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why do budgies grind their beaks?

What Does Budgie Beak Grinding Mean?

You may hear your budgie clicking its beak together or grinding it back and forth. Some owners fear that their budgie is harming or cracking its beak.

Beak grinding involves the budgie grinding the maxilla (upper jaw) against its mandible (lower jaw), resulting in a high-pitched or scratchy sound.

Aside from being a source of enrichment and a sign of contentment, the process keeps the beaks at a manageable, healthy length.

Budgies may grind their beaks several times a day or only once in a while. Usually, it happens at night or right before the budgie goes to sleep.

If you want to help your budgie sand down its beak more effectively, you can put a cuttlebone or a grinding stone inside its cage.

Why Do Budgies Grind Their Beaks?

You may hear a high-pitched scratching noise come from your budgie’s cage. Upon closer inspection, you’ll find the budgie is clicking its beak together or grinding the two halves back and forth.

This behavior has several different meanings, all of which are harmless:


Beak grinding means that the budgie is in a relaxed state.

Beak grinding in budgies can be compared to purring in cats. Both actions are an indication that your budgie is happy with its current situation.

It often goes hand in hand with the puffing of feathers. You may notice that your budgie assumes a relaxed pose when grinding its beak, which is another clue that it’s enjoying itself and isn’t experiencing any discomfort.


The sound that’s produced and the process of clicking their beaks is fun to budgies. If your budgie is willing to stop and play in this way, it means it’s having a good time.

Beak Trimming

Beak grinding is a way for budgies to trim their ever-growing beaks.

Beaks are made from keratin, so they grow continuously and may eventually curl in to harm your budgie’s face if they’re not worn down.

Grinding the beak from side to side, as well as on other objects, allows them to keep the beak at a manageable length. Of course, this process can be made easier by giving your budgie a cuttlebone

When Do Budgies Grind Their Beaks?

Most healthy budgies grind their beaks at night as they prepare to fall asleep.

However, it is not uncommon for budgies to grind them before taking a daytime nap. This comforting gesture allows the budgie to wind down and rest.

As a self-soothing practice, grinding can have a relaxing effect that enables the budgie to sleep.

What Does Budgie Beak Grinding Sound Like?

Owners describe budgie beak grinding as sounding scratchy and high-pitched or a click.

This sound is produced by rubbing the top and bottom beak together. If you’ve never heard the sound before, think of it as a noise produced when you scratch a rough surface using your nails.

Hearing this noise coming from your budgie can be startling if you’ve not experienced it before.

budgie beak grinding sound

Do Budgies Feel Pain When They Grind Their Beaks?

You may be concerned that your budgie will damage its beak. After all, grinding it back and forth must exert a great deal of pressure on the beak. Likewise, it won’t grind it down too far if the budgie clicks its beak all the time?

Budgies’ beaks are made of keratin, which is the same material that makes up human nails. This means they can break when a lot of pressure is exerted on them.

However, budgies feel no pain when they grind their beaks. It’s completely harmless behavior, and there’s no way for a budgie to grind down its beak too far.

It only works as a way to express contentment and happiness. Moreover, beak grinding helps budgies shave off bits of their beaks to prevent them from growing too long.

The budgie will be just fine without any intervention on your part, and you should only be worried if the budgie already has an injury to its beak. Fortunately, the beak will grow back and heal on its own if it is slightly chipped.

According to the Handbook of Avian Medicine, the only time it won’t is if the upper beak is severely damaged.

What Does It Mean When A Budgie Clicks Its Beak?

Clicking is often the sound produced when a budgie grinds its beak. So, ‘clicking’ and ‘grinding’ are often used interchangeably to describe the process.

A budgie clicking its beak doesn’t mean that it has something stuck in its mouth or is chewing. Instead, it’s simply the budgie’s way of expressing its contentment and bliss.

Most budgies will click their beaks just before they settle down to sleep, which is why you’re likely to notice this behavior more at night.

However, some budgies will also click their beaks during the day. It can be a form of playing since the budgie will find the produced sound fun to listen to.

Is It Normal For Budgies to Grind Their Beaks Loudly?

The sound that budgies produce as they slide their maxilla (upper jaw) against their mandible (lower jaw) can be unusually loud.

The volume and intensity of the grinding don’t change its meaning. Beak grinding in quiet, soft tones can mean your budgie is dozing off, and louder grinding can mean the budgie is alert and happy to be clicking away with its beak.

How Often Should A Budgie Grind Its Beak?

There is no fixed timeline for when and how a budgie should grind its beak, and this may happen only once a week or several times a day.

Budgies grind their beaks whenever they are feeling happy and relaxed. Usually, they’ll do so as they prepare to take a nap during the daytime or at night right before they go to sleep.

Should I Give My Budgie Something To Grind Its Beak On?

If your budgie is grinding its beak to sand it down, you may wonder if it’s better to offer the budgie a tool instead. There’s no need to substitute the display of happiness, but a grinding toy can help with trimming.

Try offering some cuttlefish bone. According to the African Journal of Food Science, this contains calcium and other beneficial minerals and is good for beak grinding. This keeps your budgie healthy both inside and out.

You can also include a beak grinding stone in your budgie’s cage, which is a nutrient-rich rough perch that your pet can sit on and grind its beak.

Like other species of parrots, Budgies like to rub their beaks on hard surfaces to keep them trim.

Why Is My Budgie Fluffed Up And Grinding Its Beak?

Most healthy budgies grind their beaks just before falling asleep, and this is often accompanied by the fluffing of feathers over the beak. It’s merely your budgie’s way of puffing up its feathers to feel comfortable.

This works to contain heat within the feathers to warm your budgie as it rests. Like all creatures, a budgie’s body temperature will lower as it rests. To combat this, budgies often puff up their feathers to stay warm.

This cozy feeling often turns into a feeling of contentment. To express that they’re happy, budgies will start grinding their beaks. As you can see, the two gestures go hand in hand.  

Beak grinding is a way for budgies to express contentment, relax, and trim their beaks.