Do Budgies Need Sunlight? ( Complete Guide)

Last Updated on January 8, 2024 by Ali Shahid

I always let my budgies enjoy the sunlight coming from the front room on a sunny day. Sunbathing is one of their favorite activities. In the past, I’ve always found it amusing, and just thought it was one of their quirks.

During a recent conversation with a friend, he mentioned that he makes sure his budgies are exposed to sunlight every day. The question of whether budgies need sunlight motivated me to investigate the issue. Do Budgies need sunlight?

Yes, budgies do need sunlight for 20-30 minutes every day. According to a study, parrots need natural, full-spectrum sunlight to stay healthy. Sunlight is important for their overall health and well-being as it helps in the production of Vitamin D, which is essential for their bone health. It also helps regulate their sleep patterns and can positively impact their mood and behavior. A gloomy environment will not make your budgie feel good, but direct sunlight is great for your budgie’s mood and energy. When budgies get sunlight, they benefit greatly. However, it’s important to provide them with access to both sunlight and shade to prevent overheating.

While it depends on a variety of factors, there are ways to give budgies adequate sunlight, even if you live in the Arctic Circle. Let’s take a closer look at the question in more detail and see what we can learn from it.

Is Sunlight Good for Budgies?

In the avian world, the term cholecalciferol is used to refer to Vitamin D3. Budgies can ingest Vitamin D3 in their food, but sunlight is required to activate its benefits. An important benefit is that budgie’s body absorbs calcium and phosphorus.

The amount of Vitamin D your budgie absorbs per pound of pellets depends on how much it eats. Until the bird is exposed to the sun, it will sit dormant. Direct sun exposure is required, so an open window won’t do.

The budgie can absorb calcium into its bloodstream as soon as it is provided with the benefits of D3. According to Veterinary Clinics of North America, birds’ internal organs and strong bone growth require calcium for optimal performance.

The absorption and excretion of phosphorus are also regulated by vitamin D3. Minerals like this one keep budgies’ skeletons healthy and strong. Additionally, it promotes egg production in females by balancing their hormones.

The only way in which vitamin D3 can be obtained is through food and sunlight. Supplements should only be given when recommended by a veterinarian for your bird. Your bird can become ill from too much Vitamin D.

Benefits of Sunlight for Budgies

Sunlight holds immense importance for the vitality and health of budgies. Here are several advantages that sunlight exposure offers to these birds:

Vitamin D Production: Sunlight enables budgies to synthesize vitamin D3, crucial for robust bone health, effective calcium absorption, and overall vitality.

Healthy Skin and Feathers: The UV rays present in sunlight act as a natural deterrent against bacteria and parasites on the budgie’s feathers. This protection fosters the growth of healthy feathers while preserving the bird’s skin health.

Boosted Immune System: The production of vitamin D3, facilitated by sunlight exposure, plays a pivotal role in fortifying the budgie’s immune system, enhancing its ability to ward off illnesses.

Elevated Mood and Activity: Natural light exposure has a positive impact on the budgie’s disposition, elevating its mood, and stimulating increased activity, thereby enriching its overall quality of life.

Regulation of Cycles: Sunlight exposure aids in maintaining regular breeding and molting patterns in budgies, ensuring their biological cycles remain consistent.

To facilitate adequate sunlight exposure for your budgie, consider positioning its cage where it can access natural sunlight or incorporate a UVB light source. However, exercise caution and limit direct sunlight exposure to no more than five minutes daily to avoid potential sunburn. Ensure your budgie has access to shade and a cool environment during these periods to mitigate the risk of overheating or dehydration.

Should budgies be kept in sunlight?

Budgies are known as parrots, but did you know they’re also called parakeets? Originally from Australia, they’re usually thought of as outdoor pets due to their exposure to sunlight and fresh air.

