Budgies express positive emotions that resemble our own but display their happiness differently.
Happy budgies make noises such as chirping, clicking, chattering, singing, and whistling. High-spirited budgies also want to play, fly, eat, preen, and engage with others.
Body language is the most telling sign of happiness in budgies, so they’ll bob their heads, flap their wings without moving, wag their tails, and tilt their heads.
How to Tell If Your Budgie Is Happy
When your budgie is in high spirits, you should look for the following positive signs:
- Happy noises and vocalizations
- Happy behaviors and temperaments
- Happy body language and movements
Each budgie has a unique personality and will express its contentment differently
Happy Budgie Sounds
Budgies are vocal birds that spend most of their day chattering, clicking, and singing. Each sound will depend on the budgie’s mood and interests.
According to Frontiers In Psychology, budgies repeat their favorite sounds. They can even distinguish between rhythmic and non-rhythmic songs, preferring a good beat.
When a budgie sings or repeats a certain chirp, it’s no different than when you hum your favorite song when having a good day.
Unless a budgie is screaming or acting distressed, it’s normal for a budgie to make noise. A contented budgie will spend its day making excitable sounds and exploring its cage enthusiastically.
When roaming the home, it’ll click, chirp, and sing to express that it’s in a good mood. A quiet budgie is usually an upset budgie, while an active budgie is in high spirits.
A single chirp or several chirps in a row means the budgie is occupied and feeling contented. Your budgie will chirp if it doesn’t feel like making a different sound.
Budgies make a clicking sound by rubbing the top and bottom of their beak together.
Beak clicking can sound rather loud and shrill, like knocking two stones against each other. It might startle you at first, but it’s a normal sound. Surprisingly, it means your budgie feels relaxed and safe.
Budgies click to entertain themselves, similar to how you tap your nails against a table. However, it draws attention to them, so they don’t make this sound when alarmed or fearful.
Instead, they reserve clicking for safe locations where they can enjoy making fun noises.
Chattering is the most common sound budgies make, and they chatter incessantly.
Chattering is a mixture of several other noises, like chirping, whistling, and clicking. If you’ve taught your budgie words, it may use them while chattering.
Chattering is a musical but mumbled conversation that the budgie is having with itself.
Singing is a mixture of sounds that budgies know how to make, including human words with a melody. In other cases, the song will lack an official tune but can be pleasant to hear.
Singing is most common in a group of budgies, but a single, well-cared-for budgie may sing. Budgies sing as a way to reassure each other that everyone is safe.
Whistling can be a part of a song or happen on its own.
It’ll be easy to recognize and sound like a human whistle (if not identical). As with singing, budgies only whistle when they feel safe and in high spirits, willing to entertain themselves and others.
Happy Budgie Behaviors
Budgies are expressive parrots, and their interaction will tell you a lot about their mood. A happy budgie will engage in behaviors such as:
Wild budgies spend their days foraging, investigating new objects, pecking at branches or bark, and teasing each other. In the home, most of this activity is substituted with toys.
A happy budgie will play with bells, ropes, perches, and climbing toys. It’ll also love playing with you or its cage mates. You won’t find a happy budgie that turns down a chance to stay active.
Budgies enjoy walking and hopping, but flying is their favored way to travel.
Even if a budgie has nowhere to go, it’ll enjoy fluttering from perch to perch or soaring around your living room. Stretching its wings is the most natural thing, and a happy budgie will be eager to get moving.
In a study by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, different amounts of space were provided in aviaries for budgies to soar around. Budgies took longer and more frequent flights, and their moods improved.
Budgies have big appetites for their size to compensate for their high-energy lifestyles. Their fast-paced metabolism means that they must eat throughout the day.
If your budgie feels happy, it’ll eagerly eat seeds, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. If you offer a piece of strawberry or lettuce, and your budgie keenly consumes it, you can be sure it’s happy.
A budgie that refuses to eat is usually sick, depressed, or both. The only exception is for new budgies to your home, as they may be too upset to eat during their first few days.
Budgies love to groom and preen their feathers. If your budgie is in high spirits, you’ll find it contently removing feather dust, picking out dirt, and spreading natural oils over its plumage.
