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What are the Signs of Budgie Dying? #Stress #Loneliness #Naturally

The lifespan of most of the birds, especially budgies in the wild is just around 4 to 8 years. However, in captivity or as pets, they would continue to live for more than 15 to 20 years. However, there are a few clear signs that would indicate if your budgie is dying. While you may not be able to avoid its death, you can perhaps ease the pain that your budgie may be going through.

signs of dying budgie

What are the signs of a Budgie dying? There can be a few signs to indicate that your budgie is dying. Some of the prominent reasons to indicate that your budgie is dying can include damaging its own feathers, changes in eating or drinking behavior, vomiting, the difference in droppings and poop, and a lower level of activity. Except for when the budgie is sick, all these conditions can indicate that the budgie is dying.

What Are The Signs of a Budgie Dying?

When a budgie falls ill, it is most likely to hide its pain. The budgies will hide their illness even in captivity. In most of the cases, if you notice that the budgie is not well, it may be very very ill, and is perhaps close to dying.

It may be worthwhile to check out a few factors to understand before understanding the signs of a budgie dying.

Appearance of Feathers

A ruffled appearance of feathers can be one of the signs to indicate that the budgie is sick or maybe dying. The feathers are incredibly vital for the right survival of the bird. Budgies typically go through phase referred to as Molting. This is a process of falling of old feathers and then are replaced by the new ones. Ruffled feathers during this stage can be normal, but the consistent ruffled look can be something worrisome.

Some of the possible further indications can include:

Not Preening Often

Budgies love constantly preening their feathers. If your budgie has stopped preening itself, it can either be due to the fact that it isn’t capable. This can either be due to weakness or illness. You may even find that the budgie is damaging its feathers, which can be due to French Molt. It may not be fatal, yet it can prove to be severe in many cases.

Not Preening

Picking one’s own feathers can be an indication that the bird is distracting itself. This is something akin to us biting our nails when in distress.

Cysts in Feather

Cysts in the feather can be a result of overgrown feathers. These feathers grow below the surface of the skin. These can get developed as lumps or keratinized mass on the skin. If the condition deteriorates, the lumps can perhaps increase in size and number.

cysts in feathers

These lumps can press against the vital organs and exert pressure on their organs. This can be one of the prime reasons for the death. You can perhaps visit a vet or consider removing the cysts surgically removed.

Parasitic Infestation

Loss of feathers and the parasitic infestation can be one of the reasons for the ruffled and damaged feathers. If the parasites make their into the digestive system of the budgies, it can further create other severe issues. Some of these parasites can even make the skin itchy and thus can make the bird pick its feathers.

A few other symptoms that can indicate the parasitic infestation can include inactivity, loss of weight, and other issues. The budgie can begin screaming because of the itchiness and further signs of damaged feathers.

If you take proper care right in time, you can perhaps save your budgies. If you are not careful enough, it can become detrimental and can cause death.

Breathing Problems

If you witness any breathing issues with your budgies, it should be taken care of in a more positive manner. Since the budgies are quite smaller, they can lose heat quite quickly. Overheating can also be one of the serious concerns that can cause breathing problems.

If you find your budgie facing breathing issues quite frequently, it may be an indication of serious concern.

Signs of Breathing Problems

A few signs that indicate the breathing problems can include the following:

  • Wheezing and clicking sounds in a budgie
  • It may stretch its neck to take in more oxygen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing from an open beak
  • Bobbing up and down of the tail while breathing.

Air Sac Mites

Air sac mites are one of the common types of mites that attack the air sac of the budgie. This is precisely what causes the wheezing and clicking sound. The bird may stop chirping altogether. The air mites grow in the trachea of the bird.

If you do not provide enough care, it can die of suffocation. It is quite a contagious disease and can spread rather quickly. If one of the birds is affected, it would be a good idea to separate the other birds instantly. This can prevent the possible spread of the disease to the other birds in the flock.

Viral Infections

The viral infection can affect the budgie in the upper respiratory tract. It can even cause cold and make the bird sneeze, cough or even show the symptoms of a runny nose. The runny nose can be indicated through the wetness at the cere, or you may even notice the dried discharge.

You can witness the bird showing up the signs of a sluggish behavior. It may stop sitting on the perch. It can perhaps sit at the bottom of the cage or even hang from the sides of the cage through its beak.


You can get confused between regurgitation and vomiting. Regurgitation can be one of the signs of mating behavior. The right option is to check the exact sign of throwing up. How it throws up can provide you with one of the excellent options.

Signs of vomiting

If the budgie moves its head in an attempt to bring up food, it may be the sign of regurgitating. However, if you find that the head of the budgie is bobbing up or shakes up violently, it can be a sign of vomiting.

The food that is vomited sticks to the bird’s front, it can be an indication that it is an involuntary action. This can clearly be an indication that the bird is really sick.

Yeast Infection

Vomiting can be a sign to indicate that the budgie has a yeast infection. A few other signs that would indicate the yeast infection can include the difficulty in swallowing food, diarrhea, a swollen crop, and weight loss.

