Ask Lafeber


October 12, 2022

Aggressive Female Budgie

I have a bonded pair of budgies, who typically are kind to each other. This summer during mating season, which I try to discourage, has turned the female attacking the male. The second attack has left the male with an injured wing and scratches to his face and cere. The attack must have happened overnight and he got his wing hooked onto something. He has been to the vet and separated until he recovers. He is making progress and looks good. However, once he is healed do you think he should remain separated? They have been a bonded pair for 3 years now at least. I wish to put them back together, hoping once breeding season is over, they will be happy birds again. What do you think?


Hi Amy,

This is not uncommon with captive pairs, and often the female kills the male when she becomes aggressive. It’s hard to know why, other than she may have decided he isn’t suitable as a mate, only as a companion. Some males do this in captivity, but it happens more often with the females. I’m assuming since you try to discourage breeding, you do not have a nest box? Is she possibly using a bowl or claiming a place in the cage as a nest? I would not even think about putting them back together until you are sure she is not feeling hormonal or wanting to nest. And that can be hard to determine. Do you limit her light to 8-10 hours by covering the cage at night? It can also help to move the cage around the room once a week or every other week. Rearrange toys and have the cage in a busy place in the home. Also limit fresh foods to a few times a week. Basically you reverse the perfect breeding conditions which are longer days, warmer temperatures, abundant food and a quiet, private place to nest. If you feel safe putting them back together at some point, watch them closely. A female can kill very quickly and she already came close with him. Hopefully she settles back down and accepts him again.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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