One of 2 pet budgies died - we're worried about the other one!

by Elizabeth
(Surrey, B.C., Canada)

Four years ago we bought a pair of baby budgies, a male and female. 5 days ago, the female died and we're not exactly sure why. She displayed no symptoms of anything except a few hours before her death. I suspect she might have had lead poisoning from the toilet paper rolls I had started giving her, or perhaps she was swallowing the paper over time. I didn't realize the adhesive on the roll could contain lead. Out of the 2 birds, she was the avid chewer/ripper-upper of everything in sight. : ) I don't normally give them paper of any kind but stick to the small bird toys and the chewing options they offer. The cardboard has been a new thing I've given the past few months. She enjoyed it so much, once one was gone I replaced it with a new one.
The morning of the day she died she was energetic, chirping, eating, and on top of the cage as was her habit. After arriving home from daycare pickup and work, she appeared to be sleeping on a perch. Two hours later I noticed she hadn't moved from this position and in fact, was leaned over onto the cuttlebone attached to the side of the cage. This was unusual. It wasn't long before I realized I needed to get her to a vet hospital but it was already too late and she died shortly after arriving there. They didn't even have time to properly examine her and I didn't order her body to be examined after the fact.

We're concerned now for the remaining male budgie. Both had never been apart and were obviously bonded to one another. The first 12-24 hours he was very quiet and though we paid lots of attention to him, we also tried not to push it since it would be unusual for us to do so. When both were together, we generally left them alone except to stroke them now and then,talk to them, watch them, change their water and seed, give them fresh raw food, rotate their toys etc. To all of a sudden pay so much more attention to the now lone male would probably have stressed him out more.
Currently, it's as if he has forgotten there ever was another budgie. His usual constant chattiness is present, he moves about like he used to (in and out of the cage), preens, eats, drinks, flies occasionally down the kitchen. My 14-year-old seems to think he's not eating as much but my son never watched his behavior under the microscope he's currently looking at him through. I think otherwise and think all is normal. The male was a follower and may have eaten a bit more often with the female at the seed tray, but I still see him eat so all seems normal.
Should we, for his sake, get him another companion bird? If so, would we get one as soon as possible, or does it matter? Would we get another female, or would a male be ok too? (I've heard 2 males can get along, but better a male and female.) Would we get another baby, or an older budgie? How would we introduce the new bird?

If we left him on his own, would he adapt ok in the long term? Would we make any changes to HOW we interact with him, or HOW OFTEN? For example, would we need to pay way more attention to him and try to train him to interact with our family life? Are there any other general changes we'd need to make? Would he consider us his flock now? Will he remain happy or will this shorten his lifespan? How can you tell if a budgie is happy or not anyways???
Would you recommend we take him to a vet to determine his state of health? I will obviously not be giving him any toilet paper rolls! Should we do anything else to the cage and contents? The cage was just cleaned and the perches washed. We didn't remove the toys.
I'm also reading that an all-seed diet is not providing all the nutrition a budgie needs. The magazine Bird Talk says that pellets/extruded foods are better nutritionally and should comprise the top spot, then veggies, protein, fruit and last, seeds! Why wouldn't I have been told this when I was buying them if it was so important to feed them pellets? Currently, we feed them seeds and a variety of fruit, veggies, or wholegrain bread (or combo - whatever we have on hand basically). If it's true to feed primarily pellets, how would I switch him over? Any seed we've bought that has had pellets or colored vitamin pieces he's ignored and stuck with the seed.
Thank you very much for all the feedback!

Comments for One of 2 pet budgies died - we're worried about the other one!

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Jul 14, 2018
My budgie died
by: Rose

My budgie died and I am worried about the other one !! I had 2 budgies

Jun 26, 2018
My Budgie Died
by: Anonymous

Almost a month ago, 2 out of my five budgies died. 1 died a week after the other. Now 1 is SUPER depressed and the others are depressed but not as much as her mate. The one who died before, no birdy seems to care about. : (. I give them new foods and now none of them are playing with their toys. Now there is only 1 boy and 2 girls. The boy is sadly mating with another girl, and I don't like it, and the other girl is left out. What should I do? Please help.

