You may find your budgie tapping its beak on everything. Budgies especially like to tap their beaks on toys, cage bars, perches, and owners.
A budgie will tap its beak on things to show love, dislike, or get your attention. It can also be an outlet for stress, jealousy, boredom, and insecurity about a new environment.
They do so to socialize with others and join in on a noisy ruckus. This action can be used to file down a beak, clean a beak, and self-soothe when unwell.
It’s usually a harmless activity but can be a concern if your budgie appears scared, aggressive, or bored.
Budgie Tapping Beak
Beak tapping isn’t a random behavior and serves various purposes:
Budgies can mimic speech, but they prefer to communicate through whistles, calls, and tapping.
If your budgie keeps tapping its beak on things, it’s usually trying to get your attention. Also, the budgie may associate the tapping with a certain response from you. Here are some examples:
- Tapping on the cage door when it wants to be let out.
- Taps on its food bowl when it’s hungry.
- Tapping on a toy if it wants to play with you.
Boredom And Stress
Continuous, monotonous tapping can be a sign that your budgie is bored.
It’ll attempt to create entertainment through sound and motion, and it can even develop stereotypes where it engages in obsessive tapping.
Boredom may sound inconsequential, but it has health implications for budgies. That’s because it leads to stress, which can escalate into destructive habits, such as:
- Feather picking
- Aggression behavior
According to the Italian Journal of Animal Science, psittacine birds are the most likely to pick feathers. Other signs of boredom include:
- Increased pacing
- Picking feathers
- Being louder or more vocal than usual
Ladders, puzzles, bells, toys, and multiple perches are ways to keep your budgie engaged.
New To The Environment
Aggressive beak tapping is a common habit in newly adopted budgies. It’s also found in budgies with recently-moved cages or budgies that experienced a significant change in their surroundings.
If your budgie is new, beak tapping isn’t a concern. It indicates that it’s uncertain about its space, is self-soothing, and needs time to get used to its new home.
Wild budgies socialize by exchanging clicks, noises, and tapping sounds. These are fun to make and listen to. So, if your budgie only taps its beak when it can see or talk to you and your family members, it’s likely attempting to socialize.
Just be aware that newly adopted budgies can be overstimulated with socialization, leading to stressed tapping whenever you or others are near. If this happens, move your budgie’s cage to a less busy part of the house. Then, slowly introduce it to other members of the family.
Budgies like to make noise and often make themselves louder to outcompete other noise sources, such as kitchen appliances or TV. It may also start chirping, whistling, or screaming.
If your budgie seems distressed, it may be upset by the loud noises and need to be moved to a quieter area. If the budgie seems excited, happy, or normal, it’s likely trying to join in on the noise.
Budgies may tap their beak to ward off intruders or rivals. Budgies can be territorial, which extends to the people with whom they’ve developed a special bond.
Your budgie may tap its beak on you, its cage, or its toys to openly claim them. It’ll then tap insistently if someone gets too near. While this may seem sweet at first, jealousy can quickly escalate.
A budgie’s beak will continue to grow throughout its life. Your pet budgie may tap its beak on its cage bars, perches, and toys to keep it a manageable length.
This will be paired with beak grinding, biting, and pulling motions. The aim is to wear down the ever-growing keratin of its beak so that it can remain a normal length.
Wild budgies naturally achieve this by foraging for food and grinding against tree branches. Your pet budgie will trim its beak the same way as long as it has access to the right items.
Favored objects include wooden perches, wooden toys, cuttlebones, and unshelled nuts.
For budgies, eating is a messy affair. They don’t have hands to wipe down their beaks, so they tap and rub them on other objects to remove any surplus.
Why Does My Budgie Tap Its Beak On Me?
If your budgie prefers to tap its beak on you and no one else, this can be a good or bad sign. Your budgie may show its fondness for you or tell you about a grievance.
Here are ways to tell them apart:
An affectionate budgie may nudge its beak against your shoulder, neck, or face. This is a way for the budgie to get your attention and show that you have its undivided focus.
The beak tapping may precede grooming behavior, wherein the budgie tries to preen you, which is a sign of love and trust among budgies.
Grooming is a form of bonding, so your budgie is just spending quality time with its favorite person.
If your budgie taps its beak on you and immediately leaves, it doesn’t like you or something you’re doing. Budgies often do this to each other to instigate fights and ward off rivals.
Being too loud, holding it wrong, or wearing a shirt of the wrong color can put your budgie on edge.
You can encourage the budgie to like you by giving it space, and don’t force it to socialize with you. Next, see if you’re stressing out the budgie in any way.
Why Do Budgies Tap Their Beaks On Windows?
Budgies often tap their beaks on windows due to aggression. Your budgie might see a person, animal, or object outside that makes it feel territorial.
The insistent taps are a warning to stay away. Your budgie may see its reflection, which causes it to become defensive against the second budgie that doesn’t make any sound.
To stop your budgie from attacking windows, shut the blinds for a while.
Budgie Banging Beak
Sometimes, beak tapping is more than a light thump. Your budgie may look like it’s trying to damage its beak. While it can appear to be a violent act, a budgie banging its beak against a perch or cage bar is no more concerning than a light tap.
If your budgie also nods its head (before or after the beak banging), this is a part of courtship behavior. Alternatively, it may be requesting your attention, showing you a toy, or wanting to spend time with you.
Beak tapping is usually a way for a budgie to maintain its beak, communicate, and entertain itself. However, beak tapping is sometimes a way of showing aggression, stress, and boredom.