SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Ask a behaviourist
Why does my pet budgie vomit on his mirror?

My pet budgie Pip vomits on his mirror in his cage. Why does he do this?

Firstly, it’s wise to take Pip to the vet to rule out any health issues that might be related to the vomiting.

But if this is simply a behaviour issue, it’s likely to be “mate feeding behaviour”. Pip sees his reflection in the mirror and thinks it is a friend. He regurgitates to feed them. Some birds will show this same behaviour to their owners. Understanding normal bird behaviour is the key to knowing when to recognise signs of ill health or depression, so if you plan to get a bird it’s best to spend some time studying up on that particular species.

Not many people realise just how social birds are, and that it’s unfair that we keep them alone. My advice is that you get an appropriate friend for Pip – he will be so much happier.

Too many cages sold in pet industry are too small to allow enough exercise and playing so be sure to get the largest you can, the bigger the better.

Happy birds need a varied and health diet, not just bird seed. They also need a range of toys, puzzles and novel foods rotated every few days and exposure to enrichment like radio, TV or even fresh air. Providing fresh tree branches or bird safe trees are great entertainment for them. If you can allow free flying around the house this will also provide appropriate exercise and entertainment for Pip.

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