When people ask me why I am so obsessed with parakeets I give them a really simple answer: They are characters! Parakeets jump, sing, peck and hop (often all at once) and they are a real joy to watch and observe. Like all birds a parakeet’s behavior can change with season, surroundings or even just if their mood changes!
Parakeets are fantastic little acrobatic birds that enjoy attention, but what other behaviors does this little bird hide?
Parakeets are curious and Playful – They say that curiosity killed the cat but it could have just as easily been a parakeet that copped it! Parakeets are curious and playful little creatures and it’s important that you harbor this with plenty of toys and interesting things for your parakeet to check out and play with.
Parakeet Flock Mentality – In the wild or in larger aviary’s parakeets are very social flock animals! Their flock will actually dictate what they should be doing from preening to napping or eating, a flock is quite important for parakeets. Having said this it is important to make sure your parakeet has a friend if you don’t have the time to tame them. If you have a well trained parakeet make sure you spend some quality one on one time with them, perhaps share a meal or spend tv time with your buddy on your shoulder! This kind of interaction with your parakeet can replace the flock in his or her life and make your parakeet a happy parakeet!
Parakeet Preening – All parakeets will preen in order to keep their feathers organized and clean. Parakeets preen by first getting some oil from their preen gland (on the base of their tails) and then running their beaks down each feather. Parakeets will do this as an entire flock so if you have more than one parakeet you may notice they will preen together!
The parakeet shake and fluff – This is usually done after preening! Your parakeet may fluff up all of his or her feathers, shake their tail feathers and then return to normal. Budgies will sometimes fluff up their feathers when they are getting cozy as well (such as nap time). Note that this is different to a parakeet display where your bird may puff up his head feathers to attract a mate.
Parakeet stretching and exercise – If your parakeet has sat in the same spot for a while you might notice he/she will suddenly stretch out one leg and wing and then the other leg and wing. This is sometimes accompanied by your parakeet sitting on his/her perch and flapping their wings as exercise. This is just to get the blood flowing (often in the morning) and is just a bit of exercise to start the day.
Parakeet chewing/shredding – If your parakeet is shredding tissues or chewing up something then don’t be alarmed, this is normal parakeet behavior. Make sure your parakeet always has some cuttle bone and also some soft wood to chew. You can find great toys for parakeets at pet stores!
Parakeet sleep behavior – There are a few parakeet behaviors when it comes to sleeping so I thought I’d put them all together:
Yawning – Parakeets yawn just like us! Before or after a nap or even if they just need to shake something lose (a bit like us popping our ears). Their beak will open their neck will normally extend, don’t be surprised if you start yawning too!
Parakeet beak grinding – As your parakeet is falling asleep you may hear him/her nibbling or grinding their beak a little bit. This just means they are nice and content and heading off to sleep.
Parakeet Napping – Parakeets will nap in flocks at least once a day, usually around midday for 15-45 minutes. Each parakeet will sleep however they are comfy so don’t be surprised to see your parakeet sleeping on one foot or with his head tucked behind his wing!
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