Parakeets Fluffing Up

User Question
I am new to birds and the proud owner of two new Budgies, Sky and Lulu. Your site has been fantastic for explanations. I curious about why birds fluff up their feathers. Is there expressive value associated with it? Comfort or Fear?



Also, I've gotten Lulu started hand training after only two days, but Sky is more skiddish. I've been using millet to bribe them either to get onto my hand to reach the millet or as a reward after getting on my finger. How can I help sky be less afraid?




Lisa's Answer
My 3 parakeets in fact all have their feathers fluffed up, and it's because it's slightly chilly in the room. They're all taking a nap and are round balls of fluffed feather bodies. They're very cute :) So that is the primary reason they fluff up - it creates pockets of air in between their bodies and the feathers, which then warms up and acts as insulation.



They also fluff to shake out any loose dirt that gathers on them, so often when they wake up they will stretch and fluff up. Sort of like when we humans wake up we often stretch and take a shower.



If they were afraid they would be in 'ready to fly away' mode - which wouldn't be fluffed up.



Hand training can easily take many weeks so give Sky some time. All parakeets have very distinctive personalities and Sky may just be a shy type. But if you give her time to get used to you and know you, you'll find that she will learn to trust you and hop on your finger. With my parakeets, Nazo is very outgoing and will fly over to me, landing on my head. Pinto is the middle bird, she'll get on my finger if I ask but won't come to me. Pinto is the youngest and shyest. She'll get on my finger with much prodding but will immediately retreat to whereever the other 2 birds are. She's the follower.



So with yours, it may just be that Lulu is the one that goes to you easily, and Sky is the one who is shyer.

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