Parakeet suddenly freaking out? (Update)

KazutheBudgie

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Aug 6, 2022
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Hello, I'm a fairly new parakeet/budgie owner and my little guy has been kind of spooking me lately.

I've had him for around almost a year now, coming up to around 9 months, and he's a very happy and healthy bird. He sleeps soundly in his cage, has free flight all around my room (and the house when able) and gets fresh water and food on the daily. He and I are as close as ever and he's grown very comfortable around my family and slowly getting more accustomed to being friendly upon meeting new people.

However, sometimes when night approaches he'll suddenly freak out and fly all around the room, land with his feathers tightly against his body and retreat to his cage with this terrified look in his eyes. He's not afraid of me, mind you, he'll still perch on me and allow me to reassure him everything is okay, but refuses to come out even if I calm him down enough to return to his normal shape.

Is this normal? It's pretty quiet in my room, so I doubt it could've been a loud noise or a scary visual since it's just he and I and our spotify playlist. Part of me wonders if he's just seeing ghosts, too haha.

That being said, after he freaks out, he returns to normal pretty fast after I reassure him everything is alright. Like I said, he just refuses to leave the cage. This couldn't be a night time routine either, when I tell him it's bed time he usually happily goes to his perch in his cage or stubbornly stands on his cage's gate so that I don't close it and I can give him more attention.

If his freak outs are just a "birds being birds" thing, I hope that it's nothing to worry about. I just want to figure out what's scaring him all of the sudden on the off nights. Thanks in advance.

Update:
Hi everyone! Figured I should give an update.
I started letting him go into his cage much more often when it started going dark outside and not as many freak outs as before! Actually, now he chooses to come out and hang out on my arm now and doesn't panic suddenly.

Part of me thinks it might've just been stress? I noticed recently that the bells on his toys had throw up on them, so clearly he was regurgitating on them. I had to remove the bells entirely, it's been about two weeks since then. He seems much happier and less stressed out without them around. Thanks for all the suggestions and advice :)
 
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ravvlet

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I know budgies and cockatiels sometimes have night frights. If it’s happening in the evenings and he’s calmly napping before he freaks out, it could be that; especially if he otherwise seems healthy. Has he seen a vet recently?
 
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KazutheBudgie

KazutheBudgie

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The last time he's seen a vet was around 2ish months ago, he was perfectly fine besides needing some more vitamins. He's had night frights before, but only when I've had the lights off. Can birds have nightmares in their short naps, even with the lights on?
 

texsize

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I would try putting the little guy back in his cage just before getting dark.
Make sure there’s a light on for him too.
 

eman

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Hello,
My birds freakout if you close the light Al of the sudden sand they’re not in their (bedtime cage). I don’t use artificial light at all. I rarely do if necessary. I noticed this long time ago. I depend on the natural light, so when it’s still a little bright outside but the sun is gone, I put them in their cage. I also notice that they freakout from any moving shadow, so maybe you can try to observe closely ..
Hope things go well with you
 
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KazutheBudgie

KazutheBudgie

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Aug 6, 2022
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Hi everyone! Figured I should give an update.
I started letting him go into his cage much more often when it started going dark outside and not as many freak outs as before! Actually, now he chooses to come out and hang out on my arm now and doesn't panic suddenly.

Part of me thinks it might've just been stress? I noticed recently that the bells on his toys had throw up on them, so clearly he was regurgitating on them. I had to remove the bells entirely, it's been about two weeks since then. He seems much happier and less stressed out without them around. Thanks for all the suggestions and advice :)
 

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