Petiska > Pets > Birds > Budgerigars > Female Vs Male Budgie Behaviors By Life Stages, Conditions, Behaviors: Normal, Breeding, Nesting, Behavior Changings, Mating Call, Baby
This content is reviewed by Leslie Berry (Petiska Editor) Leslie Berry .
Silvester Lynton
Petiska Editor

Female Vs Male Budgie Behaviors By Life Stages, Conditions, Behaviors: Normal, Breeding, Nesting, Behavior Changings, Mating Call, Baby

Budgie behaviors differ by gender and life stages, conditions, and specific behaviors.

Male budgies are often more vocal, playful, and sociable, demonstrating vibrant behaviors during breeding or nesting.

Females, while less vocal, show more aggression during nesting.

Behavior changes across different life stages and conditions, like the increased territoriality during breeding season or distinct mating calls.

As an avid bird enthusiast and a former owner of budgies, I’ve spent countless hours observing, interacting, and understanding their behaviors.

Their unique, charming antics, combined with a wide range of behaviors dependent on their life stages and conditions, make budgies fascinating pets to have.

So, come along with me as I delve into the riveting world of budgie behavior, particularly focusing on the differences between females and males. 

📚 Table of Contents (👁️ Be sure to check it out!)

Female And Male Budgie Behavior Differences By Life Stages

When we talk about the budgie’s lifecycle, it’s important to remember that it isn’t merely a measure of age.

It’s an intricate journey filled with physical changes, evolving needs, and behaviors that are inherently linked to each stage.

Now, let’s jump into the world of budgies, where we will explore the differences in behaviors between females and males at various life stages.

Hatchling Stage (0-4 Weeks)

During the hatchling stage, both female and male budgies exhibit similar behaviors due to their very young age.

Blind, featherless, and wholly dependent on their parents, these little creatures spend most of their time nestled in the warmth of their nest.

Their activities are restricted to eating and sleeping, as their bodies prioritize growth and development during these initial weeks.

Despite their vulnerability, it’s fascinating to note how the instinct of survival kicks in early.

Even in this stage, they will respond to threats by hissing and trying to bite, though their beaks are not yet strong enough to cause harm.

Fledgling Stage (4-8 Weeks)

As budgies transition into the fledgling stage, their behaviors start to show a little divergence based on their sex.

They start developing feathers and begin exploring their surroundings while exercising their wings.

Both males and females are inquisitive, yet the males can often be slightly more adventurous, keen on testing the limits of their new capabilities.

On the other hand, female fledglings may be more cautious during their exploratory pursuits.

However, keep in mind that these differences can be subtle and may not apply universally, as individual personality traits also play a crucial role at this stage.

Weaning Stage (Around 6-8 Weeks)

Next comes the weaning stage.

This critical period is when budgies transition from a primarily liquid-based diet to solid food.

As they begin to navigate the world of independent feeding, male and female budgies may respond differently to this dietary shift.

Some males may display an earlier interest in new food items and begin pecking and nibbling ahead of their female counterparts.

Meanwhile, females may take a bit longer to warm up to the idea of solid food.

However, once they get the hang of it, both sexes display the same level of curiosity and enthusiasm towards their diet.

Juvenile (Youth) Stage (8 Weeks To Sexual Maturity)

The juvenile stage is marked by curiosity, energy, playfulness, and the beginning of social interactions.

This is the stage when male and female budgies begin to exhibit more pronounced differences.

Males often become more vocal, making various sounds and chirps, signaling the onset of their song learning phase.

They may engage more with toys and exhibit playful behavior more frequently.

Females, on the other hand, may be a tad less noisy but equally engaged with their surroundings.

They may show more interest in exploring the cage, climbing, and nibbling on various objects.

Their sociability, much like the males, becomes more evident as they mature.

Socialization Stage (Early Life)

The socialization stage begins in early life and is a period marked by curiosity and interaction.

During this stage, both male and female budgies begin to engage with their peers and their human caregivers.

Males generally become more vocal and start experimenting with sounds, while females, though less vocal, also interact through chirps and gestures.

The socialization stage plays a crucial role in shaping a budgie’s long-term behaviors and relationships.

