As birds have wings, it seems counter-productive for them to climb walls and surfaces.
Despite this, many species of bird, especially budgies, love to climb for fun and recreation. So, expect your budgie to use cage walls as a climbing frame.
Budgies have an instinctive desire to locate themselves as high as possible, as this allows them to survey all around them, identifying food, water, and threats.
Climbing for fun, recreation, and exercise is fine – even recommended. You can purchase budgie climbing toys that make this simple and safe, such as ladders, nets, and climbing frames.
Budgies use their feet to climb, wrapping their four toes around a surface for grip. Birds need good balance to climb safely, but accidents are rare as they only climb when they feel confident.
Do Budgies Like to be High Up?
Budgies are instinctively drawn to high places, such as treetops.
As a prey species, budgies are always at risk of attack. Even when elevated, a budgie isn’t completely safe. Larger birds of prey, especially eagles, kestrels, or falcons, remain a threat at height.
Some of the more common enemies of a budgie are ground-based.
Although members of the cat family and snakes can climb, they’re unlikely to scale a tree’s highest branches. Budgies will feel comfortable remaining out of reach of these opportunistic hunters.
Being high up allows budgies to survey their terrain, looking for safe food and water sources. As curious and intelligent birds, budgies observe the world around them.
Why Does My Budgie Climb the Cage?
As budgies enjoy being in elevated positions, you may find that your budgie climbs to the top of its cage a lot. Climbing is a natural behavior for budgies, even though they can fly.
You may consider moving your budgie’s cage to a higher point to reduce the temptation to climb, but this is inadvisable, as your budgie will still climb for recreation.
Don’t deter a budgie from climbing, especially if you have clipped the bird’s wings. Asking a budgie not to climb is to prevent it from embracing instinct.
Here are the main reasons why budgies like to climb:
Exercise And Recreation
All budgies need to exercise, as they have a high metabolism. Some budgies choose to get a workout by climbing a cage. Your budgie may even perform some gymnastic-like moves while it does so.
If you’re worried about why your budgie is climbing so much, consider upgrading it to a larger cage. More space means that a budgie is likelier to fly, even in its cage.
Some budgies will climb the walls of a cage in sheer excitement. This behavior usually follows pacing around the cage or hopping from foot to foot.
If your budgie starts climbing when you enter a room, look for other signs of joy, such as:
- Chirping and chattering
- Shaking the tail feathers
- Puffing the wings and crest
- Flying toward you
These actions are intended to attract your attention and show excitement at seeing you.
Stress And Boredom
Your budgie’s climbing behavior could have a darker side.
Budgies sometimes pace their cage with increasing intensity when stressed or anxious. Equally, the budgie may just be bored and lack anything else to do in the cage.
If a budgie is stressed or afraid, it is likelier to slip and fall while climbing a cage.
Consider why your budgie may be feeling such emotional disquiet. Is another pet in the room to frighten the bird, or is it being exposed to unexpected loud noises?
If your budgie feels compelled to keep climbing the walls of its cage, it’ll likely eventually start seeking an escape. If a budgie loosens the gate to its cage, it could escape.
Why Does my Budgie Climb at Night?
You may find that your budgie climbs the cage more at night when you expect it to be sleeping. This may be because the budgie is skittish and frightened of being alone in the dark.
A budgie can smell and hear owners and other animals in a covered cage but not see them. This could lead to a panicked response, with the budgie aiming to get as high as possible for protection.
Alternatively, your budgie may climb the cage to sleep. When seeking a place to roost, wild budgies find the highest spot they can. Once secure, the budgie hangs upside down. This position leaves the budgie primed to flee at a moment’s notice if it detects a threat.
A budgie sleeping upside down in a cage has a slightly different meaning. This is a vulnerable sleeping position, only adopted when a budgie feels it has nothing to fear in its environment.
It suggests you have created an environment where your budgie feels completely safe, so it’ll hang from the highest part of the cage and sleep peacefully.
If you’re nervous about a budgie roosting, lay a soft surface on the bottom of the cage in case the budgie falls. Budgies naturally gravitate to sleeping upside down, so an accident is unlikely.
Should I Offer My Budgie Climbing Toys?
Climbing toys should always be part of a budgie’s cage. By providing a safe environment for your budgie to engage its instincts, it’ll keep itself entertained and its desire to climb will be sated.
Any reputable pet store will stock a selection of climbing toys for budgies. The most common will be ladders, which could be constructed from wood, rope, net, or wooden climbing frames.
The ideal size and shape of the budgie cage climbing apparatus depend on the habitat’s dimensions. If your budgie’s cage is tall and narrow, use ladders. You’ll have space for a small climbing frame if it’s shorter but wide.
Ladders are arguably the best budgie toys for climbing, especially in young birds, as they encourage them to develop balance. Just be mindful that a budgie may chew on the rungs, so the ladder may need to be replaced periodically.
Climbing comes naturally to budgies, so don’t deter them from embracing this instinct. If your budgie is climbing the walls of its cage, it may be a little bored or frustrated.
Toys that encourage climbing will help your budgie feel at home and relaxed.