Is your budgie not flying how they should?
Are you wondering – Why is my budgie flying low?
Here’s the possible reason why..
Odds are that your budgie is either too sick or too exhausted to move. Sometimes, a budgie going through vigorous molting may also fly low. However, if your budgie is a recent addition to your bird family, then perhaps it is too young to be even flighted, or the previous owner clipped its flight feathers.
We’re going to go into much detail
Here’s what you’re going to discover in this article
- Why your budgie is not flying much
- We’ll look at the possible reasons why a budgie is not flying as much as they should
- Why does my budgie fly to the floor?
So if you’re concerned about your budgie flying and want to learn what the possible reasons could be and how you could help then you’re going to love this article
Let’s get started!
Why Is My Budgie Not Flying As Much?
It may be related to fatigue, disease, clipped feathers, or the age of your budgie.
But only an avian vet can properly diagnose your bird’s condition.
Which is why I highly recommend you rush to a vet as soon as possible.
But that may not be immediately possible.
So, let’s start with what we know.
1. Are You Sure Your Budgie Is Not Flying as Much?
While owning a budgie is quite an exhilarating experience.
It is also a bit exhausting, especially if it’s your first-ever feathered friend.
Don’t worry, it’s all of us. We love our budgies so of course we’re going to be worried!
It’s normal and it’s a good thing to be worried
That said, you can never be too sure about a bird’s health.
They tend to hide their sickness to avoid predation.
Here’s some questions you need to ask yourself
- How long has he not been flying like usual?
If it’s already been 48 hours, it’s time to see a vet.
- Are there any heated non-stick pans or candles lit around?
- Is there any other noticeable change besides less flying?
Call in your regular vet and make sure to tell him about anything you deem abnormal.
2. Is It a New Budgie? Have You Moved Places?
A new budgie needs time to adjust to your place.
Similarly, if you have shifted someplace new, your budgie may experience stress.
This may also result from merely relocating the cage.
3. Has Your Budgie flighted?
Normally, a budgie starts flying by the time it’s 4-5 weeks old.
But flying is a learned behavior.
If a budgie’s flight feathers are clipped too early, it may never develop the physical stamina to fly.
You cannot compare your one budgie’s flying stamina to another budgie’s progress.
4. How Old Is Your Budgie?
Though a young budgie may not fly as much because it is learning to fly, However, An old budgie may gradually lose the strength to fly.
Caged budgies live up to 8 years of age.
So, budgies older than 7 years of age, tend to rest throughout the day.
Another thing to consider is it may also be a sign of sickness
5. Are There Any Physical Changes To Your Budgie’s Appearance?
Observe for following changes:
Since budgies are exceptionally small creatures.
And so, they are quite prone to injuries.
- Has your budgie recently recovered from some injury or trauma?
- If there is any blood around your budgie, look for the source.
- Is there an issue with your bird’s landing ability? carefully observe its feet.
- Is there a broken wing, hindering your bird’s flight?
b. Beak and Cere
An overgrown beak represents a bird’s inability to maintain its beak.
And so, he may be experiencing a lack of energy or some chronic issues.
A scaly or mucus-filled cere indicates an infection, that may need immediate medical attention.
A smellier and bigger dropping may represent egg binding.
However, an oilier or yellow-green dropping may indicate liver concerns.
The use of antibiotics may also change droppings as these disturb gut microbiota.
Related article – Do budgies poop everywhere
e. Puffed Up Appearance
If your budgie is shivering, you need to immediately regulate its temperature.
You may do so by using:
- A thermostat.
- A heating pad.
- A sock filled with uncooked rice and microwaved, to provide heating within the cage.
But a bird may be feeling uncomfortable flying, owing to broken or ingrown feathers.
Speaking of feathers,
6. Did You Clip Your Budgie’s Wing Feathers?
Perhaps, you clipped too much of your bird’s feathers to keep him from flying away.
And yet, he is not flying as much even after its wing feathers have regrown.
Besides, a caged bird may stop flying as much because it has put on some extra weight i.e., as much as a few grams.
But a bird may naturally lose its essential feathers. So:
7. Is Your Budgie Molting?
Molting is quite an orderly process.
It ensures that a bird gets new feathers without losing too many feathers at once.
Thereby, not leaving it vulnerable to predators.
Normally, budgies can molt 1-3 times a year.
Then, it is concerning and may leave your budgie flightless.
Over-molting may also cause your budgie malnutrition and weakness.
While seeds provide the birds with fats, carbohydrates, and vitamin E.
