Why does my budgie bob his head?

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Budgie Head Bobbing

Probably one of the most enjoyable things about owning a budgie is watching its behavior. A bird bobbing its head can be quite humorous and can appear as if the bird is dancing. Some budgies will chatter endlessly, move back and forth on their perch and at the same time also bob their heads continuously. This behavior is mostly seen in male budgies; however, females do this as well. This bobbing of the head is usually a courtship ritual that is done by a male trying to impress a female budgie. If the female budgie likes the male dance, both birds will feed each other and eventually mate. This ritual will continue until eggs are laid.

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Adult budgies are not the only ones who bob their heads. Baby budgies will also bob their heads when hungry and when begging their parents for food. This can be seen especially when a budgie has just fledged (left the nest) and is learning to fly. The mother and father will try to encourage the bird to fly from perch to perch. The baby will respond by crying while bobbing its head up and down. This will continue until the baby is fully weaned and independent.

Though a bobbing head is typical budgie behavior, there are some instances whereby a budgie may appear to be doing this but the action is not related to courtship or hunger. This type of behavior could even be due to a medical condition and possibly could be attributed to a mental illness of some sort. Other medical conditions that could be causing this bobbing-head action are seizures and even parasitic infections. If an owner sees this type of behavior in a bird and if this action doesn’t appear to be normal, it is important that the bird be taken to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

An owner who knows their tamed budgie’s behavior should be on the lookout for behavior that is not typically demonstrated by their bird. This is important in determining whether the behavior is typical or whether the bird is just simply ill and may need to see a veterinarian.
Every budgie has its own personality and some are more outgoing than others. Many will dance and bob their heads as they know their owners will delight in such antics. These birds are very smart creatures and will adapt their behaviors to what their owners want. This entertaining behavior gives the budgie the attention they crave.

Other Common Budgie Questions

Below are common questions many budgie owners ask. Simply click on one of the questions below for more information. If you cannot find an answer to your question here, please post it on our parrot forum under the budgie section or head over to our main budgie area.

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