Budgies can sleep in some ridiculous-looking positions, including upside down or with one leg in the air. Don’t worry; it’s nothing to be alarmed about!
No matter what their chosen position, budgies tend to sleep with their eyes closed. But they might keep one eye open if they are having a light nap. When in groups, budgies take turns sleeping. This is a natural behavior that helps them watch out for predators in the wild, so you might notice that at least one bird has its eyes open at all times during the night.
This article will tell you everything you need to know about your budgies’ sleeping patterns, including how to avoid the dreaded ‘night-terrors’!
How Much Sleep Do Budgies Need?
Budgies need between 10 and 12 hours of sleep every night. If they don’t get this, they will end up feeling stressed and grumpy in the long run. (I can’t blame them, as I sleep for a good 10 hours myself!)
Lack of sleep can also have some more serious health implications for your bird, like preventing them from breeding. Even if you don’t want any chicks, you want your budgie to be in top health!
Keep your budgie’s cage in a dark, quiet place overnight where you won’t disturb them.
For example, if your budgie is sleeping near the kitchen, you should bring a glass of water into the bedroom with you rather than going out to get one.
I mean, you wouldn’t walk into anyone else’s room in the middle of the night, and it’s not fair to keep disturbing your bird, either!
Budgie Sleep Positions
Like I mentioned, budgies sleep in some pretty wacky positions.
They can quite comfortably hang from the cage roof, but they tend to prefer sleeping on the highest perch in the cage. You will often see them turning their heads over to rest them on their backs or pulling a foot into their feathers for extra warmth.
Why Don’t They Fall Off Their Perch?!
Budgies don’t fall off at night because they have evolved to sleep in the branches of trees. Their toes naturally close as they settle their weight and drift off to sleep, so they don’t have to worry about crashing to the floor as soon as they drop off!
Generally, budgies don’t sleep in their nest boxes unless they are sitting on eggs or raising young, but there are always exceptions to this rule! (The male tends to get kicked out of the nesting area once the babies hatch. Sorry, Dad!)
So, Do Budgies Ever Sleep With Their Eyes Open?
While budgies might occasionally sleep with their eyes open, they tend to close them when they sleep. If you notice that your budgie keeps its eyes open in the night, it is probably awake and keeping watch for one of its pals.
Otherwise, you might have just woken it up by coming to check out whether its eyes are closed!
Budgie Night Terrors
Birds can get easily spooked at nighttime, and budgies are no exception.
Their vision is really bad in the dark and, just like people, they can start imagining threats in the shadows and freak themselves out.
The problem with this is that they can start flapping around the cage in a blind panic and sometimes hurt themselves by slamming into the walls.
How to Prevent Night Terrors in Your Budgie
When it comes to night terrors, you can do quite a few things to help your feathered friend.
Here are some examples.
1. Don’t move things around late at night
If you move the budgie’s cage late in the day, they aren’t going to be used to all the new objects around them. This makes them more likely to spook as it gets darker and they struggle to see properly.
Also, avoid moving furniture or anything inside the cage later in the day. Reserve spring cleaning for the mornings so that your birds will get a chance to adjust!
2. Think about lighting
I don’t recommend that you leave artificial lights on at night, as budgies need darkness to sleep properly. A little nightlight would be ok if your budgie has consistent problems with night terrors, but you should keep the main light off.
It can be helpful to keep just a small lamp on for the last few hours of the day. This will help your budgie’s eyes adjust, and it won’t be as alarming as the ‘day’ suddenly turning to ‘night’ when you flick off a switch. (When would that happen in the wild?!)
3. Cover the cage
Some budgies do better if you cover their cage with a blanket at night. This can help keep them cozy and prevent them from inventing monsters in the shadows.
This really depends on your bird, though. Some will find the cage covering to be calming, while others will be seriously unimpressed and start screaming at you. So, just see what your bird wants to tell you about that!
4. Stay calm
If your budgie does get scared at night, don’t join in the panic party! If you start making a load of noise and running around the room, your bird will think that their suspicions are correct and that there is, in fact, a blood-sucking vampire in the house.
Just stay calm and speak softly to your bird, so they know that you are there. You can also turn on a lamp so that they can see that there is nothing to worry about.
Don’t open the cage until they’ve calmed down, though, or you might end up getting scratched by accident.
5. Let them have a friend
Budgies are super friendly birds that are much happier when they have company. This applies to sleeping, too.
If they have a friend, they will naturally take turns sleeping while the other keeps watch. This helps them get a better night’s sleep. (And can you blame them? I wouldn’t want to sleep on my own for my whole life!)
If you notice that your budgie’s eyes are open at night, it’s probably because they are awake or only lightly napping. Budgies tend to sleep with their eyes shut on a high perch. They might turn their heads right onto their backs or sleep upside down.
Don’t worry too much, as they are just being their quirky selves!
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.