Petiska > Pets > Birds > Budgerigars > Why Is Budgie At The Bottom Of The Cage? Sleeping, All Possible Causes: Illness, Dying, Sick
This content is reviewed by Leslie Berry (Petiska Editor) Leslie Berry .
Silvester Lynton
Petiska Editor

Why Is Budgie At The Bottom Of The Cage? Sleeping, All Possible Causes: Illness, Dying, Sick

A budgie may stay at the bottom of the cage due to various reasons like illness, aging, trauma, bullying, sunlight, or stress.

Illnesses like respiratory or digestive issues can lead to lethargy, causing them to rest more.

Aging budgies may have reduced energy levels, while stressful environments could make them seek solace at the cage bottom.

This article is the culmination of years of fascination, love, and respect for budgies, and a strong desire to share this knowledge with fellow enthusiasts.

Derived from experiences and meticulous observations from numerous related sources, it’s purposed to be a useful guide for budgie owners, avian enthusiasts, or anyone seeking to unravel the mysteries of a budgie’s behavior.

All Possible Reasons Why The Budgie Is At The Bottom Of The Cage

Budgies are fascinating creatures, their behavior often leaving us intrigued and sometimes worried.

One such instance that may give rise to concern is when we find them spending more time at the bottom of their cage.

Various reasons can explain this peculiar behavior, ranging from illness, physical trauma, stress, overcrowding in the cage, to the bird seeking easy access to food and water.

In some instances, this behavior could be a response to environmental changes or even be influenced by reproductive factors.

At times, your budgie may simply be exploring the cage floor out of curiosity or resting due to exhaustion.

The absence of adequate stimulation or boredom may also lead the bird to dwell at the bottom of the cage.

Some factors are influenced by the physical environment surrounding the budgie.

The bird might be reacting to temperature variations, maintaining its diet, or avoiding an uncomfortable room environment.

Similarly, imbalances in humidity levels, exposure to direct sunlight, high noise levels, or lack of privacy can drive your budgie to seek refuge at the bottom of the cage.

A female budgie may resort to the cage bottom if there is an absence of a suitable nesting box.

Budgies also exhibit natural wild behavior, which includes foraging on the ground.

Thus, a bird spending time on the cage floor might not always indicate a problem.

Additionally, inexperience, especially in young birds, and aging in older ones can contribute to this behavior.

Notably, your budgie’s health and well-being are paramount.

A poor or unbalanced diet and nutrition could lead to health issues or lethargy.

Additionally, budgerigars affected by contagious diseases might be isolated or ostracized to the cage bottom by healthier birds.

The process of molting, involving shedding and replacing feathers, can be stressful and energy-consuming, leading the bird to rest more at the bottom.

Lastly, certain genetic factors may make some budgerigars more likely to stay at the bottom of the cage than others.


One of the most immediate causes that might alarm us when we spot our budgie at the bottom of the cage is the possibility of illness.

These little birds are adept at hiding their ailments, primarily because in the wild, any sign of illness or weakness can make them a target for predators.

Consequently, an unwell budgie may not show any overt signs until it’s quite sick, at which point it may prefer to stay at the bottom of the cage.

Several diseases or infections can affect budgerigars, leading to signs of lethargy, discomfort, and unusual behavior.

Some of the common health issues include psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, avian gastric yeast (formerly known as megabacteria), and trichomoniasis, also known as canker.

A sick budgie might also exhibit fluffed feathers, lack of appetite, and be less responsive to its surroundings.

If your budgie stays at the bottom of the cage for prolonged periods, it’s crucial to observe any other signs of illness.

If these signs are present, it’s time to seek the help of a veterinarian specializing in avian health.

Physical Trauma Or Injury

Another reason your budgie might prefer the bottom of the cage is due to physical trauma or injury.

Budgerigars are active, energetic birds, and during their zestful flights and play, they might accidentally hurt themselves.

A sprained wing, a broken leg, or an unseen internal injury could make it difficult for the bird to perch, causing it to take refuge on the cage floor.

These wounds or bodily harm can cause impaired movement or discomfort.

An injured bird may appear listless, may not be as active as usual, and may have visible signs of injury like swelling or bleeding.

As a responsible budgie parent, it’s crucial to monitor your bird’s activities regularly.

If you suspect an injury, immediate medical attention is necessary.

Fear Or Stress

Budgies are sensitive creatures, and they might react to perceived threats or stressors by showing fear or stress.

This fear can be triggered by several factors, such as loud noises, sudden movements, presence of other pets, or even unfamiliar people.

When stressed or scared, budgies will often seek the lowest point in their cage, trying to hide or escape from the perceived threat.

