The best and the most enjoyable birds to stay around you are parakeets. They’re well-known family pets, quickly coachable, and can be trained sound mimicking. For instance, words, melodies, and kissing noises. They got fascinating behavior they exhibit, among them being puffing up their feathers. It’s an admirable thing seeing them puff up, sitting on their perches, and looking at the surrounding. But, why do you think parakeets puff up? What’s the meaning of doing that? Could there be something to worry about?

It’s actually a normal and natural thing for parakeets to puff up their feathers, especially when they’re sound. However, doing it excessively may be an alarming sign to watch out. It could mean the onset of disease, which you should be quick to act upon. There are several causes why parakeet budgies puff up. This article discusses some of these common reasons for being puffy. Please keep reading to get more.

What parakeet budgies mean when puffing up

Most birds are used to puffing up their feathers, and moving in a specific way. You can quickly notice the feathers’ alignment when they puff. Their nature and appearance will readily be seen. You should, therefore, understand they essentially do this for various reasons, including the following;


  • Temperature control and regulation
  • Reacting to preening and cleaning
  • Happiness and excitement

Temperature regulation

To retain heat in their bodies, parakeets puff up. It helps manage their body temperature. It happens mainly when exposed to colder surroundings they were never in before. Therefore, slightly opening their feathers keeps the air trapped underneath. The air warms up, and as a result, it keeps their bodies warm too. It’s the same thing that happens to a human being when they cover-up in warm clothing or blanket during cold weather.
All birds require an average temperature. For parakeets, they need more energy for heat production, and that’s why saving it is a lot more crucial. The mechanism is self-developed, thus enable proper temperature control and moderation. If there’s nothing to raise concern, they do it with their feet tucked in the chest, staying calm in a relaxed position with eyes closed. Generally, they’d puff up feathers when ready to sleep. While they can self-manage their temperature, it’d be best if you kept moving around and checking their housing for temperature monitoring. If it’s excessively cold, please make heat adjustments to save the extra energy needed for puffing up.

Excitement and joy

Did you know that parakeet budgies puff up feathers as a way of expressing happiness? They’re social birds that display emotions through such action. You may also hear some sounds, more so when feeding them their favorite food or response to a new toy. Sometimes they get excited for simply seeing a person they love most. For example, they’d react to a child’s voice or a female’s; high–pitched tones, but the excitement increases with the one they’re familiar with and affectionate. If the person isn’t particular but bringing them a special treat, they’d be excited too and puff.

Preening and cleaning

Cleanliness is a part of most parakeets. After a disoriented alignment, a parakeet would want to rearrange its feathers in order. That’s why during its usual preening time, it’d try to settle them back. Sometimes when bathing, you’d see them fluff up and shake off their feathers to remove the excess water.



Anxiety and fear

A parakeet would puff up feathers to appear big, so it can scare off a predator. It does this for the sake of protecting itself or the partner. They can also tremble or shake the wings when in fearful situations. It mostly happens when the bird isn’t well socialized. If you want to make it feel safe and free, talk to it in a low tone as you slow your movement towards it. Fearful parakeets respond positively to humans when given honey millet or grape using the palm. Offer help by finding out the source of that fear and address it immediately.

Another vital sight to show your bird is scared is hunching down the body to become smaller. Aggressive actions may also be witnessed just like humans do when scared. You may discover biting or nipping in case you disturb their peace. Have knowledge about this kind of information for eliminating any stressors to your buddy. By doing so, you’ll have saved a dying pet. Who wants to go through the trouble of nursing a bereaved parakeet if they were mates?

Illness or pain

Unlike human beings who’ll communicate when sick, these birds will develop cloudy eyes and become dull. Start observing them see how they’ll do that. If it continues for the rest of the day and onwards, then be advised to see a professional. An avian vet might be best to consult. It’s a behavior for most birds that would mask illnesses to appear strong to predators.
It’s imperative to give more attention to your budgie’s pain signs because it can die if ignored. Another typical behavior when sick is they’ll start shedding feathers. It doesn’t matter the cause but be sure it’s not any good show. It might be boring. That’s why you should be on the lookout to realize all these signs earlier enough. If it’s the case, take quick action as it might have been ill for longer just before it turns out too noticeable to hide.

How do you tell if a parakeet is sick?

How does your bird respond to your presence? Well, you should know how it reacts when you’re around. These birds are quick to changing behavior on the external stimuli. You’ll see them change their feathers or acting differently when someone walks around their cage or try to play with them. Nevertheless, when the feathered buddy is sick, it won’t do much. It might act very sluggishly.

You can also confirm sickness by finding them seated at the cage’s bottom part, running nose, hiding, diarrhea, quietness, lack of chirping, or having an excess sleep unusually. Similarly to other animals, excessive sleep in birds can also be an illness sign. For this reason, watch out the sleeping technique deployed by the bird.

