Guest Author - Heather Thomas
Fall brings changing leaves, dropping temperatures, and shorter days. What do these indicators mean for your pet birds? Do you need to make any special provisions for your feathered friend? Consider the following factors as you prepare your bird for cooler weather.
Take advantage of the last warm weather and indulge your bird with some natural UV rays from the sun. Choose sunny, warm days and move your birdís cage outside. Select a location safe from neighborhood pets or do not leave your bird unsupervised. Birds benefit from broad-spectrum UV rays. Also, take this time to shop for a broad-spectrum UV bulb to place near your birdís cage during the winter months. Most birds are native to warm or tropical environments and require sunlight to maintain optimal health.
It is often less convenient to do intensive cleaning on your birdcages during the coldest months, especially when the cages are large. Take advantage of the warmer days of fall to haul your birdcages outside and use a hose to do an extra good cleaning job. This also helps to reduce dander in your home that may be clinging to the hidden corners in your birdís cage. Dander is especially high when your bird is molting.
Since most birds kept as pets are tropical species, the same influences that affect molting in many wild species do not necessarily apply. In the wild, many birds begin molting after nesting or prior to migration. With pet birds their cycle is not necessarily determined by these factors but it is not certain that these factors are completely absent from our pet birdís make-up. Many pet birds molt in the fall, the exact reasons are unclear. Cooler temperatures and shortened hours of daylight could certainly influence the timing of your birdís molt.
Chewing, vocalization, and aggressive behavior can all come into play when dealing with pet birds. However, when the seasons change this is especially the case. Be sensitive to your birdís body language. Provide new toys, perches, and wooden chew toys to entertain your bird. Hormonal fluctuations are likely a strong influence, but not as intense as in the spring. Bathe your bird often and make sure they receive at least six hours of broad spectrum UV light. These simple steps will help your birds transition from summer to winter go as smoothly as possible, with as little stress as possible for your bird.