If you have reached this topic, it is very likely that you have come across the typical phrase about the wonderful benefits of the sun for parakeets, and you are probably thinking that it is a good idea to put your parakeet in a direct sunbath. Bad idea…
It is not appropriate for parakeets to stay directly under the scorching sunlight, whether in the window or outdoors, on the balcony or in the garden.
Although it is true that sunlight is beneficial for the parakeet, the most logical and appropriate thing to do is always to give them the opportunity to escape into the shade.
In midsummer, when temperatures could reach between 25 – 35 degrees, the cage should not be exposed to direct sunlight, as this would be detrimental to the parakeet.
If a shady place is not available or the supply of fresh air or drinking water is not sufficient, heat builds up and the parakeets runs the risk of heatstroke and, if not treated immediately, this could lead to death.
Even if you put the parakeet outdoors, whether in spring or midsummer, always keep in mind that the sun moves.
If at first it was in shade or partial shade, that can change and all of a sudden it is brutally under the scorching sun.
Overheating and optimum temperature for parakeets
Although budgerigars are nomadic birds from Australia, budgerigars do better in cool temperatures than in high temperatures.
The ideal temperature for parakeets is between 25 and 27 degrees Celsius. It is of great importance that they are kept in the shade, particularly during high temperatures in the summer.
The reason why parakeets are not so well adapted to high temperatures is because, unlike us humans, parakeets cannot sweat and find it a bit more complicated to regulate the temperature of their small bodies.
The only way these birds try to relieve the heat is by opening and closing their beaks rapidly, this panting is a clear sign of overheating in the parakeet.
If the house is air-conditioned, it is also important to make sure that the air is not directly reaching them, as this could be fatal. A cool temperature and keeping them in the shade are the most crucial points to keep in mind.
What to do if the parakeet has overheated or has a heat stroke?
Fatigue, panting with an open beak, gasping, restlessness, and staggering (the bird is no longer able to stand or sit on the perch) or when the budgie hangs its open beak on the bars of the cage (severe lack of oxygen), are the most important warning signs.
If your parakeet shows signs of heat stroke I recommend you do the following:
- Place the parakeet immediately in the shade or bring it indoors. (the most logical)
- Cool the bird immediately: spray with water (spray bottle). Also think about the legs and feet.
- Put a fan on it at a moderate speed.
- Offer it water to drink.
- Then go to the veterinarian for further treatment. Be aware that transport to the vet can make the situation worse, first from the stress of transport and then from the heat outside or in the car. It would be best to have the veterinarian make a house call.
- Avoid further stress, touch the budgie as little as possible.
When the parakeet shows no more signs of heat stroke you can stop cooling it down.
How to avoid overheating of parakeets
To avoid heat stroke, budgies should never be left in an insufficiently cooled room when it is very hot, nor should they be placed outside in the scorching sun or left directly next to the glass window pane.
If you keep the parakeet in a room where it is very hot and poorly ventilated, spray the bird from time to time with a spray bottle or flower sprayer in which you have filled room temperature water (never too cold).
Hang a damp cloth over the cage, the evaporation of the water provides the birds with a pleasant cooling.
How much light do budgies need?
Sufficient lighting is particularly important in winter. Budgies need around eight to ten hours of bright light a day to feel good and stay healthy.
It should be noted that simply having the parakeet next to a window with glass may not be sufficient to take advantage of the sun’s UV benefit, since window glass usually acts as a filter for these rays, which are necessary for the development of vitamin V3 in parakeets.
In this case, if you have a parakeet in an apartment or a house, it could be a dilemma, since it is not advisable to expose it directly to the sun, but it is also not beneficial to have it next to a closed window.
But there are lamps, created especially for this purpose, to provide both the light and the UV rays necessary for the parakeet’s physical well-being.
These lamps are found in different designs and varieties, it should be noted that based on the radiation emitted, these lamps are special for birds.