The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care.
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There are many, many different kinds of animals out there that you can take in as your own and adopt as pets. While most people are perfectly happy with the traditional cat or dog as a pet, there are many more people who are becoming open to the idea of having different animals as a home companion.
For example, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and birds have all become far more commonplace.
For example, budgies are an incredibly common pet in the realm of birds as pets. In fact, they are the most common type of bird that people own as a pet. If you are planning to adopt a budgie or two, you are going to want to make sure that among other things, you have a local vet who not only is able to care for birds but also has the medical equipment needed to help a sick bird.
Aside from this, the most that you are going to want to do when planning to adopt budgies is to learn about their behaviors, mannerisms, and needs as pets. From understanding what their behaviors might be and what signs indicate that there is something wrong to knowing what type of food you should be feeding your new pets, there is going to be a lot to tackle.
An easy place to start is going to be looking into common misconceptions and myths about the pets so that you know what is an exaggeration and what is to be expected.
A good example of this would be the fact that most people consider budgies to be one of the noisiest pets that you can own, and this belief does have some basis in reality: budgies have a considerable range of noises. But, are they the loudest or most communicative pet that one can own? Probably not.
To begin, you need to first understand how budgies communicate and what kind of noises they make.
The Vocalization Range and Volume of the Budgie
There is no denying that budgies are quite the communicative pet. If you are looking for a pet that you will not so much interact with as you will coexist peacefully, the budgie may not be for you.
Your budgie is going to bond to you eventually and when that happens, it is going to want to speak to you the same way it would speak to any other animal that it has bonded with. For better or for worse, budgies will communicate through a variety of chirps, squawks, and chatters.
For instance, one form of communication that budgies will do is known as a contact call and this functions exactly as you might expect it would. It is a call that is used to establish contact, typically a reassuring response, from another companion when the budgie is either stressed or becoming overexcited.
If you are the only companion or if the budgie’s usual companion is not able to respond, then your budgie is going to become increasingly more stressed, escalating the contact call from a chirp to a squawk to a scream as it tries to establish communication.
How loud your budgie gets is going to depend on a few things. A major aspect of it is going to depend on how stressed your budgie is.
The more stressed and on-edge your budgie is, the louder and more frantic it is going to become, which may be tolerable albeit annoying in an isolated instance; however, if your budgie has an anxiety problem and screams every time you leave the room, then it may become intolerable.
Aside from abnormal situations, such as a budgie with separation anxiety, budgies tend to be on the quieter side of things on the scale of birds and their volume control. Your budgie is going to make a lot of noise and a wide variety of that noise, but the actual volume of those noises are going to be quieter than other birds.
When Do Budgies Talk?
Budgies, much the same as people, are going to have different periods of the day when they talk more often than others. Also much the same as people, budgies tend to be more active in the day, producing most of their noise through the daylight hours and calming down as the sun begins to set.
Assuming that your budgie is healthy and that there are no problems with its habitat, it should remain quiet throughout the night. Even if the budgie makes noises at night, they will tend to be quieter unless the budgie is genuinely frightened.
With that being said, there are situations where you are going to end up hearing your budgie at night. Budgies are fickle about their sleep and require a dark, silent room to be able to sleep well. If the budgie isn’t sleeping well and wakes up during the night, it may begin its songs and chatter at an inconvenience to everyone else.
One of the keys to making sure that your budgie sleeps through the night is to provide it with a good cage location.
Helping a Budgie Through the Night
Budgies need a surprising amount of sleep despite how small they are. One would think that they would need only a couple hours of sleep but, on average, budgies need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep each night to remain functional. In an ideal situation, this sleep will be uninterrupted for the entirety of that time.
New bird owners may not be aware of just how sensitive budgies are while they are sleeping and an owner may not set up their cage in the right type of environment, leading to inadequate budgie sleep and therefore to noises during the night.
It is crucial to put a fair amount of effort into creating a good setting for the budgie’s environment to help it sleep through the night or else the mood of your budgie will suffer as it loses sleep.
First things first; you are going to want to try to replicate the same conditions a budgie would have out in the wild when you are setting up the habitat. Naturally, their brains will want them to sleep as the sun goes down and wake up as the sun comes up, so allowing the budgie to have natural sunlight can make a big difference.
Because of this, a good way to replicate this kind of light is to make use of the real deal and place the cage near a window with thin curtains on it. The thin curtains will obscure some of the things outside that may stress a budgie out while still allowing enough light in to help your budgie’s sleep.
Next comes making sure that there isn’t any artificial lighting that would interfere with the budgie’s sleep. You won’t want to leave the light on in the room with the budgie’s cage in it and you won’t want to have any automatic bulbs that turn on when you enter the room or anything similar to that.
Budgies are somewhat sensitive and even a bedside lamp can be “too bright” for the environment. You should try and keep the lighting to a minimum until daytime arrives.
