How do parrots survive in the winter?

How do parrots survive in the winter?

Parrots and other  exotic animals need to stay warm in order to remain healthy.  When the thermometer dips below 65 degrees  your  bird will be miserable.  You might notice it fluffing up just to stay warm.

Most parrot species originate from temperate, tropical climates with high humidity and minimal seasonal changes.  Most rainforests are near the equator so the seasonal lighting changes are minimal, too.   

Their whole body has adapted to flourish in tropical conditions. Most of us parrot lovers live significantly north of the equator In harsher environments with more radical temperature changes and seasonal photoperiod changes. 

If you live in regions of the U.S., UK, or Europe, your environment has differing seasonal temperatures and humidity levels. As a matter of fact, our households get rather dry in the winter, a condition which can cause your pet a lot of discomfort. 

It will be important to make some accommodations to help your pet bird stay warm and comfortable during the dry winter months.

Can parrots stay outside in winter?

Unless you live in a temperate climate that rarely gets below 65°, you'll want to bring your pet bird inside during the harsh winter months. 

A lot of people turn their furnace down at night  in the winter to save on their utility bills.Make sure that you don't let your household temperatures dip below  65° so that your bird doesn't get chilled.

Try to avoid using space heaters too warm in the room. Not only do they use a lot of electricity but most space heaters actually contain Teflon which can emit  dangerous gases into the air that might be deadly for your bird. you can learn more about the deadly effects of Teflon in this blog post.

It will also be important to run your humidifier in the dry winter months. Rainforests are known to have high humidity levels, like in the 80% range. Of course, you wouldn't want to keep your household humidity at 80% because they would cause a mold problem. I found that  cranking my humidifier up to 30% or more humidity keeps my birds fairly comfortable.

Birds have a tendency to experience dry nasal cavities, especially if they're deficient in vitamin A. in addition to running the humidifier, make sure to offer your pet a diverse range of plant-based foods so that your bird gets all the nutrients it needs in order to stay in optimum health.  

Nutrition plays a huge role in skin health? But, you can also adjust the climate of your home environment, and more specifically your bird room to support your bird.  I will talk about that more in depth in a minute.

What helps birds to stay warm during winters?

Dry, dehydrated skin and bone chilling cold leaves a parrot prone to illness.  Dry skin cracks letting in bacteria enter the body and attack the cells.  What's worse is that your bird chews on the uncomfortable area thereby adding to potential infections.

Long periods of dry, cold conditions can weaken your bird's Immune system and leave it vulnerable to respiratory infections, other infections, and a feather plucking habit.

What helps birds to stay warm during winters?

 Other than keeping your house relatively warm with moderate humidity, the next best thing that you can do to support your bird in the  dry, chilly winter months is to encourage it to eat a rich range of plant-based foods. A couple of nutrients that support external and internal skin Health in your bird include vitamin A and Omega fatty acids. here's your system.


Red Palm Oil for parrots is a nutritional powerhouse, as well. Red palm oil is a rich source of vitamin A, beta carotene, and essential fatty acids - namely the Omega’s. Vitamin A is directly responsible for supple skin health.

Both the outer skin and the tender skin tissue that lines the nasal cavity, the respiratory system, the reproductive system, and the digestive system. These are essential systems within your bird's body and when they're not properly lubricated, per se, your bird is not only extremely uncomfortable, but it is prone to developing deadly infections.

How do omegas help the body? We call Omega fatty acids 3, 6, and 9, Essential fatty acids because the body doesn't produce them so they need to be consumed within the diet. And, they are essential to health. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for cardiovascular health, cell membrane health, and how cell receptors function. Both omega-3 and omega-6 stimulate the skin and brain functioning. Omega 9 supports cardiovascular health, too.


Don’t forget to bathe your bird in the winter Even though it's cold outside your bird will still need frequent baths in the winter to remove dirt and debris from its feathers.

Powder down birds especially appreciate baths. You can learn how to bathe your bird here. Mist or bathe the next day your bird before noon to remove dirt, dust, and dander. Frequent baths stimulate healthy preening. Baths wash away dry, dead skin cells that make your bird feel itchy. Wild birds are believed to bathe each day.

But of course, they are in a temperate climate. leave me Bathe your bird in a warm room. Make sure that it doesn't get chilled. Attaching a Snuggle Up Cage Warmer near your bird's favorite spot to perch The Thermo-perch is another great investment for keeping your bird comfortable during the winter months. And, it serves double duty or supporting your bird if it does get sick.


Bird Lights: Full Spectrum bird lights provide important health benefits for birds that can't get outside and receive natural sunlight. They provide the UVA and UVB lighting that regulates your bird's nervous and its hormone reproductive health.

The only way that a bird can get adequate vitamin D3, which is an essential nutrient for both physical and mental health, is either true UVA and UVB lighting or in a calcium supplement like UnRuffledRx Bird Calcium. These bird lights replicate natural sunlight allowing even captive parrots to enjoy the benefits of sunshine.

While many bird light brands proclaim to simulate natural sunshine make sure to buy bird lights that are recommended for parrots such as Featherbrite Bird Lights.

Another way to support your bird's skin health is to spray it with a homeopathic bird spray like UnRuffledRx Aloe Vera Spray Birds. This natural plant-based formula made especially for pet birds provides many hydrating and other health benefits for your pet. It has analgesic properties that soothe skin irritation and antiseptic properties that ward off infection. 

Don’t forget

Finally, don't forget important parrot wellness strategies that support your exotic pets needs.

 I'm talking about things like:

  • Getting annual parrot wellness exams
  • Supporting the unique nutritional requirements of your exotic pet
  • Offering your bird I'm going and predictable parrot enrichment
  • Encouraging appropriate exercise
  •  Supporting safe pain management as your parrot experiences injuries and gets older
  •  And, keeping an eye on your parrots age-related care needs

By being aware of your exotic pets' particular care needs you can develop some routines that will support it so that you can enjoy your beloved lifelong companion. 

Related Post:

5 Do's & Don'ts For Better Winter Bird Care

Keep Your Bird Cozy This Winter Without Breaking The Bank

What You Should Be Doing To Give Your Parrot The Best Care This Winter

Diane Burroughs, LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist trained in ABA therapy techniques. She specializes in avian anxiety disorders and is certified in Nutrition For Mental Health. Diane has written a number of bird behavior books and she offers behavior consultations. She's developed a range of UnRuffledRx Science-backed Parrot Wellness Supplies.

Diane's products have been featured in the Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery and at Exoticscon, a conference for exotic pet veterinarians. Her bird collars & supplements are stocked in avian vet clinics and bird stores throughout the US. With over 30 years in the field of behavior, Diane has created thousands of successful individualized behavior plans that help pets thrive.

TAGS: #WinterBirdCare