Is Winter Stressing Your Bird Out?

Is Winter Stressing Your Bird Out?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Birds have a highly developed sense of light. In humans, we perceive light through our eyes.
Our feathered friends have an additional way of interpreting light conditions, a special gland that surrounds the eye. Read more on this
As days get shorter and the temperature falls, we want you to be aware of some issues the changing weather may have on your birds.
In the wild, animals rely on the cycling of the sun, and the seasons to adjust their biological clocks and metabolism. It is the sun, and changes in the quality of light and length of the day which set the stage for breeding, migration, molting, and daily behavior patterns.

 I hope this helps you understand why we feel the lighting category on our site is so important to your Bird’s well-being. A full-spectrum light and timer on top or there your bird’s cage can help address everything from behavioral issues to incessant egg laying.


Blowing air from your home’s furnace dries out your bird’s feather system. This can lead to over preening and feather destruction. A humidifier and bathing on a regular basis will do wonders to help your Bird feel good and help it maintain its 10,000 or so

feathers (and you thought putting on makeup was a chore?)

quaker parrot on snow covered branches
Many worry about the British weather and parrots but this film shows there’s no need, the coldest winter we have ever had here at The Parrot Zoo in the UK with temps getting as cold as -5 yet they still choose to bathe in the outside water container rather than the one indoors and on this day it was -1 all day as shown in this video

Keep your bird cage away from the direct airflow of warm air. Much like the problems you may have with fans blowing in the summer, the flow of air coming from the heat can cause your bird to over preen.


Much like humans, your birds underlying skin can dry out as well as its feathers. Keep your bird moist this winter with a bird mister or allow them to bathe on a regular basis. If you are having problems getting your bird to bathe read this



We’ve turned on our category of Winter Survival Gear for Birds to help you find products make winter care easier. If you haven’t already, check out this heated bird perch – your bird will thank you. We also found a bunch of energy-saving gadgets that will help keep your bird warm this winter while saving you money. Check out our new Heated Perches category


We take Popcorn our Cockatiel to work every day (once it starts approaching the teens and below here in Chicago, she stays home). Because we live about 2000 feet from work even traversing one-way streets the ride is no more than a couple of minutes. An old-fashioned hot water bottle filled with, you guessed it – hot water placed on the bottom of the carrier is pretty effective. If you’re not old you probably don’t have one of these in the bathroom cabinet so just substitute with an appropriate-sized plastic drinking bottle filled with hot water, and you’re good to go.
“How do I know if my bird is too cold or too hot for that matter?” The simple answer if you’re cold, your bird is cold, if you’re hot your bird is hot. “What’s the best way to keep my bird comfortably warm if I have to travel this winter?” We’ve seen everything from wrapping carriers with electric blankets connected to a portable battery charger to taking an old sweatshirt and dropping it over the carrier allowing the handle to come up through the neck.
written by Mitch Rezman CMO
Windy City Parrot, Inc
Simply Everything for Pet Birds – Since 1993

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. We seem to have to take our birds to the Vet in all kinds of weather. We usually wrap their smaller travel cages with large heavy weight bath towels. They overlap well and allow us to clip them tight to the cage with binder clips. Some thing I found being a car enthusiast is they have 12 volt electric blankets. The Less expensive ones are on and off. The little better have 2 levels of heat. Of course of the 2 that I have the better blanket died. Another thing we do is to pre-warm the vehicle to a toasty temperature so the temp stays warm when we open the doors to put the 2 cages in the back seat. Of course with a restraint that clips into the seatbelt buckle and hooks to the cage to keep it from moving forward if we stop quickly. You can’t be too safe!

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