Positive, gentle interactions during this period can lead to a more trusting, confident, and friendly bird, regardless of gender.

Breeding Stage (Sexual Maturity Onwards)

Upon reaching sexual maturity, budgies enter the breeding stage.

This stage brings about distinct behavioral differences between males and females.

Male budgies typically sing more complex songs, bob their heads, and perform various courtship behaviors to attract females.

On the other hand, female budgies prepare for nesting and lay eggs.

They can become more territorial, especially around their nesting area.

During this period, it’s important to respect their space and monitor their health, as egg-laying can deplete a female budgie’s nutritional reserves.

Adult Stage (After Breeding Age)

Following the breeding stage, budgies transition into the adult stage.

By this time, they have established routines and behavior patterns.

Male budgies usually continue to be vocal and interactive, while females can be quieter but equally engaged with their surroundings.

Both sexes, however, might show less energy and playfulness as compared to their younger selves, which is normal as they age.

Ensuring a nutritious diet and a stimulating environment is crucial during this stage to keep these birds healthy and content.

Senior Stage (Around 5-10 Years Onwards)

The senior stage is the final stage in a budgie’s life.

As budgies age, both males and females undergo changes in their behaviors and physical abilities.

Their energy levels may decrease, and they might become less interactive.

This doesn’t mean they lose their social needs, but rather, they may enjoy quieter interactions.

It’s important to maintain regular health check-ups at this stage, as senior budgies are more prone to various health issues.

Age-related changes can occur differently in each bird, so it’s essential to monitor your budgie’s behavior, diet, and activity levels closely during this period.

Female And Male Budgie Behavior Differences By Life Conditions

Just as life stages bring about unique behaviors in budgies, so do various life conditions.

These conditions can include breeding seasons, molting periods, environmental changes, and aging.

Understanding how these conditions affect budgie behavior can better equip a budgie owner in providing for their pet’s needs and ensuring their well-being.

Breeding Season

The breeding season for budgies usually occurs in the warmer months, often in spring and summer, although in domestic settings, it can happen at any time of the year given the right conditions.

During this period, significant changes in the behavior of both male and female budgies can be observed.

Males become more vocal and active as they attempt to attract and court a mate.

They may sing more frequently and exhibit behaviors such as head bobbing and wing flapping.

The males may also become more territorial, aggressively protecting their chosen nesting area from potential rivals.

Females, on the other hand, may show a strong inclination towards nesting behaviors.

They could start to spend more time in the nesting box, arranging and rearranging the materials inside.

Females also become selective during this time, assessing the quality of the mate and the nest before deciding to breed.


Molting is a normal process for budgies, where they shed and regrow their feathers.

This usually occurs once or twice a year, depending on the bird’s health and environmental conditions.

During molting, the behaviors of male and female budgies can differ and even be misinterpreted as illness or distress.

In both sexes, you may notice decreased activity and an increased need for rest.

This is because molting can be a taxing process, requiring significant energy.

However, males may appear more lethargic compared to females, as they also tend to reduce their singing and vocalizations, becoming quieter.

Females might seem a bit more irritable or nervous during this period, particularly if they are disturbed, due to the discomfort associated with the growth of new feathers.

Both sexes will preen more to remove old feathers and facilitate the growth of new ones.

Environmental Changes

Environmental changes can significantly impact budgie behavior, with differing responses between males and females.

Abrupt changes in temperature, light, noise, or cage location can induce stress in these sensitive creatures.

Their behavior changes as a response to these perceived threats.

Male budgies, when subjected to environmental changes, might respond by becoming quieter, reducing their usual vocalization or singing.

They may also show a shift in their feeding patterns, with possible reduction in their appetite.

Males can also become more territorial, protecting their perceived safe space.

Female budgies, on the other hand, often display signs of agitation or distress when faced with environmental changes.

They may become more vocal, and exhibit erratic behaviors like excessive preening, feather plucking, or erratic flying.

They may also become more territorial and aggressive towards other birds.


As budgies age, changes in their behavior become evident.

Regardless of gender, older budgies tend to be less active and playful than their younger counterparts.

They may prefer quieter interactions and rest more.

