The stars and moon provide some light for wild budgies. However, budgies roost in canopies where leaves and branches filter out this natural light.
This means that bright nights are relatively dark, so it would take a very bright night to begin to compare to the brightness found in most homes.
Budgies may get some rest with a dim light on, but most will struggle to achieve deep sleep.
Complete darkness can prevent night fright in some budgies, as they won’t be disturbed by shadows and movements. So, cover a budgie’s cage at night so that sounds are dulled and darkness is achieved.
The only exception is if your budgie routinely gets night fright. If it wakes up in a panic, a dim night light lets it see its surroundings, discern that it’s safe, and calm down.
Do Parrots Need Darkness To Sleep?
Budgies need to sleep in the dark as it’s vital for their health and wellbeing. They sleep 10-12 hours a night, with naps supplementing their rest during the day.
Budgies need darkness because a naturally dark environment mimics their natural habitat. Most budgies are from the tropics, where they get 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness per day.
Of course, there are exceptions. If your budgie has a night fright, providing it with a night light will help it calm down when it wakes up in a panic.
Not all budgies will deal with night fright, so evaluate it on a case-by-case basis. If your budgie often wakes up panicked by things it cannot see, a dim light in the room will let it see its surroundings.
Do Budgies Like Darkness?
According to Clocks and Sleep, light prologues wakefulness in budgies and causes them to stay alert well into the night. That’s because they instinctually stay alert when predators are nearby during the day.
Staying awake to watch for danger is a survival mechanism. At nighttime, they settle down and get some rest. Reproducing this environment in your home can develop a healthy sleep routine for budgies.
Most budgies need complete darkness to achieve deep sleep as this is a time of regeneration. Getting a good night’s sleep can decrease stress and prevent negative behavioral changes. If your budgie lacks sleep, it’ll likely become more irritable.
Insufficient sleep can adversely affect your budgie’s immune system. It probably needs more rest if you discover that your budgie is cranky or picking at feathers.
If your budgie has a night light, remove it for a few nights and see check how your budgie is fairing.
Can Budgies Sleep With the Lights On?
According to Environmental Evidence, birds sometimes gather around artificial light at night. However, artificial light can unsettle their circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to sleep.
Limited darkness can be stressful if your budgie doesn’t have night fright. It can cause behavioral problems and increase susceptibility to infections.
Similarly, places that get a lot of traffic are challenging sleep environments. Budgies can’t fall asleep properly without sufficient darkness or quiet.
However, a budgie can sleep with the lights on. During the day, budgies take several naps to supplement their sleep routine.
These naps often last for a few minutes at a time and are spread throughout the day. Budgies may not sleep deeply throughout these naps, but they provide extra rest.
Ideally, you’ll allow your budgie complete darkness at night, lasting for 8-10 hours. Then, with a calm and safe environment during the day, it can supplement its sleep schedule with naps.
You shouldn’t give your budgie constant access to light unless it has night fright. In this case, a soft night light that doesn’t brightly illuminate the room is optimal.
Are Budgies Afraid Of The Dark?
Budgies aren’t afraid of the dark, so they won’t feel scared or isolated if you cover their cages.
The darkness will tell the budgie it’s nighttime and time to go to sleep. As mentioned, budgies are more alert in the day, and nighttime is when they rest.
Some budgies will react differently. A budgie may wake up in a panic due to loud noise or sudden movements in its environment.
According to PLOS Biology, budgies are known to dream, so they may wake up from a nightmare.
These are situations where budgies will be afraid in the dark. They have excellent eyesight during the daytime but can’t see well when it’s dark. So, they can mistake objects or shadows for predators.
Conversely, complete darkness may prevent night fright. Often, budgies are startled by shadows and movements in the night.
If something harmless appears dangerous to a budgie in the low lighting, it may misinterpret it as a predator because its night vision is inferior.
You can prevent this by ensuring your budgie has complete darkness to rest.
Should I Cover My Budgie’s Cage At Night?
It’s common for owners to cover budgies’ cages at night to:
- Create complete darkness if a room is never dark enough
- Control when a budgie is exposed to darkness instead of the light cycle in your area
- Isolate a budgie from the shadows
- Dull any outside noises
- Capture warmth inside the cage
It’s recommended that your cover a budgie’s cage at night.
When Not To Cover A Budgie’s Cage
The only time you shouldn’t cover a cage is when your budgie is experiencing night fright, despite the cover. In this case, a dark room with a night light will ensure your budgie can see its surroundings enough to calm down. Budgies have poor night vision, so a light will help its poor vision in the darkness.
Every budgie is different, and your bird may react negatively to a cover. If you keep several budgies in one cage, you may find that some love the cover, while one or two appear afraid of it.
If so, you can separate the budgies into different cages for sleeping, but let them interact during the day.
You can make this transition smoother by gradually turning down the surrounding lights. After the sun sets, the light fades gradually, and dusk provides a chance for budgies to prepare to fall asleep.