6 Common Causes Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up

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You have noticed your budgie looking a bit fluffier than usual, feathers puffed up as it perches quietly. This change in appearance might have you asking, why is my budgie puffed up?

Budgies puffed up for several reasons: they could be relaxed, trying to keep warm, getting ready to sleep, responding to stress, showing contentment, or simply engaging in normal preening.

In this article, I have listed six causes of budgies puffed up. I have also discussed some queries regarding this topic in the following article. So keep reading.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up?

Budgies puff up their feathers for various reasons. For example, it might be feeling cold or wanting to rest. However, puffing up could also occur due to illness. Yet, it’s often a normal behavior for budgies, so there’s usually no need to worry.

Here I’ll explain some common reasons your budgie looks puffed up.

1. Feeling Cold

Budgies usually puff up their feathers to keep their bodies warm. Puffed-up feathers help trap body heat more efficiently. It’s similar to how we use blankets during cold nights. Your birdie is simply trying to use the feathers for insulation purposes.

2. Prepare For Sleep

Your budgie might just want to feel cozy. That’s a possibility, too. Even if the room temperature is fine (between 71 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit), your budgie might have a habit of puffing up feathers before sleeping. You don’t need to worry if your budgie only does this while napping.

3. Happy or Excited

Your little budgie might be happy or excited about something. I have seen budgies get excited whenever they see their favorite person or something they particularly enjoy.

When they anticipate being petted by their caretaker, they puff up into a ball. It’s similar to a cat purring affectionately when you pet it.

Storytime: When my budgie hears the sound of my guitar, he puffs up and bobs along, almost as if he’s dancing to the music. It’s a clear sign of excitement. However, It’s easy to recognize once you’re familiar with your budgie’s typical behavior.

4. Preening Its Feathers

Preening feathers is a typical behavior that is often observed in budgies. During the process, they clean up their bodies, pluck dirty feathers, and maintain the right amount of feathers needed to survive.

However, they don’t necessarily need to puff up while preening. But some of them like to do it for better access around the whole body. So, if your budgie puffs up and preens itself, no need to worry.

5. Stressed or Scared

Stress is another reason why your budgie is so puffed up. Whenever budgies feel scared or threatened by their surroundings, they try to look bigger as a defense mechanism. In the wild, it helps intimidate predators. Your budgie might be experiencing the same thing inside the cage.

Other symptoms including rapid breathing, cowering, attempting to hide, etc back up the conviction that your bird’s scared. So, make sure to keep an eye on its behavior.

6. Suffer From Sickness

Lastly, your budgie might suffer from sickness. According to MSD Veterinary Manual, puffed-up feathers must be backed up by other symptoms of sickness. Only the puffy feathers aren’t enough to identify the disease.

So, here are the common symptoms to help you figure out whether your budgie is really sick or not.

Vomiting or nasal dischargeCheck out if the nose area is wet. Colored discharge on the cage indicates vomiting
Lethargic (not moving much or at all)A lethargic bird will refuse to play or move much
Unusual sound while breathingYou can hear some weird wheezing sound from its chest. Also, tail bobbing is a sign of respiratory issues
Discolored DroppingsCheck their droppings for any unusual color. Discoloration means food isn’t digested properly

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up All The Time?

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up

If your budgie is puffed up all the time, that means its body temperature is too low. And, the bird is trying to keep itself warm by puffing up its feathers. It can be either an external or internal problem. Is the room temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit? If yes, then you need a heater to help your budgie stay warm.

If there isn’t any issue with the room’s temperature, then it’s apparent that your budgie is sick. And an illness might have lowered the bird’s body temperature.

Do Budgies Fluff Up When They’re Happy?

Budgies can puff up their feathers when they’re happy or excited. Because they are quite expressive when they like something or someone. For example, if they like a certain treat, they might get all excited seeing it again. And puffing up their feathers is just one way of expressing their enthusiasm or happiness.

My Budgie Is Puffed Up But Eating, Is This Normal?

If your budgie is puffed up while eating, there’s no need to worry because it’s normal. However, it just means that your budgie is either cold or stressed. As long as your budgie is eating right, there is no need to panic.

When budgies get sick, they normally don’t like eating so much. So, monitoring their eating pattern for a few days should tell you about their health.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up With Its Eyes Closed?

If your budgie stays puffed up most of the time with eyes closed, it’s alarming. According to a Veterinary report, if you see a budgie’s feathers fluffed up and eyes closed then it means that the budgie has been pretending to be fine for quite some time. And, now, it has given up.