Males may become less vocal, while females may show less interest in activities like foraging.

Social Interactions

The social interactions of budgies can vary greatly between the sexes.

Their behavior in a social context often reveals their need for companionship, hierarchy in the flock, and the ability to communicate effectively.

Male budgies are generally more outgoing and assertive.

They love to chatter, and their songs are complex.

This behavior is often used to attract females and assert dominance over other males.

They are also more inclined to interact with humans and can be taught to mimic words and phrases.

Female budgies, on the other hand, are a bit more reserved.

They are not as vocally expressive as their male counterparts.

However, they tend to exhibit a stronger sense of hierarchy, often asserting dominance over males in a social setting.

They may be more aggressive towards other budgies, especially during the breeding season.

Illness Or Pain

When a budgie is experiencing illness or pain, behavior changes are typically the first indicators.

Both males and females may show similar signs, such as fluffed up feathers, loss of appetite, decreased activity, and changes in droppings.

Males might become less vocal, while females might become more withdrawn.

Seasonal Changes

Seasonal changes also affect budgie behavior.

As the days get longer during spring and summer, both male and female budgies may become more active and playful, reflecting the natural breeding season.

Conversely, during the shorter days of autumn and winter, your budgies may become less active, with males potentially reducing their song and females becoming less investigative.

It’s important to adjust care routines to accommodate these seasonal changes.

Diet Changes

Changing a budgie’s diet can lead to behavioral changes.

Both genders may initially reject new food items, and sudden diet changes can cause stress.

However, with repeated exposure, curiosity often overcomes initial reluctance.

Budgies enjoy a variety of foods, and a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and seeds is crucial for their health and wellbeing. 

Interaction With Toys And Enrichment

Providing toys and enrichment activities for your budgies is essential for their mental health and physical well-being.

However, the interaction and engagement can vary between male and female budgies.

Male budgies are usually very playful and curious, and they may engage more frequently with toys and interactive elements in their cage.

They often show a keen interest in toys that involve problem-solving, mimicry, or make noises, like bells or chimes.

On the other hand, female budgies may be more selective about the toys they interact with.

They are often drawn to toys that have a tactile element, such as rope toys or materials they can shred.

Females might also show a stronger interest in toys that simulate nesting materials, especially during the breeding season.

Female And Male Budgie Behavior Differences By Behavior Itself

When observing budgies, their behavior is one of the best ways to discern between males and females.

Certain behaviors such as aggressiveness, territoriality, biting, and lunging can present differently across genders.


Budgie aggressiveness can be attributed to various factors including gender, hormonal changes, environmental stressors, or a lack of socialization.

On average, female budgies are often observed to be more aggressive than their male counterparts.

This aggression can manifest itself in various ways including biting, lunging, or territorial behaviors.

During breeding seasons, or when nesting, females can become particularly protective and exhibit increased aggressive behaviors.

This is generally an instinctual behavior intended to protect their eggs or offspring.

In contrast, male budgies tend to be more relaxed and less aggressive.

They’re often more playful and sociable, making them typically more interactive with humans and other budgies.

However, under certain circumstances such as stress, fear, or territorial disputes, male budgies can also exhibit signs of aggression.

Aggressive budgies are fighting


Territoriality is another behavior trait commonly observed in budgies.

Similar to aggressiveness, female budgies often exhibit more territorial behaviors compared to males.

This heightened territoriality is most commonly observed during the breeding season, when a female budgie has laid eggs and is protecting her nest.

In their natural habitat, budgies are social creatures that live in large flocks, and territoriality is not commonly observed.

However, in captive environments, budgies may display territorial behaviors, particularly if they feel their space is being encroached upon.

Male budgies, on the other hand, are generally less territorial.

They might defend their space if they feel threatened but are generally more tolerant of sharing space with other budgies.


Biting in budgies is a behavior that both males and females may exhibit, often as a reaction to various situations, and it can also be observed in their interactions with humans.

In the case of female budgies, biting may be more frequent or forceful due to their dominant and sometimes aggressive nature.

They may bite humans if they feel threatened or if they are uncomfortable or scared.

It’s also possible for a female to bite more during breeding season, which could be a means to protect her space even from human hands.