The vomit is likely to have a sour or nasty smell. Maybe it would be a good idea to consult a vet and provide the prescribed antibiotics.

Liver disease

Yet another reason for vomiting can include the liver disease. The liver disease can be identified through loose droppings that are green in color. Other symptoms of liver disease can consist of labored breathing and swelling in the abdomen.

The right medication right in time can prove to be a great option in helping your budgie get comfortable. In case you are able to diagnose the symptoms in the early stages, you can save its life.  However, if the condition has already worsened, the vet can only help your bird die comfortably. Harrowing it may appear to be, but it does remain a fact.

Budgie’s Excreta is Different

The droppings from the budgie can prove to be the right option to understand the health conditions of the bird. A good and healthy budgie is clearly indicated through the clear urine, darker feces and white urates are a few of the symptoms of the healthy budgie.

Change in color

If you notice the feces is not dark-colored and resembles the white urates, it may indicate any issues with the pancreas. If that is the case, an immediate veterinary intervention would be a good option. If you are not careful enough, the bird may die due to infection.

If the feces is red in color, it can indicate the presence of blood in the droppings. You may also notice the blood in a clotted form in the feces. Unless the red color cannot be attributed to the food, it can be an indication of intestinal infection or even an intestinal tumor.

Another color change you may notice can include bile in the droppings. The yellow urates and urine can indicate the bile and can point to a liver infection. If the liver symptoms are minor, they can be efficiently treated. Otherwise, it may cause death.

Appearance of poop

The appearance of the poop is yet another indication to prove the illness. The undigested food in the poop can be an indication of an issue with the digestive system. It can prove to be quite fatal.

The bulky, oily, and foul smell in the feces can be an indication of the inflammation of the bile ducts. It can block the bile ducts if the situation aggravates. The condition can cause serious illnesses such as jaundice. It can even result in liver failure if not treated in time.

Diarrhea is yet another condition that can prove that the bird is sick. In fact, you may find that the budgie can face health issues such as diarrhea when it arrives at the new place. It can even be caused by eating fresh fruits. However, consistent diarrhea can be an indication of ill-health. If you observe any of those signs, make sure you consult your vet right in time.

Lessened Activity

This is yet another indication to prove that the budgie is dying. A healthy budgie is always playful, active, and social. Listlessness, a diminished level of activity, and sitting at the bottom of the cage can be a few of the signs that indicate that the budgie is dying.

It may not feed well

Check the changes in the food habits of your budgie to ascertain its health conditions. Do note that the bird may conceal its illness and pretend to be eating or drinking. You may not find that it is not eating or drinking. It will need a closer intervention.

One of the prime options to indicate that it is not feeding well is the weight loss you may observe with your budgie. If you notice any such issues, it would be worthwhile to consult your vet.

Sleepy during the day

The budgie is one of the most social birds. It will never sleep during the day. If you notice any such an issue with your budgie, it may be the right time you can consult the vet. If you find that the budgie is sleepy during the day, it can be an indication of the serious concerns to the health of your budgie.

Your budgie is sleepy with its eyes shut during the day or even sleeps with eyes half shut; you are sure that the budgie is in trouble.


If you find that the budgie is trembling, shivering, and has frequent shivers repeatedly, it can indicate that the budgie is severely ill. If you notice any such situation, you need to take it to your vet right away.

An inability to move can be an indication of avian paralysis. If that happens, the bird may not hold its neck or may not be able to move its body. You may also notice the inability to breathe. The labored breathing can be a serious concern, and you should never delay the visit to the vet.

These were a few signs of budgie dying. However, there might be instances wherein your budgie might die suddenly. Let us see, what are the causes for it?

What would cause a Budgie to Die Suddenly?

Why did my bird die so suddenly? There can be several reasons for that to happen. A diet that is not much balanced can be one of the causes of the sudden death of a budgie. Eating too much of fruits can also cause sudden death in cases. The death of a companion can also be one of the reasons why your bird died suddenly. Toxins, overheating, and disease are a few of the other reasons for the sudden death of a budgie.

The above can be the prime reasons what would cause a budgie to die suddenly. In addition, there can be several reasons that include mites, yeast infections, and other illnesses for the sudden death of the budgie.

A few reasons to explain why your bird die suddenly can include:

  • Diet – Dehydration, a non-balanced diet, and too much of seeds can be one of the reasons that can cause concern. Too much of fruits can prove to increase the blood sugar levels. This imbalance can cause sudden death of the budgie.
  • Toxins – A budgie can die suddenly because of the toxins around them. Even cooking on a non-stick pan near a budgie can prove to be a concern. The PTFE can be toxic to the budgie and can kill it without warning. Insecticides, paint and similar other fumes can be a few reasons that can cause the budgie to die. Some foods that can be toxic can include caffeine, chocolate, fruit pits, avocado, peanuts and onions.
  • Heat – Being small, budgies cannot handle the heat. It may be worthy of ensuring that the budgie is not overheated. Placing the cage near the window can prove to be one of the excellent options to avoid overheating.

