Bird Tilting Head Sideways (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Birds can be quite curious animals, these animals show behaviors that seem quite off to us humans but these behaviors are usually quite normal and natural to birds, like the bird tilting its head sideways.

This article is a look into why birds tilt their heads sideways.

Bird tilting head sideways:

Many of us have seen images, or even seen birds in person tilting their heads sideways, this is a curious stance and you may be wondering why a bird would do such a thing. Here is why this happens:

Using both eyes:

Birds need to be alert at all times, they are quite small animals and are thus an easy target for predators, birds are also always on the lookout for food on the ground.

A bird that is tilting its head sideways is both looking for food and looking out for predators. Birds can do both of these activities at the same time and they often do.

Birds don’t exactly see the same way that humans do, they have eyes on either side of their heads which enable them to see things with a wide range of vision allowing them to see things higher than them and lower than them when they tilt their heads.

What to do:

If you happen to notice that a bird is doing this then you can let the bird be, it is focused on finding something to eat and at the same time trying not to get eaten. You don’t have to worry if your bird is doing this, this is simply instinct.

If the bird isn’t showing any signs of distress or sickness at any time then the bird will be fine.


Another more serious reason why your bird may be tilting its head may be because of a condition called torticollis, this is also called twisted neck.

This is a viral disease that can affect your bird’s nervous system and cause the bird to tilt its head to the side. The bird tilts its head because the viral infection attacks the bird’s nervous system keeping it from being able to balance.

Birds can catch this disease if they come into contact with another bird that has this condition, it is spread from one bird to another through the bird’s feces.

Other signs of a bird suffering from this condition include a stiffening of the neck muscles, a completely frozen head, or as you’re seeing, a tilted head.

What to do:

The best thing you can do for a bird that is suffering from this condition is to get the bird to the vet as soon as you can. It is recommended that you get the bird to an avian vet over a companion vet (a vet for animals like dogs or cats) if you can.

If you can’t immediately get your bird to the vet you can isolate it until you can get the bird to the vet. Take the perches off of your bird’s cage to keep the bird from sitting on the perch, falling off, and injuring itself because it can’t keep its balance.

Also, keep the cage floor padded with a thick towel or a cloth nest incase the bird falls over. Make the bird’s food and water easily accessible as well.

When traveling with your bird to the vet carry the bird in a pet carrier or in a box, you can use a blanket or a towel to cover the carrier or box if the bird gets anxious when in new environments.

Also, keep the box or carrier on the floor or on a seat, and make sure that you secure it with a seatbelt to keep it from sliding all around.

Ear infection:

There is a small chance that your bird actually has an ear infection but this does sometimes happen, damage to the ear duct can also cause the bird to tilt its head.

In both cases, the bird’s eardrum will fill with fluid and will swell up like a balloon. You may be able to see this swelling if you look into the bird’s ear, this can look like a blister. This will cause the bird to hold its head tilted to the side.

What to do:

Taking your bird to the vet is the recommended course of action in this scenario. The vet will be able to examine the bird and check for damage or infection in the ear. If there is an infection then the bird will be given antibiotics to clear the infection.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Budgie Squeaking When FlyingIndian Ringneck Beak ProblemsBudgie Flapping Wings On PerchWhy Is My Bird Flapping Its Wings At MeBudgie Talking Silently Bird Nail Ripped OffBudgie Opens Beak When I Talk To HimBudgie Hissing SoundBudgie Cooing 

Bird Tilting Head Sideways (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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