Signs Your Budgie Is Dying Slowly {9 Signs To Watch Out For}

Have you noticed a sudden change in your budgie?

Do you want to know the signs your budgie is dying slowly?

If you see the below signs you will need to closely monitor your budgie closely as they could be ill or even dying slowly

How Do I Know If My Budgie Is Dying?

The best way to know if your budgie is dying is by paying enough attention to the bird, noticing its behaviour change, and providing adequate care.

When your budgie is dying, its behaviour will change, giving you enough signs that it is dying and needs your help. You can’t possibly know this if you ignore the bird.

Signs that your budgie is dying include:

  • Tail bobbing up and down
  • stretching its neck frequently
  • heavy breathing
  • vomiting frequently
  • making wheezing
  • clicking sounds

Is your budgie unable to fly?


Signs That Show your Budgie is Dying

1. Breathing Problems

Breathing problem is the most common sign that shows that something affects your budgie and can lead to death. It is essential for living things to respire, making breathing problems deadly.

Budgies are relatively small, making them lose heat rapidly, so if you see your bird breathing rapidly, it might be overheating.

But if the rapid breathing becomes persistent, then it might be a result of an underlying sickness. You will also notice the bird bobbing its tail up and down, stretching its neck in the quest of getting more oxygen, breathing heavily through its open beak, etc. You will also notice its short breath and hear the budgie making clicking and wheezing sounds.

Below is a good video that goes through breathing problems with budgies

YouTube video

2. Viral Infection

Viral infections can also be a good sign that shows your budgie is dying slowly. Viral infections affecting your bird in the upper respiratory tract can cause its death if you do not take care of it.

It can cause symptoms of a cold in your bird, making it cough, sneeze, or even have a running nose.

You can be sure of this by looking at the bird’s cere, which will show crusted, wetness, and dried discharge.

You will also notice the sluggish behavior of the bird and its unwillingness to sit on its perch. You might even see the bird hanging to the side of its cage with its beak.

Another viral infection that can affect the bird is the infestation of its air sac by air sac mites. This infestation can cause the bird’s voice to become hoarse or even make the bird stop chirping. You will also notice the bird making a clicking and wheezing sound when breathing.

3. Unhealthy Feathers

Another obvious sign that shows your budgie is dying is its feathers. The feathers of the bird will look rough, old, and untidy. Usually, budgies go through a molting process whereby their old feathers fall off, and new ones grow back to replace them.

When your budgie does not molt, you should be worried as it might be a sign of disease or infection. Budgies also care for their feathers, but when they stop caring for their feathers, it means they are ill, weak, or both.

You can also see your budgie damaging its feather, which can be severe but not fatal.

The unhealthy feathers can also be a result of parasites affecting them. If these parasites find their way to the bird’s gut, it can result in illness and probably death.

Weight loss, inactivity, budgie screaming, etc., are symptoms that accompany the feathers’ loss or unhealthiness.

Feather cyst can also be deadly if you do not take care of it or visit the vet. When ingrown feathers develop beneath the skin due to the accumulation of keratinized mass, causing lumps. These lumps can cause pressure on vital organs and can result in death.

4. Vomiting

Although regurgitation is a mating ritual performed by budgies where the bird brings out food voluntarily, vomiting is an involuntary action and is very harmful. To know the difference between regurgitation in budgies and vomiting, you would have to check out how the bird brings out the food.

If the bird moves, it heads voluntarily to bring out food, then it is regurgitating, but if it brings out the food shaking or bobbing its head violently, it is vomiting.

When the bird vomits, the food stays in the bird’s front, showing that it vomited and is sick.

You can also notice that the vomit will have a nasty sour smell to the bird. Other symptoms that accompany vomiting include; diarrhea, difficulty swallowing food, weight loss, and swollen crop.

Vomiting can also result from liver disease; unfortunately, the liver is a vital organ in the bird’s body. Labored breathing, swelling on the abdomen, loose droppings with green coloring, etc., also accompanies vomiting.

If you do not take care of this infection in time, the condition will keep worsening.

5. Reduced Activity

When your budgie is dying, you will notice a reduced activity of the bird. You will see the bird not feeding well and will keep sleeping in the day, which is unlikely for a budgie. You will also notice that the bird is shivering and trembling and seems to lose balance.

The budgie will also be quiet and will rarely move from its position. Labored breathing, weight loss, tail bobbing, and other significant symptoms accompany the reduced activity.

When you notice this, you should know your budgie is dying and needs care, medication, and attention.

Is My Budgie Sick or Just Tired?

Even the tiniest budgies cannot spend most of their time motionless or silent. When your budgie is sick, you will notice the symptom last for a long while, but it will get back up after a while and resume its activities when it is tired.

When a budgie is sick, it will seem uninterested in things that simulate it on an average day, which is unlikely to happen to a tired budgie.

Signs your Budgie is Dying of Old Age?

