Are you worried about the unusual way in which your feathered friend is sleeping? How do budgies sleep, and what is their natural position for doing so? Do they sleep perching on one leg? Find out more!
Budgies have amazingly flexible neck muscles, so if you find your parakeet budgie is sleeping upside-down, don’t fret because it is one of the many ways budgies sleep!
Wild budgies like to sleep on a tree’s highest branch to protect themselves from predators. They don’t alter this behavior even when they are domesticated.
It is not uncommon for pet budgies to climb up the sides or ceiling of their enclosure to sleep. A budgie can also sleep upside down, hanging from the ceiling of its enclosure.
Budgies have multiple sleeping positions. In this article, we will shed some light on most of these positions.
Common Budgie Sleeping Positions
Budgies can sleep lying down on their bellies or hanging upside down. Budgies can also sleep lying down on the perch or standing on one leg (again on the perch itself). Sometimes, budgies can also sleep with heads down. And occasionally, you might find a budgie sleeping on the side of the cage.
Let’s discuss each of these positions one by one.
Sleeping on One Leg
Sleeping on one leg does not sound very comfortable, but it is that natural sleeping posture for most budgies. They love sleeping this way because:
- It helps them conserve energy; they can rest the other leg.
- Sometimes, they do it for warmth. If you find budgies tucking one leg up among their feathers, they might just be trying to prevent heat loss. You may also find their feathers are a little ruffled (a sign that they are comfortable)
Sleeping in this position is usually a good sign; it means that your budgies feel safe and protected.
Sleeping While Lying Down
Sometimes budgies can also fall asleep lying down on their bellies. This is not a normal position. If your budgie is doing this, it could mean one of the following things:
- When the enclosure is too small, or there are too many budgies in a cage, some budgies will do this because there is no space on the perch.
- If your budgie has not slept properly in a while, then it can fall asleep lying down. It is probably too tired to climb up the sides. Eventually, it will regain its energy and start sleeping on perch.
However, if you find that your budgie has been sleeping like this for a few days, it might be ill, and it might be time to go to the vet.
Lying Down on their Perch
If the budgie is not perching but lying down on the perch instead, then the reason could be that it is too sick to perch.
Budgies usually lie on perch only when they feel too weak or tired and want to rest up. In either case, it might be a good time to consult with a vet.
Sleeping on the Side of the Cage
Budgies like to climb and hang at different angles. If your budgie is sleeping on the side of the cage, hanging upside down (like a bat) is another common position they love. This might look scary to you, but you needn’t be concerned.
Many budgies don’t sleep in this position, but there are a few that do. It might be because:
- Your pet budgie might subconsciously reflect its instinct to sleep on the topmost level of the cage.
- Budgies may sleep this way if there is not enough space to sleep in the cage.
- A budgie may also sleep in this position if it dislikes other sleeping spots. The perch could be dirty, or maybe the perch is too close to a dangerous spot, such as a cat’s or dog’s resting place.
- Perhaps it just wants privacy from the other birds. It is not uncommon to see one or two budgies sleep this way if you keep too many birds inside one enclosure.
Budgies Sleeping in Their Food Bowl
Baby budgies often sleep in their seed bowls. If Seeing an adult budgie is doing this, it could also mean that it is tired or sick and can’t hold on to the perch.
Another reason for this behavior could be that the budgie is nesting (applicable only to female budgies).
Budgies Sleeping With One Eye Open
Budgies, just like most birds, can sleep with one eye open. They have developed an extraordinary habit called peeking.
It means that they are keeping watch with one eye while closing the other eye to rest. In this position, the budgie’s brain is partially at rest while the other eye monitors any signs of danger.
Budgies Sleeping at the Bottom of the Cage
Sleeping on perches comes instinctively to budges even when you keep them as pets. However, if your budgie has decided to forgo this instinct completely and is permanently sleeping on the bottom of the cage, it could be a sign of one of the following problems.
Trying to avoid extreme cold or heat.
Budgies are highly sensitive to extreme temperatures.
Budgies are natives of the savannahs and woodlands of central Australia. However, even though they are accustomed to the heat, they don’t like scorching temperatures. Any temperature over 85 degrees Fahrenheit gets uncomfortable for budgies.
The optimal temperature range for budgies lies between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature goes above this, they would like to move to lower and cooler areas of their cage.
Similarly, budgies may be too cold to perch when the temperatures fall too low. In fact, wild budgies migrate to escape cold temperatures.
In the winters, the insides of the cage might get too cold for your budgie. It might be trying to sleep on the bottom of the cage to keep warm.
It could be sick and weak.
Your budgie may be too sick and weak to perch. In such situations, it would just lie down at the bottom of the cage, the easiest position for it.
