While it may be fun to allow your pet bird to be around during your Friday night gatherings with your closest buds, remember that these guys really need their rest. Ample sleep -- every night of the week -- makes for a happy, healthy bird.
Pet birds require a lot of sleep -- a minimum of between eight and 12 hours nightly. The majority of birds kept as pets are native to tropical regions of the world that feature days and nights of similar durations. Because of this, pet birds require darkness for successful and relaxing nightly sleep. To ensure a cozy sleeping environment for your bird, turn the lights out, employ a cage cover and use thick window blinds -- whatever is necessary to provide your bird with the darkness his body craves. Not only do birds need darkness for sleeping, they also need quietness, calmness and solitude. If your bird hears another member of your household blasting music all night, it may be difficult -- if not impossible -- for him to fall asleep and stay that way. Birds prefer sleeping at night because that's when the majority of their biggest enemies are asleep, too.
Consequences of Lack of Sleep
Like humans, pet birds often experience unpleasant consequences as a result of lack of sleep. Many birds become anxious due to not getting much sleep, and act out by engaging in problematic behaviors such as shrieking, biting and even tugging out their feathers. It can also weaken birds' immune systems, and therefore make them more susceptible to illness. Sleep neglect can make usually sweet birds behave in unusually grouchy and crabby ways -- no, thank you.
If your bird is relaxed, he may sleep with a single foot folded toward his stomach region. He may turn his head to the back and hide it inside of his feathers, too. If your bird is sleepy, comfy and just seconds away from dozing off for the night, you may even hear him grating his beak together -- a surefire indication of a happy guy. Many birds continue the grating sounds as they sleep, too. Occasionally, some birds fall asleep on their backs, similarly to humans.
Pet birds, like their wild counterparts, have a tendency to be especially vocal right before they go to sleep every night. If your bird engages in a lot of noisy clicking or chattering sounds when it gets dark out, it may be a sign that he's gearing up for a night of rest, and also trying to touch base with the other members of his social group -- possibly you and the other residents of your home.
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