When budgies suddenly can’t fly properly, something is physically or mentally causing them to fly low and erratically. So, budgies may crash into ceiling fans, windows, walls, and even people.
A muscle strain or deep bruise can make flying painful, while a fracture, such as a broken wing, could be debilitating. Sometimes, a budgie’s wings have been clipped by a previous owner.
It could be that a budgie never learned to fly, especially a young budgie. So, the explanation depends on whether a budgie stopped flying or couldn’t fly in the first place.
Why Is My Budgie Struggling To Fly?
Flying comes naturally to budgies, so an inability to fly or crazy flying is a serious issue. You may find that your budgie struggles to fly in one of these ways:
- Refusing to fly
- Unable to fly
- Flying at odd angles
- Struggles to take off
- Unable to stay in the air
- Bumps into objects without control
- Low flying
Wild budgies have little choice but to learn to fly quickly in the wild. However, captive budgies don’t face the same challenges, as they don’t need to forage for food and water.
A young budgie may be a slow learner, developing the ability to fly weeks or months later.
Why Has My Budgie Stopped Flying?
A budgie will rarely go for more than a few hours without flying. If a previously active budgie suddenly refuses to fly, this usually signifies that it’s:
- Very old
Let’s explore these explanations in greater detail:
An injured budgie will be reluctant to fly because it can’t or hurts too much. Any injury that affects the wings, chest, tail, ribs, or spine can make flying extremely uncomfortable.
Injuries don’t have to be severe to impede a budgie’s ability to fly, so a sprain or bruise can make a budgie avoid flying for a few days. Look for the following signs:
- Moving with difficulty or refusing to move at all.
- Hunching awkwardly
- Visible wounds
- Wings folded strangely
- Limp or hanging wing
If a budgie’s favoring its wing, it may be fractured. For a broken wing to heal, it needs to be returned to its natural folded position and held in place with vet wrap tape.
Budgies are members of the psittacine family, which has some of the most long-lived birds in the world. However, this particular breed will often meet its natural end within 5-8 years.
A lack of activity, flying included, signifies a budgie living out its remaining days or hours. If so, do your utmost to make your dying budgie feel more comfortable.
Old Age Illnesses
Your budgie may have arthritis. Clinical Rheumatology notes that birds develop localized arthritis in a morphologically similar location as humans, namely the joints.
Arthritis pain can be managed, but budgies with this condition usually move and fly less.
Usually, a sick budgie will still be capable of flight. However, exercise may overexert it, so it may decide not to do so. Lethargy is rarely the only symptom when it comes to illness in budgies.
Monitor the budgie for the following signs:
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Odd-colored feces
- Discharge from the eyes or nose
A budgie recovering from an illness or injury may take a while to return to flying normally. Usually, treatment will be necessary for a budgie to recover fully.
Depressed budgies may express themselves through a lack of activity or lethargy.
This mental health problem affects budgies when they’re deprived of enrichment and companionship. Budgies are social birds that are accustomed to living in large flocks.
Ideally, your budgie will have a companion or get to spend time with you each day. Also, it must be given space to stretch, play, and fly. The cage should contain enrichment items and toys.
A budgie lacking these things could become depressed, no longer wanting to fly.
Why Is My Budgie Flying Low?
Low-flying can mean that the budgie is finding it difficult to elevate itself. Budgies are, but it still takes a lot of effort and energy to fly high. An unfit, sick, or injured budgie may lack the energy.
Also, a budgie with clipped wings won’t be able to generate enough lift to get very high. The good news is that a budgie’s flight feather will grow back after its next molt.
Why Does My Budgie Fly in Place?
Sometimes, a budgie will rapidly flap its wings but remain locked onto its perch. It seems like a redundant move, but it’s normal budgie behavior.
Flying in place with rapid wing-flapping is like humans stretching after sitting in one place for a long time; it’s a way to get the blood flowing and prepare the muscles.
Why Does My Budgie Keep Flying Into Walls?
It can be unsettling when a budgie keeps flying into walls. Not only can it hurt itself, but it indicates that something is wrong with the budgie’s health, vision, or sense of awareness.
Always ensure that a budgie is calm before you allow it out of the cage and that nothing in the room could spook it so it doesn’t trigger its flight response.
Keep the room well-lit, as budgies don’t fly or see well in the dark. Your budgie may be unable to direct its flight path, so there’s a chance that its vision is impaired.
If the budgie is young, it may still be learning to fly, leading to occasional accidents.
Budgie Flew Into A Window
Parrots may have ape-like intelligence, as noted by The Royal Society, but they still can’t perceive a window as a solid object.
They can’t easily tell the difference between glass and open air. Unfortunately, a budgie may fly into a window, sometimes repeatedly, for these reasons:
- Saw a reflection of vegetation and thought the glass was part of a bush or tree.
- It wanted to hide in the vegetation on the other side of the glass.
- Felt territorial aggression toward its reflection.
Wild budgies live high in the canopy, where ground predators can’t reach them, and they’re sheltered from birds of prey. It’s instinctive for budgies to fly toward vegetation, believing that glass is a plant.
This often happens if it’s startled and responding to its flight response. Like flying into a wall, flying into a window can cause serious injury or even death.
Aside from keeping the curtains drawn during free flight time in the home, you can put stickers on the windows or attach perches to the window using suction cups.
Why Does My Budgie Fly At Me?
Budgies are known for their vibrant, quirky personalities. A few of their behaviors can leave us perplexed, such as when they fly at us.
Depending on your relationship with the budgie, it may be:
- Swooping at you, warning you away from its nest or territory
- Attempting to perch on your shoulder
- Playing games with you
- Burning off excess energy
- Lack of space to maneuver
- Unable to control its flight direction
Budgies rarely stop flying for an extended period without reason. If you suspect your budgie is unwell or injured, get them examined by an avian vet.