Petiska > Pets > Birds > Budgerigars > Is It Okay to Keep Just One Budgie? – Cruelty, Confinement Concerns, and Companionship
This content is reviewed by Leslie Berry (Petiska Editor) Leslie Berry .
Silvester Lynton
Petiska Editor

Is It Okay to Keep Just One Budgie? – Cruelty, Confinement Concerns, and Companionship

Budgies naturally thrive in flocks and showcase their best behaviors in the company of their kind.

Keeping a budgie alone can affect its emotional well-being. While it’s possible to care for a single budgie with the right environment, toys, and human interaction, they inherently prefer and benefit from companionship.

Proper cage size and placement, alongside human bonding, can alleviate some solitude concerns, but the essence of their flock nature remains.

For those captivated by the chirps and charms of budgies, understanding their well-being is essential.

From my own experiences and insights, I’ve realized the importance of catering to a budgie’s social, emotional, and physical needs.

Whether you’re thinking of adopting one or just keen on learning more, this guide delves deep into the world of budgies, ensuring their happiness and health.

Originating from the land down under, Australia, budgies have been fluttering their way into hearts for centuries.

In their native habitat, they roam the vast open spaces, experiencing the warmth of the Australian sun and the rhythm of its landscapes.

Over time, they’ve been introduced to various parts of the world as pets, but their essence remains rooted in their origins.

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

The Social Nature of Budgies

Budgies aren’t just about pretty feathers; there’s a lot going on in their tiny heads that requires companionship and interaction.

Explanation of Why Budgies Are Considered Flock Birds

Companionship is at the core of a budgie’s existence. In the wild, they’re almost always seen in large flocks, often filling the sky with their synchronized flights.

Here is in the video how budgies live together as flocks.
Another small budgie flocks.

This flocking behavior isn’t just for show; it’s a fundamental part of their nature.

They rely on their flock for protection, finding food, and most importantly, social interaction.

Just like the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together”, budgies truly embody this.

Even if the flock is the smallest, they are much better together.

Impact of Companionship on Their Emotional Well-being

Being in a flock or with a companion is not just a preference for budgies; it’s a necessity for their emotional health.

A solitary budgie can often exhibit signs of loneliness and stress, such as excessive feather plucking or lethargy.

Companionship offers them the emotional support they inherently crave. They preen each other, chirp together, and even share food, which are all signs of a content and happy budgie.

Just as humans thrive on social connections, so do budgies. Their emotional well-being is deeply interwoven with their need for interaction and companionship.

Can a Single Budgie Be Happy?

When deciding to bring a budgie into your home, one pressing question many face is whether a single budgie can truly be content.

This isn’t a simple yes or no answer but requires understanding their nature and needs.

Arguments for and against Keeping a Single Budgie

Some argue that single budgies can be content if they receive ample human interaction and mental stimulation.

With dedicated playtime, training, and interaction, a budgie can bond with its human owner, reducing feelings of loneliness.

However, it’s vital to understand that while humans can provide companionship, we aren’t budgies.

A budgie’s bond with its kind is different and essential.

On the other hand, keeping budgies in pairs or groups has been seen as the more natural and ethical approach.

Budgies in the wild are rarely seen alone. As flock birds, they rely on each other for social interaction, emotional support, and even survival.

They communicate, play, preen each other, and share food. This natural need for companionship is tough to replicate in a solo setting, no matter how much attention they get from their human caregivers.

How to Recognize Signs of Loneliness and Stress in a Budgie

It’s essential to be observant and recognize when a budgie may be feeling lonely or stressed.

Signs to watch for include:

  • Excessive feather plucking: This could indicate stress or boredom.
  • Lethargy: A lack of energy or interest in activities.
  • Reduced appetite: Not eating or showing little interest in food can be alarming.
  • Repetitive behaviors: Such as pacing or circling the cage frequently.

By recognizing these signs early, you can take steps to improve their environment or consider getting them a companion.

The Cage Dilemma: Is It Cruel to Cage a Budgie?

Keeping birds as pets, especially budgies, has a long-standing history, but it’s essential to address the critical question: Is it ethical?

Examining the History of Birds as Pets and Their Caging

Throughout history, people have been fascinated by birds and their ability to fly.

Early civilizations admired birds for their songs, colors, and behavior. Over time, it became common to keep them in cages for enjoyment.

Budgies, native to Australia, became popular pets in the 1800s. While they were initially admired in the wild, their colorful appearance and chirpy nature made them attractive as indoor pets, leading to the practice of caging.

Ethical Considerations When Deciding on Caging a Budgie

It’s important to consider a budgie’s natural habitat and behavior when deciding to cage them.

In the wild, budgies fly vast distances, socialize in large flocks, and forage for food.

Caging them restricts these natural behaviors. When considering caging, one should ponder if it’s right to limit a bird’s freedom for our enjoyment.

Importance of Cage Size, Placement, and Stimulation

To ensure your budgie’s well-being:

  • Cage size: The cage should be spacious enough for them to fly and move around. The recommended size is at least 18 inches wide, 18 inches deep, and 24 inches tall (45.7 cm x 45.7 cm x 61 cm).
  • Placement: The cage should be in a quiet place, away from direct sunlight and drafts, but still part of the household activities. Budgies are social and like to be where the action is.
  • Stimulation: Provide toys, perches of varying sizes, and materials. Rotate toys regularly to keep things fresh and exciting. Mirrors, bells, and ladders can also be added, but ensure they’re safe and free from potential hazards.

