Why Is My Parakeet Bobbing His Head?

Pair of blue budgerigars

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Any movement in your little bird will likely raise a concern in your mind on why it is doing it to what it might be communicating. Birds have their language, which can be through chirping or body movement. Moving their head up and down is part of their communication. 

Head bobbing is mostly done by male birds, but female birds do it too. They mostly do it when singing, and therefore looks like a rhythmic musical action consisting of singing and dancing.

As much as a bobbing of the head seems pleasant, it can also be a cause for alarm that should worry the bird owner.

What Makes My Parakeet Bob His Head?

1. When Looking For a Mate 

Just as in human beings, the little birds also look for mates. They also try to attract the opposite sex to like them. How interesting that is!

 When a male parakeet is looking for a female parakeet to mate with, it will dance, bobbing its head to attract the female parakeet. In case the male and female parakeets are at a stone’s throw distance, the male parakeet will dance to attract the attention of the female parakeet.

2. To Mark Their Territory 

Birds do protect their homes from intruders. When provoked, they have to act in some way to show that they are in charge of their area. 

When another parakeet tries to enter the territory of other parakeets, they bobby their heads to show the other parakeet that they are in power, thus preventing other parakeets from intruding on their territory.

At times, the bobbing can be so vigorous that it scares someone. It also bobs its head when a foreign human tries to go to it.

3. Boredom

Birds are jolly animals. They are playful and form good companions. When they have no one to play with, they get lonely and bob their heads. They do this to entertain themselves.

4. To Get Attention

Parakeets love attention from their owners and other birds too. To get attention, they can bob their heads. The intensity of bobbing the head varies from one parakeet to another, depending on the bird’s personality.

Once the parakeet notices that the owner responds to its bobbing of the head, it will do it more often.

Human babies love attention, and so do baby parakeets. Baby parakeets are dependent on their parents. When they need food or anything else, they bob their heads and cry to draw their parents’ attention.

Once the parakeets grow, they are taught how to perch trees and become independent.

5. For Stability

A parakeet can bog its head for stability when walking, especially when focused on something. It makes it a firm stand on the ground and sharpens its vision.

6. An indication of illness

Parakeets have a way of communicating with human beings through signs. Bobbing can signify that your parakeet is unwell, especially if it is accompanied by closing the eyes. There is no specific illness that is related to the bobbing of the head by a parakeet.

If a disease affects the head, ear, or brain, it will tilt its head to one side. It may bob its head when experiencing seizures or a tumor.

7. Hunger

Birds, like all other living organisms, need food to survive. When a parakeet is hungry, it can bob its head as a sign of asking for food. If it is not given food, it can start crying.

How Do I Manage My Bobbing Parakeet?

If a parakeet is at a mating age and bobs its head in search of a mate, in case you do not want chicks, and the male parakeet lives in the same parakeet, you should separate them.

If a parakeet bobs its head to indicate the invasion of an intruder, the owner can either make each parakeet have its cage or try to see if the prey is invading its territory and protect it.

Parakeets should have friends. Both human and bird friends. When it bobs due to boredom, you should introduce it to new friends, including human beings, so they can play together.

You can also get them toys that they can play with. Some toys include; a disco ball, a flying trapeze, a bonka bird, an activity Birdie, and a JW pet. These toys will help the parakeet not to be lonely.

Parakeets are lovely birds and need not be lonely. We should offer them the attention that they need.

If a parakeet bobs its head and you suspect they are unwell, take them to a veterinary doctor for treatment. We should always take good care of our little birds.

If a parakeet bobs its head because of hunger, you should give it food.


When your parakeet bobs his head, it is normal. Parakeets express themselves that way and also communicate with other birds and owners in this way. Under very few instances is bobbing a negative indication. In such circumstances, your vet will offer you professional aid and care.

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Lizzy Ashton

Lizzy Ashton

Hi, my name is Lizzy Ashton, and I’m from Louisiana.
I consider myself an expert when it comes to raising parakeets and have been doing it for many years now. I’m 32 years old, live with my boyfriend, and together, we have 7 parakeets at home.
Our home is full of light and greenery, which my birds love. We even let them fly around the house (windows closed, of course)!

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