If you’ve ever seen your budgie hanging upside-down, you may be thinking there’s something very wrong with your feathery friend. But, sometimes, budgies love to sleep as high as they can possibly go, and if that means hanging from the bars of the cage’s roof, then so be it.
Budgies, much like humans, exhibit distinct personalities. You’ll find different budgies that demonstrate divergent sleeping positions. So, it’s okay if one of your budgies is a little different from the flock.
Some might perch on the highest branch, while others choose to hide into a tree hollow or tree hole. Others may simply fall asleep standing on their favorite perch. But the one thing that should remain common among budgies is their sleep routine, whether wild or domestic.
How do budgies sleep? Most budgies are asleep from sundown to sunrise. In the wild, you’ll also find that budgies prefer catching some ZZZs in the highest branches to escape nighttime predators. Most parrots also rise at dawn to get busy foraging for food. Domestic budgies rely on their humans to set their sleeping cycle for them.
If a budgie’s sleeping pattern goes off, you will face dire consequences. So, without further ado, let’s look into the sleeping habits of budgies – everything from their sleeping positions to the number of hours your pet needs to sleep for their wellbeing.
How Do Budgies Sleep?
There’s no reason for you to be astounded if you find your feathered friend with its head twisted all the way back, resting on its shoulder. No, it’s not practicing for a lead role in The Exorcist.
Budgies are adorable and fantastic birds that exhibit a few interesting marvels of Mother Nature. They have amazingly flexible neck muscles, and that means that they can easily tilt their heads all the way back to allow their heads to rest on their shoulders.
Budgies have their heads up all through the day, even during their naps. But, at night, some feel more relaxed when they allow their heads to fall back on their shoulders during sleep so they don’t have to hold them up.
It’s rare to find a budgie sleeping on the floor of the cage, as parakeets feel more secure in high perches. It is likely that most of your parakeets opt to go to the most elevated perch they can find in their aviaries. Now, you might wonder why your budgie never falls off its perch.
Budgies hold onto a branch at night, sleep peacefully, and do not fall off all through the night. When budgies settle in for the night, they draw their feet close to their chest and lower their bodies onto the perch. Lowering their bodies and drawing their feet closer keeps their featherless legs warm. It also prevents loss of body heat through their legs.
Your budgie may grip the branch with one claw and tuck the other leg close to its body. At the same time, they will swivel their necks and tuck their heads under their wings or rest their head on their backs.
Another clear sign that your budgie is really sleeping is when their eyes are completely shut. Now, budgies can take a nap with their eyes open in small slits. But, budgies like to have their eyes closed even when they are feeling cozy. So, when they are really snoozing, then you can be sure that they will close their eyes.
Your budgie might even rest on your shoulder and close their eyes. There’s a strong chance that they are simply bonding with you and feeling rather cozy. Consider yourself lucky!
Why Don’t Budgies Fall Off Their Perch While Sleeping?
Well, budgies come from the scientific order of birds known as passerine, also known as perching birds. The distinguishing quality of passerines from other birds is the arrangement of their toes and the function that locks their toes onto a perch.
Budgies have four toes – two toes that point forward and two toes that point backward. These toes work in a similar fashion to the opposing thumbs of humans. In addition, budgies have what one may call a backward knee joint further up their legs, and it serves the same purpose as an ankle.
When a budgie perches onto a branch, the forward toes and backward toes grip the branch from front and back for balance. The toes and the knee joint are connected by a very strong tendon.
As the budgie lowers itself, the joint is bent, and the tendon is stretched. When the tendon is pulled, the toes are pulled too, which tightens the parakeet’s grip on the branch.
It is an involuntary reflex where the more the budgie relaxes, the tighter its grip gets around the branch. The grip only loosens as the bird awakens and propels itself into flight.
When Do Budgies Sleep?
Budgies follow the cycle of the sun. They sleep through most of the night and wake up at the crack of dawn when the sun rises. Domestic budgies may adapt to the sleeping pattern of their humans. If you like to sleep late and keep the lights on close to the cage of your birdie, then it too will stay awake until the artificial light is switched off.
Budgies need relative darkness to sleep deeply. They do follow their instincts even as domestic birds. If your budgie has been raised in captivity, then it’s likely to change its schedule to suit yours.
However, changing the sleeping pattern of your parakeet isn’t a wise move. Birds, like humans, need to rest and recharge through a good night’s sleep to function properly the next day.
So, if your budgie is sleeping during the day and awake through the night, then your budgie’s health is going to suffer quite drastically, even if it does get the appropriate number of hours of shuteye.
How Much Sleep Does Your Budgie Need?
In a 24 hour cycle, your parakeet needs at least 10-12 hours of beauty sleep to operate at optimal energy levels. Budgies sleep through the night unless there is an imminent danger to their lives.
Budgies tend to take power naps during the day too. These naps might not last for more than fifteen minutes, and your bird may even have its eyes wide open during a snooze. They allow your birdie to revive its energy levels.
