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Why Do Budgies Have Strange Sleeping Positions?

Have you ever noticed that your pet budgie sleeps in peculiar positions, and wondered how on earth it can be comfortable in such a situation?

Budgies often cuddle up to their partners while they are sleeping, but they do also sleep in odd positions, and you might be a bit concerned if you find your bird napping in an awkward looking pose.

There’s a lot that you can learn from how your budgie has positioned itself for a rest, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this and understand what your budgie’s sleeping positions might signify.

Although most budgies will sleep by settling on a perch, sometimes with a partner and sometimes alone, they will also adopt peculiar positions at times, and some birds in particular seem to prefer to sleep in places that look odd.

In most cases, this will be nothing to worry about, but occasionally, a budgie’s choice of napping posture may indicate that something is wrong with it, so don’t be oblivious to this.

As a bird owner, you will often benefit from observing your budgie closely and learning its normal behavior.

Most birds hide signs of sickness well, so being in tune with what your bird does and does not do most of the time can help you to pick up on any changes in its behavior that could signify illness, allowing you to look for solutions. In some situations, this could save your budgie’s life.

Why Do Budgies Have Strange Sleeping Positions?

Most of a budgie’s sleeping positions mean something, and what may look like a strange position to us is perfectly logical and comfortable for the bird.

For example, a budgie that is hanging from the top of its cage by its feet might look really worrying and odd, but there are quite a few explanations – and a common one is that your budgie is seeking privacy so that it can be alone with its mate, undisturbed by other budgies.

A budgie that is asleep while perched on one leg may be doing this to conserve warmth and make itself feel cozy; this lets it tuck its other leg into the warmth of its feathers and keeps it snug.

Alternatively, if your budgie is sleeping with its head between its wings or tucked under one wing, it may be signifying that it feels safe and secure, and doesn’t need to be able to instantly see the world when it opens its eyes.

This position can also help to keep the bird warm, as heat is often lost through the face, and burying it in the wing prevents this.

Lying down on the perch tends to be an indication that your bird is particularly tired and doesn’t have the energy to stay upright, which may be something that you need to pay attention to.

Unless there is a logical explanation for your bird to be particularly tired (e.g. a disturbed night), you should take note of this kind of sleeping.

What Position Do Budgies Sleep In?

Budgies can sleep in a whole range of positions, but the commonest is on a perch high up in the cage, where they have a good view of the room and they feel safe.

However, budgies can also sleep lying down, standing on one leg, clinging to the side of the cage, and with their heads tucked under or between their wings.

A position looking uncomfortable to you does not necessarily mean your bird is uncomfortable, and generally, it means the opposite.

The muscles in your bird’s feet will continue to grip even when the bird is asleep, so if your budgie is clinging to the cage walls or a perch with just one foot, it’s still secure.

You don’t need to worry about it falling off, although you should check that there is enough space for it to perch normally if it wants to, especially if your cage is somewhat crowded.

A budgie lying on the perch is probably in the most precarious looking position, but in general, this isn’t unsafe. It may do this to conserve warmth, to save energy, or because it is poorly.

Some birds also just seem to prefer to sleep this way, and as long as your bird seems healthy in other ways, it’s not usually anything to worry about.

Can Budgies Sleep Lying Down?

Yes, budgies can sleep lying down, although they do not generally do this; most birds perch because it allows them to stay securely in the tree, and means that they can take off quickly if they get attacked by a predator.

However, sometimes, your budgie may choose to sleep lying down, although this generally indicates that something isn’t quite right.

Occasionally, lying down to sleep may mean that the budgie is cold and is prioritizing the warmth over its ability to take off quickly.

If this happens, you should warm the room up, or at least drape a blanket over the cage to help trap heat in and ensure that your bird doesn’t get too cold overnight. Budgies do not like being cold, so be aware if your budgie is trying to huddle up for warmth.

Sometimes, lying down may be an indication that your bird is too tired to perch, and this can be worrying. If your budgie keeps lying down to sleep, check whether it is sick or experiencing very disturbed nights, and take action if necessary.


A budgie’s sleeping positions can be quite peculiar, and if you’ve ever found your bird sleeping upside down, on the floor, on one leg, or with its head twisted around to its back, you might be worried that something is wrong. In general, however, there will be a simple explanation for the way that your bird is sleeping, and it may go back to perching when conditions change or it feels more comfortable again. If you think that your budgie is sick, you should contact a vet promptly, particularly if it is sleeping on the floor of the cage and will not stay on a perch.