Saturday, April 13, 2024

Do Parakeets Have Taste Buds? (Bird Senses Reviewed)


Breakfast times at our home are always special! My parakeets would nod their heads and come closer to our plates. Sometimes, this has made me think if parakeets have taste buds. Can parakeets smell their food? I was astonished when I came to know about the amazing senses of parakeets. If you have similar questions as you raise parakeets, let me answer before I go into detail.

So, do parakeets have taste buds? Parakeets have 350 taste buds unlike humans having 9000 taste buds. These taste buds are found at the back part of the throat along with taste glands.

Although they do not have as many taste buds as humans, they can still differentiate certain tastes. This made me recognize that they nod each time for my food because they could sense something out of it.

Where are parakeets taste buds?

According to Science Focus Magazine, the taste buds of parakeets are located behind the throat and right on their tongues.

In general, these taste buds could differentiate sweet and sour tastes. Perhaps, they are highly tolerant of spicy foods but not in all cases.

Despite the location of the taste bud, one of my parakeets could easily detect if it is a sweet or a spicy or a portion of chilled food that I am preparing for him.

I would always call him the wittiest of parakeets at my home since he can easily get prepared to stay away from foods that he hates (even before I give him).

Do birds have taste buds?

Birds have a fair level of taste buds that can differentiate basic tastes but the location and type of taste could vary based on their habitats and physical characteristics.

I know that birds do have favorite foods that might make them want more than the rest. In a video by BioBush, it is evident that birds have their taste buds in different regions.

Here are certain interesting facts that I gathered from the video.

  • Some birds have taste buds throughout the mouth.
  • Taste buds are located on the tip of the beak for ducks while in throat for emus.
  • Some birds like European Starlings happen to taste only sour, sweet, salt, and bitter foods.
  • Hummingbirds prefer sugary concentrations in their feeds.

So, now I understand that parakeets are fruit-eating birds that happen to adore sweetness because of their natural preferences. Some birds like chicks might prefer natural and dry diets that do not necessarily contain tastes.

Can parakeets smell their food?

Can parakeets smell their food

Parakeets can certainly smell the food with olfactory glands similar to humans and use them for foraging. They also smell to find the condition of the food and caution other parakeets in case of danger.

Sounds interesting, right? Parakeets have the capacity to activate the sense of smell to build the alert system.

Although it is still an underdeveloped sense, parakeets can find food and also choose based on their preferences.

Note. If you are trying to treat your parakeets with something they don’t like, they can still stay away from you indicating that they didn’t want it.

Are parakeets sensitive to smell?

Parakeets have a fair sense of smell that is sensitive to pungent odor, gasses such as carbon monoxide, nail polish, strong perfumes, paint, and air fresheners.

In the case of food, parakeets are sensitive to rotten foods and can smell the same at a distance. These smells are not only increasing the sensitivity of parakeets but also become toxic when they inhale after some point. This is because of the sensitive respiratory system in them that can kill their livelihoods.

Do cockatiels have taste buds?

Similar to parakeets, cockatiels have around 300 taste buds making them like certain foods over the other. However, they taste food only at the edge of their mouths instead of tongues.

Do cockatiels have taste buds

In a research article, cockatiels are identified to respond better to acute tastes like acids in addition to general tastes like sour, sweet, and salt.

How well can parakeets taste?

Parakeets have the sense of detecting sour and sweet tastes although they have limited taste buds located behind the tongue.

Perhaps, parakeets can taste well but not up to the expectation or limits of humans. If you are having one or more parakeets at home, it is important to give them a natural, plant-based diet that they can get acquainted with.

To find out if they would like to explore other tastes, you can introduce other foods in a spoon. Remember that, you can only try natural foods like vegetables and fruits that come in different tastes.

Caution. Do not give human foods to parakeets or any other birds.

Can parrots taste spicy?

Parrots are immune to hot peppers. While they can taste certain spices, it is advisable to avoid hot and spicy foods that can damage their taste buds and digestive system.

Remember that hot peppers can certainly stimulate your cockatiels or parakeets or any bird that you raise. While they don’t hurt and are often given as a snack, you can still go with the regular diet that has no ill effects.


The senses of smell and taste in parakeets, cockatiels, and birds, in general, can be quite interesting to learn.

I began reading about them only when I started raising birds several years ago. Having raised for years now, I can see that they are keen to taste foods in unique textures but are also not open to exploring hot and spicy foods.

Several birds have liking towards sugary contents but this can still vary. As a bird owner like me, be cautious and aware of their abilities and go with avian vet-prescribed foods.

Sowmya Sankaran
Sowmya Sankaran
Sowmya Sankaran is crazy about animals and birds! An avid rescuer and rehabilitator of animals and birds, she uses PETSMOND to share her experiences in raising different creatures and paying attention to intricate aspects of their health. Know more about me -

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