When your birdie isn’t getting enough rest, then you’ll see that your usually well-behaved parakeet has turned into a tiny monster. According to Mattie Sue Athan, a parrot behavioral consultant, bird sleep deprivation can cause excessive squawking, nippiness, aggression, and feather plucking.
When budgies don’t stick to their natural sleeping patterns or don’t get enough rest, then it isn’t just their behavior that is affected. Your bird’s entire immune system, as well as their overall health, is under strain. Over time, your budgie will develop stress, and that might spell doom for your feathered friend.
How Can You Tell If Your Budgie Isn’t Getting Enough Sleep?
You know how ‘hangry’ humans get when they don’t get enough food. Well, budgies get cranky and aggressive when they don’t get enough sleep too.
When you have a budgie that isn’t getting plenty of rest, it may get into fights with other budgies in the aviary. There have been times when the fights between budgies have escalated to an extent where both birds have ended up wounded.
Naturally, any pet parent would want to avoid such a disastrous scenario. It helps if you can tell the signs of a sleep-deprived parakeet.
When a budgie isn’t getting proper rest, then its immunity is also going to be compromised. It’s likely that your budgie will fall ill more often.
Your budgie may be more lethargic, indulge in feather plucking, and even go off its food after a while. In short, your bird is going to be under a lot of stress. Any pet guardian will vouch that budgies suffer greatly when they are under pressure.
What Can You Do To Help Your Budgie Sleep Well?
Ensuring that your pet is getting ample rest requires you to take some necessary steps. Here’s a list of some of the things that you can do to help out your passerine friend.
1. Reset The Sleeping Pattern
Your bird should keep the same sleep routine as all budgies do, wild or domesticated. Your bird needs to follow its instinctual drive, wake up early in the mornings, and sleep when the sun goes down.
Nature has set rules for all creatures, and all must abide by them. Your winged friend is no exception. It is certainly wrong on your part to force your pet to adapt to your routine. Once you manage to get your bird to hunker down early, you’ll see that your birdie’s mood will improve exponentially.
2. Cover The Cage
If you don’t want your bird’s cage in another room or don’t have another room, then you have to accommodate your bird in other ways. Budgies should only get 10-12 hours of daylight. Any more daytime, and you manage to get your bird’s hormones to go into overdrive. Your male budgie may become louder during the night and aggressive at all times during the day.
Also, in the wild, budgies sleep in hollowed-out trees. The cover of the tree bark gives the budgies a sense of security, allowing them to rest at ease. Not to mention, the cover of the tree also makes for a very warm and cozy nest.
If you don’t provide your bird with a nesting box or hanging tent to sleep in, then you should cover the bird’s cage with a breathable dark material so that they can have a bit of darkness (such as this one), even if the lights in the room are on. It recreates a cozy and comfortable environment for your birdie where it can be completely relaxed and doze off soundly.
3. Lower The Volume
You also have to keep the noise levels in the room at a bare minimum so that you don’t give your pet a fright while it’s resting. If you’ve covered your bird’s cage with a dark cloth, then your bird will surely not be able to see too well.
If you keep the volume of the television too high or have several people coming and going or incessant chatter, then you aren’t really creating a conducive environment for peaceful slumber.
Keeping a bird in a dark room with loud noises is asking for trouble, as budgies that get startled often fly off into the sides of their cages, and this can result in injury and stress.
4. Plenty Of Perches
You may know by now that budgies favor high perches. So, it’ll help if you give it plenty of options to choose from. If you have more than one bird in the cage, it helps to have enough space on the highest perch for all of the birds, or you will have fights and unrested birds to contend with.
An ideal perch should be at least 12 – 16 mm in diameter and made of natural timber that hasn’t been treated with any chemicals.
5. Maintain Appropriate Room Temperature
Budgies are warm-weather birds coming from the hot deserts and tropical forests of Australia. So, you can well imagine that your budgie will not be comfortable in colder temperatures. If your birds are outside in an aviary, then you will have to consider bringing them in if you experience extreme weather where you live.
If you like to sleep in a nice and cold room with the air-conditioning on all night, then you may have to switch the placement of your bird’s cage, as your pet will certainly not be too happy with a very cold room.
Budgies make fantastic pets as they are beautiful, active, and somewhat playful. You can’t say that budgies aren’t sturdy birds, as they do pretty well even in new environments. The addition of a pet into the family requires making some adjustments on the part of the pet guardians. As a pet parent, the well-being of your budgie rests squarely on your shoulders.
So, you need to ensure that your budgie isn’t just having wholesome meals and living in a clean habitat. It also is your job to make sure that your feathered friend gets plenty of rest.
The more relaxed and comfortable your budgie is, the happier it will be. And the more content your budgie is, the longer it’s going to live. Let’s be honest, you can’t expect a healthy bird on your hands without some decent amount of beauty sleep.
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