Why Does My Budgie Nibble My Finger

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If you are concerned about your budgie nibbling on your hand, then you should know two things.


It’s a learned behavior

And second,

It’s usually not an expression of affection.

For a budgie, nibbling can mean either exploring new things or expressing fear and anxiety. 

Maybe your budgie is irritated because you held him too tight, or maybe you have encouraged that one-time behavior.

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In this article you’ll discover the following

  • What does it mean when a bird nibbles on you
  • How you should react to a bird nibbling on you
  • How do budgies show affection to humans
  • How to tell if your budgie likes you
  • Is it okay to kiss your bird

Lots to go through!

Sound interesting?

Let’s “fly” right in!

What Does it Mean When a Bird Nibbles on You?

There is a stark difference between gentle preening and a sharp bite.

So, the meaning of a nibble depends on what exactly is nibbling to you. 

Now, gentle preening is a sign of a bird owing up to their favorite human. 

But an aggressive bite is an indication of withdrawal, mistrust, or some other issue.

Here are a few of the reasons behind that harsh bite:

Fear and Distrust

Would an affectionate touch from a stranger make you feel any better? 

It is the same for budgies.

So, you must familiarize them with you before you try to stroke them.

 The key is to let them come to you and not the other way around.  

Otherwise, you are a “Scary giant human trying to hold a small, cute budgie.”

Sounds dramatic but it is true. 

Your hand is threatening to the budgie.

The fear may be caused by you:

  1. Trying to stroke or touch a budgie when it is trying to withdraw from you.
  2. Chasing around budgie, cornering them, or standing over them.
  3. Holding them roughly
  4. Moving them to a new place and not letting them get comfortable before you play with them

Anxiety and Frustration

Ever wonder why babies cry all the time? 

Well, they cannot communicate their needs any other way. 

Likewise, the range of emotions and vocabulary a budgie can express is limited.

So maybe your budgie is frustrated because:

  1. He is exhausted and wants to rest. So, you trying to make your budgie perch on your arm too many times in a row is not what it wants.
  2. Budgie is out of the cage for too long without access to food and water.
  3. You are not letting him play on his own.

Territorial Issues

Now, too many birds in a cage may cause aggression among birds.

This is most common when you introduce a new budgie to your bird family. 

The incompatibility may trigger hostility.

You can see that with birds sitting in opposite corners, or that new bird being cornered.

In this case, your budgie is probably not getting enough space.

It is also likely that he is jealous and is seeking your attention. 

Either way, he is nibbling at you.

So, what do you need to do?

  1. I recommend changing your birdcage to a bigger one, or, separate cages with enough toys. This will take the edge off your budgie, calming him down. 
  2. To deal with jealousy, just give loads of careful attention to your whole bird family and you will be fine.

Socialization Issues

Birds spending most of their time with other birds, usually reject human contact.

Maybe he is not scared of you particularly but, he does not want to be around any humans at all.

To form a bond with a budgie, you must invest your time and attention in each of your birds.

So, are you spending one-on-one time with your budgie?

Also, if you have two birds who grew together and preen each other, they might be preparing for the breeding season.

This may trigger all kinds of aggressive behaviors

In this case, strictly follow the 12-hour daylight to the 12-hour dark period.

Otherwise, your parakeet will only grow crankier.

If you want to discourage eggs, then carefully monitor their diet.


Though this is least likely to occur, budgies can nibble your fingers if they get bored. 

So, are there enough perches and toys for your budgies?

If not it’s time to visit a pet store.

Now you may be wondering why a bird would nibble to get rid of boredom.

It’s to get your reaction. 

He thinks you are giving him some sort of extra attention which he can control by biting you. 

It’d be a good idea to get toys that your budgie can chew on

These toys are called foraging toys

You can get a box of these foraging toys from here

How Should You React To a Bird’s Nibbling?

Honestly, you shouldn’t.

Do nothing out of the ordinary, if you do you will only encourage a habit out of it. That means:

  1. No sudden withdrawal, yelling or shrieking
  2. No giving the treat or gentle stroking
  3. No throwing water or anything at all in your bird’s direction
  4. No tapping the beak no matter how gently you think you are doing.

These behaviors will either cause fear or mistrust.

In worst-case scenarios, you might lose that special connection to your budgie.

Also, budgies are quite small and easily injured, so rebuking is not the way for it.

You must be extremely patient with them.

Besides, why would you try to harm your cute beloved bird?

But if nibbling is not a sign of love, then: 

How Do Budgies Show Affection to Humans? 

Budgies like other birds tend to express love through touch. 

A budgie’s affection normally comes in the form of cuddles.

They stroke their heads against the human that they like, especially around the neck.

Also, they try to groom the human they like.

Gentle pecking on cheeks or lips is another sign of a budgie’s love.

A budgie will play with human hands to express fondness.

Question is 

How Do You Tell if Your Budgie Likes You?

Well, a budgie will try to be exceptionally playful if he likes a human.

So, if your budgie readily comes to you or tries to mimic you, then he is already familiar with you.

If he cuddles with you often then he likes you loads. 

But, if he takes his time walking through your arms and perching on your shoulder trying to either groom you or nuzzle your neck, he adores you. 

“Cause you are his Hooman.”

If you are wondering how should you reciprocate your bird’s love, then go with gently stroking the nape. 

Check out my article which I think you’ll find really interesting and beneficial – How to make a parakeet like you?

But all bird owners go through another dilemma and ask:

Is it OK to Kiss Your Bird?

I know you love your bird to the moon and back, but it is not okay to kiss your budgie.


Well, budgies like other birds are prone to Psittacosis.

Since this disease can easily transfer to you through kissing an infected bird, so you should avoid kissing birds

Also, we don’t know if COVID can mutate enough to infect birds.

So, for the sake of both you and your budgie’s safety, I recommend you don’t kiss your little birdie although it could be tempting! 

Why Does My Budgie Nibble My Lips?

Budgies nibble to get your attention or to express their affection to you

So if your budgies is nibbling on your lips, it’s a sign your bird loves you

Or maybe they are hungry or bored so they want your attention

If your bird is nibbling hard on your lips this could mean they are stressed out about something so it’s important to identify what is causing your bird to get stressed out

Why Does My Budgie Nibble My Face?

Your budgie nibbling your face is normal behavior

This is what budgies would do to another budgie

They consider you to be family so you should actually be honored if your little birdie does this!

But hey, it’s not a nice feeling having your budgie keep nibbling at your face

So how do you stop this?

Well, try to distract him with other things

Maybe offer a toy they can nibble at, or some millet

Anything to get them really thinking about something else besides your face

Wrapping Up 

So, your Budgie nibbling on your finger is a sign that there must be something bothering him.

I hope this article has helped you understand why your budgie nibbles your finger 

No matter what, it’s always best to be gentle with your budgie 

You should have a read of my article – How to take care of your budgie

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