Well, these are a few common reasons for your budgie to die suddenly. Sometimes, you need to know how to comfort your dying budgie in his last stage of life. Further, we shall see other reasons for budgie’s death.

How to Comfort/Help a Dying Budgie?

While you cannot save a dying budgie, you can help it die in peace. Never loud noises near the budgie that is terminally sick. Do not play music when she is sleeping. Use a warm blanket to hold her when you take her out of the cage. Quarantine the sick bird and take an ultimate care of it during its dying days.

If the bird is not trained when it shows the dying symptoms, do not handle it too much. It can make it feel uncomfortable. If you feel the budgie is getting overheated, you can keep him in a place where it can get some fresh air. In case it is feeling cold, it would be a good idea to introduce an additional source of heat.

Provide fresh food and water every day. Ensure that the water bowl and food dishes are within reach of the bird, and it does not need to struggle to get access to food and water. If it is not able to handle the pain, providing it medication as per the instructions of your vet can be a good option.

Why is My Budgie Shaking His Head?

Under ideal conditions, shaking or bobbing the head is a sign of courtship. If the movement is voluntary, you need not worry about it. But, if you notice vomiting along with shaking, it may be a need for concern. The budgie may also shake its head when it is begging for food or when it is much hungry.

The shaking of the head can also be attributed to a mental disturbance or any issue related to the digestive system. The budgies are also seen to shake their head in case of parasitic infections. If the bobbing of the head or shaking head is observed to be consistent, it can be a cause for concern, and a veterinary intervention may be the need of the hour.

Why is My Female Budgie Bobbing Her Head?

Bobbing of heads in budgies is observed for several reasons. Males ideally bob their head as part of their courtship behaviour, but female budgies do it too. While a male does it to attract the male, a female too may do it to attract the male. Baby budgies bob their head when demanding food from the parents or when they are extremely hungry.

A female budgie may also bob its head when it is in front of a mirror and thinks that it is looking at another budgie. Bobbing head is a form of communication and a way of showing affection among budgies. Yet another reason why a female budgie or even a male budgie bob its head would be to get rid of boredom.

Can Birds Die from Stress?

Stress can definitely kill a bird which is otherwise completely healthy. Removing anything that causes stress can help the budgie live longer. Some signs of stress that can cause the concern include the vermins such as mice, any unfamiliar movement in the area where the budgie’s cage is kept, and movement of other pets such as cats can frighten the budgies. 

Stress can indeed overwhelm an otherwise healthy budgie. It would be worthwhile to ensure that things that can cause stress are removed from the scene immediately. Dogs barking continuously beside the cage, loud noises and music, and loneliness are a few of the signs that can make the budgie stressed out.

Can Birds be Scared to Death?

Under ideal conditions, fright should not kill a bird. The fright and scaring things cannot be the primary cause of death in the case of birds. However, if the bird is already vulnerable, the scare or fright can cause irregular heart beat and cause death. A healthy bird will never die of the fright or scare.

From the behavioural point of view, you cannot expect a budgie to die from getting scared. A sudden fright can, however, cause an increase in the heart rate. This can also create an increase in the level of stress hormones. If the bird is already not feeling well, you will find that it can cause a severe heart attack and result in a sudden death.

Will a Budgie Die of Loneliness?

Yes, a budgie can indeed die from loneliness. There are cases where the budgie would die of loneliness, and that would more be because of the lack of grooming partner. The budgies need other partners to keep their feather and skin clean. More than sadness or low with the lack of companion, it can die of lack of a grooming partner. If you can double up as a constant grooming partner, the loneliness may be avoided.

Budgies tend to spend most of their time grooming one another and playing with each other. It will be noisy talking to each other when they are happy. If you have only one bird, and if you feel it staying quiet throughout the day, it may be the right time you need to investigate the budgie and find solutions to help it remove the loneliness.

Can Budgies Die of a Broken Heart?

Budgies can die from grieving and a broken heart. If you have adopted two budgies, and one of them dies, you would notice that the bird alive will feel lonely and begin grieving. The bond doesn’t need to exist between a male and female bird alone. It can exist between any number of birds in one flock. If anyone bird dies, the other birds can grieve and die from a broken heart.

However, if you believe in the stories that do the rounds in the fairy tales and movies, that may be just that – a fairy tale! While the budgies may grieve and feel lonely, they will not die as a matter of fact. They may die of broken heart and loneliness, but it may not be a universal truth as such.

How Do Birds Die a Natural Death?

Birds and other animals seldom die a natural death. That holds true in the budgies and other birds as well. In most of the situations, birds die being killed or eaten by the predators. However, the birds in captivity would ideally die of natural means.

The natural cause of death can include old age, illnesses, and other natural reasons. The signs of sluggishness and apathetic behaviour can be a few reasons that can indicate the natural dying process.

The Concluding Thoughts

Well, understanding the signs of a budgie dying can help you take the right actions right in time. Consulting the vet right in time can help you save the budgie from dying. If you find that the budgie cannot be saved, you can make its life a little comfortable.

If you have any noticed any other signs of dying budgie or  have any suggestions on how to make a dying bugie comfortable, write to us in the comments section below.

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