However, they are unable to fulfill protein and mineral requirements.
A balanced budgie diet consists of only about 20% of seeds, with the rest of the nutrition coming from vegetables, fruits, chunks of meat, pellets, and mineral blocks.
If your budgie is over-molting:
I suggest you feed him hard-boiled eggs, calcium supplements, and vitamin D3.
Perhaps your budgie’s issue is not its diet variety, but the consumption.
8. How Is Your Budgie’s Appetite?
Notice how much your budgie eats from its pots.
Since a sick bird does not like to show signs of illness, it may pretend to eat.
Such a budgie will experience nutritional deficiency no matter what you give him.
In this case, you may:
- Feed the bird by offering his favorite treats.
- Using a feeding tube to feed through bird crops. (Seek professional help).
- Add supplements to water. (Clean and replace every 4-6 hours).
Sometimes food poisoning may leave a bird unable to fly.
It may also happen if your budgie chews on galvanized steel, getting excessive zinc intake.
Such a budgie will:
- Excessively regurgitate or vomit.
- Have unusual droppings, mostly diarrhea.
- Sleep in odd positions.
9. Has Your Budgie Experience Some Traumatic Event?
Perhaps, your budgie is scared to fly around as it hit the wall at full speed.
This mostly happens when a fledging first learns to fly.
In rare cases, it may be associated with some neurological disorder.
But if the bird is older, it may be termites, internal injury, or stroke.
If you have lost an avian family member, then perhaps your bird is experiencing a bit of depression or loneliness.
In such a case, getting another bird may brighten up your budgie
10. Is Your Budgie Behaving Abnormally?
Apart from flying, are there any odd behaviors?
If your budgie:
- has a stiff gait, it may have internal bleeding or egg binding?
- is not moving from the waist down, then perhaps there is a tumor or pin feather exerting pressure on nerves controlling your budgie’s feet.
- is moving too much then he is either bored or anxious.
But odd behaviors are often associated with breeding hormones.
11. Is Your Budgie Going Through The Breeding Season?
Therefore, most budgies enter the breeding cycle with the onset of spring.
However, if your budgie is not getting enough sleep i.e., a 12-hour-dark to a 12-hour-light period, then, it may artificially enter breeding season in mid-winter.
Such a budgie will exhibit all sorts of odd behaviors.
Lack of sleep may cause weakness in body maintenance, thereby decreased flying.
Perhaps, your budgie is not flying cause its survival instincts kicked in.
Another question is..
12. Are there Any Budgie Predators Around?
While the presence of a raptor or its mere sound may inhibit a bird from flying much.
However, your pets like cats and dogs can pounce on your budgie any moment of the day.
Maybe your budgie got scared cause that cat wanted to say ‘hello’, a little too close.
I recommend you set house boundaries for your pets.
Which leads me to my next question..
13. Is There Any Recent Change in Your Schedule?
Perhaps, you have changed shifts at your workplace.
And so, you get to spend less time with your budgie.
Which is why your budgie is a bit moody because of that change.
Or maybe, you play with your sitting budgie.
So, he is sitting to get your attention.
Again, only you and your vet may be able to find the underlying cause.
Anyways, if your budgie seems ill, then:
- Shift him to an Isolated cage, so he does not infect other birds.
- Give him clean water and soft food, preferably his favorite treats.
- Take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Check out my article – How long does it take a bird to adjust to a new home?
You may be wondering that all this does not explain,
Why Does My Budgie Fly To The Floor?
Probably, because that’s how your bird was raised.
Well, normally a bird does not like low-lying areas as these places are prone to predator attacks.
However, if your budgie has learned that you sit on floors and you are safe to be around, then they may prefer sitting around you.
There may be other reasons such as:
- Learning to fly down.
- Unable to fly to heights because of clipped feathers or excessive molting.
- Presence of some entertaining game or food on the floor e.g. beetles.
- Unavailability of some high perching space.
While we still don’t know enough, it’s safe to say all birds have discrete personalities.
Blu-The macaw from Movie Rio disliked flying at first because he loved staying on the ground.
So, it may just be your bird’s habit.
Before you diagnose anything yourself, you should first take your birdie to the avian vet to get an expert opinion
A budgie may reduce its flying activity owing to some disease, injury, or merely exhaustion.
Sometimes a budgie does not fly because he is either too young or too old.
While I recommend seeing a vet for such a change.
However, it may just be your budgie trying out new habits.
Similarly, a budgie may fly low simply because he likes sitting on the floor.
Related article – How far can budgies fly?