how to increase humidity in bird room

Dear Phoebe, My Blue-fronted Amazon parrots live in a double-glazed conservatory. It has two doors, two windows, two skylights and the sides and roof are glass. I would be grateful if you would advise me about combining both temperature and humidity to keep my parrots comfortable. Both winter and summers weathers create different problems. During the summer the temperature is hotter inside the conservatory than outside. This year it was 85 degrees Fahrenheit causing dryness and low humidity. In the winter I keep the conservatory at 50 degrees Fahrenheit but I am unsure what temperature combined with humidity would protect the birds from a chill. The heating used is economy seven electric radiators and oil filled radiator. The heating dries the room, causing low humidity.

Hi Sara, Thanks for writing World Parrot Trust and for your desire to provide optimal environments for your Blue-fronted Amazons (Amazon aestiva).

“Nesting success and hatching survival of the Blue-fronted Amazon (Amazon aestiva) in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil” Read full article Abstract: We studied the reproductive biology of a population of Blue-fronted Amazons (Amazon aestiva) in the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil, between 1997 and 1999. Nesting occurred from August to December. We monitored 94 nests, which were found in trees of different sizes. Nesting trees were distributed in all major vegetation associations (floodplains, grasslands, scrub savanna, savanna, arboreal savanna, riparian forests, and pastures).

I find this research fascinating and hope you do, too, because it gives us vast amounts of inspiration as we provide optimal habitats for our flocks. Now that we know that wild Blue-fronted Amazons live and nest in “all major vegetation associations,” we can build habitats commensurate with their physiology.

Congratulations on the conservatory — we have one, too — a glass enclosed building, double-paned. Its a space dedicated to parrots and people sharing, but its not inherently a “friendly” parrot environment. Modifications are needed, or so Ive found. Additionally, it can be arid here in Santa Barbara, so, like you, I deal with issues of heat, humidity and sunlight.

We added retractable awnings to the outdoor roof of our conservatory and these are key. Decadent, I know, but pushing that button and having those awnings go out over the roof really helps the parrots environment stay viable. We also have an indoor sprinkler system, which was easy to install and is simple to use. On hot days, its a godsend.

With all the glass in the room, it can become weirdly reflective, so I use bamboo, rattan or other chewable mats which strategically drape and are affixed over cage sides and tops to allow for privacy and visual rest from windows and other forms of stimulation. Some of our parrots have three such shields: One or two on cage top, depending on how the sun at its brightest hits the cage; another on the side, depending on individual preference. So please, Sara, check your parrots and their cages / enclosures at various times throughout the day and provide full-body shade whenever they desire.

These natural fiber mats serve not only as privacy panels, but also as moisture holders and dispersers. Sprayed with water, moistened mats will cool the room for hours. Easily removable and cleanable, I find mats indispensable. If they get dirty, they get scrubbed, dried and re-used. Additionally, we use three or more outdoor decorative movable screens that we simply prop against the windows where the sun hits hardest (this varies by season, of course) to cut down intensity. These cool the room considerably. Every day, as much as possible, I open the windows so that real natural sunlight and humidity enters the room.

On hot days, we open the windows plus drape thick wet towels on the outdoor screens. Now air entering the room is moist and cool.

Indoor plants with lots of foliage inside the room are beneficial water-retainers. Keep the area right outside the room also well hydrated with plants that provide shade, moisture, interest and loveliness. Potted plants can work — just be sure they are tall and robust enough to provide shade. Keep these areas hydrated and keep the windows open so the parrots have at least part of a sun-lit environment, too. Drenched plants, mats and screens, inspire parrots to get drenched, too.

Get-a-Grips (sold in WPT on-line store) by Star Bird, are perfect companions to hot rooms because they, too, can be sprayed down. The moisture released throughout the day helps reduce aridity. Our parrots and parrot room would be greatly impoverished without our Get-A-Grips.

Do use and maintain clean cool air humidifiers, too. Ive found that reverse-osmosis (RO) water (available at stores that sell saltwater fish) keeps humidifiers clean and running great. I think 85oF is not too hot for Blue-fronted Amazons as long as the air is gently moving, humid and moist. Healthy parrots can also easily live in 50oF.

Finally, dont stress too much about all but the most drastic extremes. Scientists tell us that wild Blue-fronted Amazons inhabit a variety of habitats. Encourage a fully realized relationship between you and your flock so that you are all tuned in to each other’s levels of comfort, camaraderie and companionship. Stay open to signals from your parrots on what they like and use, where they go during different times of the day, and so forth. Keep tweaking the environment to make it better and better for them.

Last but not least, encourage your Blue-fronted Amazons to love bathing and showering. If you provide multiple water bowls or large shallow bowls (8 x 11 glass baking pans work) and they learn to get silly and wet in it, thats great! Lots of showers, misting, water bowl bathing, plant leaf bathing — yay! That way, if youre stuck in traffic on a hot day, your parrots can be having a blast in their water bowls.

