Why Is My Budgie Panting & Breathing Heavily?

Budgie Panting & Breathing Heavily

Have you noticed your Budgie panting or breathing heavily? Are you scared that this might mean your budgie might be sick? In this article, you’ll learn what panting and heavy breathing in budgies mean and what you can do to help. Why Is My Budgie Panting & Breathing Heavily?

When a budgie is panting, it’s usually a result of stress or fear. Or, in more severe cases, it can be due to respiratory illness or overheating. This is when there is cause for concern and the need to consult a vet. Keep reading to learn more about panting and heavy breathing in budgies.

What Does It Mean If My Budgie Is Panting?

Panting in budgies isn’t an uncommon sign, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good one. If your budgies panting, there’s usually something wrong with his surroundings or something inside of his body.

Here are some of the most common reasons that will cause panting in budgies:

  • Nervousness or fear
  • Stress
  • Heavy Exercise
  • To regulate body temperature
  • Illness

If your budgie is suffering with any of the above take a look at what you need to do listed below.

Why Is My New Budgie Breathing Heavily?

When you bring a new budgie home, he’s likely going to be scared and a little stressed out.  Additionally, there are certain changes in the environments, especially in the wintertime when you’re traveling in a hot car or if you have set the cage in the sun for a prolonged period of time.

The main reasons for a new budgie to breath heavily include

  • Stress
  • Nervousness
  • Temperature To Hot / Cold
  • Respiratory Illness

As mentioned, fear and stress are two key reasons behind heavy breathing. If your budgie has been flapping around a lot, he may be panting to catch his breath.

If you’ve been driving in a hot car on the way home with your new budgie and bring him home to find he’s panting, it’s probably because the heat was too high in the car ride. Somewhat similar to dogs, budgies will pant to cool off.

New Budgie Breathing Heavily

Birds, especially smaller ones like budgies have sensitive respiratory and immune systems. You may not be aware of it at first, but your budgie could have a respiratory illness. After all, unless you’ve seen where and how it was raised, you really don’t know if a bird is sick when you purchase it.

If your budgie is suffering with any of the above take a look at what you need to do listed below.

What Can I Do to Reduce the Panting and Heavy Breathing?

Don’t worry, if your budgie is panting or breathing heavily, there are many ways that you can help him. First, you need to get to the bottom of why you’re budgie is panting or breathing heavily. If the problem doesn’t improve or worsens, call your vet immediately.

Nervous or Stressed Budgie

When your budgie becomes nervous or stressed, the best thing to do is to remove what’s making him stressed. For example, if you have a cat that will undoubtedly scare a budgie, move the cat to another room.

If your budgie is stressed because of too much activity in the room, throw a sheet over the cage or take him to a quieter room to relax.

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Exhaustion in Budgies

If your budgie he’s panting after too much activity, just let him relax and provide lots of water to rehydrate with. Give him some downtime but keep an eye on him to make sure he improves.

An Overheating Budgie

Budgie will sometimes pant to decrease their body heat. If your bird is panting to restore his proper temperature due to overheating, immediately provide somewhere for him to cool off and sprits with some water as a mist to cool off.

DON’T USE ICE OR ICE PACKS, as that will only cause shock.

Budgie Illness

If you’ve crossed the other three off your list, it’s time to consider that your budgie may be sick. Your first step is here calling a vet. Birds can go into shock from illness very quickly, and your vet will know how to treat the respiratory distress.

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Signs Your Budgie Is Nervous

Fortunately, budgies don’t really hide fear all that well, so it’s not difficult to see when a bird is nervous or in distress. Every budgie will display a different level of confidence, so the signs you see will truly depend on the individual bird.

Budgies will display fear with one or more of the following signs:

  • Retreating to the furthest point in the cage, not socializing with you at all. (If your budgie is new, you can expect him to act this way for a few days)
  • Flighty Behaviour/Escape Attempts (also to be expected in a new or unsocialized bird)
  • Wide-eyed staring and unrelenting or unusual vocalizations
  • Panting (usually after flighty behavior)
  • Watery Poop
  • Decreases or no appetite.

Signs Your Budgie Is Sick

Because they’re so small, budgies can get fatally sick very quickly, so for any type of ailment, you’ll want to contact your vet straight away. Thankfully, there are signs to look for beyond the obvious behavior change that happens.

If your budgie is sick, he will display signs including:

  • Having no energy or sleeping throughout the day.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Significant increase or decrease of water intake.
  • Molting or losing feathers.
  • Overgrooming, plucking his own feathers.
  • Watering eyes or crusty eyes. (This could come in opaque white or light yellow)
  • Runny nose (or colored mucus).
  • Diarrhea or unusually watery poop.
  • Prolonged heavy breathing


Budgies can be great pets to those that know how to take care of them. If not, they can become ill, nervous, or distressed. After all, budgies are delicate, and all birds require a little bit more delicate care than cats and dogs.

In the best case, budgies pant to lower body temperate after a significant temperature change around them or after increased activity or in budgies. Other reasons, which aren’t so benevolent, could mean distress or illness.

When you look closely, you’ll be able to see what is causing your budgie to pant or breath so heavily, and that’s when you’ll know how to treat it. In most cases, treating heavy breathing or panting in budgies can be solved simply, but it’s always a good idea to watch your budgie closely in case he doesn’t improve.