Budgies can form deep and lasting bonds with humans and other birds. However, this broad spectrum of emotions can introduce certain behavioral challenges.
Despite their calm demeanor, social nature, and diminutive size, budgies can become jealous of others. This jealousy can be directed toward other birds, family members, toys, and household pets.
If you introduce changes gradually and make time for your budgie, it’s less likely to become jealous.
How To Tell If Your Budgie Is Jealous
Many parrot breeds show more than attachment to their owners and other birds.
Besides needing others for food and reproduction, budgies can display a genuine fondness for people and cage mates. This can sometimes extend to toys and other objects, should the budgie have no one else available to form a close bond.
Of course, these bonds can turn sour if the budgie feels its position is threatened. It may dislike other pets or people trying to get your attention, or it may refuse to share a toy with another budgie. It may even attack you if you come close to its chosen mate. All of these are signs of jealousy in budgies.
However, these can also be due to general aggression, illness, and fear.
Here are the signs of a jealous budgie:
Is your budgie usually calm and even-tempered but has suddenly become defensive and confrontational? This is a sign of jealousy, especially if the budgie only directs this anger at newcomers.
This can happen in the following situations:
- A new bird has been introduced to the cage, especially if you’re favoring it somehow.
- You’re spending more time with a new pet, and your budgie feels ignored or left out.
- A new person has moved into the home, especially if they’re getting a lot of your attention.
Your jealous budgie may show signs of aggression by biting at or fighting the newcomer. If the newbie is a cage mate, you may need to relocate it to a different enclosure to guarantee peace.
Some budgies show their aggression through increased vocalization.
As soon as you introduce a new bird to its cage, the jealous budgie will start screaming uncontrollably. This is an attempt to scare away the new arrival.
The budgie may also screech at new pets or strangers whenever they come near. Sometimes that’s accompanied by growling, hissing, or flapping wings.
Jealous budgies may pace back and forth through their cage. They may also insistently crawl up your arm and sit in your hair. Pecking at toys and throwing seeds are all common responses to jealousy. The budgie is so emotionally distraught that it doesn’t know what to do with itself.
This behavior is most common once you’ve already separated the budgie from whatever caused its jealousy. Since it can’t fight or warn that threat off, it’ll stay busy and miserable.
On rare occasions, your budgie might not openly show that it’s jealous of other birds, toys, or household members. Instead, it’ll isolate itself and pretend that it’s not bothered.
This behavioral change will be most noticeable in lively, social budgies. If your pet couldn’t stand being apart from you but now won’t come out of its cage, it’s probably jealous.
Some budgies turn their aggression inward. Instead of targeting other birds or biting at new people, the budgie will begin:
- Plucking out feathers
- Pecking at bare skin
Without timely intervention, the jealous budgie might hurt itself.
Do Budgies Get Jealous of Other Budgies?
Budgies get jealous of other birds because they see newcomers as a threat to their:
- Personal space
- Food or water
- Attention from owners
In fact, it’s far more likely that your budgie will get jealous of another budgie.
Pets, such as dogs or cats, may not even register as competition in a budgie’s mind. Likewise, people may be too large and intimidating to challenge.
Of course, that certainly won’t stop some budgies.
Reasons for Jealousy in Budgies
The budgie may be upset about any of the following:
Budgies grow distressed when basic routines or objects are changed in their environment.
This could include any of the following:
- Bringing home a new baby
- Getting a roommate
- Having strangers visit
- Buying a dog or cat
- Getting a second or third budgie for the cage
- Swapping out old toys for new ones
The budgie will see the change as a threat to its safety, resources, and favorite person.
Budgies want undivided attention from their owners. If your budgie noticed that you’re spending more time with other pets or birds, it’s likely to get jealous.
If needed, separating the jealous budgie into a different room may be necessary. Since it can’t see you playing with others, it’s more likely to accept the change gradually.
Lack of Socialization
Budgies are social creatures with a lot of love to give.
If a budgie has minimal companionship or only spends time with you, it may get over-attached. That could make it more jealous and possessive.
Because it’s sheltered from the world, it’ll feel scared of other people or animals and react aggressively. It may even feel the need to protect you from perceived harm.
If your budgie feels insecure and uncertain about its position with you, it may become jealous.
For example, being adopted from one home to the next could cause abandonment issues. It may also have been separated from its mother too young, which harmed its emotional development.
If it was neglected in the past or didn’t spend much time with you, it may be desperate for attention. These situations can make your budgie want to protect its place with your ‘flock.’
Hormones affect a budgie’s mood and personality, especially during the mating season. A hormonal budgie can become more jealous, territorial, or defensive.
You can minimize this by ensuring your budgie gets adequate sleep. You can discourage nesting habits, which trigger the most extreme hormonal changes.
How To Prevent Jealousy In Budgies
There are things you can do to calm a jealous budgie down, including:
Budgies create strong bonds with their owners. However, you shouldn’t be the only means of interaction for a budgie. Allow it to meet friends, interact with other pets, or have a companion bird.
If you live with roommates or family, let them care for the budgie’s needs. Letting guests feed and talk to it will help it become socialized and friendly.
These simple steps will make it less defensive toward new people and animals later on.
If you intend to bring home another budgie, a new pet, or introduce someone new to the household, prepare the budgie. This involves making a series of small changes at a gradual pace.
For example, let the newcomer meet the budgie before moving in. Keep new pets in separate rooms until the budgie gets used to them.
If you’re going to shift your existing budgie to a larger cage with a new budgie, let the first budgie explore the cage in advance.
By allowing it to gradually warm up to the change, your budgie is likely to be more accepting.
Set Time Aside
You can help a budgie feel more sure that it’s not being forgotten by making time for it.
This could be a 30-minute play session at the same time every day, just between the two of you. Alternatively, it could be strict feeding times or letting it ride on your shoulder.
A budgie will be less jealous if it doesn’t feel like it’s losing you.
Budgies can get jealous in the same way that people do. Helping your budgie adjust to the change and feel more secure will stop it from reacting to certain situations based on jealousy.