Last Updated on March 8, 2023 by Ali Shahid
Owning a parakeet can give you insight into their interesting behaviors. The puff-up is one of the more interesting behaviors of a parakeet. In this case, it is natural to wonder why do parakeets puff up?
A parakeet’s puffing up is a natural response to regulating and controlling its body temperature. You can also see parakeets puff up before going to sleep, when they feel excited, or when they clean themselves.
As a matter of fact, it is normal for parakeets as well as many other birds to regularly display this behavior. It is also important to consult your veterinarian if you notice that your parrot is sickly for some time or if it has been puffy for a long period of time.
Let’s take a closer look at this topic to see what is behind the ‘puff’ and what it has to do with your parrots and what it means for them.
Reasons Why Parakeets Puff Up
- Body Temperature Regulation
If a parakeet feels too hot, he or she will yawn. If a parakeet feels cold, he or she will puff out its feathers. Birds conserve body heat by puffing out their feathers so that they remain warm.
It is called feather puffing because when birds puff out their feathers, a lot of air is trapped in them and serves as insulation. When your bird puffs its feathers when it is next to an air conditioner or on a cold day, it is feeling chilly.
Considering the temperature that parakeets prefer, they are very similar to humans. A temperature ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 26 degrees Celsius) is the perfect temperature for parakeets.
It does not matter if it drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius) overnight, these birds puff out their feathers to stay warm. When temperatures rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), parakeets suffer greatly.
Temperature changes of 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit within the span of 24 hours will adversely affect the parakeets. Hypothermia is a very dangerous condition for parakeets to suffer.
This is because their bodies are so small that they may not be able to generate heat and maintain it for a long time.
Puffy feathers, loss of appetite, lethargic behavior, inability to fly, inability to climb, and fluid drip from the eyes and nose are common signs of hypothermia in birds.
In the later stages of hypothermia, the victim may have trouble breathing or gasping for air and may be unable to get up from the bottom of the cage.
Parrots can become hypothermic after six to twelve hours of exposure to temperatures below their normal range.
- Your Parakeet Is Sleepy
A parakeet’s feathers will sometimes puff up in preparation for going to sleep at the end of the day. If you notice puffy feathers on your bird, then it may be time to cover its cage for a peaceful sleep. Light is essential to the quality of sleep that a parakeet enjoys.
At the end of the day, when the light is out, or when the sun begins to set, the parakeets settle down to sleep. After the sun goes down, the parakeet will hop around its cage for 10 to 15 minutes to look for the most comfortable place to sleep that night.
It is possible for parakeets to fall asleep upside down while they are hanging from the top of their cages. It is quite common for them to circle the cage repeatedly until they decide they want to lay down on the floor and sleep.
It is not uncommon to see parrots fall asleep by clinging to the sides of their cages. The parakeet also takes a nap during the daytime as well.
You can tell that your parakeet is ready for a long night of uninterrupted sleep when it puffs up its feathers and grinds its beak.
When a parakeet is asleep, it will show signs of deep rhythmic breathing, drooping head, and jerky movements, alternating with periods of being awake. In most cases, parakeets will get up from their roost to access their food cups at least once a night.
When it comes to taking a nap during the day, parakeets do not usually puff their feathers up. Sleep-deprived parakeets who are confined to the light 24 hours every day are going to want nothing more than to sleep.
In other words, when you see your budgie puffing up its feathers at the end of the day, just turn out the lights and put the cover back on the cage. The more you allow your parakeet to sleep through the night, the happier your bird will be.
The first thing you will notice is that they are becoming drowsy, disinterested in their toys, and taking a snooze, but they only sleep for a short period of time. Parakeets are not known to sleep constantly throughout the day.
A daytime sleep of 30 minutes to an hour and a nighttime sleep of 12 hours is typical.
- Your parakeet is very happy and excited
The parakeet puffs up when it is happy, tweets a song, talks, or even mimics a sound it hears frequently. They may use puffy feathers to communicate that they are having a good time.