Budgies are very active during the day. If yours doesn’t react to toys at all and keeps its eyes closed most of the time, it’s a sign of sickness. Even though the type of illness is not clear, you need to take your budgie to an Avian vet ASAP.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up And Sleeping?

There are two possibilities. One, the budgie is simply puffing up because it’s too cold. It’s using the feathers to trap air pockets and get comfortable. Usually, budgies start puffing up when the room temperature is around 68 degrees to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as you fix the heater, the budgie will no longer turn into a puffball.

Secondly, there is a possibility the budgie is sick. Budgies have a record of puffing up frequently to hide symptoms of illness or weakness. The only way to discover whether a budgie is cold or sick, you have to look for other symptoms like coughing, bobbing its tail, vomiting, etc.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up And Not Moving?

Budgies puff up and stop moving when they perceive a threat. It could be anything from loud TV noise to sudden flashes of light in the night, etc. But when the budgies don’t feel safe, they would try to appear larger by puffing up to scare of potential predators.

However, another possibility is that your budgie has been sick for a while. Birds are quite good at pretending to be alright when they are not. And, refusing to move is one of the signs that the budgie might be too weak to walk or perch properly.

Hence, it has chosen to puff up and stay still to hide its weakness from the cage-mates. You must consult with a vet to further diagnose the type of disease.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up And Breathing Heavily?

Your budgie has respiratory issues and needs to be checked immediately. Unusual breathing is a major sign of sickness as I mentioned earlier. You also need to check whether a wheezing sound is audible while the bird breathes.

Coughing, sneezing all of these should be noted as symptoms. Moreover, birds having trouble breathing keep bobbing their tails. So, make sure you observe that as well.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up And Shaking?

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up

There are three possibilities in this case. First, your budgie is simply readjusting its feathers. A quick shake isn’t something you should be worried about. Second, if the bird is constantly puffed up and shaking, it might be stressed or anxious. Having hostile cage-mates, inappropriate living conditions, exposure to loud noise, anything can trigger stress in budgies. 

Third, your budgie is suffering from parasitic or respiratory infection. To be sure, check the bird’s droppings and breathing pattern.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up With Its Tail Bobbing?

According to Morningside Animal Hospital, tail bobbing is a sign of budgies having trouble breathing properly. Budgie along with other parakeets practice tail bobbing if they have respiratory issues. The muscles inside their tails help their lungs function better.

Budgies fluffing up their bodies is not enough to identify an illness. But the tail-bobbing sign backs it up and indicates a breathing issue.

Why Does My Budgie Puff Up When It Sees Me?

It can be fear or happiness. You need to know your bird well to figure out which emotion it’s feeling. For example, if the budgie has been with you for a while and you both have a friendly relationship, it fluffs up because of happiness. This means that the budgie is excited to be petted by you.

On the other hand, if you have just got the budgie, it might be afraid of you. And, fluffing up its body to make itself look bigger is a sign of aggression. Hopefully, with time and care your budgie will start liking you.

Why Does My Budgie Puff Up When I Talk To Him?

Are you talking with your budgie and seeing them fluff up? It’s their way of telling you that they’re relaxed and everything’s fine. It’s very similar to a cat purring – your budgie’s showing they’re content and your voice is probably their favorite.

Based on my observation with my budgie, a soft talk gets him all fluffed up delightfully. He tilts his head and gets a gentle look in his eyes. It feels like we’re truly connecting.

So whenever you notice a budgie fluffing its feathers while you talk, then it’s highly probable they’re feeling happy, content, or excited.

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up But Acting Normal?

One thing about birds is that they pretend to be normal while having serious health issues. Budgies are no different. As a caretaker, your job is to read between lines. 

Don’t expect your budgie to express any sort of distress in front of you. Instead, look for symptoms. Examine the droppings, breathing pattern, appetite, interest in playing, etc. 

How Can I Treat A Puffed-Up Budgie?

Why Is My Budgie Puffed Up

A puffed-up budgie isn’t necessarily sick, as I mentioned several times in this article. This habit must be backed up by other symptoms for you to consider the bird ill. As for treatment, the disease requires further diagnosis by the vet. Except for malnutrition, every other type of disease needs medication.

So, you shouldn’t try to treat the bird at home and risk its life. Also, the earlier you can start treatment, the better.


Budgies are cute and they become even cuter when turned into a puff-ball. But the pretty feathers might hide an ugly disease. So, don’t take it lightly.

I suggest you get your budgie checked up by an Avian vet from time to time. That’s the best way to identify a disease before it reaches a critical stage.

Budgie Info