Who’s afraid of the dark?

My parakeet.

He dreads bedtime. He crouches forward, all narrow-eyed, or jumps around, looking for a way out when there isn’t one. A Lisa Shea says:

Parakeets need to sleep 10-12 hours every day. The vast majority of this is done at night. The cave should be covered with a cloth so it is dark and they feel safe. In nature, parakeets nest in hollows they gnaw out of Eucalyptus trees. You want your cage to sort of resemble that closed-in hollow so they feel safe and protected when they sleep.

Parakeet doesn’t mind the flash, though.

That’s what I had read many times, too, but my bird thinks I’m sealing him into a coffin every night. I do cover the cage partly, but one WHOLE side is left open for him. Okay, I turn out the lights, too. Am I so bad?

Here’s a pic of a nesting box from Petco. See what they’re supposed to enjoy? A nice cozy dark hole. Not this bird.

I put my canary to bed a few hours earlier than the parakeet. A canary needs his beauty sleep, like outdoor birds, which is quite a lot of hours sleeping. I’ve had canaries in the past who don’t like to be covered, and they open their big pink mouths wide, as if to hiss. (Which is a little scary, even without teeth.)  

This canary is more affectionate, however. When it was just him and me, he would stay awake as long as he possibly could, to let me know he was my healthy, energetic friend, who would not want to leave me alone at night. “No hurry, whenever is good for you.” I’d look over across the room and he’d move slightly; I think birds know that we can’t see as well as they can, and movement helps us see better. His head would droop, and he was all fluffed up, ready to go to sleep, but fighting it.

Now that the parakeet has joined us, the canary will take a little nap waiting for bedtime. He feels safer, with another bird waching over us. Unlike the parakeet, my canary enjoys the personal attention of me putting the cover on him at night. He feels special, like every prince.

I leave a corner of the cage uncovered for him, too. Birds like to peek out when they get up earlier than you do, which happens every day in this household.


  1. kinda mean said:

    Your parakeet would benefit having a buddy, or else a mirror in the cage to simulate another tweetybird. With the mirror, you’ll see him having a blast pecking at the mirror and jabbering away.

    You should cover his cage at night also, on three sides, as you mentioned.

    October 20, 2008
  2. He has two mirrors.
    I just SAID I cover his cage on 3 sides.

    But thanks for telling me what to do, kinda mean. You can be the parakeet police.

    October 25, 2008
  3. Flu-Bird said:

    maybe he is lonesome try getting him a mate or a mirror

    April 9, 2009
  4. Uh, thanks, Flu-Bird. I’ll think about it.

    April 11, 2009
  5. nadia said:

    looooool flu-bird u r funny as much as ur nick name ;)

    May 4, 2010

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