If you asked 5 people how many sheets or blankets that they used to sleep during the night, it is likely you’d get 5 different answers. Some will inevitably pull the covers over their heads to block out the morning sunlight — but others might have only their feet covered. People are somewhat more complex when they sleep compared to the ordinary companion parrot.
Why cover bird cages at night?
Your bird likely has a couple of straightforward requests in regards to bedtime: a perch put high in the crate, shadow, and quiet time. These needs are extremely easily met by most parrots in many living situations. However, what if your parrot is in a place of the home that does not get completely dark at night? Maybe you’ve got a parrot that’s easily spooked by motion — and you happen to have a cat or dog who might saunter by the crate at the wee hours of the evening. In situations such as this, it can be a great idea to cover your bird’s cage at night.
While covering the cage is not essential to maintain your bird warm at night, it might help block out sensory disturbances so that your parrot can find a good night’s rest (origin). If your bird is not getting enough sleep, it is likely they will show negative behaviors such as biting and general crankiness. By covering your bird’s cage, you make a private bedroom to your parrot which will make them feel secure, comfortable, and more inclined to hunker down for the night.
My parrot Murphy is a really good sleeper. He always begins to whine and talk when he is ready to go to bed, but I’m still awake with all the lights on. He will get louder and a little sassier when I ignore his calls for too long; it is easier just to give him exactly what he desires, and hit the hay early! He is also a bit grumpy if you wake him up until he has had at least 10 hours of sleep.
If you would like to use a cover that can be made at home, a dark-colored blanket or sheet works nicely for most cages. Playtop and stacked cages can be somewhat more tricky and might require more craftiness on the part of the parrot! Tying or sewing sheets together might be the optimal solution.