Jun 15, 2018
One of my budgie just died
by: Anonymous

I had two boy budgie they got along very well the little one died not sure why. He was much smaller shorter and skinnier than the other. He never showed symptoms he was playing and just dropped. If it was a disease how long should i wait before I get a new one so it doesn't get sick

Apr 06, 2018
Please help
by: Riya

one bird passed away in my one pair budgie. what can i do to make other one happy??

Dec 08, 2017
One budgie died
by: Anonymous

Can I introduce another bird or will my other doublebird die

Nov 18, 2017
One of my two budgies passed, should i get the other a companion?
by: heck.izzy

I bought two parakeets (male and female) about a year and half ago. Recently the female passed away.

I dont know if I should get another or not.

The boy, whom is currently healthy, was a bit aggressive towards the female, but she was back. This is why im noy sure if I shpuld get another or not, as what if they dont get along.

Im gone for around 7 hours on weekdays for school, so I dpnt want him to be alone.

What's the best choice?

If I should get another, should I get a male or female?

Thank you.

Editor's note: There is no clear answer, some get another bird and all works out fine, some get another bird and they have to live in separate cages because they don't get along.

Nov 07, 2017
One of my two budgies died today
by: Anonymous

One of my pet budgies has died to day (a female) the other one (a male) was very dominant and was pecking the other one it sometimes didn't let the other one eat but we would let it. About two weeks ago the female one started acting up and was falling down to the bottom of the cage, so we left it there with some food and water.

The budgie was losing balance a lot a day before it died and kept falling over. The budgie also had its eyes closed a lot of the time. I came home today and found it at the bottom of the cage dead. What should i do with the other budgie should i buy another one to keep it company?
Please help me

Nov 01, 2017
Can someone figure out the couse of death??
by: Anonymous

I had 4 budgie and one of the four died and I don't know why.he was acting normal in the morning.he was climbing the cage,didn't show any signs of weakens or pain,no swelling around the stomach.he was eating perfectly fine and he was eating an average amount.i was feeding him the same things i was feeding my other birds.Could he have been alergic to something in it or could have alergies not killed him.

he was on a 60% pellets and 40% seed diet.his waste was normal untill the day he died he had a long strand of waste handing from his anal but he was energetic like usial.but when i came home from school he was lying dead on the grates on the didn't look like he got in a fight and I didn't feel anything broken in his body.there was no wounds on him.dose anyone know what could have happened. Would it be best if I replace that bird with another male because I only have females in the cage now.or shuld I just leave it with 3 birds in the cage??

Nov 01, 2017
My budgie seems depresed
by: Anonymous

I had 4 budgie and 2 of the four died I don't know why and one of my budgie seems depresed.she is not eating how much she usually dose. When i put the food in her cage she is usually the first one there but after the two budgie died(1 female 1 male) my blue (female) parakeet is not wanting to eat as frequently as she use to.the other female budgie on the other hand dose not seem depressed and is living life as she was early.the male budgie that died was her best friend and they where not separated from birth and lived together 24/7.what can I do to help my female budgie get over the death of the male budgie.Is there anything I can do?

Jul 29, 2017
My male budgie fly away
by: Sunil Avhad

Today morning when i feed the food to my budgies pair at that time cage gate is open that time one budgies (male) is fly away from the cage and he not comming back .most IMP thing is my budgie female laying 5-eggs ,so what can i do at this time can i bought new male or any other option .please suggest me what can i do.

Jul 18, 2017
My budgie died :(
by: Anonymous

One of my two budgies died today, they are both female, Before she died she was on the bottom of the cage near her food bowl, I don't know if she had a illness or if it was that she was eating so much, she was fine until a couple of days ago but then she started eating more until today she died in my hand. I have two questions

1. Should I get another female parakeet?

2. What would have been the cause of the death?

Jun 20, 2017
Dying Budgie:(
by: Anya

Hi everyone,

I have two budgies, Snowflake and Kiwi. A month or two ago Snowflake was diagnosed with a kidney tumor and the vet said he didn't have much time left. I keep the two birds in separate cages side by side, but when I'm home I leave the cage doors open and let them play together. But recently Snowflake's been getting worse-- one leg is paralyzed and he always sits fluffed up and hunched over, always eyes closed like hes sleeping. I think he's going to die soon. Should I move his cage to a different room for Kiwi's sake or should I let them be with each other for as long as possible?


