As small and delicate birds, budgies must be handled with care. If you’re considering a new pet bird and wondering, “are budgies cuddly birds?” the answer is no, at least in the traditional sense.
Some budgies are reluctant to be held by human hands for longer than strictly necessary. An attempted cuddle between budgie and human can sometimes be misinterpreted as an act of hostility, not affection.
Budgies hug by leaning and nuzzling each other and human owners. They may even appear to kiss on occasion. This is a good thing, as bonded budgies will likely remain friends for life.
Budgies display affection for human owners, showing appreciation through vocalizations, body language, invitations to play, and actions such as grooming and preening.
Do Budgies Like Being Held?
Never assume that a budgie enjoys being handled and considers it a sign of affection.
Some budgies find handling stressful, while others are more trusting and relaxed. Don’t force the issue if your budgie shirks away when you attempt to handle it.
Every budgie is unique, and some will welcome handling after they have undergone a period of socialization and training. Other budgies remain terrified of human hands and being picked up.
Do Budgies Like to be Kissed?
If you keep two or more budgies together, you’ll notice they appear to kiss each other on occasion. This involves the two birds’ interlocking beaks.
Budgies kiss each other to show affection and bring new arrivals into a flock, so kissing is the budgie equivalent of a handshake. Also, some budgies interlock beaks to share food.
If you have bonded with your budgie, it may even try to kiss you this way. If you decide to kiss your budgie, offer a delicate kiss on the top of its head.
Veterinary Research confirms that domesticated budgies carry zoonotic diseases that can be spread from birds to humans. Kissing your budgie leaves you at risk of transmission.
Do Budgies Cuddle Each Other?
Budgies that get along will do everything together. They’ll eat simultaneously, play with similar toys, and likely share a perch. The latter is the most vital sign that two budgies have bonded. As budgies are territorial, it’s a big step to occupy the same space peacefully.
When two budgies share a perch, they’ll likely start to preen and groom each other. If they’re especially close, they’ll regurgitate food, as mentioned above. The two budgies may also cuddle up closely.
This will not resemble a hug as we understand the act as humans. Budgies will not wrap their wings around each other to cuddle. Instead, they’ll sit close and lean on each other, possibly nuzzling into each other’s heads. This leaning is a budgie hug.
How Do Budgies Show Affection to Humans?
Having established that cuddling is unwelcome and kissing is inadvisable, you may be wondering how budgies show affection to humans.
Just because budgies shouldn’t be hugged tightly, this doesn’t mean they can’t bond with owners. Budgies can and will show affection for human companions.
It’s an oversimplification to claim that a loud budgie is a happy budgie. Birds also make noise to demonstrate fear, stress, and boredom. However, budgies often use verbalization to express joy.
Study your budgie’s noises, especially when accompanied by body language cues. This will help you understand what your budgie communicates through song or spoken word.
Budgies whistle to express happiness and contentment. If your budgie whistles when you enter a room, it’s excited and making you welcome. Return your budgie’s greeting in whatever way you see fit.
Whistling can also be used to communicate with other budgies. If you have recently introduced a second bird to a cage, the resident budgie may whistle to welcome the new budgie.
Singing and Trilling
Singing and trilling are signs of a relaxed and contented budgie. If you keep two birds in the same cage or room, they’ll likely sing and chirp to each other, which is an act of friendship.
Your budgie will also sing to you when you enter a room and while you go about your business.
Budgies can develop an extensive vocabulary, learning dozens of words. Typically, budgies find it easier to repeat short words they hear owners use, especially those with hard consonants like P, T, K, and S.
If you speak to your budgie affectionately, it’ll likely start to use words like “kiss” around you. Budgies will only repeat words from humans they want attention from, so consider this an expression of love.
Excited Body Language
Body language is a key indicator of how a budgie feels.
A bird hanging upside down in its cage demonstrates respect, love, and trust. This position is vulnerable and will only be adopted around those deemed safe.
Review your budgie’s posture when around you. If a budgie bows its head slightly, it’s asking for petting around this area. Gently stroke your budgie to cement your bond.
Budgies also wag their tail feathers on the spot when excited, so you may notice this when your budgie first sees you enter a room. A light flapping of the wings may accompany this motion.
Nuzzling and Grooming
We discussed how budgies show affection toward each other by sharing physical space. The same applies to budgies demonstrating love for a human owner.
If your budgie allows handling, you have successfully bonded. If your budgie prefers not to be grasped within your fingers, it may climb on your hands and settle on your shoulder.
When a budgie perches on your shoulder, feel for any gentle nuzzling against your neck. This is your budgie offering a cuddle. The bird may also lightly nip and groom you to show love.
Budgies are intelligent birds that require regular mental stimulation. Companion Animal explains how all parrot family members, including budgies, relish foraging toys and audio-visual entertainment.
With appropriate toys and entertainment in a cage, your budgie will keep itself entertained for hours. Budgies also love interacting, so your bird may show affection for you by inviting you to play.
Sharing a toy is a big step for a budgie. Like all territorial animals, budgies jealously protect what is theirs. Your budgie may also gently, playfully nip your hand to get your attention.
Budgies are clever, affectionate animals that relish companionship from conspecifics and humans alike.