There is no space in the cage or enclosure.
If there are many budgies in an enclosure and most of them are perching, then one or two of the budgies might like to sleep on the bottom of the cage to avoid discomfort. If this is the case, ensure that you provide a bigger cage for your budgies.
Sleeping With Head Down
Sometimes, budgies like to sleep with their head tucked in their feathers. Occasionally, you can also see them sleeping with their heads down.
Budgies especially like to sleep in this position during chilly winter months. They keep their eyes, cheeks, beak, and heads warm by keeping them under a layer of feathers.
They also like to sleep in this position if they feel safe and comfortable. Budgies are alert to predators even while sleeping, so if they are keeping their heads down, it means that they feel safe in their enclosure.
Another reason for this behavior could also be that the budgie is sick. Take it to the vet if you notice it sleeping with its head down regularly and not cleaning itself.
When Do Budges Sleep?
Budgies get the bulk of their sleep in their cage at night. However, budgies don’t sleep for 10 hours straight as humans do. They get up several times while sleeping at night and are usually up with the sun.
Do Budgies Need Darkness To Sleep?
If you keep your pet budgie inside, you can cover its cage to mimic the darkness of the night. Ensure that the cover you use blocks most of the light but allows air to enter.
Do Budgies Need a Bed To Sleep?
No, budgies don’t need a bed to sleep in; they prefer to sit on a perch, holding it with one leg while sleeping.
How Much Sleep Do Your Budgies Need?
Budgies need 10-12 hours of sleep every day. They need this much sleep at night to keep themselves healthy. A sleep-deprived budgie will show signs of fatigue.
What Will Happen if My Pet Budgie Is Not Getting the Sleep It Needs?
If your budgie is not getting enough sleep, it can become lethargic, cranky, and even unwell. If you notice any change in its usual resting pattern, and the change is consistent, then there is a possibility that your budgie is unwell due to lack of sleep.
If sleep deprived, your budgie can show aggression and unusual behaviors such as feather plucking, screaming, and being afraid all the time. Budgies can develop behavioral problems if they don’t sleep enough, just like humans.
If Your Home is Noisy, How Can You Help Your Budgies Sleep?
Budgies chirp and play the entire day, but they need some respite from loud noises at night. The environment around them should be relatively quiet for them to sleep peacefully.
Budgies can adapt to a moderate noise level, so a TV on low volume playing in the living room should not normally disturb them.
Avoid any sudden noises at night lest it should lead to night fright, i.e., budgies waking up in a frenzy for fear of predators and attempting to escape.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure a peaceful sleep for your budgie
- Use separate cages for play and sleep. Place the ‘sleep’ cage in a quieter corner with minimal lights so the budgies know it is time for them to turn in.
- Cover their cage to mimic darkness. Use a blanket or cloth that blocks light and sound but allows air to pass.
- If you have kept the budgie cage in your room, use a room divider to give your budgies some privacy and quiet.
- If you work at night, keep the noise to a minimum and avoid any sudden noises.
- If you can, rework your schedule to work during the day and rest at night. Budgies get up with the sun, so you can try sleeping early and getting up early to match your budgie schedule to avoid any discomfort to your budgies.
Why Don’t Budgies Fall off Their Perch While Sleeping?
Budgies, like most birds, have strong tendons in their ankles. When they are perched, their tendons stretch, closing their toes automatically, helping them grip the perch tightly. When considering a perch for budgies, you may want to look at rope perches instead of plastic ones.
Birds have pads underneath their claws to provide ample grip and comfortably sleep while perching. Birds that perch have four toes; when they sit on a branch, they bend their toes to grip the branch tightly.
Frequently Asked Questions About Budgie Sleep Positions
Is It Okay To Keep a Bird in Your Bedroom?
You also need to ensure that your bedroom is not dusty. At night, if your bedroom is not sufficiently dark, cover your bird’s cage with a blanket or a cloth thick enough to block the light but not air.
How Often Should I Bathe My Budgie?
Are Mirrors Okay for Budgies?
However, you should preferably keep more than one bird. Budgies are social and prefer company. Once you have two or budgies in the cage, you can keep a mirror to add to the illusion of more budgies.
Keeping a single budgie in a cage with a mirror can be harmful in the long run. Sometimes your budgie would want to bicker and push around its companion, and then it would end up attacking its reflection.
It is not difficult to understand the sleeping pattern of your budgies. We have laid out some of their common sleeping positions and what you need to understand about those positions.
But the most important thing about keeping budgies is ensuring they get their 12 hours of zzzz’s a day without disturbing them or making them feel scared.
Keep their enclosure clean, and do not overcrowd it.