Take a good look at your parrot’s feathers. Do they appear dull and somewhat brittle? Does your bird seem gloomy and lethargic?
Lack of proper full spectrum lighting may be the problem. Birds that are exposed to natural outdoor sunlight or indoor full spectrum bird lights have improved feather and skin condition, a perkier attitude and healthier bones.
It’s about Vitamin D.Vitamin D keeps your immune system strong and can help regulate insulin levels. It is important for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, too.
Our parrots are from tropical forest areas where the sun shines 10 hours a day, almost year round. Sunlight including UVA and UVB rays are essential to your birds’ health. We’ve all heard of seasonal depression, but did you know that birds are even more sensitive to light and light conditions than people are?
Full spectrum lighting is essential for both mental and physical health. Birds rely on full spectrum lighting for both day to day health and seasonal hormonal regulations.
You’re probably aware of just how important sunlight is for regulating your sleep. Your bird is no different. Light signals the brain that it is time to go to sleep or to wake up.
Appropriate darkness affects the quality of sleep. As a rule of thumb, our birds need about 10 hours of light each day. Without adequate full spectrum light, a bird may feel fatigued, be more reactive to stress and ultimately, the immune system may be compromised.
Even if you live in a climate where your bird can’t have access to natural full spectrum lighting, you can ensure your birds’ health with indoor full spectrum lighting.
Full spectrum lighting affects your birds’ mental and physical health. Most birds, including parrots, have exceptionally keen vision. Your bird is essentially color blind without full spectrum light. Parrots are capable of seeing vivid colors enabling them to navigate their environment, find food amongst leaves and twigs and perceive danger such as predators. Such keen vision supports your birds’ self- confidence about its ability to keep itself safe.
Physiologically, full spectrum light provides Vitamin D3, an essential component in the utilization ofcalcium for strong and healthy bones. With already delicate bones, birds rely on lighting for healthy bones. Lighting affects behavior and seasonal hormone levels, allows our birds to get a good night’s sleep and even affects feather health.
While natural sunlight provides the best health benefits for birds, it isn’t always possible to provide it to our birds. Even if you place your bird cage near a window, modern windows are designed to filter out UVA and UVB rays. While natural sunlight should be part of your bird's lighting regimen when it's feasible and safe for the bird, indoor full spectrum lights are an important component of keeping your bird healthy.
Select full spectrum bird lights and lamps made for birds and use them as directed.
The benefit of bird specific lights is that the fixture may mount to the top of the cage and the electric cord is usually protected so that your bird can’t bite it and suffer electrocution.
Look for full spectrum lights that emit light in the ultraviolet wavelength that replicates natural sunlight to provide all the beneficial properties of sunlight. Mount or suspend full spectrum bird lights approximately 1 – 2’ above the cage over the area where your bird prefers to perch and use a timer to turn the light off after a few hours.
In conclusion, an investment in bird lights is an investment in vital health benefits for your bird.
Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. With over 30 years experience, in a range of settings, she’s created thousands of successful behavior plans to help turn around challenging behavior. Diane got parrot fever in the ‘90’s and founded BirdSupplies.com in 1998. Nowadays, BirdSupplies.com focuses solely on Science-backed Parrot Wellness with bird collars for feather plucking birds, nutritional supplements to support avian wellness, and a range of educational materials to support bird behavior. Diane’s authored a number of books on supporting challenging behavior in birds.
Hey there! Because of conscientious parrot caretakers like you we are able to continue to offer valuable, science-backed parrot wellness support that will help your feathered friend to thrive so that you can enjoy it for years to come.
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