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Male budgie parakeet flicking wings up every 3-5 seconds

marshmallo

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I'll try to keep this short and simple yet still as informative as I can, as I honestly have never seen something like this before. I've given up researching and calling the place I got him from (a very good place who loves their birds mind you, they just have no clue) and resorted to making a quick account here in desperation for my baby, so I apologize if I make any mistakes.

It's worth noting I have another male parakeet, and a male cockatiel in the same cage if that matters. Anyways.

My budgie, Azul, has been twitching/flipping his wings upwards every 3-5 seconds since roughly 7AM yesterday, which as I'm writing this, it's 4AM and I'm still eyeing him with worry. First few times I figured oh he's just excited because I woke up. But after he had exceeded the 5 minute mark I began to watch him more closely, and noticed it wasn't fluttering and rather twitching.

It's cold here, but luckily today it warmed up to 60F so I put in a lukewarm bath, thinking maybe he was itchy from dirt, or maybe had loose feathers I couldn't see. He wouldn't get inside so I don't know. I took the bath back out because I'm sure tonight it would've gotten real cold.

At about roughly 2PM, he was understandably looking pretty tired from all the wing flipping. I didn't want to bother him by holding him, so I've just gently been talking to him.

Despite being tired, it's not a lethargic type of tired. He's still eating, drinking, playing with his buddies, chirping. The only issue seems to be his wings.

I'm really at a loss of what to do for him. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
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Sparkles99

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I would try to get a picture or video. The consistency does sound excessive.
 

marshmallo

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I would try to get a picture or video. The consistency does sound excessive.
Hi. I can't seem to attach a file, but I did find a clip of a bird who's doing the exact same thing. https://www.reddit.com/r/budgies/comments/e94eh0
However, mine isn't breathing like that at all, and the flicks/fidgets are happening more frequently for the most part.

The comments suggest unbalanced perches, but his perch seems fine, and I would think that would make the other birds do the same thing, which they are not. It's warm in the room, so temperature shouldn't be an issue either.

Edit: I wanted to add I took him out of the cage and gently removed some loose downy feathers. It didn't help much and he didn't seem pleased with me as the one place he doesn't like being touched is his wings and back understandably, but it did SLIGHTLY stop some of the flicking. So I'm starting to wonder if it is a molting issue.
 
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Shezbug

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My budgie kind of flicks his wings if he has a feather out of place which is annoying him, sometimes one is sitting wrong or is falling out and it is irritating him and that is when I see him flick his wings.
 

GreenThing

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Is he tipping his body forward (head lowered, tail up) when he does this?

This can be anything from irritation (as @Shezbug said) with a tricky feather or a cagemate, a more serious physical discomfort (don't love the way the budgie in that video is breathing), or aggression. My budgie Merlin used to do it combined with lowered head before he would lunge at his buddy. Will post video to show the difference if I find it.

I don't like putting my dumb human face on the internet, but I keep videos of their interesting body language lol. Here's Merlin showing what an aggressive/irritated wing flip looks like:

In short, I don't think it's ever a positive sign, but it isn't always dire.
 
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marshmallo

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Is he tipping his body forward (head lowered, tail up) when he does this?

This can be anything from irritation (as @Shezbug said) with a tricky feather or a cagemate, a more serious physical discomfort (don't love the way the budgie in that video is breathing), or aggression. My budgie Merlin used to do it combined with lowered head before he would lunge at his buddy. Will post video to show the difference if I find it.

I don't like putting my dumb human face on the internet, but I keep videos of their interesting body language lol. Here's Merlin showing what an aggressive/irritated wing flip looks like:

In short, I don't think it's ever a positive sign, but it isn't always dire.


The only thing similar to the budgie in the reddit video to my budgie is the wing thing. Mine isn't breathing like that at all, nor is doing any sort of tail flicking or tipping forward. In fact, it looks a lot more similar to your Merlin's aggressive/irritated wing flip, because he isn't doing the heavy breathing or tail thing. But Azul (my bird) won't stop for longer than a few seconds? It's almost reminding me of a tic of some sorts. I've been looking for any source of agitation as well, but I'm not finding anything. Azul isn't a very snippy bird at all, so I can't personally see it as aggression on his half if he's doing what Merlin is doing. So I suppose it must be irritation? If I'm not finding surrounding issues for irritation, I guess it could be the downy feathers I managed to remove some of. I really don't want to bother him about it, as I mentioned in another reply he's not a fan of his wings getting touched, understandably so.

Either way, thank you for your input! ^^
 

marshmallo

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I'll try to keep this short and simple yet still as informative as I can, as I honestly have never seen something like this before. I've given up researching and calling the place I got him from (a very good place who loves their birds mind you, they just have no clue) and resorted to making a quick account here in desperation for my baby, so I apologize if I make any mistakes.

It's worth noting I have another male parakeet, and a male cockatiel in the same cage if that matters. Anyways.

My budgie, Azul, has been twitching/flipping his wings upwards every 3-5 seconds since roughly 7AM yesterday, which as I'm writing this, it's 4AM and I'm still eyeing him with worry. First few times I figured oh he's just excited because I woke up. But after he had exceeded the 5 minute mark I began to watch him more closely, and noticed it wasn't fluttering and rather twitching.

It's cold here, but luckily today it warmed up to 60F so I put in a lukewarm bath, thinking maybe he was itchy from dirt, or maybe had loose feathers I couldn't see. He wouldn't get inside so I don't know. I took the bath back out because I'm sure tonight it would've gotten real cold.

At about roughly 2PM, he was understandably looking pretty tired from all the wing flipping. I didn't want to bother him by holding him, so I've just gently been talking to him.

Despite being tired, it's not a lethargic type of tired. He's still eating, drinking, playing with his buddies, chirping. The only issue seems to be his wings.

I'm really at a loss of what to do for him. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Hi! I couldn't figure out if there was a way to edit my original post, but this has been solved. I managed to get a new misting bottle for him, and misted him and the other birds for good measure in case the other spray/misting bottle wasn't working well on them either. An hour later, he's doing just fine. I think he was having a grooming issue, and dirt kept getting in under his feathers. So this has been solved on my end. Thank you all for any advice you've given! ^^
 
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