Bird Cage Lighting
The Importance of Appropriate Lighting for Birds
There are many benefits for providing proper lighting to pet birds. By simulating natural sunlight with an avian light, for birds that are housed indoors, you are providing environmental enrichment and helping your bird to see his indoor world as it would in nature.
Very often, during the daylight hours, pet birds do not get proper or adequate lighting which can significantly affect their behavior and overall health. Reproduction & hormones, feather vibrancy & structure, sleep cycles & moods are all influenced by light cycles (photoperiods). Proper cage lighting is an essential element that should be considered when setting up your pet birds cage.
Companion birds should get 10-12 hours of dark sleep. Dark means no television, noise, or visible light in the background (for birds that have a history of night fright or night thrashing, a low light night light is recommended). Having a daytime cage and a nighttime cage in different locations in the house is often a good idea. When a bird gets get less than 10-12 hours of sleep or if sleep is interrupted, the bird can become quite irritable. They are more prone to feather damaging behavior (feather plucking) and other undesirable bahaviours that can lead to health issues possibly leading to territoriality and aggressive behaviours or chronic egg laying. A shorter sleep cycle or one that involves more light is often used for breeding.
Reproducing Natural Light
Exposure to natural sunlight is ideal. However, it involves taking your bird outside and this is not always convenient or an option. Simply placing your bird by a window will not work since light filtered through glass loses the necessary wavelengths. The next best thing is to bring the outdoors in! You can do this by setting up cage lighting that emits simulated natural sunlight conditions, including ultraviolet rays.
- Optimal UVA/UVB output for health and wellbeing
- Benefits the 4-cone receptors in avian vision to detect a broader palate of colours and perceive UV colours invisible to the human eye.
- UVA enhances a bird’s perception of its indoor environment to be more like nature. It stimulates appetite, encourages foraging and food recognition, motivates mating and can reduce psychological behaviours such as feather plucking.
- UVB facilitates assimilation of vitamin D3 for optimal calcium absorption.