Budgies are vocal birds that sing, chatter, talk, and scream. This is a means of communication, entertainment, and expression.
Some screaming is normal behavior, especially in the morning or around other birds. However, if a budgie is constantly screaming or is distressed, it’s a negative sign.
Budgies scream all the time when bored, scared, or lacking something in their environment.
A budgie may be experiencing night fright when it screams in the dark. If a budgie has separation anxiety, it’ll scream when you leave the room. If the budgie is scared by a cat, it’ll scream for assistance.
Budgies will stop screaming when you remove the trigger. You can use positive reinforcement to train a budgie to calm down on command and teach it the right times to be vocal.
Why Are My Budgies Screaming All the Time?
Budgies scream because they’re communicative, excitable birds. They spend much of their day singing, chattering, and calling each other.
According to the American Scientist, this allows them to entertain themselves and contact their flockmates. It’s easy for new owners to interpret a budgie’s vocalizations as random screaming.
Normal screaming shouldn’t last for hours at a time. If you pay close attention, you may notice that it has a rhythm or purpose. According to Cornell University, vocalization is common among cage mates.
The volume alone can make it hard to tell, but normal screaming includes:
- Screaming in the morning: This is to wake up, ready the voice, and start the day.
- Screaming with other birds: This is when one bird wants to be heard better than the others.
- Screaming over other sounds: If you have the TV or radio on loud, a budgie may be extra noisy to drown out these sounds.
However, if the screaming lacks any rhythm or precision, is especially high pitched, or sounds frightened, this is a bad sign. This true screaming often means your budgie is afraid or in distress.
Let’s explore the possible reasons for constant screaming:
Poor diet or nutritional problems can cause your budgie discomfort and unhappiness. Such health factors may change how a budgie vocalizes its distress.
It’ll communicate its sadness by screaming as loud as it can. You can rule out illness as a contributing factor by taking your screaming budgie to the vet for a health checkup.
A Change in the Family Makeup
Budgies are dependent on their flock. The introduction of a new member or the death of an old budgie can be a distressing experience. So, it’ll express itself through screaming and shrieking.
It may offer contact calls at random as a way to find the lost flock member. If you’ve introduced a new member to the flock, the budgie may scream to ward off the new intruder.
Loneliness or Boredom
A change in your budgie’s routine may cause it to feel anxious and distressed.
Moreover, budgies require stimulation, especially when kept in captivity. If a budgie feels bored or lonely, it’ll regularly scream to entertain itself or signal its unhappiness.
Inadequate sleep will cause budgies to become annoyed and vocalize their frustration excessively.
It’s possible your budgie can’t properly rest for the following reasons:
- Noise from a TV
- Excessive light over its cage
- Movement from people in the surrounding area
- Predatory pets, such as cats
In these cases, your budgie may feel frustrated, stressed out, and easily agitated.
Why Do Budgies Scream in the Morning?
Budgies often scream early in the morning at the same time every day.
Most birds choose to celebrate the beginning of a new day by calling out. This signals other flockmates, helps the budgie ready its voice, and keeps it entertained.
Budgies do this to wake up other flock members. It’s often paired with contact calls to ensure everyone is still present. Also, budgies may scream during sunrise to say good morning to you. This is most likely the case if your budgie’s morning screams don’t cease after you enter the room.
Just be sure that the screaming occurs at the same time every morning and doesn’t last for more than 45-60 minutes. If it stays within these parameters, your budgie is exhibiting a normal morning routine.
Why is My Budgie Screaming at Night?
Budgies often quieten down for the day when night falls. They don’t want to attract predators or draw attention to themselves, so they should be quiet when kept in darkness.
So, if your budgie is screaming, it’s likely experiencing night fright. This is a distressing experience for budgies and can lead to injuries. Nightmares are caused by a disturbance in the home waking a budgie up. It’ll panic when it finds itself in complete darkness but believes a threat is nearby.