This behavior mirrors their instinctive response in the wild where they would take cover in undergrowth or bushes.


Social conflicts within a budgie flock can also be a reason for a bird to retreat to the bottom of the cage.

Budgies have their own hierarchy, and it’s common to witness some birds asserting their dominance.

This dominance can occasionally lead to bullying, causing the more submissive birds to retreat or hide.

If you have multiple budgies sharing a cage and observe one bird staying at the bottom more often, bullying could be a possible reason.

It’s essential to monitor your budgies’ interactions to ensure that all birds are safe and comfortable.

If necessary, consider separate housing for the bullied bird to help it regain its confidence.

Lack Of Space/Overcrowding

A budgie at the bottom of the cage could also be a sign of lack of space or overcrowding.

Budgies are active and social birds; they need adequate space to fly and play.

If the cage is too small or if it houses too many birds, some birds may be forced to stay at the bottom.

Overcrowding can lead to stress, poor hygiene, and increased risk of disease transmission. 

Easy Access To Food And Water

Sometimes, the reason for your budgie’s fondness for the bottom of the cage might be rather straightforward.

The bird might simply be staying near food or water sources if these are placed low in the cage.

Budgerigars, like all creatures, prefer to expend as little energy as possible when it comes to fulfilling their basic needs.

If your budgie’s food and water containers are situated at the bottom of the cage, it might decide to stay there for easy access to these resources.

You might see your bird pecking at its food or sipping water frequently, and there might not be any other signs of distress or unusual behavior.

Environmental Changes

Budgies, like many birds, are creatures of habit.

They tend to feel most secure in familiar environments, and sudden changes in their environment can cause stress, potentially leading your bird to seek comfort at the bottom of the cage.

These environmental changes can range from a rearrangement of their cage setup to a relocation of their cage to a different room or a new home.

If you’ve recently made changes to your budgie’s environment and notice your bird at the bottom of the cage, it may be trying to adjust to the changes.

It’s essential to introduce changes gradually, allowing your bird time to adjust and feel comfortable.

Providing familiar toys or perches can also help ease the transition.

Reproductive Influences

In the case of female budgies, they may spend more time at the bottom of the cage due to reproductive influences.

Hormonal changes, breeding behaviors, or egg-laying can lead to a noticeable shift in your bird’s usual routine.

Female budgies preparing to lay eggs often seek out a comfortable and secure space.

If a suitable nesting box isn’t available, they may resort to the bottom of the cage.

This behavior is usually accompanied by other signs of breeding readiness, such as a swollen vent, changes in droppings, or increased appetite. 

Behavioral Reasons Or Curiosity

Sometimes, your budgie might just be exploring the cage out of curiosity.

Budgies are intelligent and inquisitive birds.

They like to explore their surroundings, and that includes the floor of their cage.

Spending time at the bottom of the cage allows them to satisfy their natural curiosity and explore different textures and scents.

This is especially true if there are interesting things at the bottom of the cage, such as toys or foraging materials.


Finally, budgies can experience exhaustion just like us.

Overactivity, illness, or even old age can lead to fatigue, prompting your bird to rest more frequently at the bottom of the cage.

You may notice that your budgie is not as active as usual, appears to be resting more, or is less responsive to stimuli.

Lack Of Stimulation Or Boredom

Budgerigars, or budgies, are highly intelligent and social creatures that require plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

Lack of stimulation or boredom could potentially result in your bird spending an excessive amount of time on the bottom of its cage.

This behavior could signify that your budgie is not getting enough entertainment from toys, or is not receiving enough interaction and attention from you or other birds.

Temperature Issues

The temperature of your bird’s environment can significantly influence its behavior.

Budgies are native to Australia’s arid interior and have a preference for a warm and stable climate.

An environment that is too cold or too hot could result in your bird seeking refuge at the bottom of the cage.

During colder months, your budgie might sit at the bottom of the cage, fluffed up, in an attempt to retain body heat.

Conversely, in hotter temperatures, your bird might seek the coolest spot in the cage.

Maintaining a steady, comfortable temperature—usually around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius)—is vital for your bird’s wellbeing.

Diet And Nutrition

A bird’s diet plays a crucial role in its overall health and behavior.

If your budgie’s diet lacks the essential nutrients, it may exhibit changes in its behavior, such as spending more time at the bottom of the cage.

Budgies require a balanced diet, consisting of a good-quality seed mix, fresh fruits, vegetables, and occasional proteins.

Insufficient nutrition can result in lethargy and lack of energy, potentially causing your bird to rest more often at the bottom of its cage. 