Happy budgies will preen one another, helping to reach spots around the head and back of the neck. If your budgie tugs your hair or nibbles your skin, it’s preening you.
Budgies that don’t preen are often in poor spirits or feeling ill.
Bonding with their owners and interacting with other budgies is a natural behavior when happy. Budgies kept alone often get depressed and form destructive habits.
According to Behavioural Processes, budgies form stronger pair-bonds with each other if a mirror is present because it makes them feel like they’re in a flock. However, this doesn’t apply to lone budgies confused by their reflection, growing disappointed by its lack of responsiveness.
If your budgie is in a good mood, it’ll want to spend time with you. It may walk up your arm to perch on your shoulder or nuzzle against your face.
Budgies love to dance and may scoot side-to-side or bob their bodies. Budgies that fly, dance, sing, preen, and engage in social activities are happier.
Happy Budgie Body Language
Some budgies can speak, but their main way of expressing themselves is through body language. It may appear subtle, especially when looking at such a tiny parrot, but how it moves is very telling.
The following body language indicates that a budgie is happy:
If your budgie nods up and down or bobs its entire body, it’s feeling good.
Head bobbing is often a budgie’s favorite dance move. Head bobbing can precede regurgitation, which serves as affection in budgies.
Tilting The Head
Budgies will tilt their heads to the side when curious and engaged.
Opening Its Wings Slightly
A happy budgie might open its wings and straighten up when it sees you. It’s trying to catch your attention, proving it’s in a good mood.
However, this shouldn’t be confused with a budgie that holds its wings straight out but doesn’t fly, which is usually a sign of aggression when paired with distressed body language.
Twitching Its Wings
Budgies may twitch their wings to show excitement. They’re so happy that they can’t help but move, even in small ways.
It’s a good sign when paired with happy body language. However, if the budgie retreats or screams, this could mean it’s scared.
Standing On One Leg
Budgies stand on one leg for comfort and warmth before going to bed.
However, they’ll usually opt for two legs down if they’re upset or uncertain. If your budgie assumes the unipedal posture, you can be sure it feels safe, warm, and happy.
Shaking Its Tongue
Budgies open their mouths and wiggle their tongues when they’re enthusiastic and happy. Also, they may shake their tails simultaneously, which further expresses their joy.
How to Make a Budgie Happy
If you want a happy rise out of your budgie, you’ll need to provide it with the right environment. Budgies are easy to please, as long as you have the time to spare.
Clean And Tidy Cage
Budgies shouldn’t always be kept in their cage, as it’s where they’ll sleep, eat, and spend their time when you’re not home. So, keeping the area tidy, sanitized, and smelling fresh is important.
Budgies are diligent groomers, so clean the cage at least once a week or as required.
Wild budgies explore a vast territory that covers dozens of miles. Being secluded in a cage that doesn’t allow them to fly or explore will be distressing to them.
Get your budgie the largest cage possible. If that’s not an option, let your budgie explore your home with your supervision. You can let it perch on your shoulder as you perform some of your daily tasks.
Budgies need to be entertained to stay happy, which can be achieved by providing:
- At least three comfortable perches hung at different levels
- Toys in different shapes, colors, and textures
- A variety of foods to make mealtimes interesting
- Bell toys that can be knocked around and pecked at
- Puzzle toys that keep budgies engaged
According to the Brazilian Journal of Ornithology, environmental enrichment can decrease abnormal and destructive behaviors.
Feather plucking and restless pacing are less common when budgies are kept entertained.
Bond And Spend Time Together
Spend as much time with your budgie as you can. It’s a social creature that needs stimulation and good company, perhaps more than anything else.
The happiest and most energetic budgies are those with close bonds with their owners. You can strengthen this bond by:
- Singing or whistling to the budgie
- Playing music the budgie likes
- Letting the budgie perch on your shoulder
- Dancing together
- Teaching the budgie new words
Provide A Companion
If you can’t spend lots of time with your budgie, consider getting it a companion.
Wild budgies create flocks of up to 100 birds, so they’re constantly surrounded by companions, loved ones, and company.
Providing your budgie with a friend will fulfill its social needs and stave off loneliness. However, this shouldn’t replace the time you spend with the budgie(s) but can supplement it.