Mating behaviour in budgies
Mating behaviours in budgies, also known as courtship behaviours, can vary among individuals, but here are ten examples commonly observed during the breeding season:
Singing and Chirping: Male budgies often serenade the female with complex and melodious songs to attract her attention and establish their presence.
Head Bobbing: Both male and female budgies engage in head bobbing, which involves a rhythmic up-and-down movement of the head. This behaviour is a form of communication and can signal interest or readiness to mate.
Feeding Behaviour: Male budgies may offer food to the female as a courtship gesture. They may regurgitate partially digested food and present it to the female as a way to bond or strengthen their bond.
Beak and Tongue Display: During courtship, budgies may display their beaks and tongues to each other. They may open their beaks wide or extend their tongues, which can be seen as a sign of attraction and readiness to mate.
Wing Quivering: Budgies may quiver or vibrate their wings rapidly while in close proximity to their potential mate. This behaviour is a display of excitement and can be seen as an invitation to courtship.
Bowing: Budgies may bow to each other by lowering their heads and bodies in a quick and deliberate motion. Bowing is often performed by the male to the female as a way of expressing interest and courtship.
Tail Wagging: Budgies may wag their tails from side to side as part of their courtship display. This behavior can be accompanied by vocalizations and is seen as a form of communication and attraction.
Preening: Budgies engage in mutual preening as a bonding behaviour. They may gently groom each other's feathers, often focusing on the head, neck, and back. Preening is a sign of trust and affection between mates.
Chase and Nip: During courtship, budgies may engage in playful chasing and light nipping. This behaviour is a form of interaction and can help establish the pair bond and strengthen their relationship.
It's important to note that these behaviours may not always occur in a specific order, and individual budgies may exhibit variations in their courtship behaviours. Understanding and observing these behaviours can help identify when budgies are in the breeding mindset and ready to form a pair bond.
"MY BUDGIES WON'T MATE. WHY?"
Sometimes, even though you have female and male budgie - they won't mate. There are many reasons which are hard to determine sometimes, but here are some examples: SAME SEX. Telling the difference between male and female budgie is sometimes challenging and depends on your experience, knowledge, as well as your budgie mutation. There are general rules saying how to determine if a budgie is a male or female, but it's sometimes hard, because the rules don't apply to all budgie mutations. So, you may think you have a pair - male and female, when in fact, you may have two males or two females. (More about sexing budgies you can read HERE). More often than not, a place you get your budgie from, a breeder or a shop, gives you wrong information about your new budgie's sex. So the first thing you should do before you think about breeding your budgies, is making sure you have male and female.
AGE. Budgies may not reach sexual maturity until they are around 6 to 12 months old. If the budgies are still young, they may not have developed the necessary hormonal and physical changes to engage in mating behaviours. INCOMPATIBILITY. Budgies, like any animals, have individual preferences when it comes to choosing a mate. If the male and female budgies are not compatible, they may not show interest in each other or exhibit the necessary courtship behaviours. TIME. Budgies need time to establish a strong bond with their potential mate. If they have not spent enough time together or have not formed a solid bond, they may not be inclined to engage in mating behaviours. ENVIRONMENT. The breeding environment plays a crucial role in stimulating breeding behaviours. Inadequate lighting, temperature fluctuations, lack of privacy, or noisy/disturbing surroundings can deter budgies from engaging in mating activities. HEALTH ISSUES. Budgies need to be in good physical condition to engage in breeding. If they are not receiving a balanced diet, have underlying health issues, or are stressed, their reproductive systems may not function optimally, leading to a lack of breeding behaviours. BREEDING CONDITION. It might be that either male or female is not in breeding condition so is not interested in mating. Male budgies are known to be in breeding condition often all the time, or most of the time, whilst for females - it's more complicated. She can be in condition for weeks or months, it varies from one bird to another. You can tell a hen is in condition when her cere (the part above her beak, with nares) is tan, light brown up to dark brown. If her cere is white, light/pale blue - it means she is not in breeding condition and won't be interested in mating. NEST. Budgies require a suitable nesting box or area to feel secure and comfortable enough to breed. If the breeding box is not provided or does not meet their requirements, they may not exhibit mating behaviours. PRIOR BREEDING ATTEMPTS. Budgies may be less inclined to mate if they have recently had a breeding attempt or if their previous breeding experience was unsuccessful. They may need some time to recover and regain their breeding motivation. GENETIC CONDITIONS. Some budgies may have genetic factors or breeding-related issues that affect their ability to breed successfully. These factors may include fertility problems, deformities, or other genetic conditions that hinder their reproductive capabilities. UNEXPERIENCED FIRST-TIMERS. If your budgies are young and they've never had babies before, it may take them longer to "figure out" how to breed successfully. Experienced pairs usually know what to do and have no issues with it, but first-timers may need to learn first so may need more time. OTHER BIRDS IN THE CAGE. If your pair is in the cage with other budgies, they may not have enough privacy and be bothered by other birds - multiple males may try to mate with a female, or some more aggressive females may be scaring breeding pair off or stressing them out.
If budgies are not showing any signs of mating behaviour, it is essential to assess the above factors and make appropriate adjustments. Providing a conducive environment, ensuring good nutrition and health, allowing sufficient bonding time, and addressing any potential issues can help stimulate breeding behaviours in budgies. If concerns persist and no progress noted despite excersising all possible solutions - perhaps it's the time to accept that our budgies are not going to create a family.
Two bonded males. Even though they act like a couple, obviously they won't breed.