Budgies Under UV Lights ( Glowing Budgies)

Last Updated on July 28, 2022 by Ali Shahid

Are you one of those curious budgie parents? Do you spend a lot of time finding fascinating things about budgies? If the answer is yes then I will reveal interesting research related to budgies. It is believed that if you place a budgie under UV light, some of what is invisible becomes visible.

The green budgie and yellow/lutino budgie will glow in the dark. On the other hand, Budgies with blue or albino coloring, do not glow in the dark due to the lack of yellow pigment in their plumage.

Because of this, the chances of them finding a mate are low, unless they are alone with one. According to experts feathers present on the crown of the head and cheeks of a budgie reflect UV light.

Their feathers contain ultraviolet pigments that make them attractive to both males and females of the same species! Therefore, scientists believe that budgies can see ultraviolet light.

Their eyes have four types of color-sensing cells, whereas the human eye has only three types of color-sensing cells. These pigmented feathers appear exceptionally bright on budgies, and the females seem to be attracted to them.

Budgies Under UV Lights

As I mentioned earlier budgies have feathers that contain pigments. These feathers reflect UV lights. But as humans, we cannot see them glowing. But in contrast, budgies can see UV lights.

They have 4 color sensing cells while humans have only 3 color cells. These four cells in their eyes are responsible for allowing them to see into the ultraviolet spectrum. This is why when a budgie is placed under a UV light it appears to glow to other budgies.

Popular Queensland study

The facts you’ll learn from this study will amaze you. Two groups of budgies were studied in this study. Budgies in the first group were treated with petroleum jelly and sunscreen. The second group of budgies was not covered in sunscreen but with petroleum jelly.

The study shows very interesting results. The sunscreen did not block any other colors in the first group of budgies, but it blocked UV light reflected by their feathers. In the second group, petroleum jelly was all they had, not sunscreen.

So they didn’t block UV lights. These two groups of budgies were then presented to female budgies for selection. UV-colored ones or non-UV-colored ones.

Females began to prefer males without sunscreen. UV pigments are found in the feathers of many birds, especially those with bright colors. In this case, ultraviolet attraction signaling was observed for the first time.

Looking at budgies under UV light

Having read the last few interesting facts about budgies, let’s proceed to the next one. This is yet another incredible experiment. The purpose of this experiment was to determine what happens to budgies when exposed to UV lights.

To conduct this experiment, a glass-fronted cage painted in a beige color was necessary. Later, the shed lights were turned off, and the budgies were exposed to UV light in different colors.

The reason glowing birds can see UV rays is that, unlike humans, they have four cells. Although UV light is hard to see, it produces UV pigments on these little birds that fluoresce in the dark. Suddenly, everything changed.

There were some bright fluorescing feathers on the light green budgie. The feathers of yellow budgies were also very brightly fluorescing. The fluorescing feathers did not appear on blues or albinos. The reason is that they don’t contain yellow pigment at all.

It is also interesting to note that the black-eyed yellow budgie had some fluorescing feathers, but those were much darker than the other fluorescing feathers on the bird. It is the same for both males and females. 

People Also Ask

Is UV light good for budgies?

There are a couple of really neat ways in which budgies can get Vitamin D. A good example of this is that they coat their feathers with the oil from the glands in their “preen” glands.

Vitamin D is produced when the oil is exposed to ultraviolet rays, and when the bird grooms itself again, it consumes the vitamin D from its feathers.

Is UV light harmful to birds?

It is generally considered safe to have a UVI below 5. Compared to mammals, birds’ skin and corneas are thinner. Their sensitivity to ultraviolet light may be due to this reason. A bird with bare facial skin is particularly at risk.

Do budgies see ultraviolet?

Due to a class of photoreceptors that are highly sensitive to violet light and ultraviolet light, budgies can see ultraviolet (UV) light. Humans have trichromacy, while birds have a tetrachromatic color space.


  • Ali Shahid

    Ali Shahid is a veterinarian by profession and an animal lover. He loves to give expert opinions about different animals. He has worked in top organization of birds like Bigbird Feed and Poultry Research institute. He loves birds, especially parrots and has great experience in different parrot farms.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *