It’s normal for your budgie’s tail to bob sometimes. But it can also be a sign of illness.
Budgie’s tails bob when they are breathing hard. So, after flight, it’s normal for their tails to bob for a short time. But if you notice that their tails are frequently bobbing, they may be finding it hard to breathe properly. This could be due to illness or stress, so it’s a good idea to check with your vet regarding any concerns you have.
This article will help you tell the difference between normal tail movement and illness. I hope you find it helpful!
What Does Tail Bobbing Mean?
Tail bobbing in itself isn’t dangerous. Budgies have muscles around their tails that support their lungs but you won’t notice any bobbing when they are breathing normally. When your budgie is out of breath, you can see their tail going up and down.
Tail bobbing might be happening for a few reasons. For example:
- Your budgie is unwell and is having problems breathing.
- Your budgie has just done some exercise and needs to recover their breath.
- Your budgie is overweight and struggles to breathe because of excess fat.
- Your budgie is too hot, so they are panting.
- Your budgie got a fright and is breathing very quickly due to adrenaline.
- Your budgie landed awkwardly and is using their tail to keep their balance.
If you notice tail bobbing occasionally and for a short period, I wouldn’t worry about it.
But if bobbing keeps happening and is paired with any other symptoms, I would take my budgie to the vet for a check-up.
Other symptoms to look out for:
- Diarrhea or poop around the vent
- Loss of appetite or not drinking
- Lethargy (overly tired)
- Changes in behavior (aggression, fear)
- Quietness (has stopped chirping)
- A fever (including hot feet)
These are just some of the things you need to look out for. If you notice anything unusual that I didn’t mention, it’s still worth clarifying any doubts with a professional.
Budgie Tail Bobbing Treatment
If a health problem is causing your budgie’s tail bobbing, your vet will focus on fixing the root of the problem.
They won’t be looking to cure the tail movement but will instead use the bobbing as a clue to help them get to the bottom of what is going on.
Your vet might give antibiotics to your budgie for an infection or advise you on a healthier diet so they can shed excess weight.
Too much fat is dangerous for your birds. For example, budgies are particularly prone to fatty liver disease, which can soon become complicated and life-threatening.
Tail Wagging Versus Bobbing
There is a big difference between tail wagging and tail bobbing. Tail wagging is when your budgie moves their tail from side to side.
They do this when they are excited and happy, to help get their feathers nice and flat. This lets them sleep comfortably.
Bobbing is an up and down movement. This is what you need to keep a close eye on if it’s happening for longer than a few seconds at a time.
Tail Bobbing and Balance
As I mentioned before, your budgie might bob their tail because they’re trying to find their balance.
If they’ve just landed on a perch or piece of furniture and their tail bobs until they take back off, they are probably just using their tail to keep themselves in place.
This should last for only a few seconds. It could also be because the flight to the perch tired them out.
If your budgie’s tail always bobs when they are perching, this isn’t normal behavior.
Tail bobbing can be a sign of illness but you don’t have to panic right away. If it happens only from time to time, there’s no reason to think that your budgie is unwell.
But if tail bobbing becomes constant, it probably means your budgie is struggling to breathe.
Keep a close note of other symptoms and don’t hesitate to ask your vet for advice. They can arrange for the best treatment for your particular situation.
More to Read:
- Why Is My Budgie Shaking? (Shaking Behavior Explained)
- Can 2 Male Budgies and 1 Female Live Together?
- Do Budgies Like Music?
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.