You will need to provide your budgie with the best indoor accommodations if you cannot give them a nice aviary. Your enclosure must be well-lit, have plenty of fresh air, and is always well-stocked with food and water.

If you observe your bird’s feathers regularly for signs of discoloration, you will know if it is getting enough sunlight.

How Long Should Budgies Be Kept in Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight is beneficial to budgies, but only to the extent that they are exposed. As a general rule, five minutes per day are sufficient, but there are several variables to take into account, such as season, temperature, and location of the cage.

Budgies cannot be placed in direct sunlight at high noon in some areas during the summer. Window glass blocks ultraviolet rays, so outdoor light is best. Keep your bird out of direct sunlight when it is unsupervised.

Side Effect of Too Much Sunlight

Budgies indeed require sunlight to survive, but they can overheat very quickly when exposed to it. Heatstroke is one of the most common illnesses among birds, especially when they are taken for a vet’s visit in a hot car.

Your budgie may be suffering from heat stroke if he pants and holds his wings out from his body. In addition to that, he may display a dull expression on his face or become agitated. Recognizing signs of heatstroke in budgies is vital for their well-being. Here are some indicators to be aware of:

  1. Panting or Open-Mouth Breathing: If you notice your budgie panting or breathing rapidly with its mouth open, it’s attempting to regulate its body temperature.
  2. Wing Positioning: Budgies may spread their wings away from their bodies, aiming to increase airflow and cool down.
  3. Behavioral Changes: Overheating can cause budgies to display signs of anxiety, agitation, or restlessness.
  4. Glassy-Eyed Appearance: A distant or glassy-eyed gaze could signify heat stress, with the budgie possibly becoming less responsive to its surroundings.
  5. Physical Instability: Watch for signs like unsteadiness or instances where the budgie struggles to maintain its balance, potentially leading to falls.
  6. Severe Symptoms: In critical situations, budgies might undergo convulsions, indicating a severe heatstroke episode.

If you suspect heatstroke in your budgie, swift action is crucial. Immediately relocate the bird to a cooler environment, whether it’s a shaded spot or an air-conditioned room. Provide fresh, cool water for drinking, and lightly mist your budgie with water to aid in lowering its body temperature. Additionally, placing a cool, moist towel over its head and chest can offer relief. Should your budgie’s condition not show improvement or deteriorate further, promptly consult a veterinarian for expert assistance.

UV Lights For Budgies

There are three types of ultraviolet light: UVA, UVB, and UVC. A bird (and a reptile) can see UVA, which could aid them in selecting ripe food and identifying mates. UVB triggers vitamin D production, also known as the “sunshine vitamin”.

 Budgies need vitamin D for calcium metabolism and immune function. The earth’s ozone layer normally filters out UVC and it is not present on Earth. The cornea, eyelids, and skin can also become inflamed when exposed to high doses of UVA and UVB radiation.

It is sometimes possible to synthesize UVC to sterilize microorganisms synthetically. Bird lights are available at most pet stores. An enclosure-fitting fluorescent bulb is also available at your local hardware store.

To be effective, the fixture must be mounted at least 12 inches above the top of the cage and 10-12 inches along the cage’s sides.

It is recommended that the bulb emits UVB radiation for 5-10 hours every day and provides enough UVA illumination to provide comfort for your pet.

The lamp shouldn’t be larger than 12 inches and should not have more than 8 watts of power. By seeking shade, the budgie will be able to regulate its body temperature and light levels.

As a final note, it should be noted that budgies are notorious for chewing on electrical wires. If you are choosing a lamp, select or modify a model that minimizes the danger potential.

Conclusion

Budgies must be exposed to sunlight or UV light for about 20-20 minutes every day to stay healthy and happy. It is ideal to do this daily, but every 2-3 days is sufficient. During the rest of the day, let it enjoy direct sunlight through a window.

To prevent damage to their eyes and sensitive skin, budgies must not be exposed to direct sunlight for a long period.

Author

  • 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.

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