Do you notice a budgie holding wings away from body?
Birds have such unique body languages and gestures, and this act of holding its wings away from their body is one of these quirks.
So, why exactly do they do this? And is it normal, or is it a sign of an illness or a problem?
We investigate the common reasons behind this gesture and whether you should be worried at all or not. Let’s dive right into it.
Budgie Holding Wings Away From Body
There are a number of reasons why you may have a budgie holding wings away from the body. For instance, they may simply be stretching while others may be trying to minimize the amount of parasites in their feathers.
In some other cases, they may simply be regulating their body temperature or sunbathing.
One of the most common reasons behind this gesture is that your pet may simply be sunbathing. They may have fluffed their feathers up, or hold their wings – whether one or both – out from their body.
When they spread their wings this way, it is their means of sunbathing. Birds stay cool at night and love to regulate their body temperature by keeping warm. Thus, they try to get some warmth by holding their wings away from their body.
Moreover, this act allows them to achieve an optimal body temperature and not spend too much energy from their food. So, for budgies that live in a cooler climate, this act of holding the wings away from their body is quite helpful.
Additionally, budgies maintain their feathers by holding the wings away from their body. They like to preen and lie in the sun. With the solar heat touching their feathers, they hold their wings farther from the body to allow preen oil to spread evenly. Thus, it helps to remove some parasites or lice that cause diseases.
Interestingly, the heat also helps to relocate these parasites. Thus, budgies are able to spot them quickly and get them out.
Now, when you have a budgie with lice, it becomes more than a hygiene concern for these birds. This also prevents them from finding their mates because their plumage is duller and needs more preening.
But preening is also helpful in distributing oil to these birds’ feathers. There are several compounds to this preen oil that are then converted into essential vitamin D that helps maintain feather, skin and organ health, as well as hormonal balance.
When your budgie spreads its wings, this allows for proper realignment of its feathers. They want to straighten their feathers by holding it still in a stream of warm air. It also helps to make the molting process easier to bear.
Molting, just for the sake of those who may not be familiar with this process, is the shedding of old feathers, which are then replaced with new plumage. It can take about two weeks or even a few years, and it varies from one species to another.
Thankfully, birds shed and gain their feathers in a symmetrical process. This allows for an equal loss and gain on each side. For instance, it begins at their neck and head, followed by the back and the breast and thighs, ending at their tail feathers.
Molting can cause some discomfort, which is why it is best to help your pet throughout this process. First of all, never touch their pinfeathers since your pet may be able to do it without your assistance. You should also give your budgie a mist bath to help soften the pinfeather’s shaft’s keratin. Hence, it can break.
And lastly, be kind and compassionate to your pet. During this time, your budgie may be a bit moody since the process is not at all very easy nor comfortable. So, allow your pet to take it easy and neve hold such behavior against it.
Other Reasons For Holding Wings Away From The Body
Your budgie may also be holding its wings away from the body because it is trying to cool down. When they are overheated, they hold the wings slightly farther from the body. If they are feeling really hot, the wings will even be farther away. They may also have a flattened plumage since they do not want to have more heat stuck by their feathers.
Aside from this reason, holding the wings away from the body is their way of panting. As with dogs and cats, birds pant to eliminate too much heat. They pant by holding their wings.
However, when the wings are stretched out completely, this is their way of attracting the opposite sex. It is their means of showing off their feathers and attempting to appear irresistible to the other bird it is trying to impress.
But if not trying to attract another budgie, it is also possible that your pet is just showing off its feathers for fun. When there is another budgie of the same sex, this gesture may attempt to initimidate the other bird, which it sees as a rival against the other feathered creature.
And lastly, it can be a sign of discomfort. This is evident when the wings are only slightly lifted away from the body, then pulled back rapidly. A silent snapping sound may even be heard when it does this. However, it is not the same as with cooling down since there is no rapid pulling back that follows. The same with stretching.
A budgie holding its wings away from the body can mean so many things. It may be a sign of intimidating a rival, or attracting another bird of the opposite sex, or something as normal as cooling down, stretching, or panting.
Be sure to observe how often your pet does this and if it pulls back slowly, more deliberately, or quickly. You may also want to check for possible signs of discomfort present, if you want to rule these out. Otherwise, it is but a normal behavior that budgies do and are nothing to be worried about.