I noticed Ernie's feathers are just a little puffy, and I'm getting worried that he's too cold. What worries me is that although he's showing no visible symptoms of illness whatsoever, budgies conceal illness very well. Then again, just because he seems cold doesn't mean he's necessarily sick, but I still wonder....I'm going around in circles here.
(Unfortunately, I can't provide a picture because my computer insists that photos I try to upload are too big, and it'd take awhile to crop them so they're just the right size. )
So the bottom line is:
Is Ernie sick/just cold or am I just paranoid?
I understand you talking in circles but unfortunately no one here can tell you conclusively that Ernie is fine.
Budgies will naturally fluff themselves up when they're cold and when they're snoozing as I'm sure you know.
Has anything changed recently for Ernie?
If you were a new budgie owner and Ernie was eating well, pooping normally and seemed active then I'd guess that you were maybe being overly worried about nothing, but...
...from your recent picture thread, I see you've had Ernie for a while and like a mum/mom knows her children well and gets the feeling that something isn't quite right before others do, I suspect that you know your Ernie and know that he isn't quite himself. It might be something minor that will resolve itself, it might not.
I'd suggest that you put your mind at rest and make a vet appointment.
Thank you for the advice. Unfortunately the nearest true parakeet vet is over 3 hours away. However, I have been watching him for the past hour and everything about him is normal. He's eating, drinking, and pooping fine and behaving like his normal self. I was probably worrying over nothing. The reason I was concerned is that it is very cold and snowing right now and I was afraid he might catch cold.
I keep the room where my Cloud is 75 or so, because I am a super paranoid person as these birds are tropic / hot weather birds naturally and when I asked Cloud's avian vet she said try not to go below 70 degrees to make sure he is not cold. I tried to cover his cage 3 sides with a blanket once when he got really sick after leaving him to a friend when I had to go out of town and after he stayed over the avian vet because my baby was so sick, then I brought him home and cover the 3 sides of the cage, but he was not used to it so he flipped out and vet told me to remove the blanket cuz it is causing more stress to Cloud then helping and increase the room temperature while he is recovering. Later I realized when Cloud is very cold, I can tell from the temperature of his feet gets very cold when he is cold while perching on my finger and his feet gets very hot if the room is too hot for him. The thing about being fluffed up can happen when budgies are sleeping / taking naps and they do that to keep themselves warmer when they are sleeping, so it could be hard to tell. If Ernie is fluffed up all the time, sings less or not at all, eats significantly less than normal and his poop is very watery (may look like water almost) then it is very likely that he is sick and most vets that are not avian vets don't have experience how to treat birds unfortunately. I hope Ernie is not sick.