Parrot at the bottom of the cage with black feathers

Why Is My Parrot Sitting On The Bottom of Its Cage?

Parrots normally prefer to stand on perches than to sit inside their cages. It is their natural position for resting, observing their surroundings, and even sleeping. While parrots may occasionally explore other areas of their cage, you’ll rarely find them sitting in one place for long. 

When a parrot is sitting at the bottom of the cage, it usually means that it has been sick for a long time. Parrots have a natural instinct to hide their illnesses, so by the time they show visible symptoms, the illness may have been present for a while. 

However, in some cases, a healthy bird may still go to the bottom of the cage for various reasons such as warmth, playing with toys, stress, or laying eggs. But this may be for a short period. Parrots that are healthy almost never spend whole days on the cage floor. 

Why Do Parrots Go To The Bottom Of The Cage?

It is not normal behavior for parrots to not use their perch as they normally spend most of their time on it. Let’s look at the possible reasons why a parrot may go to the bottom of the cage:

Parrot looking sick


Parrots are native to regions with warmer climates and do not handle cold temperatures very well. However, most captive parrots adapt to the temperatures they are raised in and can tolerate lower temperatures to a certain extent. 

The bottom of the cage may seem like a cozy spot for your parrot if it has towels or other soft materials. It may help provide the bird with warmth during the winter season.

So if your parrot sometimes goes to the bottom of the cage or sleeps there, it may just be feeling a little cold. You can tell your parrot is cold if it is all fluffed up. In such a case, the parrot may spend more time down there but occasionally come up to sit on its perch.

Playing With Toys 

Parrots may occasionally be drawn to the bottom of their cage if most of their toys are down there. Parrots do not like to sit idle and when they see a toy on the cage floor, they may be willing to play with it. So if your bird is happily playing on the floor, there is nothing to worry about. 

They’re Young 

If you have a young bird you may notice them using their perch less often compared to a grown adult. This is because the young parrot has not fully learned how to grip perches and may find the bottom of the cage more comfortable as it resembles the safe environment they were raised in. Young birds may not feel confident enough to perch like adult birds yet. This behavior is normal for young parrots and may gradually go away as the bird gets older.

Escaping Other Birds

If you have other birds in the cage, it might be possible that they had a fight with each other. Parrots are naturally territorial animals, and when they are confined to a cage, their territory becomes limited. 

Sometimes, in a shared cage, the larger parrots may try to exert their dominance and bully the smaller ones. They may do this claim ownership over resources, including perches. This can make the parrot fearful of coming to its perch.  

Stress Or Fear

Stress in social birds like parrots is more common than you think. Stress can be a result of various factors, including changes in their environment, lack of social interaction, or the presence of someone or something unfamiliar. Going to the bottom of the cage can be a way for parrots to escape their fears. It may be their attempt to retreat from perceived threats or disturbances.

To Lay Eggs 

If you have a female bird that is exhibiting nesting behaviors, it may be about to lay eggs. During the nesting season, a parrot may have a designated spot in the cage where it would sit till it lays the egg. 

Although she may remain on the floor of the cage for most of the day, you may notice her taking more frequent trips to her water bowl. You may also notice some shredding down there that the bird is using to create a nest. 


Parrot owners often dread the possibility of their birds falling ill, and it is completely understandable. But parrots have a protective instinct to hide their illnesses which makes it hard to notice when something is wrong. And when the symptoms become clear, it is often too late to do anything. 

This is why it is so important to pay close attention to any changes in their parrot’s behavior such as this one. If a parrot is sitting at the bottom of the cage all day and appear to be sick, it may likely be suffering from a serious illness. Parrots who are sick may also sleep on the bottom of the cage for long hours.

Signs to look for if your parrot is sick:

Certain health conditions that affect the foot and leg of the parrot may also be responsible for their inability to perch normally:


Arthritis is the inflammation and deterioration of joints. It can be caused by various factors like age, previous injuries, or obesity. It may happen at any age but it is more commonly seen in parrots that are older and overweight.

Arthritis can lead to problems like pain, swelling, decreased activity, and difficulty perching. If your parrot is on an unbalanced diet and is obese, it is more likely to develop arthritis. 


Bumblefoot, also known as pododermatitis, is a foot condition that can affect parrots and other birds. According to the Hagen Avicultural Research Institute, bumblefoot is more commonly seen in larger parrot species like Amazons and Hyacinth macaws, but it can also occur in smaller parrots like budgerigars and cockatiels.

The severity of bumblefoot can increase from mild redness and thinning of the foot’s bottom surface to a severe infection that can spread to the bones. The lesions can make it hard for the parrot to grip perches properly. As a result, it may resort to avoiding perches altogether to alleviate the pain. 


Injuries can also impact a parrot’s ability to perch comfortably. Parrots may sustain injuries through accidents or sometimes while fighting with other birds in the cage. If they accidentally hurt their feet or legs, they may find it difficult or painful to balance on perches and choose to remain on the floor of the cage. 

Swollen or tender joints, cuts, and fractures can all hinder their ability to perch and can be easily visible. A foot injury can be serious if not handled properly, so if you find that your parrot has injured itself, it is crucial to provide first-aid and also seek veterinary attention. 

Parrot peeking from the cage floor

What To Do If Your Parrot Is Sitting On The Bottom of Its Cage?

If you are concerned that your parrot is sitting at the bottom of the cage and maybe be sick, the first thing to do is relax. It may not always be that a parrot has a serious illness or injury. Many parrots occasionally visit the different areas of the cage.

However, if you notice that your parrot has been in the same spot for a whole day, and also observe accompanying symptoms like closed eyes, loss of appetite, and fluffed feathers, it is better to call an avian veterinarian. In the meantime, provide the bird with warmth and clean out its cage to comfort the parrot. 

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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