My budgie (male, around 3 years old) has always enjoyed flying around the living room. He always does a circuit and flies back to the top of the curtain rail where he likes to sit.
But lately, a couple of times in the last week or so, he has seemed to get 'muddled up' mid flight while he's at the opposite end of the room, and started to hover in all directions, before losing altitude and gradually falling to the ground with a bit of a thump.
First question - does anyone know what is going on here and why this is happening? He's done this on very rare occasions in the past (like, maybe once or twice a year) but now he's done it twice in the past week. A couple of times in the past he's let out a heavy breath and a small 'scream' but always seems fine after a few minutes. On these last two occasions, he has just gone totally silent for a while after falling. Any ideas appreciated!
Secondly, when he lands heavily, it seems to make him avoid standing on one of his feet, which he seems to spend a few minutes stretching out (as if he's got cramp). I always need to cradle him for a minute or two, as he falls off the perch if I put him back in the cage straight away. After a few minutes back in the cage he usually seems okay, albeit a bit quiet and not hopping from perch to perch as much as usual. Just wanted to check this is a 'normal' temporary injury? There has never seemed to be any lasting damage in previous rare instances when he's landed with a thump on the floor after losing altitude.
Flying takes a lot of energy and oxygen, so if there is a respiratory illness going on that may be a cause.
Has anything else changed recently with him, holding wings strangely when resting, squeaking when breathing, feather loss or fluffed up or loose droppings?
As for his leg(s) it seems normal it would hurt to fall a distance, even when they flutter down using their wings to try to soften the landing they still land with a thump and something has to break the fall, usually whatever touches the floor first, in this case feet and legs.
For me, a change like this would have me booking an appointment at an avian vet for a check up. It's too significant to not to, and if something is wrong better to catch it sooner rather than later.
Nov 12, 2016 10:29:40 GMTjames1610
Brand New Budgie
That sounds rather unusual to me, if I'm reading your post as intended. Is it possible that he is simply looking for somewhere at the other end of the room to land? Does it look as though he is having trouble making the turn - so getting to the end of his flight path but then not knowing how to come back from that??
Has it been the same foot that he seems to have problems with when this happens? My thoughts are going towards some sort of pinched nerve or pressure of some sort preventing your bird from landing well.
We are not Vets, Avian or otherwise. If you have any serious doubts about your budgies' health an appointment with an Avian vet should always be your first point of call.