My budgie is opening and closing her beak a lot.

by Brook
(Calgary, Canada)

Hello there,

My budgie has begun opening and closing her beak sort of quickly, kind of like she is talking. I wouldn't think much of it but she is doing it quite a bit.

She looks healthy, eats well, drinks, moves about her cage with no issues.

It started after her cage mate died 2 weeks ago (she was 12 yrs old) my budgie that remains is about 5 or 6 years old.

Because it has continued I am starting to become concerned. I called an avian vet for advice but they would only tell me to come in for an exam ($80.00 plus testing)

If I had a better idea of what it is, or if it is potentially life threatening I will take her to a vet.

But I do not want to pay $80.00 plus testing for them to tell me she is lonely. I have a cockatiel to keep her company (in diff cage) but it may not be enough.

Any thoughts you could share with me would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance
~Brook (and Lonnie)

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Mar 21, 2009
Budgie lost cage mate
by: The Vet

You may have misunderstood, I am not saying that it is for sure because of the lack of a cage mate. My recommendation is to have your bird examined by an avian veterinarian to be sure that it is not a medical problem. If it is not a medical problem, ten thee other causes should be considered.

Another cage mate may or may not be a good idea. It is likely that your old bird and your new bird will not get along, at least initially. They need to be introduced slowly, and they need to live in separate cages until they become accustomed to each other. Another bird may not solve the problem, but your budgie will likely eventually enjoy the company of another bird.

Dr B

Mar 20, 2009
Further to the above....
by: Brook

Thanks Dr. B

I suspected it was due to the lack of a cage mate. She is very skittish and scared when I go to the cage to see her when she never was that way before. I think it is because the budgie that died was the "dominant" bird...and I am pretty sure that she died of old age (she was at least 12).

Do you think this will pass or should I try and get a new cage mate?

Thanks again.

Mar 20, 2009
Budgie opening and closing beak question
by: The Vet

One cannot simply look at a bird and determine that it is healthy. In addition, sick birds will pretend like they are feeling good, even pretend to eat. So you should not be fooled by the simple fact that a bird "looks" healthy.

Open mouth breathing and panting can be caused by many things ? being too hot can do it; nervous and anxious budgies do it; and there are diseases that cause it too, such as Aspergillosis, sinusitus, respiratory infections, egg laying and problems laying eggs, ... . Although I am sure she is missing her cage mate, it is not likely due to loneliness, but anxiety can cause it.

A dead cage mate could be an indication that the live bird has a problem. Did you have a necropsy (animal autopsy) performed to determine the cause of death? This is important since you have another bird tat could be a carrier for a disease or could have contracted something from the dead bird (before it died). A necropsy could tell you what the illness was and then treatment could be initiated on the survivor.

We are not able to give advice over the phone without the advantage of at least giving you bird an exam. Different hospitals charge differently, some are more, some are less. If you are going to a specialist in a specialty practice, this is about the average charge, maybe a little above average.

Dr. B

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