Humidity Levels

The humidity levels in your bird’s environment can affect its comfort and wellbeing.

Budgies thrive in moderate humidity levels, typically around 40-60%.

High humidity can make the environment uncomfortable and promote the growth of mold or fungi, which can be harmful to your bird.

On the other hand, extremely low humidity can lead to dry skin and feathers in budgies.

If the air is too dry, your budgie might try to seek relief by staying closer to water dishes, often placed at the bottom of the cage. 

Sunlight Exposure

Sunlight exposure plays a crucial role in the health and behavior of budgerigars.

Birds use sunlight not only for the circadian rhythm, which regulates their sleep and feeding patterns, but also to synthesize essential nutrients like Vitamin D.

A budgie deprived of adequate natural light might exhibit lethargy or other changes in behavior, such as spending excessive time at the bottom of its cage.

However, while some sunlight is beneficial, too much direct sunlight can lead to overheating.

Therefore, it’s important to position the bird’s cage in a location where it receives indirect sunlight.

You should also provide shaded areas in the cage where the budgie can retreat to avoid overheating.

Noise And Lack Of Privacy

Just like humans, budgerigars need a quiet and private space for rest and relaxation.

Excessive noise or a lack of privacy can cause stress and anxiety in your budgie, leading it to seek solace at the bottom of its cage.

Ideally, the cage should be placed in a quiet part of your home, away from noisy appliances and high-traffic areas.

If the budgie’s cage is in a noisy or busy room, consider providing a cage cover or other visual barriers to give your bird a sense of security and privacy.

Absence Of A Suitable Nesting Box

If you have a female budgie, she might retreat to the bottom of the cage if there is an absence of a suitable nesting box.

When budgies are ready to lay eggs, they seek out a comfortable and secure location to nest.

In the absence of a nesting box, the bottom of the cage might be the only available place.

If you notice your female budgie frequently at the bottom of the cage, especially if she’s also exhibiting nesting behaviors like shredding paper, consider providing a proper nesting box to meet her needs.

Natural Wild Behavior

In their natural habitat, budgerigars are ground feeders.

They often go to the ground to forage for food.

Therefore, some of the time spent at the bottom of the cage might be an expression of natural wild behavior.

However, while occasional exploration of the cage bottom can be normal, excessive time spent there might indicate an issue.

If your budgie spends the majority of its time on the cage floor, it’s important to rule out potential health or environmental problems.

Lack Of Experience

Young or newly adopted budgerigars might spend more time at the bottom of their cage due to lack of experience.

New surroundings can be overwhelming, and the cage floor might feel like the safest place for them.

To help your budgie feel more comfortable and secure, provide plenty of perches at different heights, along with a variety of toys for stimulation.

With time, as your budgie becomes more comfortable with its environment, it should begin to explore more of its cage.


Just like in humans, aging in budgies can lead to changes in behavior.

Older budgies might spend more time resting at the bottom of the cage due to reduced energy levels or health issues related to age.


What Are Some Common Illnesses That Might Cause a Budgie to Stay at the Bottom of the Cage?

Common illnesses that might cause a budgie to stay at the bottom of the cage include respiratory infections, digestive problems, and age-related conditions.

Respiratory infections can cause difficulty breathing, leading the budgie to seek rest.

Digestive issues can make the bird feel lethargic, causing it to remain at the bottom of the cage.

Age-related conditions, like arthritis, might also make it uncomfortable for the budgie to perch, prompting it to stay at the cage’s base.

How Does the Environment Affect the Budgie’s Position in the Cage?

Environmental factors, such as noise, overcrowding, and lack of privacy, can cause stress in budgies, leading them to seek refuge at the bottom of the cage.

A noisy environment can be overwhelming, and a crowded cage can cause tension among the birds.

Lack of privacy, especially during stressful situations like illness or aging, might push the budgie to the perceived safety of the cage’s base.

How Can I Make My Budgie More Comfortable If It Is Staying at the Bottom of the Cage?

Making the cage environment comfortable and stress-free can help your budgie if it’s staying at the bottom.

Ensure easy access to food and water, maintain a comfortable temperature, and control noise levels.

Providing suitable nesting space can offer privacy, and implementing changes to stimulate the bird, like introducing new toys, can help combat boredom.

What Should I Do If My Budgie Continues to Stay at the Bottom of the Cage?

If your budgie continues to stay at the bottom of the cage despite a comfortable environment, it might be a sign of serious illness or aging.

In this case, it’s critical to consult with a veterinarian.

They can perform a thorough examination and provide appropriate treatment.

Remember, a budgie at the bottom of the cage for extended periods is not normal behavior and requires prompt attention.

Feauted image source (