why does my bird freak out at night

What happens during a night fright

  • Bird falls of their perch
  • Thrashes around floor of cage
  • Bangs against toys and bowls
  • A wing can be forced through the bars
  • There is a chance that a blood feather will break, which could result in a serious injury.

In the worst-case scenario, a broken wing can heal sufficiently to allow flight, so the sooner you see the veterinarian, the better. Damaged feathers can be left to moult naturally.

In the event that a blood feather becomes damaged from knocking and bleeds again, you or the veterinarian must remove it. If a bleeding blood feather is ignored, it can cause severe harm and, in the case of small birds, even result in death. Blood feathers are recently grown wing or tail feathers that still receive blood from the root before the blood is reabsorbed into the body.

You can remove the feather from the root by steadily pulling in the direction that the feather is growing with small pliers while someone else holds the bird; the feather will bleed. Styptic powder, also known as corn starch, quickly stops this bleeding.

The old saying goes, “Better safe than sorry.” If you are unsure whether to remove a blood feather yourself, take the parrot to an avian veterinarian.

If headlights from oncoming traffic shine into the space, you can cover the windows with heavy curtains or blinds.

One popular fix is to put the parrot in a sleep cage in a different room (not the family living room) so that it can have a peaceful night’s sleep and no headlights can reach the windows. According to various sources and personal observations of sleep-deprived birds, parrots require a minimum of 8 to 12 hours of sleep every night.

Certain individuals who are not susceptible to night terrors own parrots that rest in a birdroom on perches that are not part of their cages. This seems to solve the issue, but it’s not a universal fix because not all bird flocks can be relied upon to live in harmony without bothering one another.

Mine do, to a certain extent, but if I want to control how they eat, I will put them in their cages to stop Benni Macaw—who has a propensity to act like a bully—from stealing food from the three other birds’ bowls.

A parrot’s owner let her sleep on a perch next to her bed after removing the bird from its cage. That eliminated the night frights.

Providing white noise and getting a baby monitor so you can hear if anything strange is happening are two other strategies that have helped to reduce or eliminate the issue. Static from a radio or TV or noises from the outdoors is known as white noise. Instead of keeping the TV on repeat, download some free apps or turn on some soft white noise.

Smaller birds appear to be more susceptible to night terrors, with cockatiels and budgies being particularly vulnerable.

Everyone I’ve read about or talked to seems to agree that using a night light will frequently solve the issue or reduce its frequency. A night light ought to be soft, just enough to chase away the darkness. That makes me think of nighttime moonlight filtering through my garden’s trees.

While looking up ways to get over night terrors, I discovered something unusual. Certain respondents stated that their Parrots required covers to avoid night terrors, while others asserted that their birds’ fears ceased when they were freed from their uncovered cage. The pros and cons were evenly balanced.

And I believe both views were correct. One of the most fascinating things about caring for parrots is that every bird has different preferences, so there is no one size fits all approach that works for Psittacines. Not only does each species have slightly different maintenance needs, but individual birds within each species exhibit a wide range of personalities and behaviors.

Causes of Night frights

Not always simple to figure out because the toddler may cry that there is a monster under the bed, but the parrots cannot tell us. There are several potential causes of night terrors in parrots, including

  • Headlights from traffic
  • Insects: flies, wasps, moths. Spiders scare certain birds
  • Hornets – a very real danger
  • Clattering from cockroaches around the cage is scary
  • Mice snatching spilt seeds or pellets. (I’ve caught a mouse in my Macaw cage. ).
  • Sudden untoward noises

Make an effort to reduce the frequency of this in your house and prevent other animals from doing the same. Although it’s commonly believed that birds must have complete quiet to sleep, in the wild, they are used to some level of noise from their surroundings. In the wild, total stillness actually indicates danger, and at night, they receive some light from the moon and stars.

Examining the origins of our birds can teach us a lot. I’ve never done it before and I don’t know of anyone who has, but I’ve read that you can try playing your bird some gentle music, which will simulate the faint sound of a forest as it sleeps. Your bird may find solace in soft rain forest sounds of some kind. When your bird exhibits signs of night terror, it’s critical to put an end to them.

Quickly turn on the light and let them calm down. After they’ve settled back down, turn on a soft light and allow them to return to sleep. The most crucial thing you can do to help your bird overcome its night terrors is to provide it with some light. It might eventually be able to sleep in complete darkness once more, or it might always prefer a soft light to sleep with.

Among parrots, cockatiels are probably most well-known for having the worst cases of night terrors. Though I have heard of a few instances of it happening for larger birds as well, including my own, night frights typically affect smaller birds. One of my birds has fallen off a perch in the middle of the night, and another has started having night terrors of their own and startled the others (all of my birds are in one room). Normally, in a situation like this, every single bird at the bottom of its cage would look up and around at me, agitated and confused.

Magoo, my brother-in-law’s cockatiel, is the one with the serious night terrors. Magoo used to get such terrible nightmares that he would wake everyone up with the loud noise and end up covered in blood from shattering feather after feather of blood. Due to their poor night vision, parrots become frightened and thrash around in fear if something spooks them.


How do you stop night fright in birds?

I find by having a dim light or night light on helps immensely. The birds are able to see and feel more at ease, but still be able to sleep comfortably. You may also try leaving soothing music on, not hard rock, during the night in the background.

Why is my bird active at night?

Most types of birds are quite territorial, especially during breeding season. Males often chirp at night to warn other males to keep their distance since this where they do their breeding and nesting. Diurnal birds spend most of the day protecting their territory, and that can spill over into nighttime, as well.

Why is my bird freaking out all of a sudden?

Changes in Routine. A change in the bird’s daily routine, such as from an alteration in the pet parent’s schedule, can upset a bird. Changes in light cycle, such as if a bird’s cage is moved to a dark room or is suddenly kept covered, can also throw a bird off.

Why do birds freak out?

Birds are creatures of habit. A change to their schedule or environment can be a stressor. Changes to the environment, from a move to a new home, new family members or pets, outside noises (construction, trucks, thunder), paint color, or change of location can cause stress.