Why Are My Parakeets Fighting? (Find Out Now!)


Why are my parakeets fighting?

Parakeets are social birds and often live in flocks of up to 3,000 birds in the wild. Living together in a large social structure keeps a parakeet healthy and happy. But, like all living animals, sometimes housing two parakeets together can lead to fighting, causing severe injury.

Parakeets can fight for several reasons, but usually, fights are related to limited resources. Food, water, perches, toys, and the possibility of mating are the leading causes of fighting between birds. Two female parakeets are more likely to fight than two males unless mating displays are present.

It is essential to recognize the signs of an aggressive bird and a potential fight between birds. Stopping aggressive behavior can help keep your birds healthy and happy. Understand the source of your bird’s aggressive behavior and work to remedy the situation to prevent future fights.

Distracting fighting birds, either with a loud sound or with a soothing voice to deescalate the problem, is the best way to break up a fight between parakeets, keeping your pets safe.

What Are Signs Of An Aggressive Bird?

If you have a bird fighting with other cage inhabitants, you want to recognize the signs of aggression early. Being able to intercept a potential fight can help keep your birds safe. Some of the most prominent signs of an aggressive bird include:

  • Chasing – The dominant bird may chase the other birds around the cage. This behavior could be aggressive if the same bird is always leading the charge.
  • Raised Wings – The aggressive bird may stand with its wings raised as a preparation to fight. This behavior is posturing and could indicate a fight is about to start.
  • Guarding – The aggressive bird may guard its toys, food, or water. When one bird turns to resource guarding, it could show that it is aggressive toward its cage-mates.
  • Wrestling – One bird may wrestle the other bird to the cage floor. This behavior is severe and can result in an injured bird. Always stop this behavior immediately and separate the birds.
  • Hissing – A bird will hiss at another bird as a warning to the other birds. The aggressive bird may hiss to tell others to stay away.
  • Biting – Preening one another is normal behavior, but biting at the feet is a sign of aggression. Usually, the aggressive bird will bite others while they are perched.
  • Screaming – Loud, violent squawks are a sign of distress and aggression. These sounds indicate that a fight has occurred in the cage.

Are Parakeets Territorial?

Parakeets could fight with one another for several reasons. One of the most common signs of aggression and fighting has to do with territorial battles. Usually, female parakeets will be more territorial than their male counterparts. Female parakeets will think of their cage as their nesting site and are understandably wary of intruders. Housing multiple female parakeets together could lead to fighting between the two females.

To prevent territorial battles between your birds, consider how you set up the cage. You want to have a cage large enough so every bird has enough room to create its own space.

Make sure that every bird has equal access to resources like food, water, and preaches. Swings should all be hung at the same height and should be equal in size. Leave plenty of room between perches so that birds feel secure sitting alone in their own space.

Will Parakeets Fight Over Food?

Food is the most critical resource for a parakeet, and if you notice fighting between your birds, it could be related to a food battle. Parakeets will often have small bickers around the food dish, indicating one bird may be resource guarding.

To prevent food battles, try to include several food dishes throughout the cage. Make sure that each food bowl has the same type of food. In a rectangular cage with multiple parakeets, keep a food dish on three of the four sides of the cage.

When there is plenty of food to go around for all the birds, parakeets will fight less often and won’t try to protect the only food resource in the cage.

Do Parakeets Fight Over Toys?

Just like other resources within the cage, parakeets will view toys as a limited consumable. While parakeets are more likely to fight over food and water, it is possible to see two parakeets fight over toys. To avoid this, always make sure you have plenty of different toys throughout the cage.

If both birds compete for one toy, purchase a second identical toy and hang it in the cage so each bird can have its own. Offering plenty of choices to play with should help eliminate fighting between your birds.

Can Mating Displays Cause Fighting?

Occasionally, mating displays and courtship can lead to fighting between your birds. Parakeets are more likely to fight if two males and one female live together in a cage. The two male parakeets will fight with one another as they try to prove their strength to the female to win the right to breed.

When the female begins her breeding cycle, parakeet owners notice increased aggression between the males. In some severe cases, parakeet fighting can even lead to death. If you suspect that the female bird is causing fights between your males, the best option is to separate the birds from one another until the breeding cycle ends.

If you cannot house the birds in different cages, sometimes simply rearranging the cage’s interior is enough to stop battling parakeets.

How Can I Stop A Parakeet Fight?

It can be alarming to watch two of your beloved parakeets fight. To avoid serious injury, disrupt any fight between the two birds. The best ways to stop a parakeet fight include:

  • Loud Noise – Make a loud noise to distract and startle the fighting birds. Shaking a tin can filled with coins makes an excellent distraction.
  • Verbal – If you see your birds fighting with one another, simply walking to the cage and issuing a loud “NO!” should be enough to separate the birds.
  • Laser Pointer – The laser pointer should only be used as a last resort, as many parakeet owners disapprove of this method. The laser pointer can simply be used as a momentary distraction, allowing the birds to separate.
  • Stay Calm – Having a calm demeanor, slowly talking to your birds may be a way to deescalate a potential fight from the start. You may be able to slowly place your hand in the cage and convince one of the combatants to step onto your hand for a time-out session.

Can My Parakeets Be Playing And Not Fighting?

Parakeets are social animals, and as such, will interact with one another. It is essential to tell the difference between playing and fighting. Signs of acceptable and encouraged behavior between birds include:

  • Beak Touching – This action may look like the birds are kissing, but in truth, it is a sign that your birds are great friends.
  • Preening – Parakeets that like each other will routinely preen each other’s beaks and faces. If one bird has its eyes closed and appears to enjoy the action, this is a positive sign.
  • Bobbing – A bird that bobs its head up and down, especially while the other bird sings, is a sign of a happy bird.
  • Light Pecking – Some light pecking between birds is harmless and is a sign of play. The birds may even bump into one another, then happily sit together on the same perch.

Related Questions

Can two male parakeets get along in the same cage?

Parakeets are extremely social animals, and it is always best to keep these birds in pairs. Having two males live in the same cage is preferred to having two females live together. Female parakeets can be extremely territorial, and if the two birds don’t get along, it could lead to continuous fighting.

Alternatively, two males will almost always get along with one another. The only caveat to owning two male parakeets is if there is a female in the cage as well. Having two males with one female could lead to fighting, especially when the female bird enters the breeding season.

How can I introduce a new parakeet to my existing bird safely?

Adding a second bird is a great way to keep your pet happy and social. The key to adding a second bird is to do so gradually to avoid any potential fighting between the birds. If possible, you’ll want to invest in a second cage for your new bird.

Keep the cages apart and gradually move the cages closer together. After a few days, arrange for a sleepover. Allow your established parakeet to visit the new bird, eventually spending the night. Over a week, you should be able to safely allow both birds to live together in the same cage.

Pet Advisers Team

Our team is composed of pet care professionals, veterinarians, and pet owners. To date, we've conducted thousands of hours of research to publish the most accurate pet information. Most of the writers on our site are vets with 10+ years of clinical experience, ranging from small practice, to equine practice, academia, and surgery. Our goal is to help every pet owner get the information they seek about their dear companions.

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