Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors that can be difficult to interpret, especially for new owners. One of the behaviors that may seem unusual is staring, but it’s actually a normal and natural behavior for these reptiles. In this article, we’ll explore the five most likely reasons why your bearded dragon may be staring at you.
The most probable reason your bearded dragon is staring at you is that they’re curious about you and want to learn more. This behavior is natural and healthy, and you may even notice your beardie turning their head to the side to get a better view of you. However, if you notice other signs of illness, like lethargy, wheezing, discharge from the eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, or weight loss, your bearded dragon may be sick and should be taken to a veterinarian.
2. Threat Assessment
On the flip side, your bearded dragon may be trying to determine whether or not you’re a potential predator. This is especially likely in younger bearded dragons that haven’t become accustomed to your presence yet and may feel stressed or nervous. To avoid triggering their predator instinct, it’s best not to pick up a new beardie too quickly or from overhead, as they may mistake you for a threat. Instead, try placing your hand in their enclosure and letting them get used to it before trying to touch them or encourage them to climb onto your palm.
3. Defensive Posture
In male bearded dragons, head-bobbing is a display of dominance or acknowledgment, but it can also indicate that they’re on the defensive. Other signs that a beardie is defending their territory include staring, hissing, puffing out their beard, and opening their mouth. These behaviors may be intimidating or even frightening for new owners, but with time and patience, your bearded dragon will learn that you mean no harm.
4. Boredom or Hunger
Your bearded dragon may be staring at you simply because they’re bored, hungry, or seeking attention. Providing more mentally stimulating toys and items in their enclosure can help to alleviate boredom and engage their natural curiosity. Additionally, if you stick to a regular feeding schedule, your beardie may be anticipating your approach with food.
5. A Virus
If your beardie is staring upwards, they may be exhibiting a behavior known as “stargazing,” which is a common symptom of atadenovirus. While stargazing is a rare symptom of this virus, it’s important to be aware of it and take your bearded dragon to a vet if you suspect they have this condition.
In conclusion, staring is a normal and natural behavior for bearded dragons, but it’s important to understand why your beardie is doing it. If they’re curious, bored, or hungry, there’s likely no cause for concern. However, if they’re feeling threatened, defensive, or sick, it’s important to approach them gently and seek veterinary care if necessary. With time and patience, you can help your bearded dragon feel comfortable and secure in their new home.