Saturday, June 25, 2011

Do budgies have nightmares?

Image © katfreak123
All budgies have nightmares. Some budgies have it more frequently or violently than others and it's especially for these budgies that I write this blog post.  

When does this happen?
  • Usually between late evening and early morning
  • Budgies have poor eyesight in the dark, so they are more alert and get startled by any sudden movement or noise that wakes them from their (near) sleep
  • When one budgie wakes up and gets scared, the others will get scared as well
Image © Tailfeathers Network
    What are the main reasons?
    • They are in a strange world; a budgie who has no one to relate to will more likely get nightmares than budgies who sleep together in a group
    • Mite infestation (mites are nocturnal creatures that will bite your budgie while it sleeps. The bites can be painful and create a nasty dream in the bird's head.)
    • Poor eyesight in combination with the natural fright of the dark that most animals share
    • Lack of sleep or a disturbed sleeping pattern (too many budgies don't get the necessary 12 hours of sleep)
    • Naturally high metabolism
    • Trauma (for example death of a partner)
    • A dark blanket over the cage (your budgie isn't able to see anything and will not feel safe)
    What happens when a budgie gets a nightmare?
    • Budgie wakes up with a loud squawk
    • Budgie is only partially awake and gets disorientated
    • Budgie will start flying around in the cage, bumping into the sides (and other budgies)
    • In the worst case, your budgie may lose its balance and fall off the perch
    • Some factors will only increase their fear (heavy rainfall, thunderstorm and lightning)
    • Most nightmares are no more than a little scare and those are quickly over, but the bird will likely still be in shock minutes afterwards (breathing very fast, eyes wide open)
    Night terrors are dangerous, as budgies can hurt themselves while fluttering around in the cage.

    How can you help your budgie to sleep better?

    Image ©
    • Add a small night light in the room
    • Dont make any sudden movements or loud noises in the dark when you go to bed
    • Don't watch any scary/horror movies when they can hear it. If you watch tv late in the evening, I recommend you to keep the volume down in any case.
    • Cover their cage for the night, but only with a light, thin blanket.
    • Remove the blanket carefully in the morning, don't pull it off briskly
    • Put the cage in a quiet room where no cars pass by
    • Do NOT put your budgies in the kitchen! There are too many noises there that frighten them.
    • Keep your budgies away from cats and dogs in the house, budgies see so poorly in the dark that they won't recognize them and get scared
    One more tip I can give you: as an owner, try to stick to a fixed sleeping pattern because your budgie automatically adapts itself to your rhythm. The same, familiar scene every evening will make your budgie sleep better and reduce the number of nightmares.


      1. I would never have thought about this. Thanks! ;)

        1. my budgie just had one I think she did everything mentioned but the squawk i woke up at 3 am to her rattling the cage her wings fluttering, I checked on her and she seems alright, she is calmer now. she's just trying to catch her breath so I will take another look at her later

        2. this will really help, thank you! :]

        3. Thanks, my bird had one last night at 2 am. How do I tell whether or not a blanket will be to dark?

      2. good post, I'll keep this in mind.

      3. awww this is so sad to know that they have nightmares. thank u for posting this...i will keep this mind! do you mind if i post this link on my blog to keep my readers informed of this and they will be redirected here to read it? you cannot get this information anywhere else after all! it's very helpful! - jadey baby x

        1. Hi! No problem, feel free to do so :) don't worry, it's not that bad for all budgies. After all, they're tough little birds!

      4. thanks now ill start putting them 2 bed at least 1 more hour

      5. My budgie's partner recently died in a food bowl, and now my alive budgie would not go into it. Is it because of a trauma? Or is it just the shock of us removing the other budgie and not being able to see her again?

        1. It may think that food bowl was the reason for the death. I'd get a different food bowl.

        2. no that doesnt may had a sickness inside the food

        3. they dont wanna go next to where another budgie died because they think they will die too.

      6. Is the budgie feeling of if it keeps its wings slightly upwards

      7. Thank you very much for this post!🐥🐦

      8. what about budgies in an aviary? do they need some sort of light or the natural darkness?

      9. I learn something new about my sweetheart budgie everyday. Thanks for the info 😁

      10. i have a problem.i put my budgie in the kitchen next to the window...but will he sleep good? im worried.
        plz reply

      11. My budgie experienced violent fluttering in the cage and I lit a small nightlight, opened the bird cage, and petted him until he fell asleep.

      12. Thank you for the post. New to parakeet ownership and at 5am this morning I woke up with a start!! They both were freaking out so bad I thought a mouse or snake was trying to eat them! Scared me to death too!

      13. Thank you for sharing this with the concerned bird lovers around the world!

        Makes me feel like I'm doing the right job. :D

        Your a champion! :)

      14. Thanks for this info my Budge fell of his perch this mirning.
        Couple mobths ago he did it 8 times in one night.