Why Is My Budgie Pecking Me?

Budgies are normally docile creatures, but they will bite if provoked.

Budgies are normally docile creatures, but they will bite if provoked.

If your budgie is pecking you often, it may not be that he's temperamental or angry. He's probably just trying to defend himself, unaware that you have the best of intentions. Budgies rarely attack unprovoked, and there are several reasons your pet might be agitated enough to bite.

Territoriality

Budgies can become highly territorial, biting and nipping at anyone who dares encroach on their cages or play areas. They may also be possessive, guarding a toy or object of interest by pecking at prying fingers. Birds can become especially territorial if they are cage-bound, or left inside their cages for too long with little interaction. So make sure your budgie spends plenty of time with you outside his cage.

Defensiveness and Fear

Budgies also tend to bite out of fear. If a budgie is cornered, held too tightly, poked at or teased, he will peck in response. To avoid getting pecked for this reason, make sure you gain your budgie's trust before trying to handle him. If you start trying to pick your budgie up or hand-train him before he's come to see you as a flock mate, he might see you as a threat and start to peck.

Poor Socialization

Budgies who don't spend much time with people will be especially frightened by human attempts to interact. For instance, if you have more than one budgie and they spend all their time together, they might get so used to each other that they come to fear you. When this is the case, budgies may try to peck you away whenever you handle them, even after months of ownership. To avoid this problem, spend one-on-one time training each bird separately before joining them in one cage.

Overhandling

If you're handling your budgie too much, he might get annoyed and peck you. This can happen if you overtrain a parakeet and start to fatigue him. Forcing your budgie to climb onto your finger too many times in a row, holding a budgie in your hand until his patience runs out, or chasing after a budgie that has flown away from you can all get you pecked. While it's good to spend time with your budgie, give him some space when he starts to get cranky.

 

About the Author

June Mebei is a Virginia-based writer who earned her B.A. in English at Georgia State University. She began writing professionally in 2008, and has published narrative essays, editorial articles, short stories and poetry.

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