If you have ever observed a parakeet at night you may be wondering if they can see in the dark. There are some signs to suggest they can, and it is well known that birds have fantastic vision, far superior than us humans. So is it possible, what can they see? I decided to conduct some research into the topic, here is what I have been able to find.
So, can parakeets see in the dark? Parakeets can see in the dark. In fact, they have excellent vision even during times of complete darkness. This is due to an abundance of blood vessels in their eyes called Pecten Oculi, which gives them sharper focus and clarity. This is widely recognized as a biologically driven trait due to their long history as wild birds.
Just because parakeets can see in the dark do they like the dark? Are they okay or do they need to be covered? These are just some of the questions we will be taking a look at below as we explore this topic in further detail. I suggest you keep reading!
Many birds are capable of seeing things that humans can’t. Did you know that they can see the earth’s magnetic field? They can also see ultraviolet light.
Humans have only three color receptor cells in our eyes – known as cones, which allows us to pick up the colors blue, red, and green. On the other hand, birds have four of these cones, and that fourth cone enables them to see ultraviolet light in the color spectrum. They have an amazing view of the world with their powerful eyesight.
Parakeets are omnivores and are not considered to be prey animals – as they don’t hunt rats and mice. Their diet consists mostly, insects, greens, seeds, and other small foods. This does not however mean that they did not need to develop a fine eyesight. Quite the contrary.
Like many birds, parakeets can see ultraviolet light, this is critical for their survival, as they are traditionally wild and free birds. They have relied on their eyes for generations. They use their excellent vision to identify the best grasslands of seeds when flying over their natural habitats (including but not limited to the Australian Outback, Himalayan Mountains and much of Africa).
Are Parakeets Okay In The Dark?
Parakeets in the wild are capable of going about their lives quite well in the dark. Their sharp eyesight allows them to see things in fine detail, which means that they can find the finest, freshest food out in the wild. But even your pet at home will turn its’ face away if you try to feed it anything other than fresh food.
The name parakeet means “good food” or ” good eating” in some Aboriginal Australian languages.
Birds have lots of blood vessels in their eyeballs called Pecten Oculi, these blood vessels provide nutrients to their eyes and it keeps their vision clear from shadows, this allows them to react well in fast-paced light conditions.
They can see more colors than human beings and other animals, and their eyes can pick up more images as well – this is true for parakeets. They are intelligent, so their sharp mind and sharp eyesight allow them to thrive in the dark.
Their sharp focus is helpful when it comes to finding a suitable mate – when a parakeet has been out in the sunshine, their face feathers glow in the dark, this is a sign of a healthy parakeet and they can see that in each other by looking for the fluorescence in their face feathers.
For this reason, they are perfectly safe and biologically adapted to dark conditions. It is not something that is new for them. Therefore for the most part, parakeet should be perfectly okay in the dark.
Do Parakeets Like The Dark?
Parakeets in the wild have great freedom to go about their lives quite well in the dark, they enjoy a varied menu being omnivores, and their eyesight allows them to focus on finding the best foods available across the landscape. Their ultralight vision lets them see the world in the most amazing way possible.
Its important to note however, that a parakeet in captivity, can’t exercise their eyes in the same way. They will not have developed the muscles and the eyesight of their wild counterparts.
Depending on how parakeets are bred and raised, not all pet parakeets therefore react to the dark in the same way.
Some parakeet owners notice strange behavior coming from their bird at night, and are concerned that their parakeet is afraid of the dark. This is natural intuition and sometimes does indicate a problem.
It is possible that some pet parakeets are afraid of the dark. Normally, this is when they are placed into a new environment and are unfamiliar with their surroundings. This typically occurs with a new pet parakeet, when you move them, when you add other parakeets to the cage, or you change the cage entirely.
You should find that in time your parakeet starts to adapt and start to calm down. If you are particularly worried, you can ease them in by shining a dim lamp in the room – just be sure to shine this directly at or on your parakeet as this can confuse and interrupt their natural sleep cycle!
Another thing to consider is the temperature of the room; is it warm enough at night? Birds like parakeets are exotic and require warmer temperatures for optimal health. You can try turning the heating up in the room the cage is situated in, ensuring no drafts are coming in, or even consider getting a specialized bird warmer from Amazon.
However, strange parakeet behavior at night can also indicate that your bird is displaying instincts from the wild and wants to be active.
If that is the case, you could try putting your parakeet higher up, if your cage affords it. Failing this you can add perches to their cage. Just make sure it is all natural wood (like these perches). Perches and height help because parakeets in the wild like to survey the ground below from the top tree branches. This is usually a sufficient fix.
Do Parakeets Need To Be Covered At Night?
There is nothing concrete to suggest that parakeets need to be covered at night, but it depends on each bird.
Some parakeets sleep fine without a cover over their cage, while others are not able to sleep without it.
Many parakeets in the wild sleep in the cavities of trees, and it offers warmth and a sense of security – the cover over the cage offers this same feeling for many pet parakeets, however if your pet is happy enough without it, there’s no need to introduce one.
If you did want to introduce a cage cover, and if you suspect it will help, then you need to purchase one that is made of breathable materials and is non-toxic. This is the one that often comes recommended and is a bestseller on Amazon.
Can Parakeets Sleep In The Dark?
Parakeets can sleep in the dark, and if all is well a happy parakeet will sleep for up to 12 hours at night.
They need to sleep for this long to remain in peak health, a parakeet that isn’t sleeping well at night could be due to a number of factors: it’s stressed, unhappy with it’s surroundings, perhaps the room is too cold, noisy, or it’s not dark enough.
You may want to consider moving the cage to a more secluded and warmer part of the house, maybe putting a cover over the cage will help it go to sleep and keep it warm at the same time. It may take a little trial and error to see what will work to make your budgie sleep at night, but you must go with whatever makes them happy in the long run.
As previously mentioned, your parakeet might be displaying instinctive behaviors as if in the wild, so think about moving it’s cage higher up as a first port of call.
Failing that consider getting some perches. This will allow it to survey the ground below, this may help to make your parakeet feel more at ease if it can see things from above.
Outside of this, consider the temperature of the room and whether a warmer and/or cage cover is required.
Remember, a sleeping bird is a healthy bird and they need plenty of it just like us humans to thrive.
Important Points To Remember
- Many birds, including parakeets, have powerful vision and can see the earth’s magnetic field. They can also see ultraviolet light – this allows them to see well in the dark.
- Parakeets can use their sharp eyesight to find the best grasslands with the freshest food, this is critical for their survival.
- Parakeets are omnivores and eat insects, seeds, and small pieces of vegetation.
- A parakeets facial feathers glow in the dark, if they have received a lot of sunlight – this is a sign that they are healthy, this also helps them to find a suitable mate.
- All parakeets, including pets, need up to 12 hours of sleep a night, to maintain peak fitness.
- If your pet is not sleeping well at night, consider moving it’s cage to a more secluded part of the house, make sure it’s warm, cover the cage with a blanket if this helps your budgie to sleep well at night.
- Some pet parakeets like to be on the top-most shelf in the room as it makes them feel secure to survey the ground below.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.