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Why Does My Budgie Bob His Tail?

The budgie, also known as a budgerigar, is a type of parakeet that has a lifespan typically of 5-10 years. They are sociable birds that love to communicate so they make good pets though it’s ideal to have them in pairs at least.

Though they tend to be healthy, you may find that your budgie someday develops issues that lead them to bob their tail.

Why would a budgie bird bob its tail?

Budgies will do different movements with their tail depending on if they are excited, happy, or something else entirely. Sometimes it isn’t a cause for concern. However, if you notice that your budgie is making a bobbing motion with their tail this is something you should have a vet look into.

Since birds do not have a diaphragm between their chest and stomach like many other species do, they have muscles near their tails that help their lungs to expand. Normally, they have no problem with this but if you see tail bobbing it can mean that they are having trouble breathing. This is especially the case if they’re doing the motion repetitively.

The tail muscles work harder when the budgie has labored breathing and this is what causes the bobbing to occur. The early stages of the movement may not be noticeable so it’s important to pay attention to any little changes in your bird’s behavior. Reach out to a vet right away when you notice these signs.

Budgies Are Common Pets

I was surprised to learn recently just how popular budgies have become as pets. In fact, they fall just behind cats and dogs in the list of most popular pets in the world. It’s pretty clear why people love this type of bird so much. They’re brightly-colored and small, making them appear cute and fun.

Another reason that budgies are common as pets is that they are relatively inexpensive. The cost from the pet store is lower than some other birds and the cost for their care is lower since this is a smaller bird.

Caring for Budgies in Your Home

I know that you likely already have a budgie as a pet since you’re reading this article. For those of you who are thinking about getting a budgie to bring home, it’s crucial that you know as much as possible about how to care for it beforehand. This will eliminate surprises and make it much easier to care for your new pet.

  • Talk to an expert – If you have a vet for your other animals or know of someone who works with birds, particularly budgies, you should sit down and have a discussion with them about what to expect. Bring questions that relate to your home and lifestyle along with general questions of interest in this amazing bird. It’s a good idea to know their feeding habits, what behaviors are fairly normal and which are a sign of issues if you’ll need to do any grooming, and how often they should be brought to the veterinarian.
  • Talk to budgie owners – If you have a friend, family member, or someone in your neighborhood who has a budgie, definitely reach out to them with your questions and concerns. I would imagine you’d get some different advice and hear a lot about the day-to-day living experiences with a budgie bird compared to what you’d hear from someone who doesn’t actually have any in their home. You’d do well to spend some time with their bird as well to see the kind of vibes you get from being around it and then you’ll get a better feel of whether you want one as a pet.

Though I haven’t fed a budgie myself, I know from being around at feeding times that they can eat fruits and vegetables. They do eat pellets, but it actually isn’t a good idea for them to eat ONLY pellets as they need the nutrition from a varied diet or they can become sick. Try out a mixture of pellets, veggies, and fruits to see what works the best for your pet.

Getting to Know Your Budgie

As you get to know your bird more over time, you’ll find out the particulars of their moods and behaviors. You may have a budgie that is extremely “talkative”, or your pet may be on the quiet side.

Your budgie might like to be around you almost all the time or it can prefer its alone time more often. Though there are some set commonalities with this breed, they each have distinct personalities. If you spend a great deal of time around your bird you’ll have a better idea of when it’s feeling down or if it is ill.

Budgie Vocalizations

I’ve been around a few budgies in my time and without fail, they’ve been incredibly noisy. This smaller parrakeet actually tends to learn how to speak better than larger parrot species.

They can say things more clearly, though their voices are small and gravelly compared to other birds. They can pick up words and phrases from their owners and even sometimes use them in proper context! I think that this is one of the most wonderful things about budgies.

A budgie that is on the louder side won’t often be extremely quiet unless there’s something wrong. If there have been recent big changes in the household they could be stressed or depressed if they are alone more often. A very quiet budgie also can be experiencing sickness so it’s best to monitor their eating habits, how they’re sleeping, and watch that tail for any signs of bobbing.

You may want to wait it out since you know that your bird sometimes acts a certain way. I want to stress the fact that seeing the tail bobbing especially with any of the other signs of illness is not good. Even if you don’t have a regular vet, you can call a local clinic or animal hospital for their professional advice and set up an appointment to have your budgie checked out.

Budgie Respiratory Illness

It’s especially concerning if you see your budgie’s tail bobbing since respiratory infections or disease are common in smaller birds like the budgie. I don’t want you to worry too much about this as your budgie still can lead a happy, healthy life.

Learn as much as you can about your pet, spend as much time as possible with them, stay aware of any little changes, and feed them a varied diet. Don’t hesitate to bring your bird to the vet’s office or at least call the office to explain what is happening.

You don’t want to risk waiting too long and having your budgie’s symptoms worsen. The vet should be able to give you antibiotics for your bird or if it’s a medical issue outside of an infection, they’ll discuss a course of treatment to help your pet’s health improve.

If your budgie requires a longer plan of treatment than antibiotics, it can be costly. As far as I know, there are programs in most areas that can reduce the number of your vet bills greatly.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and are unsure of anything local to you, there are national organizations that you can reach out to that likely can point you in the right direction of a local agency that can help with the costs. This shouldn’t be a huge barrier in terms of getting your bird to the vet.

Our pets are a part of our family and we can become very attached to them. Since they can’t get to the office for medical care themselves, we have to be their best advocates. Though you may see issues that you don’t with humans and these issues can be more severe at times due to their size, it’s crucial to get the best health care for your budgie bird.