In 1986, Phoebe married the love of her life, Harry Linden, at the place of her avicultural beginning, the Santa Barbara Bird Farm. 20 years of dedicated observations and avid learning have formed her opinions surrounding psittacine neonates, neophytes, fledglings and adults who benefit markedly from thoughtfully arranged environments. She and Harry include boxes, playgyms, cages, aviaries and agreed-upon furniture and counter surfaces for parrot activities. There are no spaces in their home or on their property untouched by parrot dander.

During the years they raised parrots for the pet trade (they no longer do, since 2001) and continuing through today, they have dedicated themselves to developing environments that increase observable natural behaviours such as exercising, interacting, foraging for foods, touching, preening, flapping, flying, showering, mulch-making, wild bird watching, helping with chores, and goofing off—not always seen in captive birds. Their experiences are happily shared with World Parrot Trust members with the objective to foster enrichment for captive psittacines and their caregivers.

How to give a bird a bath

Frequent baths or showers are essential for the health of the skin and feathers of birds because they simulate the rainfall that birds would receive in their natural habitat.

The minimum recommended frequency of bathing a bird is once or twice a week, but some birds require more frequent bathing than that. For the majority of birds, bathing once a day or every other day would be ideal.

There are several ways to bathe a bird:

  • Providing an automatic misting system
  • sprinkling water on them (from above) using a mist setting on a spray bottle, allowing the water to fall to create the illusion of a light rainstorm
  • Taking them into the shower
  • Providing a shallow dish with warm water

It is important that you avoid forcing birds who aren’t used to bathing or showering in a way that would frighten or enrage them. Given the significance of bathing in birds’ lives, you don’t want them to think of it as a frightening or dangerous activity. This is another reason it’s never appropriate to try to chastise birds by dousing them in water.

The simplest strategy is to introduce your bird to each of the aforementioned bathing techniques one at a time and observe if it instinctively favors a certain technique. Your task will be considerably easier if your bird already enjoys taking baths in a particular manner.

If your bird, however, tries to avoid or elude any of the bathing techniques, you can select one or two that are most effective for you and use a training method known as systematic desensitization to eventually teach your bird to accept and even look forward to bathing. The basic idea is to start with the activity that your bird does closest to bathing and, each time you expose them to this restricted version of bathing, reward them with something they truly enjoy. Next, increase bathing behaviors gradually by baby steps, being careful to make each one enjoyable and rewarding.

Water-retaining indoor plants with lots of foliage are advantageous. Maintain the space directly outside the room hydrated and filled with plants that offer interest, moisture, shade, and beauty. Potted plants can be used as long as they are tall and sturdy enough to cast shade. Maintain the water in these areas and open the windows to provide the parrots with some natural light. Wet plants, mats, and screens encourage parrots to get wet as well.

Get-a-Grips from Star Bird, available in the WPT online store, are a great addition to hot rooms since they can also be sprayed down. The moisture released throughout the day helps reduce aridity. Without our Get-A-Grips, our parrots and parrot room would be considerably poorer.

Phoebe’s avicultural journey began at the Santa Barbara Bird Farm, where she married Harry Linden in 1986. Her views on the benefits of carefully designed environments for psittacine neonates, neophytes, fledglings, and adults have been shaped by twenty years of intense observation and learning. She provides boxes, playgyms, cages, aviaries, as well as prearranged furniture and counters for parrot activities, along with Harry. Nothing on their property or in their house is free of parrot dander.

These natural fiber mats function as moisture absorbers, dispersers, and privacy panels. Wet mats sprayed with water will cool the space for hours. Easily removable and cleanable, I find mats indispensable. If they get dirty, they get scrubbed, dried and re-used. In order to reduce intensity, we also use three or more outdoor decorative movable screens, which we simply place against the windows where the sun shines the brightest (this varies depending on the season). These cool the room considerably. I try to open the windows every day to let in as much natural sunlight and humidity as possible.

My Blue-fronted Amazon parrots are housed in a double-glazed conservatory, Phoebe. Its sides and roof are made of glass, and it has two doors, two windows, and two skylights. I would appreciate your advice on how to keep my parrots comfortable by balancing humidity and temperature. Both winter and summers weathers create different problems. In the summer, the conservatory’s interior is warmer than its exterior. This year’s temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit resulted in low humidity and dryness. I keep the conservatory at 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, but I’m not sure what other temperature and humidity would keep the birds from getting too cold. Economy seven electric radiators and an oil-filled radiator are used for heating. The heating dries the room, causing low humidity.


What should the humidity be in a bird room?

Ideally, bird-house relative humidity needs to be between 40% and 60%. But while that figure is achieved fairly easily in warm weather when air exchange tends to be higher, during minimum ventilation periods many producers struggle.

How can I humidify my room without a humidifier?

Leave Glasses or Bowls of Water Next to the Heater If you don’t have the budget for or interest in a water fixture, placing glasses or bowls of water near a heat source is a great natural humidifier. Set it on your fireplace mantle or on a table near your furnace to get your desired effect.