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by Diane Burroughs June 14, 2021 4 min read 1 Comment

It's a heatwave out there! 

And, summers seem to keep getting hotter and hotter. You may be wondering, "How do I keep my bird cool in the summer.

We love our birds because they are beautiful, affectionate, intelligent, and super fun to be around. 

But, they are not just fun and games.  Birds require specific care and are susceptible to shock injury from even the smallest change to their environment. The summer is no exception.

One of the biggest environmental changes happens during heatwaves in the summer. This is why it's important to school yourself in how to keep your parrot cool during the hot summer months. 

What temperature is too hot for birds?

can birds tolerate heat

Birds generally have a higher body temperature than we do but that doesn't mean that their immune to getting overheated. Their body temperature is around 105° F. Parrots don't sweat but feathers help shield bird's from the hot sun rays.

Other than that, parrots only have a few ways to regulate their body temperature in the wild:

- through a rapid respiration rate that looks like panting
- through the bare patches of their skin 
- by taking shade
- through flying or soaring at higher altitudes
- through bathing
- by spreading of their feathers in a fluffed up fashion
- exposure to air movement

It's pretty obvious that some of the above ways wild birds stay cool are impossible to achieve for your pet parrot. This is why it's so important to do your part to help prevent your feather baby from overheating.

Can heat kill birds?

The answer is YES!

If it's not caught and corrected on time, an overheated bird can suffer and even die.

What kind of issues cause a bird to overheat?

  • A broken down air-conditioner or a power failure 
  • Too much heat from a heat lamp
  • Improperly your bird in a towel or leaving it in the towel for too long 
  • Leaving the bird in a hot vehicle
  • Placing the cage near an East or West facing window with the sun beating down
  • Outdoor aviary birds with insufficient ways to cool off

Heat Kills Birds. Learn first aid for heatstroke

Take action immediately if heatstroke strikes:

  • Place your bird in a cool, quiet area where you can easily supervise it.

  • Mist your bird until it's skin is wet

  • Make sure to keep the feet and legs moist as this is where most heat escapes

  • Avoid anything that might stress your bird out

  • Monitor your bird closely to ensure that the above symptoms subside.  Contact your veterinarian for further instructions.

  • A water-soluble electrolyte powder should be made available. Overheated birds quickly experience depleted of electrolytes. Electrolytes make the bird more thirsty, which is a good thing if it has gotten overheated.

5 Tips To Help Prevent Bird Dehydration

5 Tips to Help Prevent Bird Dehydration
1. Recognize the Signs of Overheating

If your bird is breathing through his mouth or panting, holding his wings away from his body, or is on the floor of the cage behaving in a lethargic or stressed manner, these could be a sign that he is starting to overheat. 

Check the thermometer.  Our pet bird's can start overheating at about 80°.

2. Keep Your Bird At A Healthy Weight

Birds are just like humans - a poor diet can make your bird overweight. This can lead to the same complications that overweight humans face, including overheating.

So, make sure that you introduce a rich range of "live raw plant-based foods" to your bird's diet to ensure optimum weight and health. 

(Are you providing your bird with a healthy diet? Check out our dietary recommendations for birds here.)

3. Provide Shade In Outdoor Aviaries

It's nice to be able to let your bird get some fresh air outside and enjoy the sunshine, but just like us, too much direct sunlight can rapidly cause overheating.

You can help prevent this from happening by ensuring that your bird ALWAYS has access to shade and can escape the sun whenever she wants. 

4. Cool Your Bird With A Misting Spray

When your bird shows signs of overheating, it's important to have a misting bottle on hand. It should also be used as part of your birds daily care regime.

Misting helps your bird maintain his core temperature which helps prevent dehydration and overheating.

On a fun note, when trained, our pet birds LOVE to bathe and get wet, and you'll find that your bird will really enjoy these "baths" and often will lift up its wings and feet so that you can get those hard to reach places.

This can be a fun experience for both you and your bird, while at the same time, helping to ensure she doesn't overheat. 

CAUTIONnever spray your mister directly at your bird, otherwise, they will quickly develop an aversion to both you and misting.

Spray near or next to your bird and allow it to enter or exit the mist at will.

As the trust grows between you and your bird this becomes less of a problem but take care in the beginning, as birds can lose their trust very quickly. Lost trust can take an extremely long time to get back. 

If your bird is n an outdoor aviary, you can set up a misting system.  All you need is a faucet timer, a hose, and a mister, like the Orbit Arizona Mister, model # 10360.

(Our bird lovers rave about the UnRuffledRx Aloe Vera Spray we have in our store. It's a great way to help your bird stay cool for the summer!)

5. Provide Plenty of Water For Your Bird

Make sure that you always have a bathing dish full of fresh, clean water at the bottom of the cage and that it is replaced at least once a day.

As well, it's important to make sure that your bird has plenty of freshwater to drink, and this should be replaced daily too. 

Food particles and other debris in the water can cultivate nasty bacteria in the water dish causing your bird to get sick.

So, there you have it!

If you follow these tips you should be able to keep your bird safe, healthy, and happy through the summer!

Diane Burroughs

i>Hey, please leave a comment or share this on your social media if you love this post! 

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1 Response

Pet Sky
Pet Sky

March 09, 2020

Thanks for sharing the informative blog. It is really helpful for the bird’s owners. We do not understand their language but we can show them care by following your tips. Keep posting helpful information ..

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