How to Stop a Budgie from Biting

Two Methods:Addressing BitingAvoiding Reinforcing the Behavior

Budgies are very sociable, people-friendly pets. However, occasionally budgie owners have to deal with behavioral issues like biting. Budgies bite for a variety of reasons. If your budgie is biting, take some time to evaluate the behavior. From there, determine the best route to address biting.

Method 1
Addressing Biting

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    Keep a diary of when your budgie bites. The first step to addressing biting is to keep track of when biting occurs. Budgies may bite for a variety of reasons. How to address the behavior depends on its root cause.
    • Write down each time your budgie bites you. Jot down the circumstances surrounding the bite. Was the budgie being handled at the time? Was in or out of his cage? Was the bite in response to being fed or given a treat? The more details you record regarding the incident the better.[1]
    • Look for common themes and patterns regarding when your budgie bites. If he tends to bite when he hears loud noises outside or when handled by unfamiliar people, he may be biting out of anxiety. If your budgie tends to bite around nighttime when he's been out of his cage for extended period, he may be biting because he's tired and wants to go back in his cage.[2]
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    Use negative reinforcement when biting occurs. Oftentimes, people unintentionally reinforce biting. Any attention, even in the form of scolding, can seem like a positive to a budgie who's seeking relief from boredom or frustration. When a budgie bites, instead of scolding your budgie simply ignore the behavior. Try not to react when a budgie bites. He will realize he's not getting the reaction he craves and cease the behavior.[3]
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    Keep a regular sleeping and feeding schedule. As budgies may bite due to dissatisfaction with their diet and sleep cycle, maintaining a schedule can help. Make sure your budgie gets variety in his diet and is fed regularly. Allow him to sleep at roughly the same times each day.
    • Seed and pellets, the kind that you buy at pet stores, should be the staple of a budgie's diet. However, budgies will get bored eating the same meal day after day. Add variety to your budgie's diet by adding sprouts, veggies, and grains to his regular bird food.[4]
    • Keep track of what times your budgie seems to rest. Make a conscious effort to give him space during these times. A budgie might become frustrated and bite if he's being handled when he's tired. Respect the fact budgie's need lots of rest to feel healthy and happy.[5]
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    Handle your budgie with care. Anxiety is a major cause of biting in budgies. Oftentimes, anxiety is caused accidentally by owners improperly handling their budgies. Be careful when handling your budgie as not to cause him stress.
    • Allow a budgie to come to you. Do not grab a budgie but give him the option of perching on your hand or finger.[6]
    • Do not follow your budgie from room to room. This can come off as chasing. In the wild, predators chase budgies in this manner. You do not want your budgie to mistake you as a threat, so allow him to fly from room to room on his own.[7]
    • Talk to your budgie softly and offer him treats and toys. This will keep him calm and relaxed and allow him to establish a bond with you. If you have just purchased a budgie, give him space for a few weeks before attempting contact.[8]
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    Provide enough toys. In the wild, budgies are constantly occupied with some task or another. Mental stimulation through appropriate toys is vital to a budgie's well being. If a budgie gets bored, he may resort to biting to get attention and stimulation.
    • Shreddable toys, like old toilet paper rolls and scrap paper, are fun for budgies. As they forage in the wild to build nests, they'll enjoy tearing through paper in captivity.[9]
    • Stop by a local pet store and look at what's available in terms of bird toys. Many budgies enjoy puzzle toys, which are contraptions where you can hide a treat. The budgie will have fun trying to dismantle the puzzle in order to get a reward. These are great if you're away from home for long periods during the day.[10]
    • Play with your budgie. Budgies need one-on-one attention. Set aside time every day to spend with your budgie, especially if you only have one. Considering getting another budgie if your schedule does not allow you to spend time with your budgie each day.[11]
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    Ease your budgie into transitions. Have there been any changes to your household? Have you recently moved to a new home? Did a new person or pet recently move in? Is there construction going on outside causing excessive noise? Any changes to routine can cause anxiety for a budgie, leading to biting. If there are any major changes, give your budgie some space while he's getting used to the transition. Do not handle him too much and make sure he always has adequate food and water. If loud noises from outside seem to be bothering your budgie, consider a noise machine.[12]

Method 2
Avoiding Reinforcing the Behavior

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    Do not yell at a budgie. Yelling at a budgie can backfire in one of two ways. Yelling can excite a bird, causing him to repeat the behavior to elicit the reaction again. Yelling can also cause a budgie stress, which can lead to biting out of fear and anxiety. Do not yell at a budgie in response to biting.[13]
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    Avoid punishment. Punishment will only increase a budgie's sense of anxiety. It can also cause undo stress and diminish the bond you have with a budgie. Avoid punishing budgies if you want to eliminate biting.
    • Never squirt a budgie with a spray bottle to address biting. This will cause the bird to perceive you as a threat.[14]
    • Do not place a budgie in his cage as punishment. Budgies see their cages as safe, happy spaces. If your response to biting is to put the budgie in his cage, he will think his behavior is being rewarded.[15]
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    Do not use distractions like treats or toys. Many people address biting by distracting a budgie with a treat or a toy. However, much like putting a budgie in a cage, your budgie will see this as a reward for his behavior. This will encourage biting in the future.[16]


  • Birds tend to give signs that they are agitated, like backing away, pinning their eyes, or flattening their feathers. Many bird owners tend to ignore these signs, and therefore get bitten. Pay attention to your budgie's body language.

Article Info

Categories: Parakeets and Budgerigars