With its cold, dry winds, winter can be tough on a bird. Here are a few ways to keep yours warm and safe during the long winter months.
Keep an Eye on the Temperature
Birds can handle the cold pretty well – better, in fact, than most people imagine. Given a choice, some birds will even choose to play in the snow for a few hours rather than stay inside a warm aviary.
There are dangers, though. Sudden, dramatic changes in temperature are more threatening than constant cooler temperatures. While there can be chilly nights in the rainforest – that’s why, after all, birds come equipped with down feathers – drafts can be problematical. Make sure your bird’s cage is kept well away from windows and from doors that open on to the great outdoors.
Turn Out the Lights
Daylight has a considerable impact on birds. Instinctively, they call to their flock at dawn and at dusk. In many parts of the country the time of dawn and dusk varies greatly with the seasons, and these have their effect on bird behavior. For example, longer days are one of the environmental conditions that stimulate breeding season. To keep your bird in the most stable of situations, make sure he/she gets a full twelve hours of light and twelve hours of darkness, conditions that most closely mimic the natural jungle habitat.
Watch the Humidity
Most exotic pet birds originated in the rainforest, which means they’re used to – and prefer – a humid environment. For birds that live in houses with forced-air furnaces or other dry-heat systems, lack of moisture in the air can be a problem. To maintain adequate humidity, purchase a humidifier, mist your bird daily or place him in the shower for a good spritz.