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what does it mean when budgies close their eyes?

Why Do Budgies Close Their Eyes?

Understanding the different reasons your budgie is closing its eyes will tell you when your pet is happy, relaxed, stressed, or sick.

Budgies shut their eyes when sleeping, grooming, relaxing, or showing affection to their owners or mates. When a budgie squints, it’s a sign of an eye infection (conjunctivitis) or has debris lodged in the eye.

Sometimes, budgies only close one eye at a time or appear to sleep with their eyes half-open. Closed eyes suggest that the bird is napping or happy, as long as your budgie doesn’t seem lethargic or stressed.

What Does It Mean When Budgies Close Their Eyes?

A budgie will usually close its eyes when you pet it, which shows contentment. Also, it’s a way to shield the eyes from accidental poking.

Budgies shut their eyes for the following reasons:

1/ Sleep

If you observe your budgie closing its eyes, it’s likely preparing for sleep.

Like all diurnal animals, budgies sleep at sunset and awaken at sunrise. If they feel particularly safe or are entering deep sleep, they’ll shut both eyes while resting.

Don’t be surprised if your budgie only closes one eye, as it’ll be able to rest properly in this state. Budgies keep one part of their brain alert while the other half rests.

2/ Safety

Budgies are social animals, but it might take some time and patience to create a bond.

Once you establish a connection with your budgie, it’ll often respond to your touches by closing its eyes to show it feels safe around you. Also, this protects the eyes from unintended injury.

do budgies close their eyes when they sleep?

3/ Affection

Since budgies can’t speak as meaningfully as humans, they often respond to their owners’ touch by closing their eyes.

This shows trust, as the budgie won’t be able to watch for danger. It’s relying on you to protect it, which is a clear indicator of trust and affection.

If you have a strong bond with your budgie, it’ll likely close its eyes when you speak to it as a way of appreciating your voice.

4/ Comfort and Relaxation

It might take time before your budgie becomes familiar with its new home, but once it does, you’ll see it closing its eyes most of the time.

The budgie feels safe enough to avoid watching for danger constantly. This should be interpreted positively, as budgies sleep with one eye open most of the time because they’re so cautious.

5/ Sickness

Pet budgies have delicate immune systems and can become ill without notice. An early warning sign of ill health is a budgie that closes its eyes constantly.

It’ll usually accompany this behavior by hiding its head between its wings or standing on one leg. These are comforting motions, which are harmless on their own, but collectively can indicate sickness.  

6/ Insecurity

A budgie may close one eye instead of both if it feels insecure or anxious. Opening one eye and closing the other is a precaution against predators or strange objects in the room.

7/ Thirst

Budgies seldom survive more than 24 hours without drinking water.

If your budgie is severely dehydrated, it may close its eyes due to a significant drop in energy levels. Provide your budgie with clean drinking water daily or whenever the water is soiled.

8/ Joy

A budgie could close both eyes instantaneously if it’s happy and enjoying the moment. Budgies use body language to express their feelings, and the closing of eyes is one of the behaviors you’ll notice.

Why Is My Budgie Closing One Eye?

If your budgie closes one eye for long periods, it may have an eye infection. Eye infections in birds can be painful and irritating, which can cause your budgie to close one eye.

Check the affected eye for cloudiness, inflammation, or foreign objects by lifting the eyelid. Also, look for any discharge to ascertain if your budgie has an eye infection.

If your budgie closes one eye due to an infection, you can treat it using avian eyedrops. However, confirm what should be used with a vet before treating your budgie.

Your budgie may close one eye if it’s nervous or anxious, especially after relocating home. Although budgies are social animals, they need time to familiarize themselves with new environments and owners.

Your budgie might be upset with another bird in the same cage, so keeping one eye open and the other closed is a precaution. A budgie may act that way if there’s a new pet in the household.

It can sleep with one or both eyes slightly open if it feels insecure.

budgie closing eyes a lot

Budgie Squinting Eyes

Your budgie may squint its eyes if it’s in discomfort; if it has an eye infection (conjunctivitis), you’ll see blinking. A healthy budgie will have its eyes wide open when not sleeping at night.

A squinting budgie will usually accompany this behavior with other signs, including:

  • Standing on one leg
  • Bobbing its tail up and down
  • Becoming aggressive toward other birds

Budgies are active birds that often remain awake throughout the day. If you see your budgie constantly sleeping, squinting, or closing its eyes, it’s likely unwell. Also, a sick budgie will show signs of lethargy.

Sometimes, squinting eyes is a show of affection, especially when you pet it. Your budgie may blink and close its eyes each time you stroke its head or touch it.

Why Is My Budgie Closing Eyes A Lot?

If your budgie closes its eyes a lot, it could be sick or dying. Your ailing budgie will become frail and opt to sleep throughout the day because it lacks the energy to remain active.

A dying pet budgie will display various negative signs, such as closing its eyes during the day when it should be most active. However, it’s common for budgies to take brief naps during the day.