Home » Why Does My Budgie Yawn? [Contagious + Repeated Yawning]
why is my budgie yawning a lot?

Why Does My Budgie Yawn? [Contagious + Repeated Yawning]

Despite being small birds, budgies sometimes do surprisingly similar things to humans. Yawning is one such activity, which is why a budgie’s yawn has a similar meaning.

So, when a budgie sees another budgie yawn, it causes them to yawn as well.

Aside from that, what looks like repeated yawning could be crop adjustment after eating, an expression of happiness, drowsiness, respiratory problems, or a throat infection.

Paying close attention to when your budgie yawns will give you insight into why it happens. A yawning budgie can signify that your budgie trusts you, but it can also be a warning of a health problem.

Budgie Yawning Meaning

Yawning in budgies is completely normal. All vertebrates can yawn, and the reasons why your budgie does so has six explanations.

A healthy budgie will yawn for the following reasons:

Contagious Yawning

All mammals that belong to social groups yawn. Mimicking another animal’s (or human’s) body language is seen as a sign of empathy in all animals that can yawn.

However, it wasn’t known that budgies did so for the same reason until the State University of New York published a study on yawning being contagious in budgies.

In other words, budgies are emotionally intelligent enough to yawn because they saw someone else do it. Not only are they talented at mimicry, but being social flock birds, they have high levels of empathy and a great understanding of social behaviors.

Though budgies often yawn when they see their owners do it, they’re more likely to yawn when they see another budgie yawning.

Drowsiness

Like humans, budgies yawn because they’re tired. You’re more likely to observe your budgie yawning at night when it’s time to go to bed.

It’s theorized that budgies yawn when tired for the same reason humans do: it’s a natural involuntary response to your body’s altered state of alertness. A quick yawn in the morning or night is normal, but constant yawning throughout the day indicates sleep deprivation.

Happiness

Budgies have many ways of expressing themselves. We’re familiar with the way they express emotions through vocalization because it’s the easiest to understand for us. Budgies’ body language is unfamiliar to us, which is why you may not know that budgies yawn when they’re happy.

They do this when being caressed, as it’s when they feel most relaxed. A nice head massage can induce feelings of comfort and happiness, and a yawn is an involuntary response to that inner contentment.

budgie yawning meaning

Stretching Muscles

Budgies display little movement while they sleep, and once they wake up, they’ll stretch their neck muscles by yawning to get ready for the day. It’s no different from how we yawn and stretch after a good night’s rest.

A yawn like this will be accompanied by a nice, long neck stretch, the flapping of wings, and maybe a little body shake. That’s how you know your budgie slept well.

Bringing In More Oxygen

During a period of rest, a budgie’s breathing may slow down considerably. The body requires more oxygen and the fastest way to get it is by having the budgie open its mouth and yawn.

The oxygen that your budgie gets after a yawn does a good job of waking its body up and getting rid of any tiredness accumulated from the slow breathing. This is something that humans do too, which is why we’re more likely to yawn after not moving for a long time.

Sleep Deprivation

Yawning after waking up or before going to bed is normal for budgies. What isn’t normal is constant yawning during the day, when your bird is supposed to be active. Sleep deprivation is possible in budgies, so it’s something you need to watch out for.

Along with constant yawning, sleep deprivation can cause aggression, anxiety, lethargy, and self-mutilation in budgies. If your budgie seems sleep-deprived, try to identify the problem and change your budgie’s sleeping set-up.

Why Is My Budgie Yawning a Lot?

What may seem like excessive yawning may be something else. It’s important to distinguish between yawning and odd beak movements because of a health problem. One is a natural response to certain stimuli, while the other might be an early warning sign that needs to be looked into immediately.

When a healthy budgie yawns, it does so only once, and it’s usually after having woken up, before going to sleep, or while you’re petting it.

If your budgie is yawning a lot in the span of a few minutes, it may not be yawning at all.

Budgie Opening Mouth Like a Yawn

When budgies open and close their mouths continuously, it can look like yawning. However, instead of yawning, it could be a simple crop adjustment or a health-related physical reaction, such as:

Respiratory Problems

When budgies have trouble breathing, be it due to allergies or unhealthy air, they won’t be able to breathe in air the way they normally would. If their nasal cavity or their bird nares (nostrils) are blocked, they’ll need to breathe through their mouths.

How often the budgie opens its mouth to do this will depend on how severe the problem is. When this happens, check your budgie’s nares and get some fresh air.

Anxiousness

Budgies are highly emotional creatures. They’re sensitive to stress and get anxious over things we may not consider important. One of the many ways that budgies express their anxiety is through yawning.

It’s unknown why they react to stressful situations this way. However, it’s easy to tell when the repeated yawning is anxiety-induced when it’s paired with other indicators of budgie anxiousness.

Throat or Sinus Infections

Budgies can develop certain throat and sinus infections that make it harder for them to breathe, such as:

  • Candidiasis
  • Yeast infections
  • Psittacosis

Infections that limit your budgie’s ability to breathe are the most dangerous. Some of these infections are difficult to spot until it is much too late.

Regurgitation

Budgies will regurgitate food to feed their young or to feed a mate. This often looks like yawning since budgies need to repeatedly open and close their mouths while bringing up the food.

If you’re worried about this because your budgie has no mate and no young, it’s because it considers you to be its mate. When your budgie regurgitates food near you, it just means it’s trying to feed you.

Crop Adjustment and Clearing

The crop is a pouch near the throat that’s part of the digestive system. When budgies eat, the food first goes to their crop, gets softened, and then moves along through the rest of their digestive system.

After eating, if there’s any food stuck in the crop, budgies need to clear it. They do this by adjusting their crop. Because the crop is a muscle, opening and closing their mouths repeatedly helps them move their throat muscles better and clears their crops properly.

Yawning is normal behavior, as long as it doesn’t happen persistently or with accompanying symptoms. Budgies yawn to mimic others, express contentment, and show sleepiness.