Why Is My Bird Shaking? Potential Causes!

Is your pet bird shaking and you’re not sure Why Is My Bird Shaking? It’s natural to feel concerned when you see your feathered friend exhibiting unusual behavior. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind why your bird might be shaking. By understanding the potential causes, you can better assess the situation and provide the appropriate care for your beloved bird.

Causes of Shaking in Birds

Having a pet bird can be a fascinating experience, filled with joy and companionship. However, as bird owners, it is important to understand and address any unusual behaviors or health issues that our feathered friends may exhibit. One such behavior is shaking or trembling. While occasional shaking might be normal, persistent or severe shaking can indicate an underlying problem. In this article, we will delve into the different causes of shaking in birds and provide insights into each potential issue.

Physical Discomfort

Physical discomfort is one of the common reasons why birds may experience shaking. Just like humans, birds can also suffer from various physical discomforts, which can manifest through trembling or shaking. Feathers and skin problems, pain or injury, moulting, and lack of sleep are some factors that can contribute to physical discomfort in birds.

Feathers and skin problems, such as mites or lice infestation, feather damage, or skin infections, can cause discomfort and irritation. This can lead to excessive shaking as the bird tries to alleviate the discomfort. Similarly, pain or injuries due to accidents, falls, or fights with other birds can result in shaking as the bird attempts to cope with the pain.

Moulting, the process of shedding old feathers and growing new ones, can also cause discomfort and itchiness, leading to shaking. Furthermore, a lack of adequate sleep can result in physical strain and discomfort, ultimately leading to shaking or shivering behavior.

Cold or Low Body Temperature

Birds are highly sensitive to temperature changes, and cold or low body temperature can be a significant factor in causing shaking. Exposure to a drafty environment or low ambient temperatures can make birds feel cold and uncomfortable. When birds are exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period, their bodies may struggle to maintain the optimal temperature, and shaking may occur as a result.

Proper nutrition is crucial for birds to maintain their body temperature. Malnutrition, particularly a lack of essential nutrients, can leave birds vulnerable to temperature fluctuations, making them more prone to shaking and shivering.

Fear or Stress

Birds can experience fear and stress just like any other living beings. Various factors such as loud noises, sudden movements, or changes in the environment can trigger fear responses in birds, leading to shaking. Birds may shake as a response to perceived threats or as a way to cope with stressful situations.

Additionally, lack of social interaction or isolation can contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety in birds. Birds are highly social creatures, and when they do not receive adequate socialization or interaction with other birds or humans, they may develop behavior problems, including shaking.

Infection or Illness

Infections and illnesses can have a profound impact on a bird’s health and well-being, and shaking can be a symptom of an underlying condition. Respiratory infections, digestive problems, and neurological disorders are some examples of health issues that can cause birds to shake.

Respiratory infections, such as avian pox or psittacosis, can affect a bird’s respiratory system, leading to symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and shaking. Digestive problems, like Aspergillosis, can result in discomfort and pain, which can manifest through shaking behavior. Neurological disorders can also cause involuntary movements and trembling in birds.

Why Is My Bird Shaking?

Common Health Issues in Birds

Understanding the common health issues in birds can help bird owners to identify potential causes of shaking and take appropriate action. Let’s explore some of the significant health problems that can affect birds and the symptoms associated with them.

Avian Pox

Avian pox is a viral infection that primarily affects the skin and mucous membranes of birds. It can be transmitted through direct contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces. Birds with avian pox may develop wart-like growths on their skin, which can cause discomfort and lead to shaking. Other symptoms include lesions on the beak and feet, difficulty breathing, and weight loss.

Treatment for avian pox involves supportive care to alleviate discomfort and boost the bird’s immune system. Prevention strategies include quarantining new birds, maintaining clean living areas, and minimizing contact with potentially infected birds.


Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, is a bacterial infection caused by the Chlamydia psittaci bacterium. It can be transmitted through respiratory secretions or fecal matter of infected birds. Birds with psittacosis may experience respiratory issues, such as sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing, which can result in shaking. Other symptoms include lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

Diagnosis of psittacosis typically involves a combination of laboratory tests and a thorough examination by a veterinarian. Treatment typically involves antibiotics, along with supportive care measures such as rest, proper nutrition, and a clean environment.

Beak and Feather Disease

Beak and Feather Disease is a viral infection that affects a bird’s immune system, leading to abnormalities in their beaks and feathers. It can be transmitted through direct contact with infected birds or exposure to contaminated surfaces. Birds with beak and feather disease may exhibit shaking as a result of discomfort and pain caused by the deformities in their beaks and feather loss.

Diagnosis of beak and feather disease involves a combination of physical examinations, blood tests, and sometimes biopsies. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, and management involves supportive care, such as maintaining proper nutrition, hygiene, and minimizing stress.

In conclusion, shaking in birds can have various causes, ranging from physical discomfort and low body temperature to fear, stress, and underlying infections or illnesses. As responsible bird owners, it is important to be vigilant and attentive to any changes in our birds’ behavior. If shaking persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, seeking veterinary guidance is highly recommended. Providing birds with a comfortable and stress-free environment, proper nutrition, and regular health check-ups can go a long way in ensuring their well-being and happiness.


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