Budgies typically have a live expectancy of between 5 – 10 years and they will show several signs when your budgie is old enough to die. Here are some of the things to look out for

  • Fluffing Up : Birds fluff up their feathers to lose heat, but when your budgies puff up their feathers most times, it can be much trouble. It is a sign of old age and a sign that shows it is dying. You will also notice it bobbing its tail.
  • Sleeping More : If your budgie is old and sleeping almost all of the time, you should know that it is getting ready to die. It is unlikely for budgies to sleep during the day, so it means death when you see an old one doing this.
  • Un-coordination : You will also notice extreme un-coordination in your old budgie when it is dying. It is an obvious sign that your budgie is old and is ready to die.
  • Deep Slow Breathing : Slow breathing is also one of the symptoms that show your budgie is dying of old age. You will notice the bird taking slow deep breaths, and might find difficulty in breathing.
  • Inability to Fly : Inability to fly is one of the signs that show your budgie is old and is dying. The old bird will stay in a position and will find difficulty in flying. If you notice this sign in your budgie, you should know it is dying from old age.

Can Budgie Die From Cold?

Yes. When the temperature drops, a budgie may bury their head under the chest and the beak under their feathers for warmth.

Parakeets like sleeping with one foot propped up and the other tucked under them. In the event that your budgie’s feathers are puffed up and they appear to be sleeping on both feet, they are likely experiencing chilly weather.

Due to their small size and lack of insulating properties of their feathers, these birds have a difficult time adjusting to temperatures below 60°F.

When the temperature lowers at night, budgies get colder. When a budgie becomes too chilly, it will cease being as active and interested in its surroundings.

They will:

  • stand on one foot
  • puff up feathers
  • appear to slumber for longer lengths of time during the day

A budgerigar may survive brief exposure to freezing temperatures, but being outside in the cold for an extended period of time is dangerous.

Signs a Budgie Is Dying of Old Age

Like other avian species, budgies may hide their symptoms. This is their strategy for staying alive in the wild.

Even though they are not in immediate danger from a predator, captive budgies are quite excellent at hiding sickness for as long as possible.

Here are some indications that a budgie is dying from old age:

  • trouble breathing.
  • unhealthy-looking feathers
  • strange feces
  • vomiting
  • lethargy
  • lack of appetite
  • unsteady or wobbling
  • cold
  • standing on one foot often
  • sleeping a lot

Make sure the bowls of food and water are always filled with fresh water and easily accessible.

When a beloved pet is in unbearable suffering and no amount of medication may alleviate that discomfort, a veterinarian may recommend putting them to sleep humanely.

Why is my Budgie Puffed up and Sleepy?

It is normal for birds to sleep, especially when tired of having a long hectic day. It is also usual for a bird to puff up because they fluff up their feathers to lose heat. But it is terrible to have both symptoms combined, especially when they become persistent.


When your budgie puffs up its feather most of the day, it might be suffering from an infection and probably might lose its life if you do not take care of it. Sleeping is a normal thing for budgies but becomes abnormal when they sleep in the day for too long.

When you notice these two symptoms in your budgie, it might mean it is in trouble or sick.

How Can I Help my Sick Budgie?

When your budgie becomes sick, you can help it by turning up the temperature as budgies expend body resources at high temperature to help fight illness. You have to be careful so that the temperature doesn’t become too hot for the bird.

You can feed it with adequate foods and fluids using a syringe, finger, or dropper to keep it from dehydrating.

You can also take the bird to a veterinarian if the sickness becomes severe or you have no idea of what to do. You can also leave it to rest while it recovers from the illness.

How Do you Comfort a Dying Budgie?

Since it is the bird’s last days, you need to stay by its side quietly and provide every one of its needs. You can also put something soft like foam or towel to have a hard landing when it falls from its perch. You can again move the perch further towards the floor.

Make sure there are no loud noises as this can add to the stress of your budgie,  Also make sure they are not to hot or cold.

Make sure they are not in direct sun light as this can make them very uncomfortable.

What Can I Feed my Sick Budgie?

If your budgie is sick it is best to feed them foods that are easy to digest such as soft foods.

You can feed your sick budgie with pellets, millets, seeds, fresh fruits, easily digestible human foods, peas, vegetables, oatmeal, cereal or baby food, fruit juice, ground-up pellets, etc.

If your budgie is sick it is important that they eat as this will give them the energy to beat the sickness, If your budgie has not eaten anything for 48 hours you need to take them to a vet as soon as possible.

Why are my Budgies not Moving?

There are a few common reasons why your budgie is not moving which include

  1. New Environment : Your budgie might not move if it is new to its environment; it is one of its prey instincts to stay still so that predators won’t notice it.
  2. Sick : It might also not move if it is sick or close to death.
  3. Scared : If your budgie is scared, its instincts will kick in and will cause the budgie not to move. Is there something in the environment that is scaring them? A cat?

You have to detect the reason for its stillness to know what step to take.

What to do When your Budgie Dies?

When your budgie dies, you should take it out into the field for burial. If you are not ready to bury it, you might need to wrap it and keep it frozen till you are ready.


Budgies, formally known as Budgerigar, are social outgoing seed-eating parrots with a long tail and colorful feathers. The bird is a species in the genus Melopsittacus, popularly known for its scalloped markings at the back, wings, and nape.

Several signs show your budgie is dying. You only have to pay attention to these signs to be able to tell the cause of your bird’s dying situation and how to treat it.

You can know if your budgie is dying slowly if you pay attention to some details and the bird’s behavior.

The most significant sign you will notice is that the bird will start breathing heavily through an open beak while bobbing its tail up and down. You will also see the budgie stretching its neck, striving to get more oxygen.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.



My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.