In order to keep your bird happy and healthy, you will need to keep toys in their cages. There are some toys, however, that are not appropriate for budgies to play with. There are several factors to consider such as size, material, and paint.
- Displaying Aggression
Often when a budgie is aggressive, he will puff up his feathers in an attempt to appear bigger. It is a different kind of puffing from the affectionate kind, which is visible on the whole body. Aggressive puffing, on the other hand, is much more localized.
When angry, budgies may puff their feathers under their necks and between their wings, but they will not puff feathers anywhere else on their bodies.
Furthermore, it is also possible for budgies to ruffle the feathers on their heads and to talk screeching noises when they feel threatened.
If you observe your budgie doing this in the presence of you as you enter the room, this may indicate that it is afraid of you. Budgies, when they are housed with other birds, may have fights with those birds.
Any other cage mates or birds in an environment can pose a threat to your budgie. In the event that they display this behavior on a regular basis, it would be best to separate them.
- Your Budgie wants to Get rid of dirt
It’s a dirty little secret how Australian parakeets prefer soil to fruits or nuts. This results in them getting dirty a lot. Parakeets are well known for puffing up in order to rid themselves of any dirt or dander on their bodies.
It could be dust on their feathers or dander on their bodies. Keeping your parakeets clean and tidy will be easy if you provide them with a bath every day.
It is believed that excess fruit intake, or the effects of certain illnesses, can cause a condition known as “pasting of the vent”. There are usually no visible stains in this area of the feathers, and it is since parakeet droppings are typically dry.
As a result of diarrhea, the feathers and vents of an ill bird may become stained and may accumulate other hard droppings. In addition, the poop will also cling to the parakeet if it is dehydrated.
- Your Parakeet Is Sick
In general, parakeets are good at keeping the symptoms of their illnesses hidden. It is important to note that they are still very small birds that can easily be eaten by predators.
It is instinctive for them to act like they are healthy so that when a raptor or cat happens to see them, he or she will not decide they are easy prey for them.
However, if your budgie maintains a puffy appearance all throughout the day, there may be a health issue with your pet. Pulling out puffy feathers is a symptom of a serious health issue with the bird. It may be caused by parasitic infestations such as mites.
If there is also diarrhea or a problem with breathing along with puffed-up feathers, then it can also serve as a warning sign that something is seriously wrong.
It is important to see a veterinarian as soon as possible if your budgie has puffed-out feathers in conjunction with other alarming symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why my parakeet puffed up and died?
It is easier for birds to keep warm when their feathers are fluffed, and it can also help the bird relax as it sleeps, and it can also help the bird feel more comfortable when it is sick.
Usually, a bird that has a puffed-up appearance almost all of the time will have a lot of trouble. Birds that puff their heads up and bob their tails for a long period of time can end up dying.
What causes my Budgie to shake and fluff up?
You can assume that your budgie is trying to regulate its own body temperature when it fluffs up and shakes. In order to keep warm, budgies fluff their feathers in order to trap air pockets.
Also, budgies that fluff and shake may be trying to dislodge these air pockets, which will help them cool off. If a budgie is frequently puffing up and shivering, then it is probably unwell and the owners should take note.
When I talk to my parakeet, why does he fluff up?
If you’ve noticed, puffing up is a common behavior in parakeets that indicates excitement and catches your attention, so he likely will do it when you want to give him some attention.
There is a multitude of reasons for parakeets to puff up; most of them being positive and some of them indicating more extreme conditions.
Like any pet, you need to keep a close eye on your parakeet, making sure its environment is right for them, and that the house is the best fit for them.
You should take your parakeet to the vet whenever you’re unsure whether it is puffing out of illness or not. There should not be any hesitation since it can prove fatal if you do. There may not be much time to spare sometimes.
Otherwise, consider a heating lamp as they are a sure-fire way to keep a moderate temperature in which a parakeet needs to thrive. Just make sure it is not positioned too close or on too high a power. Heatstroke is also possible and deadly.
Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.