I've had my budgie Caesar since July this year. He trusts me and likes me alot. He always does this thing where he taps his beak on my hand in a playful way. But recently while doing it he will head bob at my hand. I looked up that if a budgie bobs their head at someone/something it's mating behavior but it could also be excitement. So I don't know if he considers my hand his mate or not?
I'm no expert ... I'm a new owner ... but that seems like it could either be playful excitement or courtship.
My guess is he probably doesn't think your hand is a mate because my budgie will bob his head at everything when he's excited.... but I would say you'll know for sure if he considers your hand a mate... if the moment ever arrives... that he tries to mate with your hand. I would think if he never tries to do that then he's just excited. [ Some budgies do attempt to mate to with favorite toys, etc. ]
Simply put, budgies will head bob when feeling happy and enthusiastic.
They will do so when singing happily and they will also head bob as part of the courtship rituals to impress a mate/object of affection.
Depending on context and by looking at the overall behaviour displayed and the level of intensity of the head bobbing, it will be fairly easy to reach a logic conclusion.
RIP sweet Tito (Summer 2008 - January 17th 2013).
You are missed and never will be forgotten.
One way I've learned to observe nuances in my budgie's behavior....... find a toy he regurgitates to. In my case it's a plastic bird which I've only let him see a couple times. (because he goes crazy and tries to feed it. ) ....if you observe how he acts with something like that .... vs.... a general state of excitement, happiness & enthusiasm, you can see the difference. I'm not suggesting that you try to get him attached to a toy, but if you see he is trying to feed / regurgitate to something ( i have taken those away ) ....then that is an object you can present to observe his behavior. If he tries to feed or regurgitate on your hand that might give you some info....but I've noticed if my budgie is trying to "court" something he will regurgitate for it immediately. On good days he may spend 25 percent of the day bobbing his head ( the rest eating, sleeping, trying to destroy toys, etc.) .....I'm not sure if that helps but hope so. .....Regardless.....seems as if he really likes you and is very comfortable around you which is a great accomplishment.