Like most birds, budgies need unfettered access to clean water, not only for drinking but also to bathe and play in.
While natural water sources serve all these functions without issue, it is quite challenging to keep the water clean for a pet parakeet as they are notoriously messy.
If you put any water near them, they will first quench their needs at the time (whether bathing or drinking) then spend the rest of the day, or however long you keep the water there, playing with it.
This may include throwing food pieces in the water bowl, pooping inside, and generally splashing around.
Since the latter is just harmless fun – for the bird anyway, as you will have to clean the wet mess – drinking water with poo in it can cause serious health issues for your birdie.
If you want your budgie to have fun without contaminating their drinking water, you may want to install a proper birdbath.
Luckily, you don’t need any technical skills for that, as there are plenty of ready-made models on sale.
But before we get to that, here are a few things you need to know about the relationship between parakeets and water.
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Do budgies need a bird bath?
Well, your budgie won’t die if they don’t have access to a bath, but their quality of life will be significantly improved by one. Since every bird is different, you will find that budgies really do enjoy spending time in water.
Some birds crave daily baths, while others only need one bath per week.
Admittedly, not every budgie loves the immersive experience of a bath, preferring small shower sprinkles instead.
Simply put, your bird may or may not need a bath, but you won’t know that unless you have a ‘trial run’. This basically involves introducing her to a bath and observing her reactions.
To avoid potentially wasting your money, you can do the trial using a shallow bowl or plant saucer instead of a specially designed birdbath.
Basically, fill the bowl or saucer halfway with water and place it near your birdie’s cage. Give it a few minutes and observe her reaction then take the water away. Return it the next day and keenly observe the bird’s reaction.
If she spends a bit more time in the water, she definitely fancies baths. If not, she probably isn’t into bathing and you should consider other cleaning methods.
What kind of bird bath do birds prefer?
Birds will respond more positively to colorful baths as they have more advanced color consciousness and can see more types of colors than humans. In particular, budgies love colors green, red, yellow, and pink, so try to incorporate any or several of these colors in your bath design.
Just like most birds, however, budgies associate the color white with danger and won’t come near a white-colored bath, or one with predominantly white decorations.
Female budgies don’t like blue (and won’t even pick a mate with blue plumage) and prefer yellow instead.
In regards to design, you may want to keep the depth under 3 inches and have shallow slanting sides.
During cold weather, you should throw in some stones in the water to allow the bird to move across the water without getting wet and cold.
As much as budgies are good flyers, they prefer ground-level baths to elevated ones.
How to encourage your budgie to take a bath?
The first thing you need to do to have your budgie more receptive to water baths is to provide clean water. Always ensure to keep the bath water drained and refilled at least once a day.
Second, and most importantly, put the bath near a running water source such as your kitchen or bathroom sink.
The sound of running water has a calming effect on most birds and may make them want to get into a bath.
Should you spray your budgie with water?
Yes! Unless she doesn’t like it. While most budgies will prefer to be left on their own devices on a bird bath, there are some who enjoy a good shower.
Again, you can only know which side your bird lies on by putting her through both options.
If you decide to give your bird a shower, be sure to maintain a very gentle flow and keep the water’s temperature at a moderate level (too cold will freeze the bird, while too hot will scald them).
Both of these actions safeguard the bird’s safety and comfort, hence they will enjoy that particular session, and be open to more in the future.
Where do budgies like to be touched?
Budgies are generally not “cuddly” and would prefer not to be touched in any way. Unlike humans or other pets like dogs and cats, birds tend to show their affection by sitting on your hand, or shoulder or by nibbling on your fingers.
Nonetheless, some budgies (especially hand-raised ones) appreciate some occasional petting and cuddling from their owners.
The best parts to gently and lovingly caress are their head and neck, which will especially be appreciated if they’re itchy.
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Why do birds poop in the birdbath?
Birds are extremely lightweight creatures and have very tiny stomachs that can’t effectively hold water, food, and poop. As their body systems are naturally inclined to maintain an efficient flying weight, most birds will automatically poop any time they drink some water or eat food.
Remember too, that birds neither have bladders nor sweat glands like mammals to excrete excess water from their bodies. All the water they drink is excreted alongside solid waste.
Why birds sometimes won’t use bird bath?
Birds may ignore a bird bath due to a number of reasons, ranging from the design of the bath to the weather conditions.
For one, birds won’t use bird baths that are too deep as they are afraid of drowning.
Matter of fact, birds are very good judges of water depth, which is why you always see them bathing at the edges of puddles and streams and not right in the middle.
To avoid this scenario, try to keep your bird bath at a relatively shallow depth and add several rocks for footing.
Birds have great senses of smell and vision and can easily discern dirty water sources when they come across them. This means they may ignore a bath if the water is too dirty.
Birds will also ignore your bath if they have access to a better option. For pet budgies, this often occurs when you buy a new bird bath but decide to keep the old one nearby.
As a redress, try adding some eye-catching features to the new bath, such as a dripper or leaf mister and the bird will most likely take note and change her mind.
5 best birdbath to buy
We know how hard it is to come across a suitable, effective, and elegant birdbath. That’s why our team curated the following list of the best bird bath models in the market today, so you don’t have to go through the struggle.
Pen Plax Bird Bath With Mirror – Best Budget
This is a basic, dirt-cheap model that’s specifically designed for smaller birds. Its simple design makes it easier to clean and it also has a mirror at the bottom.
The only problem is its exceedingly small size.
Colorday Large – Best Overall
This is arguably the best deal you’ll get. It is comfortably large for budgies of any size, is transparent and offers a clearer eye view of the surroundings, and can be attached to the inside or outside of the bird’s cage.
The only downside is the steep price tag.
Pen Plax BA808 Deluxe Adjustable – Best Design
Has a classic look, is large enough for small and medium-sized birds, and has a wonderfully sleek design. Unfortunately, it is not suitable for bigger birds.
QBLEEV Bird Bath Tub with Mirror – Best Hanging
It can be hanged on the wall or cage and is made from very durable plastic. It’s nonetheless, not suitable for bigger birds.
PINVNBY Acrylic Box Parrot No Leakage Bathtub – Best No-Spill
If you are tired of cleaning water spills everywhere, this no-leakage tub is a great option.
It is transparent (lets you keep an eye on the bird at all times), easy to clean, and can also function as a feeder and a sand bath.
However, you may find it too large if you have a small bird.
Final thoughts and best pick
Budgies have a deep connection with water. You should therefore keep your bird close to a bath, or at least spray it with water.
The above bird baths are (in our opinion) the best way to get your parakeet to have comfortable, safe, and healthy fun in the water.
While each model has its own selling points as elaborated, the best overall bath remains the Colorday Large Bird Bath, which has everything a budgie bird would wish for.