On the other hand, male budgies are generally more relaxed.

They might bite humans out of fear or discomfort, perhaps if a new person is handling them or their routine gets disrupted.

Male budgies might also gently nip during play, which is not intended to cause harm.

For both males and females, biting can be a form of communication.

Budgies may bite to signal that they’re unhappy or stressed, and sometimes it can be a plea for attention.

Paying attention to the budgie’s body language before a bite can often give clues to the cause.

For instance, a puffed up, hissing budgie might be about to bite.


Lunging is a behavior typically associated with aggression or fear.

Both males and females can lunge when they feel threatened.

However, females might be more likely to lunge when defending their territory, while males might lunge more during play or when demonstrating dominance.


Budgies are known for their playfulness, a trait that is observable in both males and females.

However, the way they play can be different.

Male budgies often enjoy interactive play, such as tossing toys around, swinging, or climbing.

They can also be more vocal during playtime, chattering or mimicking words and sounds.

Female budgies, on the other hand, may prefer explorative play, such as foraging for food or investigating new objects in their environment.

They may also be more inclined to enjoy solo play sessions with their toys.


Chasing is another behavior commonly observed in budgies.

Males may engage in chasing as a playful behavior or as a way to assert dominance.

Female budgies can also engage in chasing, particularly during the breeding season as a show of dominance or to defend their territory.

It is important to monitor this behavior to ensure it doesn’t escalate into aggressive actions.

Squawking Or Screeching

Squawking or screeching is a form of communication in budgies.

Male budgies often squawk or chatter as a form of social interaction, while females may squawk to signal discomfort or dissatisfaction with something in their environment.

If squawking becomes loud, persistent, or seems to be linked to stress or fear, it’s important to investigate the potential cause and rectify any issues.

Tail Wagging

Tail wagging in budgies is an adorable behavior and can mean different things depending on the context.

Both male and female budgies exhibit this behavior.

In many cases, tail wagging is a sign of happiness and contentment.

If a budgie is comfortable in its environment, and with its human caretaker, it might wag its tail in a way that resembles a dog’s joyful tail wagging.

However, tail wagging can also be a way for budgies to readjust their feathers after preening or to shake off dust.

It can also be a form of stretching after a long period of inactivity or sleep.

Another potential reason is to signal attention or interest.

For example, if you approach your budgie’s cage and they respond by wagging their tail, they are likely expressing interest and curiosity about your actions.

Tail Fanning

Tail fanning is a behavior that can signify different things in male and female budgies.

In males, tail fanning can be a part of the courtship display, used to impress females.

In females, tail fanning is often a sign of agitation or fear.

It’s crucial to understand the context of tail fanning to accurately interpret this behavior.

Head Bobbing

Head bobbing is another common budgie behavior.

Both males and females bob their heads, but the reasoning may differ.

Males often bob their heads as part of a courtship ritual or during play, while females might bob their heads when they are agitated or trying to get attention.

Observing when and where this behavior occurs can help you better understand your budgie’s needs and moods.

Body Posturing

Body posturing is an essential aspect of budgie communication.

Male budgies may puff up their feathers to appear larger and more dominant, particularly during courtship or territorial displays.

They also often stand tall with their chest out in a show of confidence.

Female budgies, on the other hand, may adopt a more hunched posture when they are feeling defensive or threatened.

They might also fluff up their feathers, but this is usually a sign of discomfort or illness in females.


Vocalizations play a crucial role in budgie behavior.

Male budgies are generally more vocal than females, often using a wide variety of chirps, whistles, and mimicry to communicate.

They typically chatter more, especially when they are content, excited, or trying to impress a potential mate.

Female budgies also vocalize but tend to have a smaller range of sounds.

They often use sharper, shorter chirps to express displeasure or ward off unwanted attention.

Courtship Displays, Mating Call

During the courtship display, male budgies often show off a variety of behaviors, including singing, head bobbing, and fluffed feathers.

They might also tap their beaks against the female’s beak, a behavior known as “beak fencing”.

Females typically remain more passive, responding to the male’s call with soft chirps if interested.

Understanding these different displays can help you better interpret your budgies’ behavior during breeding season.


