Autumn/Winter care for exotic birds

There are a surprising number of people around Bromsgrove, Hagley, and Rubery who keep exotic pet birds like African Grey Parrots, Senegal/Meyer’s Parrots, Macaws, Conures, Lories, Cockatoos, Cockatiels, Budgies, Parakeets, and Lovebirds.

Species of exotic pet birds tend to originate from much warmer environments than the average UK home. Autumn is the ideal time to prepare your exotic bird’s home and routine for the Winter months ahead.  

Autumn/Winter exotic bird care tips: 

12 tips that are worth considering as the nights draw in. 

  • Ensure your house/aviary is warm with no drafts - depends on species, but 20OC is a good starting point.  
  • Consider a cage/aviary cover at night to keep the warmth in. 
  • If your heating is on, provide good airflow and ventilation for optimal health.  
  • Keep humidity levels appropriate for your bird species. 
  • Avoid stand-alone electric/gas room heaters as they can give off toxic fumes. Likewise, open fires, candles, and incense sticks can be very bad for your bird’s health due to smoke and fumes. 
  • Invest in a Winter tent for inside your bird’s aviary, they’re usually insulated and ideal for extra warmth. 
  • Provide lukewarm birdbaths (remove as they go cold). Your bird should be able to quickly dry off after. 
  • Change drinking water regularly to keep it at room temperature. 
  • Boost your exotic bird’s immune system with a healthy vitamin-rich diet. 
  • Keep lights on during the evening and reduce long periods of darkness to avoid your bird getting stressed. In case of power cuts, keep battery-powered lighting to-hand. Birds and hot uncovered lightbulbs do not mix well. 
  • Research which seasonal plants are toxic to exotic birds and avoid them. 
  • Keep your bird away from festive decorations as these can cause stomach blockages and make them poorly.  

Parrots in captivity need a little extra Autumn (and Spring) care due to hormones - triggers include: 

  • Light - ensure 12-14 hours of undisturbed sleep in complete darkness and plenty of sunshine or a UV-A lamp in the day. 
  • Diet - avoid pellets & sugary/fatty foods, and warm/mushy foods which can mimic regurgitated food from a ‘mate’. 
  • Cuddling - petting a hormonal parrot’s head, neck, or feet, and bobbing your head, can make them think you’re their sexual mate, so avoid this.  
  • Environment - don’t give them blankets, boxes, parrot tents, or access to shadowy nooks during hormone season as they may try to nest and become aggressive. Exercise can help them blow off steam!