Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grooming Rituals

Budgies are charming little birds and relatively easy to live with. Given proper care, they will pitch in by taking good care of themselves. A happy, healthy budgie will preen its feathers, bathe, clean its beak and tend to its nails.
Sick budgies will mostly sit around listlessly, without making a sound. Unhappy budgies may go as far as to completely neglect their grooming rituals.

Whether healthy or sick, you have to encourage your little bird to keep grooming itself every day!

Image © Волнистые попугайчики
  • Observe your budgie's grooming rituals. You should see it preening its feathers, using oil from a gland back near its tail. Other things they often do is scratching about on the bottom of the cage, and wiping their beak back and forth on the sitting perches. It's a very bad sign if you never see them doing this!
  • Place a shallow bowl of lukewarm water in the bottom of the cage or in the bird's living area a couple of times a week so that it can take a bath. Water is life! If your budgie is hesitant about bathing, try putting some leaves of lettuce in the bowl. Budgies love lettuce and will be attracted to the water.
  • Provide your budgie something to trim its beak on. Pet-supply stores offer items of this sort that attach to the side of the cage where your budgie can peck and scrape at it with its beak. Your budgie needs to keep its beak in shape so that it can preen its feathers properly.
  • Help your budgie with grooming by doing your part! In captivity, budgies are unable to keep their nails filed down sufficiently, so you will have to trim them from time to time. 
Image © ChrystyLande on Flickr
Two other good tips:
  • Feed your budgie a healthy diet. Supplement a small seed mix with fresh veggies. Like any other animal, a well-fed bird will better maintain healthy skin and coat.
  • Get your budgie a partner. Budgies are highly social birds, and one kept alone or with birds of other species may become depressed and stop caring for itself. If you observe budgie couples, you will notice how much they cuddle and groom eachother. It's very good to have another budgie to groom them, it keeps them happy and helathy!


  1. *Begins writing a shopping list for later* ;)

  2. Hi,
    do you know if banana tree (Musa acuminata) is poisonous to budgies?
    I would like to build bird tree from banana tree.
    thank you
    Radim from Czech republic

  3. Banana trees and its blooms are not considered toxic to humans or animals. It should be safe for budgies, just as long as there are no pesticides or anything sprayed on it.

    You can read more here:

  4. Thank you so much. I was looking for answer almost everywhere.
    I couldn´t find something like this blog on czech site.
    So again i thank you :-)

  5. Hi, got a new budgie for about 4 weeks now. He is happy, playful and curious. Just wondering howmuch "grooming" is normal for him, as he does that a lot. I am just really concerned about mites or lice.Also , is it harmful to buy stuff for lice not knowing if he will have it? Just a concerned pet owner here :-(

  6. A Budgie Parakeet landed on my chair today while I was sitting on my patio reading. He was not shy and jumped on my finger when I offered it to him. Anyway, I am learning to care for him until his owner can be located. He had "hair" or feathers growing from just above his beak (cere?) over his eyes and head. Is that normal or should he be groomed? Thank you. Oh, he is constantly preening his feathers too?

  7. My budgie is around 5-6 month and he has a friend who grooms with him and grooms him.a few days ago I saw black spots on the bottom side of the body.i realised it now,that my budgie isn't grooming at all.please help