Regurgitation in budgies is a behavioral aspect that both males and females display, often as a way of expressing bonding, affection, and in some cases, courtship.

Male budgies are particularly known for their regurgitation behavior during courtship displays.

When a male budgie is trying to woo a female or is strongly bonded to another bird or even a human, it may regurgitate food as a display of affection and care.

This is because in the wild, male budgies regurgitate food for their mates and their young, and this behavior has continued in captivity.

On the other hand, female budgies might regurgitate less frequently but will do so when they are comfortable and well-bonded with their mate or human caretaker.

It’s less common to see this behavior in females unless they feel safe and secure in their environment.

While regurgitation is usually a healthy, normal behavior, it’s important to distinguish it from vomiting.

Nesting Behavior

Nesting behavior is a crucial aspect of budgie behavior, predominantly seen in female budgies, but males also play a supportive role.

Female budgies, when ready to breed, will seek out a suitable location to lay their eggs.

They may become more territorial and exhibit increased shredding behavior as they attempt to create a comfortable space for egg-laying.

They often prefer enclosed, dark spaces and will lay between 4-8 eggs, which they will incubate for about 18-20 days.

In contrast, male budgies play a supportive role during this stage.

They will guard the nesting site and feed the female while she is incubating the eggs.

They may also participate in feeding the chicks once they hatch.

Nesting behavior is typically influenced by the budgie’s environment.

Providing a nesting box and ensuring the female budgie has access to adequate nutrition can encourage this behavior.

However, it’s important to note that not all budgies will display nesting behavior unless the conditions are right and they are in good health.

Flocking Behavior

Flocking behavior is an integral part of budgie social structure.

Both male and female budgies enjoy the company of their flock and can exhibit anxiety or stress if isolated.

In a flock, budgies communicate, play, groom each other, and learn from one another.

Males may engage in friendly competition within the flock, often squawking, fluffing their feathers, and bobbing their heads to show dominance.

Females, on the other hand, are generally less competitive but may assert their authority when establishing a pecking order.

Sleeping And Resting

When it comes to sleeping and resting, both male and female budgies need about 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

They typically sleep on one foot, with their head tucked under a wing.

Differences in sleeping behavior between males and females are usually minor.

However, some owners report that male budgies are more likely to nap during the day, while females can be slightly more active.


How To Tell If A Budgie Is Bored?

Signs of a bored budgie can include a lack of activity, overeating, plucking their feathers, or showing aggressive behavior.

They may also repeatedly perform the same action (such as pacing or bobbing their head) in a way that seems compulsive rather than playful.

A bored budgie may also become quieter or less responsive.

If your budgie is exhibiting these signs, it could be an indication that they need more mental stimulation.

This can be provided through toys, interactions with you or other budgies, and opportunities to explore their environment.

How Do Male And Female Budgies Behave Differently During Mating Calls?

Male and female budgies show distinct behaviors during mating calls.

Male budgies are often more vocal and expressive, engaging in head bobbing, wing flapping, and singing to attract females.

On the other hand, female budgies are usually more reserved and selective, observing and assessing the male’s display before responding.

What Are Some Notable Behavior Changes In Budgies From Normal To Breeding Stage?

When transitioning from normal to breeding stage, budgies exhibit notable changes in their behavior.

Both males and females become more territorial.

Male budgies can become more vocal and showy in their attempts to woo potential mates, while females might start to exhibit nesting behaviors like seeking out a suitable nesting place or becoming more aggressive to protect their space.

How Does Aging Affect The Behavior Of Male And Female Budgies?

Aging can have noticeable effects on the behavior of budgies.

Older budgies tend to be less active and playful than their younger counterparts.

Male budgies may sing less often, while females may show less aggression.

Additionally, senior budgies might also have more resting or sleeping times, reflecting a slower pace of life.

How Do Male And Female Budgies Interact With Their Babies?

Male and female budgies share responsibilities in caring for their babies.

While the female is usually responsible for incubating the eggs and feeding the hatchlings, the male also plays a crucial role in providing food for the female and the young once they start to grow feathers.

These roles may fluctuate slightly depending on the individual birds and their environment.