Editor's note: If you think one is ill then take them to an avian vet for to determine what is wrong.

May 12, 2017
Budgie die
by: Anonymous

I have 2 budgies but one died so I just want to know what should I do with the other one must I get a new bird or put him in a new cage or what please help

Editor's note: You need to determine why the others died? Disease, attacked by the one left? If they died of old age, or maybe because you feed a seed diet and they died due to fatty liver disease, then it's up to you if you want to add another bird. Just don't assume the bird in the present cage will be kind to the new bird and be ready to keep the new bird in a separate cage.

Apr 12, 2017
should i replace a mates budgie soon after death
by: AnonyMoiramous

Hi, do budgies need a repacement male or female after loss of mate? Should there be a time frame for grieving ?

Editor's note: You may want to purchase another bird, but realize that you can't just stick a new bird in there and expect them to like each other anymore than if your mate died I could just shove a new "mate" in your home and expect you to get along.

Jan 05, 2017
by: Andy McKenzie

I use to have a fince and i still got my budgie i kept them in separate cages and my budgie use to fly cage to cage but in October my fince died and now my budgie does not come out or go on his swing so that's why Iam trying to get another one but i cant find any do can you help me please

Editor's note: I don't post email addresses, and I'm not sure how anyone can help you. If you want to purchase another bird that lives in another cage, then that is great!

Aug 28, 2016
Dead budgie and why the remaining one may act as it is.
by: sharp

my girl budgie has just died, she looked very tired over the past few days but she looked to be enjoying the sunlight so we didn't really take it as an Illness. lesson learned, check for all types of behaviour. also she lost practically al of her major flight feathers, she hasn't got French molt, the vet confirmed that, she also hasn't got anything of the type that fits with aides. we just found her on the floor of the cage, legs out, eyes half shut. we had her for 14 weeks. she was 20 weeks old. when I looked closer I say an unidentified lump/bone poking out in the skin. I also have a male budgie. he is acting like his usual self except for a period when my mum first woke me up telling me she was dead. he was looking at her side on(the way budgies do) and was very quiet. when I opened the cage to see if she was dead, he flew out. she was still warm but definately dead. moral of this story, don't buy a budgie with what looks to be short wings. the breeder is also now selling other budgies that are labelled with OUT flight feathers, my male budgie is now enjoying some music about an hour and a half into me waking up.

if your dead budgie's partner, mum, dad, sibling, friend etc. is pecking your budgie it is most likely their way of using a difribulator. birds sometimes do that to try and wake them up. if your budgie is pecking it a bit too ferociously, they're probably just very distraught/sad. most important thing- comfort the remaining one. but don't give it too much more attention than its used to. that can shock/distress it. it is aslo possible bthat the other budgie will walk around its cage, looking and calling for its partner. normal part of the grieving process.

life lesson, BUILD BIRD VETS NEARBY, also, take your budgie to one that can actually tell you what is going on.

Jul 24, 2016
Budgie widowd twice
by: Anonymous

Can a budgie survive on it'd own does it need company?( 2nd companion in three years died female alone)

Jun 10, 2016
budgie parakeet
by: tenk

I had to parakeets but one died last night and the other one will not let anyone hold it or touch it or anything it seems all stressed out should I get him a nother mate

Editor's note: It's up to you, but just realize that they need to be kept apart until both birds decide they want to be together.

Dec 30, 2015
My male parekeet past
by: Kim

My male parekeet past away tonight should I buy a bother male for my female or should I buy a female or just let her be alone? she been acting fine and we been giving her alot of attition and she talking to us but I'm worried she going to get sick because for the last 2 yrs she had him and now he gone I need some advice on what I should do please

Editor's note: If you DO get another bird, keep it in a separate cage. There is no guarantee they will want to live together.

Oct 23, 2015
poor baby
by: Anonymous

my female parakeet flew away and now my poor male parakeet is so sad he doesnt want to eat

Apr 13, 2013
can male budgie feed baby birds
by: Anonymous

one of my mother bird was suddenly died last nite & i'm vwry upset on that.i'm worrying that will the male budgie will feed the babies or not.if not is there any alternate for feeding other than these formula's?

Editor's note: In the future if you want people to see and answer, you need to post a question, not an answer here to another question, on our Parrot Questions page.