To Pair or Not to Pair: Considerations Before Getting a Second Budgie

One budgie can be a delight, but is two even better?

Assessing Your Budgie’s Needs and Behavior

Before deciding on getting a companion for your budgie, observe its behavior.

Signs like feather plucking, constant chirping, or looking listless might indicate loneliness.

Remember, budgies are naturally social and often thrive better with companionship.

Introducing a New Budgie: Steps and Precautions

Bringing a new budgie home requires care:

  • Quarantine: New birds should be kept separate for a few weeks to ensure they don’t have diseases.
  • Slow introduction: Initially, place the cages next to each other so they can interact without direct contact.
  • Supervised meetings: Once accustomed, let them out in a neutral space under supervision.

Understanding the Dynamics Between Same-sex and Opposite-sex Pairs

Pairing budgies is not just about tossing two birds together. Same-sex pairs often get along well, with two females or two males forming close bonds.

Opposite-sex pairs can also bond, but there’s a potential for breeding. If you’re not prepared for baby budgies, same-sex pairing might be the best option.

Budgie Care Guidelines: Ensuring a Happy Life

Taking care of a budgie involves more than just providing food and water.

Like all pets, they have specific needs.

Regular Health Checks and Signs of Distress to Look For

Regular health checks are vital to make sure your budgie is in top shape.

At least once a month, examine your budgie for any signs of illness or distress.

Some signs to look for include:

  • Feather plucking: This can indicate stress or skin issues.
  • Changes in droppings: If they are too watery or discolored, it might indicate a health problem.
  • Changes in behavior: Like being less active or not singing as usual.

Remember, early detection can make treatment easier and faster.

Balanced Diet and Nutrition

Just like us, budgies need a balanced diet. They should be fed a mix of:

  • Seeds: These are their main food. However, not all seeds are equal, so get a mix that’s specially made for budgies.
  • Fresh fruits and veggies: They can eat apples, carrots, and leafy greens. Make sure they are clean and free from pesticides.
  • Cuttlebones and mineral blocks: These provide essential minerals and help in sharpening their beaks.

It’s important to ensure that their water is fresh and changed daily.

Importance of Mental Stimulation and Play

Budgies are smart and active birds. They need toys and activities to keep their minds sharp.

You can provide:

  • Puzzle toys: These challenge them mentally.
  • Swings and ladders: They help them exercise and have fun.
  • Mirrors: Budgies love looking at themselves, but don’t overdo it as they might become too attached.

Remember, toys should be rotated regularly to keep things exciting for them.


Owning a pet, especially a budgie, is a big responsibility. It’s not just about having a cute bird singing in your home.

It’s about ensuring that they live a life full of happiness, health, and engagement.

Before getting a budgie, or any pet, always consider their well-being and if you can meet their needs.

The decision to bring a pet into your life should be based on informed choices and a commitment to their welfare.


Can I Leave My Budgie Alone for the Day?

Yes, budgies can be left alone during the day, provided they have ample food, water, and toys to keep them entertained.

However, if you’re away often, consider providing them with a radio or TV for background noise.

How Can I Tell if My Budgie Is Bored or Lonely?

A bored or lonely budgie might exhibit signs like feather plucking, reduced singing or chatter, and lethargy.

They may also become more aggressive.

What Are Some Enrichment Activities for Budgies?

Budgies love toys, puzzles, and mirrors. Rotating toys, introducing new ones, and providing foraging opportunities can keep them stimulated.

Playing soft music or bird calls can also be enriching.

Is It Necessary to Get a Companion for a Grieving Budgie?

A grieving budgie may show signs of distress. While it’s not always necessary, getting a companion can help alleviate their grief.

Monitor them closely and ensure they are eating and drinking.

How Can I Introduce My Budgie to Other Pets in the House?

Introduce them slowly and supervised. Ensure other pets, like cats or dogs, are kept at a distance initially.

Over time, with careful observation, they might coexist peacefully.

What Historical Context Led to Budgies Being Kept as Pets?

Budgies were first discovered in Australia in the late 18th century. Their vibrant colors and cheerful disposition made them popular pets by the 19th century in Europe and beyond.

How Do I Determine if My Budgie’s Cage Is Ethically Suitable?

An ethically suitable cage should be spacious, clean, and safe. It should allow the budgie to fly short distances and have multiple perches of different textures and sizes.

Is There a Recommended Cage Size for the Health and Happiness of a Budgie?

The larger the cage, the better. Ideally, the cage should be at least 18 inches wide x 18 inches deep x 24 inches high (45.72 cm x 45.72 cm x 60.96 cm) for a single budgie.

Are There Signs That Indicate a Budgie Is Content Living Solo?

A content budgie will be active, vocal, and curious. They’ll play with their toys, interact with their environment, and show interest in their surroundings.

Can Human Interaction Replace the Companionship of Another Budgie?

While human interaction is beneficial and can provide companionship, it does not entirely replace the bond two budgies can share.

Daily interaction is key if a budgie is kept solo.