Do Budgies need darkness to sleep ( Are they afraid of the dark )

budgie in the dark

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Are you and your budgie struggling with a nighttime routine? Does lights out signal frantic flapping around the cage? Being in the dark is not always easy for a Budgie.

In this short article, we’ll take a look at whether budgies are afraid of the dark and some great tips for acclimatizing them to drama free sleep in the dark. 

Budgies are not afraid of the dark but can be startled by the sudden change in lighting conditions. Quickly throwing a cage cover over a birdcage can result in panic and a stressful situation for your Budgie. Slowly reduce the light within the room to replicate their natural environment.

budgies in a cage

Are budgies afraid of the dark?

Budgies are not generally afraid of being in the dark, but the transition to darkness may make some birds nervous, especially if they are juvenile or settling into a new home. 

The encroachment of the evening hours may not be so obvious to a bird that is being kept indoors, so suddenly switching out the lights may simply be too abrupt for your budgie.

Impending darkness and twilight is usually the time that flocks of birds will seek a roost high up in the trees to settle down for the night. The roosting process is essential for a bird getting into a position where they feel safe enough to rest.

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Sudden changes in lighting are likely to make your budgie feel exposed and anxious, especially if they are not in their roosting position or are new to the environment. 

Also, in their natural habitat, unless vegetation is dense, parakeets are unlikely to find themselves in complete darkness. Moonlight and the stars are likely to provide enough light for the birds to feel comfortable while roosting. 

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So, does my budgie need to be in the dark to sleep?

Budgies like most creatures will need to sleep in the dark. Sleeping in darkness is essential for their health and wellbeing with budgies typically needing 8 to 12 hours of sleep daily.

Limited darkness is a stressor that can precipitate problems with behavior and increase susceptibility to infection.  If you are rooming with your bird and keep late hours, things may get a little difficult for your budgie with prolonged periods in a lit room.

High traffic parts of your home may also pose the same problem. 

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How to help your budgie get a good night’s sleep. 

Your chirpy little friend will appreciate consideration and effort in the evening hours to establish a rest routine. You will know that they are tired if they start to grind their beak or tuck up one of their legs.

Sleep is best for budgies in a quiet place without lots of visual or auditory stimulation which will keep the bird alert. Many owners find covering their budgerigar’s cage with a cover will help their budgie settle.

A heavy dark blanket may be too much for some parakeets. An opaque fabric that allows some light through is preferable. Indeed, covering the cage while the room light is on and subsequently turning the lights off, can provide a beneficial step-down in lighting levels that will help your bird to settle. 

Rounding up

Periods of darkness are essential to budgies and even if a bird becomes anxious, a gentle and supportive routine will help them get the sleep they need.

Most owners find a budgie’s sleep time easy to fit in with their nocturnal and maintain similar waking times to their birds. Singleton birds will often be more comfortable sleeping if a roommate is there, especially if the time you have to provide companionship is limited.  

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