Fireworks are a popular way to celebrate various occasions.
The powerful sound and sparkling lights set off a feeling of wonder inside you.
However, are these celebratory fireworks frightening your parrot?
The answer to this question is yes parrots are often scared of fireworks. However, not all parrots are alike and some don’t mind the loud sound. Commonly though, it is a natural instinct of parrots to shy away from loud sounds.
Loud sounds, like fireworks, can cause anxiety in your parrot.
As an owner, you want your parrot to be happy and safe.
Let’s see how you can calm your pet on a firework-filled night.
We will discuss:
Why parrots are scared of fireworks
Stress fireworks put on parrots
Tips on how to comfort your parrot from fireworks
With so much information to discuss, let’s dive in!
Why are Parrots Afraid of Fireworks?
Many pets are scared of the loud bang of fireworks on celebratory nights like Fourth of July or New Year’s Eve.
Birds are especially sensitive to loud noises.
Parrots have more sensitive ears than dogs.
So, if your dog gets scared by fireworks, just imagine how your parrot is feeling.
It’s an Instinct for Your Parrot to be Scared
It’s a natural instinct for birds to shy away from loud noises and bright lights.
Loud fireworks can mean an association to activities that can be fatal for birds, like gunshots and explosions.
In the wild, if a parrot heard a loud bang or saw a quick flash of light, their instincts would tell them to fly away.
Those same instincts are still in tact when your parrot is in captivity.
Captivity Magnifies Stress
The fear is magnified when your bird is kept in a cage or place of captivity because it cannot follow its instincts.
Your parrot feels trapped and unable to flee from the sound.
When this happens, stress can multiply for your parrot and they may take their stress out in an unhealthy manner.
Manage Your Parrot’s Fear and Stress
We will discuss more about how the stress from both light and sound from fireworks increases anxiety in your parrot and how you can manage and lessen this instinctual stress.
Stress and Fear Fireworks Put on Parrots
Now that we know why a parrot is afraid of fireworks, let’s see how the stress put on them by the loud noises and bright lights affect them.
One of the most common reactions to a large amount of stress and stimuli for birds is to pluck their own feathers.
Your parrot’s feathers will naturally fall off when your parrot is ready to molt.
When your parrot is stressed, some feathers that are almost ready to molt may fall off.
When your parrot is under extreme duress, they may pick off their feathers, even the ones that weren’t ready to shed.
There have even been accounts of parrots plucking all of their feathers off in as short as a 24-hour period.
One way people stop their parrots from plucking is to buy a spray you spray on the parrot like this one here from Amazon.
Change of Behavior
Similarly, to humans, when birds are under a lot of stress, they may not act like themselves.
If your bird is typically very friendly and outgoing, but suddenly becomes timid, something may be wrong.
Your bird may also shy away from being held or pet.
Conversely, if your parrot is usually mild-mannered, but now is loud and anxious, they may be under stress.
Loss of Appetite
This side effect to stress may also indicate an underlying health condition if prolonged.
When your parrot is stressed and anxious, they may not eat foods that they typically would love to indulge in.
Similarly, to the self- destructive behavior discussed earlier, your parrot may destroy things in your home when stressed.
This happens when your bird becomes overly stimulated by anxiety.
Your parrot will feel that acting out externally will help ease the internal stress and suffering.
Stress Bars on Feathers
A physical indication of stress will come from stress bars on your parrot’s feathers.
These are small lines that run across your parrot’s feathers.
Your parrot has this thinning occur commonly due to stress or a poor diet.
If you see the stress bars appear at the same time as the fireworks, they are most likely caused by that event.
When parrots are frightened, their body language can tell a lot.
Often, they will hold their feathers close into their body when frightened by something such as light or sound.
They may also huddle in a corner or small space to make themselves appear smaller and comforted.
They may also rock side to side on their legs.
In extreme cases, they will become predatory.
They may stick out their neck and hiss.
This is in extreme freight and should not be looked over.
Just like humans, birds have physical cues to tell others how they are mentally doing.
Look for These Signs Early On
All of these signs indicate that your parrot may be frightened.
Use judgement wisely and look closely into your parrot’s behavior when stressful events like fireworks are happening.
Also, look for these signs early on to stop the stress before it becomes destructive.
How Do I Comfort My Parrot from Fireworks?
It’s unfortunate that fireworks affect birds so negatively.
However, there are a lot of things we can do to keep parrots calm or lessen the stress during a night with fireworks.
Cover Their Cage
Whether your parrot is frightened by the sound of fireworks or the bright lights, this will bring some comfort.
Covering the cage with a blanket can help muffle some noise and block out bright flashes of light.
This is a great method to ensure that your parrot has an extra layer of protection from the fireworks outside.
However, parrots are creatures of habit.
If you only do this trick when the fireworks happen, it may only exacerbate their stress.
If you want to use this tip, cover your parrot’s cage every night to set up a routine so that your parrot isn’t more frightened by the sudden covering.
Also, certain birds, like cockatoos like a little bit of light at night.
Make sure a nightlight is in with them if your parrot is afraid of both the dark and fireworks.
Inform Your Bird of the Fireworks
Birds are extremely smart creatures.
This means you can actually prep them and warn them about the fireworks, if you know they’re coming.
Start a few weeks earlier than the date of the fireworks by playing YouTube videos of firework celebrations.
Then in an animated voice say words relating to fireworks like “bang” and “light” and “all done” once the video is finished.
Your bird will be able to better understand fireworks and be less afraid of them when they actually happen in real-time.
Cover Up Your Windows
If you have blackout curtains, these will be great to hang up during a night of fireworks to keep out the bright flashes of light.
You can also muffle the sound by placing blankets along the opening of your windows.
This will reduce the sound a little more in your house.
Create White Noise
If your bird is still shocked and scared by the noise of the fireworks, turn on white noise.
A fan, noise machine, or a radio or tv can help distract your bird from the fireworks and drown out some of the sharp sounds.
Try Calming Supplements
Homeopathic supplements to calm your parrot’s nerves come in oil form that can be mixed in or put on your parrot’s food.
They are made with natural ingredients and can calm your parrot’s nerves a little.
A few days before the fireworks, test the calming supplements by placing them on your parrot’s food.
This will help your parrot create a lower baseline of anxiety and get them used to the calming oils.
Are There Other Problems Associated with Fireworks and The Safety of My Parrot?
Stress and fear are the major difficulties when fireworks happen near your bird.
As long as your parrot is safe inside, there are no physical worries for your parrot, except possibly one.
Anticipate Breathing Difficulties
To prepare to your best ability for the event of fireworks, anticipate for your bird to have breathing problems because of the fireworks.
Birds have extremely sensitive lungs.
This makes the sulfur in the air from fireworks dangerous to your pet.
Not all parrots are affected by fireworks in this way, but it’s best to prepare if you aren’t sure how your parrot will react.
You can buy a clean air purifier for the night of the fireworks and keep your parrot away from any open windows or doors.
Fireworks can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and fear for your parrot.
This can result in self-destructive and outwardly destructive behavior from your parrot.
To avoid this stress, prepare for fireworks days before with various ways to help muffle and block out sound and light.