Birds require 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Essentially, most living animals do, and usually, these offline hours coincide with nighttime when it's dark and calm.
So, does this mean your bird won't sleep if it's not dark and quiet at night?
Well, yes, it's part of the reason you want to cover your birdies cage.
You'll especially want to use a dark, moderately light cage cover if you are the proverbial night owl that does a lot at night.
However, if your bird has a separate darkened room when he sleeps, a cover is perhaps not too necessary. A cover is crucial if you have to share a room with him or leave the lights on at night.
You may also want to cover his cage if you move around a lot at night. Noise and light from the TV or stereo might also be an issue when too loud.
I believe if you have a bird that sings during daylight, such as a canary, you may also want to cover his cage at night to quiet him.
Here are four things that might make you want to cover your bird's cage at night.
- To make your bird feel safe, more so if you don't share a room with him at night.
- To quiet your bird if he makes noise when there is light
- If you are a night owl and move around at night
- If your birdie sleeps before you do and leave you watching TV or working close to his sleeping spot.
- If you share a room with your birdie and sleep with the lights on
- If you've accustomed your bird to sleeping in a covered cage from a young age
- If you live on a busy street where there is plenty of noise at night
How to Cover Your Bird's Cage at Night
I think one thing you want to keep in mind is why you want or need to cover your bird's cage.
If you are active at night or sleep with the lights on, a black-out cloth is the best cover to use. It does not need to be heavy, only need it to keep the light out.
Use single layer, lightweight, breathable fabric, preferably cotton blend like broadcloth. A black-out sheet will also work if all you are trying to do is keep the light out.
Now, if you are trying to keep noise out of your bird's cage, a sheet might not be the best alternative. Perhaps something a little heavier with soundproofing capabilities will suffice.
Attaching acoustic blankets or audio absorption sheets to the back and sides of your bird's cage will also work if all you want is to keep your bird's noise in or outside noise out of the cage.
You also want to keep sounds from your TV or stereo low at night to help your bird sleep and not incur extra costs trying to soundproof his cage.
Now, another reason we saw for covering your birdies cage at night is safety. Birds are like kids that get scared when they feel vulnerable.
To make your him protected at night, cover his cage with a breathable, light blanket that lets a little light in but also prevents drafts.
The light cover makes him feel protected against any dangers from outside, and the little lights coming in let him sleep even when he is afraid of the dark.
Covering his cage with a black-out blanket in this situation will only make him more agitated.
If your bird gets scared and starts to scream, it also helps to pet and talk to him calmly until he falls back to sleep.
Night terrors occur when your bird sees something outside their cage and gets startled, plus some are like kids, afraid of the dark.
Now, in terms of how to cover your bird's cage at night, only obscure three sides, and if you must screen all four sides, take extra measures to provide for ventilation.
For instance, pull the cage six inches from the walls to allow for extra airflow in and around the cage.
It is also good you be aware that covering your bird's cage at night can cause respiratory problems (which are hard to treat) if not done correctly.
So, keep your cage covers clean, dust-free, and dry together with all other measures that allow air to circulate in and outside the enclosure.
Two last things to note is...
One, some birds, more so parrots, chew, so keep note of holes, threads, or pieces of material pulled from the cover into the cage. You do not want to keep buying new sheets, or worse still, lose your birds from ingesting pieces of fabric.
Two, birds can easily hang themselves or lose a leg if fabric or threads wrap around them. So, always err on the side of caution. If something does not look safe, don't use it: Virginia Johanna,Animal Psychologist, Veterinarian, and bird lover.
Can Birds Sleep with Lights On
Well, yes and no!
If a bird learns to sleep with the lights on from a tender age, he may carry on sleeping this way all his life, but if your birdie is not used to this lifestyle, the light will disrupt his natural-diurnal- rhythm, stress, and make him susceptible to illness.
Having said that, turning off your lights at night is not a must even when you share a room with your birdie. You can cover his cage with a black-out sheet to keep it dark.
Besides, if you have birds such as cockatiels that get night frights, leaving your lights on at night is the right thing to do.
Letting a bird that gets night frights to sleep in the dark will result in injuries since they won't see where to land if they take off.
The last scenario I would suggest leaving the lights on at night while your bird sleeps is if you keep him cage-free. This ensures he does not fly into items hanging around your house if he decides to engage in nocturnal mischief.
Thats all for this post.
Have the most fun with your birdie🐦🦜.