Things to Do With a Fearful Budgie

Helping a scared budgie acclimate to your presence doesn’t have to be hard. Here are some simple ideas you can try today!

Here’s a dilemma you might face as a new budgie owner: you’ve brought your bird home, but they’re absolutely terrified! You’re working on training them but in the meantime, you want to spend some time with them. What can you do?

When you approach a fearful bird, you know that you have good intentions, but the bird doesn’t. The presence of a human is aversive to them; that is, they associate your presence with stressful, scary things. So we need to communicate to our budgies that we are not going to cause them stress or discomfort. 

Q: How can I teach my budgie to not be afraid of me?

A: Using the constructional approach teaches our budgies that we are safe to be around and will not force past their comfort level.

The key message you need to communicate to your budgie is that:

  • you move in a predictable consistent way
  • you do not force yourself past their comfort level
  • they have some control over your movement
  • it is safe for them to stay put while you walk towards them

First, we want to use the constructional approach to reduce our budgie’s fear of our presence so that we can exist in the same space. Without it, just existing in the same room will not be very effective. 

The constructional approach is a unique approach by Dr. Israel Goldiamond and Jose Rosales Ruiz, animal behavior researchers, to teach animal that how to interact with us when they are too scared to take food from the hand. 

Book a consult to learn how to implement the constructional approach in your home. 

As you are making progress with the constructional approach, you will want to lay down a routine of activities at a safe distance. I recommend having budgie cages placed in an area where they can observe the happenings of the home and not be sequestered away in a hidden room. Typically this is against a wall of the living room area. 

Now while you’re working on the constructional approach, it can take a few days. In between, we can also expose our budgies to the daily happenings of the home even without approaching them directly. Remember, they are always learning and always observing you! Here are some activities you can do at a distance to help them learn your routines and behavior patterns. 

1.) Sleep

Take a nap nearby!

This gives your parrot a chance to see you when you lying almost completely still, only moving slightly, and generally being irrelevant to them. This will help them learn that you sometimes exist in the same space as them without doing anything, and they can go about their lives without having to worry about being approached or frightened.


2.) Work on your computer

Work from home? Try letting your budgie be your coworker!

During the day, try setting up a workstation at a distance that your bird feels comfortable with. Then, simply go about your day, doing your work and minding your own business. Your main goal is for your bird to see that you might stand up, sit down, and make a bit of noise, but this isn’t necessarily something they have to worry about. You might be surprised at how quickly they want to start chiming into your Zoom calls.

3.) Watch TV

Watching TV is a fun way to pass the time in the same room as your budgie.

It’s pretty easy for an hour or two to pass while you’re watching TV, giving your bird a chance to observe you doing something non-threatening that doesn’t involve them. Try picking something without a lot of loud, sudden noises. Budgies love chatter, so something like a talk show or cooking segment could be a good idea.


4.) Play video games

Playing your favorite game is another way to pass the time with your budgie.

Just like with TV shows, try choosing a game that doesn’t have loud, sudden noises, or simply use headphones. It’s easy for several hours to fly by when you’re immersed in your favorite game, and before you know it, your bird will have spent a whole day sharing a room with you without anything scary or abrasive happening.


5.) Eat

Budgies are social eaters, so try sharing mealtime with them!

Social eating is a great way to spend time with budgies that have a bond with you, but it’s also something you can do with a budgie that is scared of people. Make yourself some food, sit at the other end of the room, and eat. You could also give your bird some food, then sit down and eat your own meal at a distance where the bird feels comfortable. It probably won’t take long for your bird to learn that you bringing a plate or bowl means they also get fed.


6.) Exercise

Working out is a good way to spend time around a budgie that is more settled in.

If your budgie seems OK with light noise and movement, try exercising in the same room as them at a reasonable distance. Try picking an activity that allows your back or side to face your bird, so they learn that humans make a wide variety of movements that don’t have anything to do with them. For example, doing some yoga on the opposite side of the room while playing calming music can be a positive experience for you and your budgie alike.


Wrapping up

Understanding why your budgies behave the way they do can help you build a more positive, stress-free relationship with your flock. Check out our article on the basics of budgie instincts and learn to see the world from a bird’s-eye view!


Don’t forget: The Budgie Academy is on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook! Join our social media flock so you don’t miss out when we post new content.


Share This Post with Friends!

Tags :

Share This :

Recent Posts

2 thoughts on “Things to Do With a Fearful Budgie”

  1. Pingback: Should Budgies Bother With Tricks? - The Budgie Academy

  2. Pingback: Why Do We Quarantine New Budgies? – The Budgie Academy

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top