Can A Budgie Be Scared To Death? {How To Calm A Budgie}

Are you here to find out if fear can suddenly kill a budgie? What are the factors involved and how can you calm the situation? In this article, we’ll try to understand if a budgie can get scared to the point of sudden death.

Can A Budgie Be Scared To Death? Yes. Budgies are sensitive to new environments, aggression and sudden noises that can activate stress hormones, raise adrenaline or heart rate to the point of sudden or gradual death over a short period of time. 

What Makes Budgies Scared To Death?

Fight-or-flight is an age-old physiological reaction with the term obviously attributed to birds. It’s an intense stress reaction to imminent threat or danger. We may not see the situation as being dangerous, but our budgies may see grave harm coming to them.

Can they fly away? Probably not. Many budgies are kept in cages or their clipped wings will hinder their ability to get away from threatening or fearful moments. Panic may ensue.

The heart will beat rapidly and stress hormones will hit the roof. Sadly enough, many budgies die from this type of fear.

How Do I Know If My Budgie Is About To Die?

Your budgie has a fragile heart and is sensitive to sudden environmental changes. Their blood pressure is high and the first signs become noticeable that something is wrong. Look for:

  • Rapid breathing or panting
  • Wheezing
  • Hunched over
  • No movement
  • Silence
  • Dull or discoloured feathers
  • Plucked feathers

Scared budgies will pant heavily or make a wheezing sound. They may hunch over or bob their heads quickly. Soon after, all movements may stop.

They may sit at the bottom of the cage and do or say nothing. Sadly, they may harm themselves by plucking their own feathers. Their colouration becomes dull or less vibrant.

How Does A Scared Budgie Behave?

When your budgie is scared, you will notice negative changes in mood and actions. Some examples are given below:

  • Isolation
  • Screeching
  • Quick flapping
  • Puffed up feathers
  • Hissing with feather held out
  • Feathers down flat
  • Panting/Open Mouth Breathing
  • Watery poops


A scared budgie will look to hide or make themselves feel as small as possible. If flying away is not possible, then retreating to the back of the cage is the only other choice.


Budgies are vocal birds. They will show you through sounds to indicate their mood. A happy budgie doesn’t screech in horror, but may shout or chirp loudly. The differences are subtle, but as a companion, you will probably be able to tell the difference more than anyone else.

Wings and Feathers

A budgie communicates with body language. The best way to do that is with their long wings and the feathers attached to them. Quickly flapping them is a sign of fear and a defense mechanism that may be coupled with hissing sounds.

Puffing up the feathers will make your budgie look larger while possibly trying to stand up to the threat. Feathers out looks like a sign of aggression or defense while feathers down flat can indicate submission or intense fear.


High blood pressure and sensitive hearts will rapidly change or speed up in times of fear. This stress response happens much faster in budgies than in humans. Your budgie is practically hyperventilating and needs more oxygen to hopefully calm the nerves.

Digestive Issues

The most common sight is the watery droppings indicating that something is wrong. Make sure your budgie is eating mostly pellets at this time, but don’t force feed. The guts are weak and rumbling out of fear causing the droppings to come out faster and runnier.

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Why Is My Budgie Scared?

There are many triggers to cause fear in a budgie. A sudden BANG from a cannon or bomb exploding on the TV screen with surround sound speakers may feel all too real. Your budgie could die suddenly from such an intense fear or it could happen overnight.

Here some common reasons why budgies are scared:

  • New home
  • Changes in environment 
  • Mistreatment
  • Illness

New Home

You are new. The cage is new. Everything is new. It’s going to take time to adjust. Do so with patience and empathy.

Your budgie would appreciate time and slow movements to gain trust and quell the worries of threats that will not come. In time, your budgie will bond with this new home and you.

Changes In Environment

Anything from a new cage location to changes in temperature can ignite the stress hormone in a budgie. New people, pets or noises outside of the house like a neighbour mowing the lawn or a construction project nearby can cause your budgie to get scared.


Your budgie may have arrived from a stressful location. This budgie may have been bred and raised in a place where there were lots of noise or aggressive people and birds that made it feel stress all day long.

Your budgie is not socialized, tamed and impulsively agitated by sudden triggers to ignite defense mechanisms including sharp sensations of fear.


Too much fear cause a lack of appetite and stress. The result hits the immune system hard. A weakened budgie will feel less able to defend itself or exercise the fight-or-flight response. This budgie is vulnerable and quite possibly ill.

How Can I Calm My Budgie?

Your budgie needs time to build a relationship with you and its surroundings. The trust and bond comes with interaction, healthy diet, exercise and rest.

  • Cover the cage in times of stress
  • Darken the room slightly
  • Reduce noises
  • Keep a routine
  • Be gentle and soothing

Covering the cage soothes your budgie and eliminates outside disturbances. A darker room is more relaxing than bright lights. Loud noises trigger fear especially if they are jolting out of nowhere and not gradually rising sounds.

A 12 hour routine of light and interaction followed by 12 hours of rest and relaxation is optimal. Feeding, playing and hanging out times should be set to a schedule for a sensitive and fearful budgie trying to adapt to your home. Your soothing voice and gentle touch will do wonders as well.

Do Budgies Have Heart Attacks?

Budgies can have heart attacks and suddenly drop dead. Most of the time, the issue is caused by poor health, hardening of the arteries or high cholesterol.

If your budgie is overweight or highly fearful, the heart will work too much and wear down more easily. Please visit the avian vet if you’re concerned about your budgie’s health.


Thanks for visiting today and we hope to see you again soon for another article that may relate to your budgie. Bye for now!