Should Cockatiels Be Covered At Night?

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Time to read: 4 min.

Cockatiels are naturally diurnal, which means that they are active during the day.

While they may appreciate a cover for a brief, hour or so-long nap, it should never be left on during the day for any longer.

At nighttime, on the other hand, some Cockatiels will prefer a cover. It typically depends on the individual Cockatiel, however!

A Bit About the Cockatiel

Out of all of the pet birds, Cockatiels are some of the most popular! This is partly due to their uniquely beautiful appearance, particularly the bright yellow crest that they’re known for.

Cockatiels are typically a yellow or cinnamon color, with a cute, peachy patch of ‘blush’ on each cheek. As pets, they will bond deeply with the right owner. They can learn a few human words and love to squawk, chirp, and talk.

cockatiel at night

Cockatiels eat primarily seeds, as well as fruit and plants. As pets, they should be fed  25% seeds and 75% pellets, with fruit thrown in as a healthy snack.

Some excellent fruits are apples, blueberries, and kiwis. They are relatively easy to feed and care for.

What’s more, Cockatiels are some truly charming birds, and typically quite sociable, both with people, and each other!

Should Cockatiels Be Covered At Night?

Whether cockatiels should be covered at night depends on the individual Cockatiel. Some like to be covered at night and are comforted by the feeling of protection and the dark. Many cockatiels prefer to be uncovered, and some even get night frights without some light, however. Depending on your Cockatiel, they may desire either a nightlight or a cage cover (or both).

It’s advisable to test both out, to discover what best suits your Cockatiel – they’re sure to let you know!

What Can You Use a Cockatiel Cage Cover For?

A cockatiel cage cover can be useful during the brightest times of the year. The cover can be used to signal them that it’s time to sleep, providing a night-like dark.

Otherwise, your birds might wake you up before you’re ready with their chatter, or interfere with your sleep until dusk.

Should Cockatiels Be Covered At Night? 1

How to Properly Use a Cockatiel Cage Cover (Important)

  1. Stick to a schedule with the cover. When it comes to using a cover on your cockatiel cage, it’s very important that you stick to a schedule. Their bodies depend on the sunlight to know when to sleep, and sleeping at the same time of day is healthier. The ideal time for a Cockatiel to sleep for the night is 8-11 PM.
  2. Allow your Cockatiel to nap once a day. Cockatiels sleep a lot. As with many animals, this includes a nap during the day. Make sure that your Cockatiel cage is located somewhere quiet, where they can rest and relax. If they want it, you can also employ the cage cover. It can help some Cockatiels to sleep when it’s dark (once again, it depends on the individual Cockatiel). 
  3. Wake your Cockatiel gently. Cockatiels can be deep little sleepers, and abrupt awakenings can stress them out badly. After a nap or a night of sleep, wake your Cockatiel up gently, with a soft tone of voice and quiet taps on the cover (if you’ve used one).

What to Consider in a Cockatiel Cage Cover

  • The cover material. The first thing you will want to consider in a cockatiel cage cover is the material it’s made of. Some are not as breathable and can make your Cockatiel suffocate by blocking too much air. To prevent this tragedy, choose a cover made of super-breathable material. Cotton is an excellent choice, and a simple cotton bed sheet will do the trick!
  • The cover color. Something else to consider in a Cockatiel cage cover is the color. Bright covers will not block out the light as well, and your Cockatiel may not find them as restful. You may wish to opt for a dark gray, navy, or black cover!
  • The size of the cover. There are cage covers of many different sizes out there, and cage sizes vary greatly as well. Before you invest in a cover, you’ll want to make sure that it will fit the cage properly. It should be capable of providing full dark.

How Much Sleep Do Cockatiels Need?

Like many birds, Cockatiels need plenty of sleep. They are lively, intelligent little creatures, after all! It’s important that they get a chance to rest up.

Cockatiels should get, on average, 11-23 hours a day. For this reason, the location of their cage is key. It should be placed somewhere quiet that they will truly be able to sleep and relax.

Only Cover Cockatiels at Night (Never During the Day)

You may not know it, but covering up Cockatiels during the daytime can be quite cruel. An hour or so for a nap is one thing, but leaving it covered for hours during the day is another.

Cockatiels are not nocturnal but are diurnal. If forced to sleep during the day, both their mood and their health will suffer. So, wait until nighttime, ideally no earlier than 8, before you bring out your cage cover!

As you can see, whether or not to use a cage cover really depends on what your Cockatiel would prefer. Some like a bit of light, while others are most content in full dark.

No matter what, the cover should be breathable, and only used during the day (except for a brief nap, if they seem tired).