Struggling to see, half-asleep, and confused, the budgie often flutters around its cage and screams. This can last for several minutes and could hurt the budgie’s wings or legs.
Wild budgies remain close together while sleeping to quickly alert one another if they suspect a predator is close by. This is behavior that budgies retain when they’re kept in captivity as pets.
Why Does My Budgie Scream When I Leave the Room?
If you aren’t spending enough time with your budgie or it has above-average social needs, it may scream when you leave the room. This is a way for the budgie to tell you it misses your company.
If your budgie does this regularly, it may have separation anxiety. This occurs when a budgie experiences severe distress upon being left alone.
A budgie can be destructive, loud, and aggressive when it’s not around you or display these acting-out behaviors whenever you play together. If you need to leave for work or school for several hours, the budgie may constantly scream when you’re gone.
In milder cases, the budgie will use a contact call to locate you. If you respond or get back into the budgie’s line of sight, it may stop screaming.
This is a way for the budgie to ensure you’re nearby and safe. If you don’t respond or come back into the room, the budgie may assume it needs to scream louder to ensure you hear it.
Budgies Screeching and Flapping Wings
Perhaps your budgie is screaming and flapping its wings frantically.
Screaming alone can be normal behavior. When paired with flapping wings and puffed-up feathers, your budgie is extremely upset, angry, or scared.
If you have several budgies and they all display this behavior at once, it often means a danger or threat is nearby, such as a cat.
Here are the most common reasons for budgies screeching and flapping their wings:
Fear and Anxiety
Your budgies may be screeching and flapping their wings due to fear of danger. This can include the sound of a car backfiring loudly or a predator walking nearby.
Since budgies consider dogs and cats to be predators, being in an environment with them can be distressing. Likewise, spotting a predator outside the window can scare a budgie.
Boredom and Loneliness
If boredom and loneliness aren’t addressed, the level of distress may lead the budgie to flap its wings. It’ll be trying to move around and exercise to keep itself entertained.
It’ll also be trying to get your attention so that you can fix the problem. Budgies that resort to this stage are often destructive, tearing apart decorations.
Unstable Eating Habits
If your budgie has inconsistent eating habits, this may cause it to act out.
The budgie may be protesting a lack of food or complaining about the kind of food you offer. Budgies grow distressed when they believe a famine has begun, and with nowhere else to forage, they will grow scared.
If your budgie is a picky eater, it may also protest the food you’ve offered, refusing to eat while it screams and flaps its wings.
Budgies are prey animals that prefer to fly away from conflict rather than engage.
However, if a budgie feels trapped and unable to escape, it’ll fight back. The most effective way for a budgie to seem intimidating is by making itself bigger and louder.
Your budgie will flap its wings, stand up straight, and scream to scare off predators. It may also do this with cage mates that are taking food or encroaching on the budgie’s space.
How To Get Budgies To Stop Screaming
If your budgies are screaming excessively, there are ways to remove the causes:
Creating a stimulating environment for your budgie will reduce its boredom.
It’ll keep them busy with other activities when they’re most likely to start screaming. You can provide toys, shredding materials, and items to file down the nails and beak.
If you can’t spend enough time with your budgie, turn on the radio or calming TV show.
Budgies are very active birds. Without proper exercise, they become stressed and anxious, leading to screaming excessively. Ensure your budgies have enough room in their cages to move around and keep their activity levels up.
Moreover, ensure there are enough perches in the cage for all budgies. In that way, no one is forced to sit on the ground or get relegated to one corner of the cage for long periods.
If your budgie usually starts screaming when you leave the room, train them to understand a returning command. This may include “I’m here” to ease any separation anxiety.
You can train your budgie to stop screaming by rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior, such as excessive screaming. For this to work, you’ll have to determine what’s acceptable.
Screaming is normal for budgies, but it shouldn’t go on constantly or be paired with other signs of distress. If it is, look for the cause, remove the stressor, and help your budgie to calm down.