Keep in mind that there may be unavoidable stressful situations that come with owning a pet. For instance, consider a loud thunderstorm. Whether it is the crack of thunder or a flash of lightning, this type of sudden stimulus will wake up your budgie.
If the budgie isn’t used to storms, it is going to terrify your budgie. On a stormy night, you can expect fearful squawking and there isn’t much to do about it, aside from calming the budgie down.
Aside from uncontrollable instances such as this, helping a budgie sleep through the night is pretty simple. You will want to rely predominantly on the natural light that comes from the sun while offering as little interference as possible by not turning on the lights in the room before your budgie has had enough sleep.
Another, more difficult, aspect of this is going to be keeping the room as silent as possible as well. You can consider leaving the cage in an unoccupied room or a room that receives little foot traffic but this room may not be convenient for the location of the cage.
If you have another animal that roams the house, you may need to lock that animal into their own room when night comes so your budgie can sleep undisturbed.
Understanding Budgie Noises
Now that you know about how much noise a budgie can make, when it will make noise, and what you can do to minimize the amount of noise that may disturb day-to-day life, you will also want to learn what a budgie’s noises mean.
After all, these animals communicate in such a variety of ways that you will want to understand what they are trying to tell you.
Budgies can have about six categories of noises that they will make, with many of them being situational and some of them being simple chatter between you, the bird, and any companions the bird may have.
A budgie’s noises will include “chirrups,” which is the most common noise that they make, as well as squawks, chatters, singing, chiding, and beak grinding. There is another category of noises that doesn’t fall quite into chatters but functionally remains the same that will be discussed later.
Chirrups are going to be the most common noise your budgie makes and the name of this sound comes from what it may sound like when your budgie makes the noise. When uttered as a single chirp, it means that your budgie is content and going on with its life, reassuring you and everyone around it that things are all okay while also serving as a bonding mechanism with other birds.
It also has an equivalent meaning of saying “I am here,” letting other animals in its flock know where the bird is. In a sense, it is pretty much the same content as what someone who cannot stand to be in silence would say, being empty chatter but not implying that anything is wrong.
Chirrups may also be used to express unhappiness and they will often be louder, more insistent, and more drawn out when the budgie is unimpressed. The louder, more frequent, and more akin to squawking that it gets, the more unhappy your budgie is. Much as how a positive chirrup is somewhat empty chatter, negative chirrups are not dissimilar.
They do not have a specific meaning, such as “I am in pain,” but may be used to express a sentiment of “Hey, my food is empty!” or “There’s things out the window!” These chirrups can be equated to a call for your attention that is more meaningful, though sometimes it can mean that your budgie simply sees some sparrows outside.
Squawks tend to indicate that something is wrong and that it is more urgent than an unhappy chirrup would imply. They are unpleasant noises, loud and hard on the ears. You won’t like hearing them and your budgie probably doesn’t like the situation that compelled it to make such a noise.
As such, squawks tend to indicate that your budgie has been frightened by something, that it may have hurt itself, or that it felt a threat that needed to be warded off (this can be a real or perceived threat). With as fickle as budgies are, it can also end up meaning that the budgie is lonely or hungry, but very distressingly so.
It can also be a sign that a female budgie is in an equivalent of heat. To settle down a squawking budgie, you will want to do what you can to assess the situation, see if there is a threat or injury, and soothe the bird through a calm voice and/or a cover over the cage while you investigate.
On a more positive note, a chattering budgie is a happy budgie. If happy chirrups are a meaningless indication that things are perfectly fine, chattering would be in a tier of happiness above that. Your budgie is quite happy and may simply be making some of these noises to interest itself.
Budgies are known to repeat tones and noises that they find fascinating, much to your eventual ire. These can be mumbled variants of sounds that it has heard, notes of a song that it appreciated, or even words and phrases that it has learned from you.
Singing is exactly as it sounds as your budgie harmonizes tunes and notes through chirrups, whistles, trills, and various noises that it has enjoyed hearing. Sometimes it will be snippets of speech; sometimes it will be a replicated sound that it likes, such as the noise of a phone or a car.
It will be a strange melody with no particular direction, but yet endearing as it shows what noises have left the most impact on your budgie.
Budgies have a noise not unlike a hiss that will be used in situations that a hiss would be used. These noises are known as chiding and it will indicate that your budgie is not in a good mood.
Typically, it will be uttered if your budgie feels as if its space has been invaded or if something has it on the defensive. It is not an indication that it is intimidated or aggressive yet, but rather that it is getting annoyed. If it is heard often in a multi-bird cage, it can indicate that there are too many birds.
And finally, there is beak grinding. Beak grinding, interestingly enough, can be considered the equivalent of a cat’s purr. It is one of the deepest signs of contentedness that your budgie can express and tends to mean that your budgie is settling down to go to sleep.