To be happy and healthy, budgies need plenty of enrichment. This can include music, company, mirrors, toys, and a varied diet.
Most budgies like music so long as it isn’t too loud. You might want to consider some classical music to keep them calm, but many budgies love more upbeat music as well. You could also consider leaving on the radio when you go out, as silence is stressful for birds.
This article will give you some pointers on playing music for your pet bird, as well as determining whether your budgie actually likes the songs you are playing.
Why Do Budgies Like Music?
A sense of safety
Budgies tend to get stressed if things are too quiet during the day. In the wild, silence meant that a predator was close by, so they would fly to safety.
However, if they are confined in a cage or room, budgies cannot fly to a place where they feel safer. This is why it’s important to provide some calming background noise. This could be a radio turned down low, or some of your favorite tunes.
At nighttime, this gets reversed.
After sundown, your budgie will prefer silence so that they can sleep well. They would expect the jungle to be quiet in the evening, so silence doesn’t make them feel as uneasy.
The simple joy of it
Budgies like music for more reasons beyond the fact that it makes them feel safe.
If you watch a bird bopping and chirping along to a piece of music, it’s obvious that they are having a lot of fun.
I can’t tell you why budgies love music any more than I can tell you why humans love it. It’s just nice! (Very scientific answer, I know.)
What Kind of Music Do Budgies Like?
Budgies like many kinds of music. To determine which genres they prefer, you’ll have to watch for your bird’s reaction.
Don’t expect a massive reaction with every bird or every song. Some budgies aren’t bothered by music, while others need to hear the same piece on a few different days before they get excited by it.
Some love rock, while others prefer calming nature sounds. Then you’ve got your party animals who dance along to pretty much anything!
If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few genres I’d recommend:
- Calming, classical music
- Meditation music with waterfalls and river sounds
- Techno (some budgies love it, honestly!)
Some birds don’t appreciate heavier beats, so start gently and see how they react. If your budgie seems stressed, just turn off the music.
What About Playing Bird Noises? And Is it Cruel to Play Budgie Sounds to Your Budgie?
Some people swear that their budgies like to listen to recorded bird noises, but I’m not convinced.
Hearing prerecorded budgies can cause stress or confusion. Your budgie will wonder why the birds they hear aren’t responding to their calls, and they will feel trapped or anxious because they can’t find the source of the sound.
Playing bird noises certainly doesn’t replace company. Budgies are social creatures and tend to be far happier when kept in pairs or flocks.
How Do You Know if Your Budgie Likes Music?
If your budgie enjoys the music you put on, they will probably bop their head in time to the beat. They might chirp or whistle. They might also squawk, but that can be a sign of stress, so you’ll need to read their body language carefully.
Signs your budgie is stressed
If you notice the following behavior after putting on some music, your budgie probably isn’t having a very good time. These are signs of stress that you should take seriously.
Biting and lunging
If your budgie bites or lunges at you or another bird, they may be stressed or frightened. If they cannot leave the place where they feel unsafe, they might engage in aggressive behavior. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are ‘just being grumpy.’
Stressed-out birds will pluck out their feathers or even cut themselves with their beaks. They might continue to harm themselves even after you turn off the music, as a stress response takes time to wind down.
I already mentioned that happy birds might chirp along with the music. But if they are screaming, they are probably unhappy. Some squawking is normal, so long as it isn’t too loud.
If you’re wondering what the heck is ‘too loud,’ I recommend that you spend time with your budgie and get to know their habits. You’ll soon determine what is normal behavior and what are things you should be concerned about.
How to Calm Down Your Budgie
If your budgie seems stressed out after your play music, you can help them to calm down by talking softly and not moving too quickly.
Don’t put your hand in the cage with a stressed bird, as they might bite or scratch you. (It might be an accident, so don’t risk it even if you have a good relationship.)
Budgies don’t get lots of loving comfort from their mothers like puppies or kittens do, so they don’t associate handling with calmness. I would not try to stroke or cuddle my budgie if they were stressed. Just give them the space they need to figure things out independently.
You can save affection for times when your budgie asks for it, giving them a choice to move away from you if they aren’t in the mood. (It’ll be much better for your relationship in the long run!)
Music can be highly comforting to your budgie, and they might even start singing along to their favorite tunes.
Other birds won’t be that fussed, and you might not see any behavior change. Remember not to play music too loudly, and keep an eye on your budgie’s reaction.
If they seem freaked out by the noise, just turn off the music. You might want to try again in the future, after your bird is better settled in, or try something a bit gentler.
Nature sounds like rivers and waterfalls can be particularly pleasant for your budgie. Just be cautious about playing prerecorded bird sounds, as this often does more harm than good.
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My name is Niels Joensen, and I’m the creator of Wings and Beaks. I got my first two budgies at the age of 13, and right away, I fell in love with these beautiful tiny birds. Wings and Beaks is where I share my knowledge and passion for budgies with other bird owners.