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Why Does My Budgie Stand on One Leg? Is it Due to An Injury?

Why Does My Budgie Stand on One Leg

Budgies are often seen standing on one leg. Many owners get worried thinking of it as a problem.

Why does my budgie stand on one leg? If you have the same question, we’d say, don’t worry. It’s a usual behavior of a budgie which primarily indicates that the budgie is tired and resting. They find it a comfortable position to stand due to special ligaments in the toes. Don’t be surprised if your budgie is sleeping while standing on one leg! Another major reason they’d probably do it is to conserve warmth and energy, which is also what the Journal of Avian Biology finds.

But if the budgie favors particularly one leg to stand, it’s probably due to an injury, limping, or discomfort on the other one. So how do you know why your budgie is standing on one leg? Is there anything you can help with? Let’s find out.

Scientific Backing for Birds Standing on One Leg

Almost all birds stand on one leg, including the smaller birds like budgies and the long-legged ones like the flamingo. Birds have a natural scientific technique called “rete mirabile” for standing on one leg that helps minimize heat loss.

Scientific Backing for Birds Standing on One Leg

The bird’s legs are unfeathered and have a temperature close to the environmental temperature. So they don’t lose as much heat as their feathered body parts. And that’s why standing on one foot allows the birds to minimize heat loss by around half the amount. The research here demonstrates different reasons why birds prefer standing on one leg for a good part of the day. 

Your Budgie’s Standing On One Leg to Take Rest

The main reason your budgie stands on one leg is to find comfort and rest after a tiring day. It may look uncomfortable, but their feet’ special ligaments make this standing position very comfy. They alternate legs while standing on one leg to give rest to the other leg.

The length of their tarsus and leg joints also make it easier to hold their foot up instead of sitting down. Since they’re always alert about escaping danger and prefer standing up, this unipedal posture is their way to get away for some relaxation time while being alert. 

Your Budgie's Standing On One Leg to Take Rest

It also helps them conserve energy while reducing fatigue in the muscle. The budgie’s relaxation mode is characterized by its quiet behavior, slightly ruffled body feathers, and one-foot perching while tucking the other underneath the body.

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Your budgie may be so comfortable standing on one leg that he may fall asleep in this position. So don’t think it’ll fall or get hurt. 

Your Budgie’s Standing On One Leg to Preserve Warmth

The Journal of Avian Biology addresses preserving warmth as the key reason for standing on one foot for the budgies. So in winter or whenever there’s a cold breeze, you’ll see the budgie alternatingly lifting one foot and tucking the other up under the feather. 

Your Budgie's Standing On One Leg to Preserve Warmth

Since feathers are their way to insulate heat, they get the featherless leg one by one under the feathers to keep them warm. It also helps them share the body heat with the leg while ensuring both feet don’t get cold at once

Also read: Budgie Laying Eggs on Bottom of Cage

Your Budgie’s Standing On One Leg to Injury or Medical Condition

Now, the most crucial point is whether your budgie’s standing on one leg due to any sickness. Although we’ve seen standing in unipedal posture is a natural behavior; you can’t overlook any possible health concern that’s probably causing your budgie to stand like this. 

Your Budgie's Standing On One Leg to Injury or Medical Condition

If your budgie favors one particular leg for longer than usual, it may be suffering from limbing, injury, or some kind of discomfort.

Injured Leg

See if an injured leg is causing your budgie to favor one particular leg for standing. The signs of an injured leg will include inflamed or swollen feet or fingers. There could also be a cut that has injured the foot. If there’s any visible sign of injury, consult your avian vet and get the bird on medication.

Other causes that can cause trouble include overgrown nails, which can curl inward and rupture the skin of the leg to cause pain. The budgie will also find it hard to stand on a perch if the claws become too long. To avoid this, take some time every week to trim your bird’s nails.

Other Sickness

The budgie may have other illnesses that could primarily or secondarily affect one or both legs of your budgie. One such major condition could be toe-curling. It could occur for different reasons, such as tumors, heavy metal poisoning, nerve damage, or stroke.

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Your budgie may also stand on one leg if it has weak bones. Vitamin D helps your budgie’s body absorb calcium; if it’s deficient in vitamin D, it could suffer from weak bones. So give your budgie a proper diet that includes adequate vitamin D and calcium. Also, ensure it gets enough sunlight to absorb vitamin D naturally.


Watch the video to see why a budgie would stand on one leg in different conditions.


Here we’ve got some more FAQs answered on the topic. Check them out.

1. When do budgies stand on one leg during the day?

The budgies stand on one leg during restful periods like noon and the night. They use the foot by rotation to stand in the unipedal posture during this period and may swap the legs many times over a few hours.

2. Can a budgie survive without a leg or with a broken leg?

It’ll be difficult for a budgie to survive with a severely injured or broken leg. Long-term consequences could lead to severe health conditions, including premature death if the legs face irreversible damage. However, if there’s any congenital issue and the budgie’s born with one leg, it may adapt well and survive perfectly being one-legged.

Related: Are My Budgies Fighting or Playing?

Final Words

Seeing your budgie relaxing is an amazing sight for every owner. So when you know your budgie is having a good time standing on one leg, you become happy instead of being worried. It’s a natural way for aviary birds to conserve energy and warmth to stay comfortable. They even fall asleep standing in this position.

So the unipedal posture is entirely normal behavior for healthy budgies unless it’s associated with other signs of illness or injury. Generally, a leg injury will have visible symptoms like swelling, cuts, or soreness. If you see any of these, seek immediate medical attention. As you know, it’s a resting position for your bird; try not to disturb it at that time. You can go back and spend some quality time when you hear its chirrups after the rest.


Peter Kaestner

Hi there, my name is Peter Kaestner and I am the owner of As a avid bird watcher and enthusiast with a passion for ornithology, I want to share my knowledge and experience with other bird lovers through this blog. As someone who regularly participates in bird-related forums and groups online, I am dedicated to helping others learn more about these amazing creatures. However, it's important to note that while I am happy to share my expertise and advice, it is always crucial to consult with an avian veterinarian before making any decisions that could potentially impact your bird's health or well-being. Your bird's health and happiness should always be your top priority, and consulting with a professional is the best way to ensure that you are making informed decisions on their behalf. I hope that through my blog, I can help make a positive difference in the lives of birds and the people who care for them. Whether you are an experienced bird owner or just starting out, I encourage you to use this resource as a way to learn more about these fascinating animals and how to provide them with the best possible care.View Author posts