What does it mean if my Finch is puffed up?

This means the bird is cold and is likely ill unless your house is below 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit or has just recently been over air conditioned.

Birds do not shiver if they’re cold, they instead fluff up their feathers to keep body heat trapped in air layers between the feathers. Think down comforter or jackets for yourself and what great insulators fluffed feathers are even for us mammals. 

If your bird is continually sitting fluffed he is likely ill – contact your avian veterinarian.

Answered by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian Practice, Dipl. ABVP-Exotic Companion Mammals. 


  1. This behavior could also be a symptom of egg binding – which can be fatal & sometimes not diagnosed until it is too late. It is also common with Zebra Finches. Here is an excerpt from a LGF article regarding egg binding & it’s symptoms:

    “Signs of egg binding vary. Commonly, a hen will become depressed, stop eating and will sit all fluffed up. She may be straining occasionally. Droppings may be absent, because the egg is preventing them from passing out through the cloaca. The abdomen may appear swollen, especially around the vent area. In the final stages if the hen can not pass the egg she will go to the floor of the cage and stretch her head and wings as shown in photo. Immediate treatment is necessary to save the hen.”

    Also Dr. Cathy answers a question regarding egg binding here.

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Jessica Kenley

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