Why Do Birds Hang Upside Down?

An Upside-Down Bird Is Usually a Happy Bird

Parrots hanging out
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First-time bird owners often become alarmed when they find their feathered friends spending time hanging upside down. The truth is, this is a normal and natural behavior for birds and should not be a cause for worry.

In fact, an upside down bird can be a good sign. A bird that feels comfortable enough to assume this vulnerable stance is almost certainly a bird that is happy, healthy and secure in his home.

If you find your pet swinging or hanging upside down, you can pretty much assume that he or she is in a playful and content mood.

If you feel like your pet is spending too much time "standing on his head" or otherwise behaving abnormally, the best thing to do is to schedule an appointment with your avian vet to rule out any possible health concerns.


Budgerigars, or budgies, are smallish green and yellow birds in the wild that are native to Australia; they've been bred as pets since the 1850s. They now come in 32 primary colors and hundreds of secondary mutations. They range from grays, whites and blues to yellows and greens. They've also been bred into many different patterns and feather mutations. Budgies are commonly called parakeets in the U.S. and are a favorite pet -- they don't take up much room, require much care or cost very much. These birds are known for hanging around in all sorts of strange positions, including upside down.

They have a gentle and funny personality that is enhanced by their acrobatic skills. They thrive in a large cage with several horizontal bars to do their gymnastic tricks and like stimulation from their owner or another bird. Besides hanging upside down, they can also turn their heads 180 degrees, engage in large stretches and puff themselves up, often before taking a nap, which is usually around lunchtime.

They often grind their beaks while they are sleeping. And they can be taught to mimic speech, just like parrots.