Where Are Budgies Ears Located?

Last updated on May 7th, 2024 at 01:19 am

Written by Isra P

If you don’t know where are budgies’ ears, you have come to the right place. It’s true that when you look at any budgie, you won’t see anything that might resemble an ear. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have them. They do exist but look quite different from ours.

Budgies’ ears are located at the sides of the head. One ear is found on the right side of the head, while the other is on the left. The ears are tiny openings roughly positioned behind the eyes at the level of the cere. They are typically hidden from sight as feathers usually cover them to shield them from dirt and other foreign bodies.

While the ears primary function is to allow budgies to hear the sounds of their surroundings, they have other purposes for ensuring their survival. Keep reading to find out what else they can do and how you can protect them.

Contrary to what some might believe, budgies have ears. Although you may not be able to see them, they are there. Of course, they don’t look like human ears as they don’t have earlobes or any other outer part similar to a human’s ear.

The Location of a Budgie's Ears

Instead of having an auricle and an external auditory canal, budgies have tiny tunnels on the sides of the head leading to the inner ears that are used to capture the sounds of the environment. They are visible when they are young, but eventually, the feathers on the head conceal them as they mature. 

where are budgies ears

It shouldn’t be a surprise, though, that there is a reason for the ears not to be exposed. Aside from preventing debris from getting in and affecting the bird’s hearing, they can lower heat loss, especially during winter.

The Structure of a Budgie's Ear

Budgies don’t have earlobes, but they have the meatus, a muscle that can open and shut the small passages found on their heads (reference). Additionally, they have the columella, known as the tiny internal bone attached to the eardrums.

Other inner ear components are the semi-circular canals and the utriculus that allow our winged companions to be balanced despite their acrobatics. They also have the cochlea, filled with fluid, and the basilar membrane, which processes sound vibrations. Finally, the lagena and sacculus contribute to detecting low and high-frequency sounds.

The Importance of a Budgie's Ears

Like humans, budgies need their ears to communicate with others. Depending on the pitch and tone used, they might be calling their friends or indicating to others there’s danger nearby. 

In addition to communicating, hearing let budgies detect the proximity of predators. Furthermore, their ears allow these birds to fly and maneuver with remarkable precision as they keep their temperature well-regulated.

Budgies Have Sensitive Hearing

Budgies have an uncanny ability to perceive sounds with the utmost detail in the frequency of 2 to 5 kHz. However, outside that range, they can still hear but not so well compared to humans.

For example, a 10 kHz tone needs to be at a level of 100 dB SPL to be heard by budgies. However, the same tone can be heard by people at a level of 20 dB SPL (research).

Of course, a budgie’s hearing is a bit more complex than that as they specialize in distinguishing subtle differences in the intensity, frequency, and time elapsed between the various songs and sounds used by other birds at the 2 to 5 kHz range. This is a crucial fact as being able to recognize the meaning of sounds in that range lets them know when it’s time to greet a new friend or flee for their life.

Loud Noises Scare Budgies

Budgies can easily get scared by loud, sudden sounds, especially at night. If you think about it, it makes sense.

budgie on the manzanita perch at night

When everything is dark, they will have difficulty assessing whether the disturbance was caused by some random object falling or a predator sneaking around. So the default behavior has to be to fly as fast as possible to ensure their survival.

The Effects of Music on Your Budgies

Not many budgies can resist the beauty of a good tune. They love dancing to it and singing along with you whenever possible.

They do have, however, certain preferences as they don’t like all types of music. So, even within a particular genre, they will enjoy some songs while being indifferent to or despising others.

Budgies can get Hurt by Loud Sounds

Besides the obvious reaction of flying away when noise startles them, budgies may also suffer if they are exposed to troublesome sounds constantly.

budgie climbing a cage

For example, if you turn up the volume to play heavy metal music non-stop near their room, they might get stressed to the point of molting out of season, getting sick, or even harming themselves in a desperate attempt to get away from the disturbance.

Budgies may get Deaf

It isn’t likely for a budgie to be born without the ability to hear, as that is vital for its survival. You see, hearing is not only needed to escape from predators.

It is also essential for them to communicate with other birds and live as a flock member. Without that ability, they can’t hear mating calls or find food with the help of others.

Now, it is possible for budgies to become deaf at some point. The problem is usually a result of physical trauma, such as hitting their head against the cage or some other surface or being exposed to excessively loud music or TV.

Thankfully, unlike humans, budgies can regain their hearing ability easily in no time. Inside their ears, sensory hair cells regenerate even after being severely damaged. So deafness for budgies is just a temporary problem (source).

How to Tell if Your Budgie's Ears are in Trouble

You can assess if your budgie can hear in three easy steps.

1. The first thing you can do to determine whether your pet’s hearing is OK is to see if they react to the sounds you make. No reaction could mean they are either ignoring you or have suffered temporary deafness.

2. Sometimes, they just want to do their own thing and pretend they are not listening to you. However, they can still like you and prefer to do their shenanigans. In such a case, play a few budgies’ sounds. If they can hear, they will immediately respond.

3. If they don’t respond, you might be looking at a health issue that requires attention. Take a look at your budgie’s ears to see if there’s blood or a sign of infection. Anything out of the ordinary means you have to take it to the vet for a check-up.

Safeguarding Your Budgie's Hearing

Protecting your budgie’s hearing ability is essential for its well-being.

⦁ Always make sure they are in a soothing environment with peaceful sounds.

⦁ Avoid turning up the volume of the TV or playing loud music for too long.

⦁ Do your best to remove from their immediate surroundings any object that could scare them.

⦁ Keep potential predators away, including other pets such as cats or dogs, even if they are friendly toward them.

So, where are budgies’ ears? A little behind their eyes under the coverage of a few feathers. Remember, they can hear you well, so always say nice things to them. Protect their hearing, and they will have lovely tunes for you to enjoy.

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.