Happy, healthy budgies can be quite the little chatterboxes. Chirping, whistling, clicking, and singing to their people and the other animals of the household, or even just to themselves. But, sometimes a budgie can go quiet.
Budgies can be quiet for a few reasons. Thankfully most of them are not a cause for alarm. Some reasons a budgie might be more reserved than normal are:
- Adjusting to a new home
- They are frightened
- They are still young
- They’re just a quiet budgie
So, you can see that the reasons why a budgie might be quieter than expected are pretty simple ones. Most of the time there is no reason to be concerned if your bird is more quiet than usual. In this article, we will take a closer look at why your feathered friend might be a little shy.
You’ve Just Brought Your Budgie Home
If you’ve just brought your bird home from the pet shop or the breeder for the first time, you can expect some reserved behavior. Budgies are sensitive little creatures and changes in their environment can cause them to feel uncomfortable and a little stressed.
So, don’t expect that the moment you bring your budgie into their new home that they are going to start singing and carrying on right away. Though every budgie can have their own little personality and you may find that your new budgie takes to their new home gleefully. You could have a singer on your hands if they pipe upright when they get home. But this is an exception to the norm.
It is to be expected that your budgie will be pretty quiet for a few days to a week upon bringing them into their new home. This is completely normal. Once you’ve given your bird some time to relax and settle into their environment, they should begin to make plenty of noise.
Something Has Scared Them
A budgie is a fragile, small little thing. If something in its environment frightens them, their natural reaction is to freeze up. This allows them to remain still and silent, hidden away from the eyes of predators in their natural habitat.
This could be caused by many things, especially if they are a young budgie, or new to your home. They could be fearful of your hand going into their cage even if it’s just to refill their food and water. This is something that they will get used to in time.
However, if your budgie has already acclimated to your hands being in their cage and they suddenly become quiet, something else in their environment could be agitating them. Maybe the cat is sneaking a peak and you haven’t noticed. It could also be a sound they aren’t used to like a blender in the kitchen or even something on the tv they don’t like.
Again, this is likely something that they will get used to and shouldn’t affect their health or happiness as long as it is a short-lived discomfort.
Your Budgie Is Young
When a budgie is still a baby, under four weeks old or so, they will hardly make any noise at all. Even as a fledgling, from five to eight weeks old, they will be fairly quiet, if they make any sound at all. Budgies’ voices tend to mature just as they do.
It does not behoove a baby bird to make much noise while they are safe in their nest. It goes back, once again, to their defense mechanisms in the wild. A quiet baby bird is a safe baby bird.
Typically, the older a budgie is, the more sounds it will make. So, if you’ve got a baby or a fledgling on your hands, don’t expect much in the noise department until they’ve had a little time to grow into their voices.
Your Budgie Is Quiet and Sleepy
This can certainly happen. Not every bird is a born singer. You may have a budgie that just prefers the quiet or perhaps they just enjoy the songs of others, letting the other budgies in the roost do the singing.
As long as they are eating, drinking, eliminating well, showing good social behaviors with you and their other budgie buddies, chances are that they are just a bit shy.
However, if you notice that a quiet bird is exhibiting any other odd behaviors, their silence could be indicative of a more serious issue. Look out for other signs of distress like…
- Not eating or drinking
- Not defecating (usually a sign that they are not eating enough)
- They have a puffy appearance
- They are isolating themselves in the corner, or away from others
- Holding a leg or wing in an odd way
- You notice coughing, sneezing or wheezing
These are some of the more common and easily recognized signs that a budgie is not feeling well and if they are both silent and exhibiting any of these behaviors, it could be time to consult a veterinarian.
Budgies Can Get Depressed, Too
Sadly, these fragile little birds can suffer from depression just like us. Budgies can be sensitive to stressors in their lives, and stress can lead these little guys to become depressed.
If they are not showing any other symptoms of illness or injury, it is possible that your pet is sad. A common stressor that can cause a depressive episode in a budgerigar is the loss of a companion.
Because they are such social creatures, they develop strong bonds with their fellow budgies. The death of one of their friends, or perhaps their mate, can drive a budgie to develop a powerful case of depression.
Some warning signs that your budgie is depressed could coincide with their refusal to sing.
How do you know if your budgie is sad?
- Feather Plucking: More than just grooming. They are pulling out patches of feathers at a time, leaving bald spots or irritated skin.
- Constant Head Bobbing: Usually a fun thing for a budgie to do, too much could mean a mental issue. Trauma could be to blame.
- Skipping Meals: They might only pick at their food or refuse to eat and drink at all.
- Out Of Character Aggression: If your quiet budgie also becomes hostile towards you or other birds in its environment they could be dealing with depression.
- They Seem Sleepy and Quiet: A depressed budgie might not feel like doing much. They might go about their daily routine but in a slow and sleepy way.
- Obsessive Behaviors: Could be things like repetitive beak wiping, grinding, or rubbing that is outside of their normal grooming routines. Doing so much as to cause damage to their beak, face, and habitat.
Thankfully, you aren’t at a loss for ways to help them. This article from beakcraze.com goes into great detail about how budgies and other birds deal with grief and depression and what you can do to help them.
They May Be Ill
Fortunately, most of the time a quiet budgie is just that, a quiet budgie. But the silence from your pet can be a sign that something is wrong and if you have some suspicions, patiently observe your bird for any odd behaviors or symptoms of pain or illness.
If by the end of this article, you find that none of these things fits your budgie’s behavior, it could be time to make an appointment with your avian veterinarian. It is important to get a sick budgie medical attention quickly.
Since they are small, delicate creatures with fast metabolism, bad things can happen quickly when it comes to disease. If you suspect that there’s more to your budgie’s silence than meets the eye, call that vet.
Hopefully, your budgies protest against singing is just that. More than likely the case is that they are just feeling a bit uncomfortable and shy and they will sing when they are ready.