Oct 29, 2010
Can a Budgie eat a nother Budgie?
by: Anonymous

My pet Budgie was fine and full of life this morning when I left home for work. On my return this afternoon, te Nanny told me that my female Budgie died and she found the male Budgie on top of her pecking it away at the neck area until the head of te female Budgie was completely seperated from her body. Is this normal or is it some form of illness or is my male Budgie posessed? I am very upset right now and could not believe what te Nanny have told me. I cannot find any related issues regarding this behavouir on the internet. Please assist.
Thank you

Editor's note: You posted this as an answer to a question. Please post this as a new question on if you want people to answer your question.

Jun 20, 2010
Budgie mate died and switching to pellets
by: The Avian Vet

If your budgie is not tame, you do not take him out and spend time with him, then you should get it a cage mate. But you need to make sure the male is healthy before doing that. Take him to see the veterinarian BEFORE he shows signs of illness.

It does not really matter if you do this right away. When you get another one do not immediately put them in the same cage. They will need to sit side-by-side, in separate cages, for a period of time to get used to each other and establish who is in charge.

It does not matter if you get a male or a female. Getting an older bird, close to the age of yours now, would be best.

Yes, interact with him daily. Yes, pay way more attention to him and try to train him to interact with our family life. He would need to come out daily or more often, and you may need to have his wings clipped. Clip only 4 feathers on each side, not more. Yes, after a period of adjustment, he will consider you his flock, but he may like birds better. A happy bird will sing and chirp and play and eat as opposed to sitting in one spot most of the time.

You asked, "Would you recommend we take him to a vet to determine his state of health?" Absolutely.

You asked, "Why wouldn't I have been told this when I was buying them if it was so important to feed them pellets?" Because not everyone knows this information, even pet stores are ignorant sometimes. Please read the Switching Birds to Pellets article.

You mentioned, "Any seed we've bought that has had pellets or colored vitamin pieces he's ignored and stuck with the seed." Yes, that is why mixing is not an effective method of conversion.

Thanks for writing.

Dr B

Jun 20, 2010
One of 2 pet budgies died - we're worried about the other one!
by: Linda

First of all, we are sorry for your loss and you should have had a necropsy done to see what killed the other bird. While you have ideas as to why, you'll never know. Cages made in China and the UK can contain too much lead in the powder coating, and one has to contact the manufacturers for the information on paint testing here in the US as they are required to have testing done here. The other thing is it could have been the paper rolls though I've given mine paper towel rolls in the past with no problems. I've never give toilet paper rolls as they are kept in a nasty place to begin with and are tainted from the beginning.

Take your other bird to the Avian vet as soon as you can get him there. Have the vet check for infections, and have some bloodwork done to see how his kidneys, liver and thyroid are doing.

The reason pet store did not tell you about pellets versus seeds is the personnel are usually not well trained in caring for birds and seem to not have time to help educate the public. They are there to SELL THE BIRDS, and what happens afterwards is your concern, not theirs. One has to do all the study BEFORE getting a bird, so one knows what birds need to eat, how large their cages should be and so on. Once the vet gives him a good bill of health, start changing him over to an organic, high quality pellet like Harrisons which Tracie carries on site. Feed organics because the cheaper pellets are cheaper for a reason, namely dyes, preservatives, pesticide/fertilizer residue. Fruit and veggies can only be 10-15% of total diet, and if feeding Harrisons, feed exactly according to package directions which means NO ANIMAL PROTEIN as this will cause an imbalance. Harrisons is cold extruded leaving in necessary minerals, proteins and vitamins, so NO supplementation is needed, and budgies need NO grit either.

Here is link to article written by an Avian Vet about changing from seed to pellets:
Switching Birds to Pellets article.

Wait until he's been checked by the Avian Vet before changing. As for another bird, I'd suggest you wait until he has been examined by vet and is deemed healthy or not. If you are gone all day, HE WILL NEED A COMPANION, and I suggest you get another cage and set up the new bird in there so they see and talk to each other,(new bird has to go to vet 24-48hrs after purchase)and leave males in separate cages to prevent fighting. Do get another male so breeding is out of the question as it takes much study, time and money to embark on breeding and is NOT worth it financially since the budgies are already being bred to death all over.


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