Do Parakeets Like To Cuddle? (What You Need To Know)

Spending time with your pet parakeet is a wonderful experience, and there are many ways to bond. One of these options is cuddling, often with your bird resting on your shoulder, hand, or chest.

Parakeets like to cuddle, especially if they’re socialized around humans during the first six months of life. This teaches them that humans are safe to be around and encourages them to consider humans a part of their flock. You can encourage this kind of affection by talking to your parakeet often.

Parakeets Love To Cuddle

Parakeets, or budgies, are shy at first but become very affectionate towards their human family over time, provided that the family offers their bird a safe and warm environment.

This means getting to know your parakeet slowly, giving them time to adjust to a new environment after adoption.  

Once your parakeet is comfortable with you, they’ll love to spend time making close, personal contact, whether that be gentle cuddling or petting. This is the number one way that parakeets give and receive affection.

Why Do Parakeets Love Cuddling?

Parakeets are flock birds, meaning that they generally enjoy spending time in social settings and get lonely when they have no one to be around.

They tend to enjoy both the company of other birds and humans because it makes them feel comfortable and loved. 

That said, some parakeets are not raised in line with their flocking instincts and so are less affectionate than they otherwise would be.

If you want to raise an affectionate parakeet, you should aim to adopt one that’s under six months old, which allows you to teach them from a young age that socialization with you is safe. 

Best Ways To Show Your Parakeet Affection

When you’re getting to know and love your pet parakeet, it’s important that you respect your bird’s boundaries and go through a slow, steady process of building trust.

Before you attempt to cuddle your parakeet, you should get to know your bird and make sure that the cuddling comes across as affectionate. To do this, follow these steps and guidelines: 

  • Start by talking to your parakeet frequently, allowing them to grow accustomed to the sound of your voice. With time, you’ll notice that he’ll cock his head to the side when you talk; this is a sign that he’s comfortable with your presence and is listening to you.
  • Show your parakeet that it’s safe to spend time on your finger or hand by offering treats from your palm. From there, you can offer a ride on your shoulder or introduce some gentle petting.
  • While you’re getting to know your parakeet, be sure not to approach the bird from above but instead to offer your hand from below. This will prevent you from coming across as a predator.
  • When interacting with your bird, you may want a towel to drape across your shoulder to prevent any droppings from making their way onto your shirt. If you do this, be sure to use a dishcloth-type towel rather than a bath towel, as a bath towel has loops that can catch on a bird’s talons.
  • Be sure that you know signs of contentment or distress so that you know if your pet is comfortable. A relaxed parakeet will ruffle their feathers or bob its head, where a stressed parakeet will scream, tremble, or hunch down to appear as small as possible.
  • Avoid petting your parakeet on the wings, back, or tail. Instead, try petting the head or the neck, which your bird will find less threatening.
  • Consistently spend time with your parakeet every day so that you form a strong and lasting bond. This can include sitting by their cage and talking.

Ways That Parakeets Show Affection

Parakeets begin to bond with their human families over time and can be very affectionate pets when brought up in a safe environment.

They enjoy spending time with people and aren’t afraid to show it. Understanding the ways that your parakeet is showing affection will help you appreciate them even more. 

The following are signs that a parakeet is showing affection:

  • One common way that you’ll see a parakeet showing affection is by chirping. You may also notice lightly pecking, especially pecking at your hair or ears while sitting on your shoulder. 
  • Parakeets enjoy snuggling. They often come close to their human family or other birds.
  • A parakeet will often bob their head as a way of communicating a hello to its owner. This may be a simple form of affection or may be a sign that your parakeet needs something if a lot of chirping accompanies it.
  • A parakeet may show affection by regurgitating food. It might not sound loving, but it is something they naturally do into the mouth of their mate. 
  • A parakeet may nibble and even stick out their tongues and lick a person they’re showing affection for. This behavior is learned when a mother bird makes contact with her babies to feed them and is maintained between birds throughout adult life.
  • Parakeets will make contact calls. You’ll often see them repeatedly squawking until they hear back from the one that they care about. 
  • A parakeet that’s happy to be spending time with you will sing, whistle, click its tongue, chatter, or even purr. Knowing these vocal cues can let you know when your bird is happy with you.
  • Tongue wagging and beak fluttering are both signs that a parakeet is relaxed. If you notice these, you’ll know your bird is happy to be in your presence.
  • A parakeet will sometimes show affection via gentle jealousy bites. This is typically seen when you’re bonding with someone else, like another pet or another person. 
  • If your parakeet falls asleep on you, it’s a sure sign that they feel affection towards you. It’s a strong sign of trust and comfort. 
  • When your parakeet is let out of its cage and flies right to you, it’s a sign of affection. This is especially true if you don’t need to call the parakeet to come. 
  • A parakeet that fluffs its feathers is feeling affectionate and open to cuddles. However, be careful not to mistake ruffled feathers and restlessness as a sign of wanting affection; this is a sign of nervousness and discomfort.
  • Parakeets also show affection by grooming their human family’s hair. This is the bird mimicking the kind of preening they would do with another bird.
  • If your parakeet flaps its wings as if they’re about to fly, it’s a sign that it’s excited and happy to see you.
  • When your parakeet is excited to be near their human companion, they’ll flash and pin their eyes, expanding and contracting the pupils. This may be more difficult to notice.

Why Doesn’t My Parakeet Like To Cuddle?

If your parakeet doesn’t appear to like cuddling, there are a number of reasons why this might be the case.

It could be that your approach comes across as threatening or that your bird simply never grew comfortable with humans during their formative years. 

Sometimes, a parakeet will also show little interest in cuddling with their human companion when they have the company of other parakeets, which they’ll consider the primary members of their flock.

However, this is not always the case, and there are a lot of benefits to having multiple parakeets. 


Parakeets like to cuddle with each other and with their owners because they’re flock birds who are very social. This is especially true when a parakeet is socialized with others during the first six months of life.

If your parakeet does not seem to be open to cuddling, be sure that you’re approaching your bird in a non-threatening way.