yell back at him. It won’t only scare him, but give out a gesture that bad behavior is getting attention. He would continue to do so.

Move slowly:

If you find your budgie attacking you, don’t move back immediately. It will fluster the parakeet even more. Make a slow motion when reaching out to him, want to pet him, or/and even walking by his cage.

Train your bird:

It can be a problem when your parakeet doesn’t want to be handled. It can make him face difficulty getting social. But there is no need to worry about, just offer him a stick or a perch instead of holding him. It will surely do the trick.

Train your bird

Provide Stimulation:

Trigger excitement in your friend by providing him puzzle toys, make him watch TV, record a tape of your voice that you can play while you are away, these will surely bring out excitement and interest in the parakeet.

Out of Cage Time:

Many birds will benefit from their owner’s extra care and will enjoy more time outside their cage.

Can a Bird Die out of Stress?

If you are here looking for a most heart-wrenching question that is “can a parakeet die out of stress?”. So the answer is yes, there are possibilities that your feathered little friend can die if he is stressed. Because an immense amount of adrenaline enters the bloodstream when parakeets are nervous. Which as a result, increases the blood pressure, empties the flow of sugar into the bloodstream, and widens the blood vessels of the muscles.

The stress of the adrenal glands is caused by a high degree or frequency of stress, ending up causing the bird to die unexpectedly in some situations.


There might be no way to prevent the stress completely, what you can do is pay attention to your parakeet’s signs that disturb his lifestyle and avoid them as best as you can. If your parakeet doesn’t like the new place of his cage, move the cage back where it was. If the budgie doesn’t get along with new family members or pets, stop reinforcing him and try to adjust him slowly, and consider treats.

Keeping into consideration, the budgie’s sensitivities can help you make decisions before making any changes in his environment as well as lifestyle.


Alen AxP is an experienced budgie owner who is passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise on budgie care. Through their articles and resources, they provide valuable insights and practical tips on topics such as diet, housing, and health, to help other budgie owners create a happy and thriving environment for their feathered friends.

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