Why Is My Budgie Shaking?

If you have noticed your budgie trembling, you may be worried that there is something wrong. While it can be a sign of trouble, there are many things that cause trembling.

It could be your budgie’s way of trying to tell you something, be an involuntary reaction, or just indicate normal behavior. Learning the different reasons for shaking is the best thing you can do for your budgie- and your nerves.

If you notice your budgie trembling, it might be due to several reasons. Most of them are no cause for alarm but a few require that you seek medical attention. To determine the cause behind your budgie’s shakes, you will have to pay attention to other signs.

It is not uncommon for a budgie to shake, and there are several reasons one might shake. Getting an understanding of the common reasons for trembling can help you determine if it is a normal thing or if you need to seek a vet’s help.

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Uncomfortable Temperature

Animals, including budgies, get cold just like you and I do. Typically, temperatures between 65 and 80 are acceptable, but if you are on the lower side of that scale, it may simply be that your budgie is cold.

Try turning your air up a little or draping a blanket across the cage, leaving one side uncovered. If the shivering stops, you will know that your feathered friend was just a little chilly.

On the other hand, your budgie could be shaking because he or she is hot. Budgies will lift their wings and give them a shake in order to cool off. You might need to turn the temperature down or get some cooler air circulating with a fan.

New Environment

When you first bring a budgie into your home, change its cage, add another budgie, or change their environment in any way, you can expect a little anxiety. You might notice some trembling until your budgie adapts to the changes.

It is really not much different than humans being out of their comfort zone. The best thing you can do is give him or her some space and time to gradually acclimate.


A budgie’s grooming routine typically includes some feather-ruffling, otherwise known as preening. Preening is how your budgie removes any debris from his feathers and spreads waterproofing oil through them. This not only keeps them looking good but also in great flying condition.

Unfortunately, preening can mimic trembling, which can scare the owner if they are uncertain of what is going on. In this case, though, you should only be frightened if your budgie stops preening, as this is a sign of illness or some type of discomfort. Seeing a veterinarian is the best course of action if the preening stops or greatly decreases.

You can usually tell if it is just preening because it will look like he or she is bothering their feathers, and it mostly happens after they eat or bathe. Additionally, you might notice trembling after a bath when he or she is drying off. Either of these types of trembling goes away pretty quickly after the budgie is through grooming or had enough time to get dry.


We have likely all seen the family dog getting excited and jumping all over their humans when the humans have been gone all day. Believe it or not, birds can be the exact same way.

After you have bonded with one another, your budgie might get extremely excited when you walk in the door after work. The excitement ca often cause trembling and a lot of chirping.

Other things like their favorite treat or toy can get them excited, too. It can be fairly easy to tell if it’s excitement as you will notice the trembling each time that event happens, such as every time they get the treat.


Budgies disagree with their friends and siblings just as we do. If you have more than one budgie in the cage, chances are you will hear an argument every now and then. When you do, you might notice some trembling due to tension and frustration. Once the argument is over and everyone takes a breath, the trembling should subside.


Budgies are no fans of change. Even small changes can create a great deal of stress if your budgie notices them. If anything has changed, like moving the cage to a new location, having a friend over, or just about anything similar, any trembling may be due to stress.


If you notice your budgie’s whole body and wings shaking, there is a good chance that it is due to fear. Maybe they just heard a loud noise, saw your cat creeping by, or are a little afraid of the dark.

Those are the most common reasons that budgies get scared, but he or she could be afraid of something different. For instance, a certain color or smell could invoke fear.

If you notice that your budgie trembles every time you come close in a yellow shirt or wear a certain floral perfume, there is a good chance that those are things he or she is afraid of.

If there is no obvious cause of fear and you have not yet discovered any patterns to the trembling, you may need to spend some extra time investigating. If fear is causing the trembling, it is important to figure out what that fear is. Then, eliminate or minimize it.

Getting Ready to Fly

Like a cat getting ready to pounce or a bull preparing to charge, your budgie might put in some extra effort when getting ready to fly. It can result in trembling or alternating their feet when on their perch. This type of trembling also goes away pretty quickly.


It is important to feed your budgie foods that are good for his health- and not just birdseed. If your budgie is not eating a properly balanced diet, he or she might tremble from weaknesses. This trembling should subside once he starts eating well and regains strength.


There is a chance that your budgie shaking indicates some type of injury. Maybe it fell from its perch or hit something while in flight. A trip to the vet may be in order if you suspect there might be an injury.


Trembling can also point to a more serious illness- even potentially death. However, when this is the case, it is usually accompanied by other symptoms.

When it is sick or dying, a budgie will:

  • Eat differently than before. This may not be obvious in the beginning. As odd as it may seem, budgies will try to act like they still feel well, so they may look like they are eating and drinking normally. The truth is that they may not be eating or drinking at all, so you have to look for other signs, such as weight loss.
  • Seem off balance quite often- even falling off of its perch. This is usually caused to seek immediate medical attention.
  • Possibly be unable to move. This is quite different than weakness or a lack of energy. If your budgie cannot hold up its head or neck, and it’s breathing heavy, it might have contracted avian paralysis. If it is unable to fly though it normally does, it’s another sign of trouble.
  • Be quiet most or all of the time. This is especially concerning if your budgie normally chirps all day.
  • Consistently look and act sleepy throughout the day. Naps are normal. Being sleepy all day, every day could be a sign of serious trouble.

Trembling by itself is probably not a very big issue. If it happens in concert with any or all of these other symptoms, you should seek medical care.