Nobody likes being ignored, so if your budgie turns its back on you when you enter a room, you may take offense. Budgies engage in this habit for various reasons, some of which are unrelated to your behavior.
Sometimes, the budgie is just testing if you can be trusted not to touch or handle it when it’s not looking. Equally, budgies turn their back on owners that have upset or offended them.
Budgies operate a “what I can’t see cannot hurt me” approach, so your budgie may turn its back on something that causes stress or anxiety. A change in living conditions could lead to this reaction.
If your budgie turns its back on you whenever you walk into a room, you may need to review your relationship. This behavior suggests that your budgie has concerns about your arrangement.
Why Does My Parakeet Turn its Back to Me?
Birds turn their backs on human owners for various reasons, including the following:
1/ Demonstration of Trust
Captive budgies sometimes turn their backs on a human as an expression of trust.
The budgie shows that it believes you won’t attempt an unwelcome approach while it can’t see you or conventionally defend itself.
This could be considered a test from your budgie. It may suddenly grow defensive if you betray this trust, especially by attempting to handle it while its back is turned.
If you’re trying to get the attention of a budgie that has its back to you, maintain a safe distance and issue a command. This should be a simple order your budgie will understand and respond to, such as ‘dinner.’
If this doesn’t get a reaction from your budgie, rustle a bag that contains a favored treat or put something it likes in the cage. The enticing smell or fun toy should attract your budgie’s attention.
2/ Angry with You
Budgies are friendly pet birds, but they sometimes get annoyed and have a temper.
Doing something that displeases your budgie may lead to them reprimanding you with a bite. Also, budgies turn their backs on owners and conspecifics to denote anger.
If your budgie has its back to you and refuses to turn around to face you, consider if you have done anything recently that may have upset them.
Common ways that people offend and anger budgies include:
- Ignoring the budgie or going on vacation, as budgies like regular, reliable interaction.
- Showing too much attention to another bird, pet, or person or offering another budgie more food or toys. That’s because birds experience complex emotions, including jealousy.
- Keeping the budgie awake due to noise or failing to provide the right balance of light and darkness.
- Failing to provide the budgie with sufficient exercise, especially time outside the cage.
There’s also a chance your budgie is annoyed with a conspecific if it shares a cage. Budgies can be territorial and squabble when kept together, even if they usually get along well.
3/ Stress or Fear
When stressed or afraid, budgies have a fight-or-flight instinct. Faced directly with a threat, they’ll fly away or attack with their claws and beak. In a cage, the opportunity to flee is restricted.
In captivity, budgies take a different approach to managing fear. A budgie will turn its back on whatever provokes the anxiety, believing that whatever it can’t see will go away or can’t hurt it.
This behavior is commonly associated with the presence of other pets. For example, if you have a cat or dog in the home, the budgie instinctively fears these wild predators. A cat that stalks and hisses at a budgie in its cage will only magnify this fear and anxiety.
If your budgie turns its back on you when you approach, it may be able to smell these other pets on your skin or clothing due to its olfactory system.
4/ Displeasure with Change
As a prey species, members of the parrot family react to anything new with fear and suspicion. This could include toys or decor in its cage. Your budgie will need time to adapt to new additions to its home.
Some budgies express their displeasure by batting away a new toy, while others will turn their back on it. Also, if you’ve changed your budgie’s diet, it could be upset with the bowl or turn its back and ignore it.
Alternatively, you may have recently introduced a new color scheme to the budgie’s room, and it is struggling to adapt. Alternatively, there may be new scents or sounds causing sensory overload.
5/ Overwhelmed by Stimuli
Be mindful of external stimuli around a budgie’s cage. Have you recently introduced anything that increased ambient noise, light, or temperature?
Consider calming a budgie by balancing external noise with a white noise machine or tempering any invasive scents with a neutralizing aroma.
6/ Requesting a Change of Location
Your budgie may be requesting a release from its cage for exercise or want to return to its cage for rest. So, change things to see if this improves the budgie’s mood.
Budgies usually relish human interaction. If your budgie is reluctant to interact, it could be in pain and be trying to avoid handling.
Other common warning signs your budgie is in pain or discomfort include:
- General lethargy and withdrawn nature
- Refusing to eat or drink
- Uncharacteristic crankiness and aggression around humans and other birds
- Reluctance to play or exercise
- Sudden unwillingness to make noise
If you’re concerned, seek the advice of an avian vet so tests can be run, as not all budgie ailments are physical. Your budgie could be experiencing a psychological concern, including depression.
Budgies grow depressed when left alone for too long, especially when a cage lacks stimulation or following a bereavement. Budgies grow attached to conspecifics and cage mates. If a bonded budgie dies, a survivor will mourn its loss.
If your budgie turns its back on you, there will usually be an explanation. Start by encouraging your budgie to turn around. If it doesn’t, complete a process of elimination to learn why.