The other day I felt a chill when I left the house, we were coming into the winter months.
That’s when I thought about my parrot, I wasn’t sure if parrots hibernate or not.
I know that some birds hibernate or go into a hibernate-like state but are still aware of their surroundings.
So, I decided to do some homework on this topic.
The answer to this is no, parrots do not hibernate. Most parrot breeds live in warm areas as they don’t tolerate cold weather very well. Therefore, hibernation isn’t needed. Instead, if it’s a wild parrot it will migrate to somewhere hotter if the temperature drops.
In this article, we will be discussing why parrots migrate instead of hibernating.
Also what your household parrot will do in the colder months of the year, and also what is suggested by vets to keep them safe.
Typically, a wild parrot can adapt to colder temperatures better than a household parrot and can migrate to another warmer location.
Household parrots are brought up in temperature they were raised in since they were chicks and will struggle to live in colder environments.
They’ll also not be able to migrate to warmer areas, especially if they are in a cage or a small room.
If the temperature drops during the colder months it’s important to keep your parrot at a good temperature.
Do Parrots Migrate Or Hibernate?
Only some parrots migrate, and these are the orange-bellied, blue-winged, and swift parrots.
Typically, they migrate when the temperature starts to drop in specific locations.
Parrots have an extremely low tolerance when It comes to cold weather.
Overall, parrots can’t be anything under 4 degrees Celsius and no hotter than 30 degrees Celsius.
The dangerous part to a parrot not migrating away from the colder weather is that it’ll become less fertile and more unlikely to lay eggs.
Migration also occurs when parrots want to move to areas that have more food available to them.
They look at these areas like breeding grounds and will be happier to start nesting and breeding their own knowing that they’ll have easily accessible food.
However, migration can be dangerous for parrots and also to any bird in fact.
When parrots migrate to their chosen location, they risk a lot.
First, they’ll have to risk traveling in unknown climates to get there.
The most dangerous part of them traveling to their chosen location is the wind, if they have to fly for longer because of this they’ll become exhausted.
They’ll also risk potentially going to a migration area which isn’t what they were expecting.
They could arrive in an area that lacks nutritional food and also safe areas to nest in.
Why Do Parrots Migrate Instead Of Hibernate?
As you now know most parrots migrate instead of hibernating, Migration has some great benefits behind it over hibernation.
But why do they migrate instead of hibernating?
Hibernation typically occurs in the winter months and is used as a survival technique.
This technique slows everything down on the animal, so they use less energy through their body temperature, breathing, and heart rate.
This state happens so they can survive on minimal food and energy resources, this is because during the winter months typically there is less food to eat.
Typically there are fewer insects to eat during the wintertime.
As parrots can’t control their body temperature to enter hibernation or a hibernation-like state they’ll rather migrate.
Migration is better for them as they’ll be able to travel elsewhere which is warmer and more suitable for nesting.
It’s an important breeding process for those parrots which do migrate.
However, they must get the migration right or they’ll risk some consequences.
Parrots don’t act well in cold weather, anything below 4 degrees celsius can be fatal to them.
They’re commonly known as tropical birds and this is why they’re more adapted to warmer countries.
What Temperature Is too Cold for Parrots?
As you can tell from the above, parrots cannot withstand very cold temperatures and this is why they don’t hibernate.
It’s been told that most parrots can only survive in temperatures hotter than 4 degrees celsius.
Parrots cannot catch flu-type colds.
Instead, the cold temperatures will attack the respiratory system.
Being in constant cold temperatures over a substantial amount of time can cause long and short-term issues when it comes to the respiratory system.
The worrying thing about respiratory issues with parrots is that they’ll try to hide their problems.
If your parrot is new and you haven’t studied their body language, it may be difficult to know what is wrong.
Once you’ve studied them you can almost read their body language and match it with a feeling.
However, there are some common signs a cold parrot shows.
These signs are difficulty in breathing, nasal discharge, fluffed feather, and a loss of appetite.
You could also tell by the coldness of the room or cage.
Generally, if you feel cold they’re also cold.
It’s important to keep your parrot at a comfortable temperature as it’ll improve the overall well-being of the bird and reduce the chances of catching respiratory-related illnesses.
There are ways in that you can ensure that your parrot can stay warm, let’s take a look into that.
How to Keep Parrot Warm
Keeping your parrot warm through the winter months is extremely important as parrots are unable to hibernate like other animals.
Hibernation is what keeps other animals warm during the winter months as they drop their body temperature and lower their heart rate.
But unfortunately for parrots, they can’t get into a hibernation state like other animals, so I suggest the below.
Move their location
Firstly, if your cage is outside you’ll need to move it indoors during the winter months.
If it’s too cold in a room you can move your parrot’s cage away from the windows or any doors as these areas in the room are generally colder than the center.
If you can, put your bird in the warmest room of your house.
Next is purchasing a cage cover and covering them at night.
A cage cover is just like a blanket for us, you simply put it over the cage at night when the bird is sleeping and it’ll trap the temperature generated by the parrot’s body.
It is suggested that you only cover the bird’s cage at night, this is because it can spook the bird as they won’t be able to see anything.
If your bird doesn’t react well to having a cage cover, I recommend you try another option to keep them warm.
You could also purchase a snuggle sack.
It’s similar to a cage cover but the parrot will have the option to use it or not.
It’s just an add-on inside the cage which is shaped like a hut.
When the parrot is cold, they can go inside this insulated hut and keep warm.
However, it can be hard sometimes to get your parrot interested in a snuggle sack.
But when they do, they’ll love using it.
Another item you could purchase, which is pretty self-explanatory is a heater.
A heater is the simplest and probably the easiest way to keep your parrot warm.
But this could also be the most expensive.
It can be a lot of money to run another heater through the winter months, but if you have the budget it could be worth it.
If you’re going down the heater route, make sure that you find the sweet spot in their cage.
You don’t want it too close and at the same time, you don’t want it too far away from them.
Find a position in which you can place the heater down and they have the option to move closer or further away depending on their temperature.
Lastly, make sure they have a steady flow of food.
Food can increase the temperature of the parrot as it’ll get their digestive system working and it’ll produce heat within the bird.
It also reduces the chance of them getting a loss of appetite because of their cold, if they are constantly eating food they should keep interested.
As you can see, there are many ways to keep your parrot warm through the colder months.
It’s important to keep your parrot warm and all owners should be aware of the consequences if not.
As you now know, parrots cannot fall into a hibernation state and therefore require you to make sure they are warm.