Budgie is a social bird, that forms deep bonds with its people, and becomes a true friend. However, they are easily spooked and need a patient owner who will understand and reassure them. One of the biggest concerns for new budgie owners is, are budgies afraid of the dark. I decided to find out.
So are budgies afraid of the dark? Budgies have excellent eyesight during the day, but they can’t see well in the dark. In general, they are slightly afraid of the dark since they can become frightened by noise or any small movement they aren’t able to see clearly.
Like all other pet birds, budgies should only be kept in the dark at night, and have a regular sleeping pattern. While most owners cover their cages, some use a night light to prevent their pet parrots from experiencing night terrors.
There are many things you can do to keep your budgie calm during the night and unafraid of the dark.
What Can Cause Budgies to Be Afraid of the Dark?
When it comes to sleeping and the dark, budgies are a bit like small children. They can easily get scared if you don’t do everything right.
If this is your first time owning a pet parrot, you need to be aware that budgies have a terrible night sight. In turn, your parrot will be alarmed by any movement or slightest sound, and perceive it as a threat.
When frightened in this way, most budgies start crashing around in their cages, flying blindly into the cage’s bars without being able to stop. This is extremely dangerous behavior because your budgie can severely injure himself, and die, in a worst-case scenario.
Maintaining complete silence can be really hard in the busy household, but you need to think about your parrot’s needs at all hours of the day and night. So, if you tend to wake up in the middle of the night to have a glass of water, you shouldn’t keep your budgie’s cage in your room.
Due to their poor night sight, things that seem slightly strange during the day can become terrifying in the dark. So you shouldn’t change the layout of the cage by adding new perches or toys just before bedtime.
When in the dark, your budgie won’t understand where he is and will become scared instead of enjoying a good night’s rest.
You should keep in mind that budgies know that they are animals of prey and in danger from other predators during the dark. Hence, they are naturally apprehensive about their safety in the dark.
How to Stop Your Budgie from Being Afraid of the Dark?
Although they are small, budgies are by no means low-maintenance pets. And there are certain things you can do in order to ensure that your pet parrot is never scared in the dark.
1. Covering the cage at night
Budgies can get scared in the dark if they see shadows moving because they can’t tell if that’s a predator nearby or not. So covering the cage at night with a thicker fabric can help.
The cover will keep the inside of the cage dark enough and will prevent your budgie from seeing things moving outside the cage.
We explain why parrots and parakeets need a cage cover at night in this article in more detail! We also show you there what makes a good cover for your budgie cage.
2. Turn the lights off gradually
In the wild, the light fades gradually, and dusk gives budgies a chance to get prepared to go to sleep. On the other hand, you would simply cover your budgie’s cage or turn of the lights when it is time for sleep.
Obviously, a lot of budgies find this scary and they end up flying around the cage instead of going to bed. You should gradually make the room and the cage darker, thus giving your budgie enough time to figure out that it is safe to take a nap.
3. Get a night light
Night lights are designed to create a soothing environment that will reduce the stress caused by the fear of the darkness. It will provide just enough light to help your pet parrot find a way back to his perch and continue sleeping without worries.
Additionally, leaving the night light on can be a good solution if your budgie has night terrors and is frightened easily.
4. Create a routine
You can prevent your budgie from being afraid of the dark by teaching him that it is time for bed. It may take some time for your new parrot to get used to the routine and new surroundings but he will.
Tell your budgie that it is time for bed, every time you cover his cage, and he will soon become accustomed to this routine and stop being frightened of the dark.
How to Calm a Scared Budgie?
Have you ever been awakened by the commotion and strange sounds coming from your budgie’s cage? It can be scary seeing your parrot so frightened, but you need to remain calm and do your best to calm him.
To calm a budgie, turn on the lights a bit and speak to him in a calm and soothing voice. Generally, as soon as the lights are bright enough, he will probably stop flying around the cage, but he might still need some time to recognize you.
Once your budgie has had some time to adjust to his surroundings you can open the cage and try to pet him and let him climb on your hand if he feels like it. Don’t try to force your parrot from the cage, since this can only frighten him further.
Continue to pet and talk to your budgie until he is completely reassured and ready to go back to sleep.
Even if he seems ready to fall asleep right away, don’t turn the light abruptly, instead turn it off slowly. You should also leave the night light on to provide a soothing environment.
With your budgie safely tucked away, try to calm yourself enough to go back to bed.
We highly recommend to read the following two articles as well if you just bought or budgie or if your budgie is still scared of you:
- Why your budgie is scared of you and what you can do
- Do budgies like to be pet? What you must do first
- How long it takes to tame a budgie?
Do budgies like to be covered in dark? It is extremely important to cover your budgie’s cage every night. It will help him stay quiet and get enough sleep. But most importantly, the cover will provide a sense of security and serve as a buffer to prevent sounds and movements from frightening him.
Do budgies need darkness to sleep? Like all other pet birds, budgies need to be in the dark at night in order to sleep properly. Generally, you shouldn’t leave your pet parrot in the dark room during the day, but if you have to, get a full-spectrum light over the cage to ensure a sense of normalcy.
How do I know if my budgie is scared? It can be difficult to tell if your budgie is scared, especially if you are a new budgie parent. In general, flying around the cage without stop, panting, diarrhea, and any unusual behavior are the signs that your budgie is scared.