Normally, a parakeet’s foot is tucked in the feathers, but having both under the body is an alerting sign. Additionally, sleeping with the head pointing forward, instead of tucking it back over the shoulders. It’s time to take an expert’s view. Parakeets are very social and active birds, but being lethargic or staying at one spot for longer may signal that they’re sick.
Sometimes they may lack appetite, eat less, or not taste even a pinch of food. It’d be risky because they need nutrients and energy. Therefore, stopping to eat and failure of not going back to their original state raises the alarm. You can place them near a bird lamp to keep warm as you wait to get to a vet.


Why some parakeets are always puffy

Parakeets puffed up for longer than natural need to have their temperature checked. Gauge the warmth of the room to ensure it’s normal for either the day or night. It’s because having too low or extremely high temperatures may cause parakeets to experience hypothermia or heat-stroke. A heat stroke is worse for parakeets. Maybe the maximum time you may have is around 30 minutes before it becomes fatal. On the contrary, you may have some more time but not enough to delay. It can be several days or a week before the situation worsens.
You’ll see it increasing its breathing rate for a heat-stroked bird and flapping the feathers to cool down. Too cold temperatures encourage too much puffing, as discussed earlier in the script. A fatter bird will, in most cases, struggle to naturally control their body warmth as the fat provides automatic insulation. It may be more challenging for cooling down in hotter environments. Smaller birds will find it hard in colder temperatures. So, make sure the cage is in the correct temperature in the bird’s favor. Look for a birdcage heater or lamp if your home is ever cold.

Other general parakeet behaviors

Head bobbing

Parakeet budgies are fond of head bobbing. It could be a form of seeking attention, but mostly it’s their socializing method. Some timid types mainly use for wanting a mate. For the young ones, it’s used for passing a message to their mother parakeet or caregiver. For example, whenever they’re hungry. If you hear squawking sounds, then know they’re badly of and urgently need food. Again, paying attention to your budgie when they head bob, they’ll keep using it to talk to you.

While we can say, they head bob on seeing you mean ‘hello,’ an added intense chirping could imply getting attention for something you need to find out. It may be your affection or food. Wing flapping is another indicator of passing a word. It may be due to having slept for longer, and are just stretching their body by flapping and hovering around the cage, but not in need of your responsiveness.

Obsession and boredom

Boredom among parakeets strikes in very quickly. The problem could be in the cage, but being lonely for longer may result in getting obsessed with their toys. Being bored makes a budgie depressed, restless, and subdued. The three states can cause fatal things that can frustrate the bird if not taken care of in good time. It’s because that’s the time your budgie isn’t careful about their being.

Knowing very well that your pet will be curious and analyze all items input in their cage, they’ll play with it until a point of boredom after some time. It’d be necessary to rotate the toys after a few days or weeks to prevent creating boredom, obsession, etc. You should also closely pay attention to its behavior, if there’s need for a friend, please don’t hesitate to get one. Schedule time with them too.



Remember we said earlier that budgies are social, right? Yes, and they readily offer love, especially when they feel attached to you. Allowing them various opportunities may make you’re their favorite companion. They never fear to show you affectionate. You’ll see them chirping, singing with you, or talking as they bob their heads when you pass by or come near. When you are together, they’d come, sit on your lap or shoulder, and peck to your ears and play with your hair.

Parakeets also get attached to objects. They do this to anything harmless around. To illustrate, a bird connects to toys provided mostly when lacking a mate or friend. Bells are the best example as they mimic loud pitched chirping. If the obsessive attachment gets too high, it’d be okay getting a partner for your budgie.

Cages with mirrors could also bridge an attachment plan to a bird. Believe it or not, they’d get attached to their mirror image- appears similar to another of its kind. You’ll be surprised how they’d regurgitate food to the ‘other’ bird in the mirror. To them, it’s how they show love to others.
As the owner, show the love back. Do it by petting them, sing, or do anything to make them feel your response to that love. Be careful when choosing to pet because some may dislike it. Nonetheless, give it a try. Gently take your hand to their head as you make sweet sounds to show your friendliness, then move to the feathers and the entire body when accepted. While touching them may seem okay, please be warned that getting too personal can ruin the affection. Take it gradually until the bird can build long-lasting trust in you.

BUDGIE PUFF UP feathers Sum up

We’ve many reasons for parakeet puffing, either negative or positive. Treat your parakeet the same way other pets are cared for. It’s useful to closely monitor your parakeet budgie to ensure a perfect living environment that meets their well-being. Create a home with well suiting circumstances and needs for your bird. Provide all the necessities, including a vet when necessary, food, and toys, among others.

Any suspicious puffing of feathers should be addressed to a vet in no time for the better. Hesitation may prove hazardous and even cause death. Consider using a lamp heater in the bird’s cage to moderate the temperature when it’s cold. Place it not very far or too near to a high power energy because of potential heat strokes that are ever deadly.


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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