Birds, by their very nature, are always on high alert. Therefore, in the wild, it’s in their best interest to be fully aware of their surroundings at all times so they know when predators are nearby. Companion birds may not have predators to worry about, but their DNA is coded to be aware of sudden sounds.
There’s nothing that causes sudden loud noises quite like a fireworks show. Unfortunately, your bird doesn’t know that fireworks are a celebratory event but only hears the excessively loud popping and booming sounds. This can be an incredibly stressful event for him because, in captivity, he cannot follow his instincts to flee when frightened.
Keep reading to find our tips on keeping your bird calm during fireworks.
The 7 Tips to Calm Your Bird During Fireworks
1. Cover Your Bird’s Cage
One of the easiest ways to calm your bird during the next fireworks display is to cover its cage before the first firework goes off. A cage cover tells your bird that it’s nighttime and that it should go to sleep. Not only will the cover help them go to sleep, but it will silence some of the loud noises and bright lights associated with fireworks.
Please note, however, that this may not be the best method if your bird isn’t used to having a cover on his cage at night. If putting a cover on is not part of your typical routine, you may risk stressing your pet out further by putting them into complete darkness when it is unfamiliar.
Alternatively, you can get your bird used to a cover before the next fireworks show. Start covering its cage at night every night when the event is about a month away.
2. Cover Your Windows
Keep your windows closed during the fireworks show. If your bird’s cage is near a window, close the blinds or curtains as soon as it starts getting dark out the night of the fireworks. If your window has no coverings, hang up a thick blanket to muffle the sound and cut out some of the flashing lights.
3. Stay Calm & Be Present
Birds are brilliant and can pick up on the moods of their human family. If your bird senses you’re anxious about the upcoming fireworks show, he may reflect these emotions and mimic your mood.
Instead, try to stay as calm as possible; your bird may pick up on that zen attitude. Then, when the fireworks show begins, and you’re relaxed and acting like it’s no big deal, he might also be able to stay undisturbed.
In addition to staying calm, be sure you’re present during the fireworks display. Stay in the room with your bird, snuggle up and maybe even read a book aloud or watch TV together. This will help your bird create a positive association with the fireworks and also be a bonding experience for the two of you, too.
4. Play Music
Some birds love listening to music, though they can be choosy as to the genre they prefer. Try playing relaxing spa-like music to set the mood for the fireworks show. If your bird responds better to another genre of music, play a medley of whatever they prefer. The goal is to keep your birds focused on sounds outside of the fireworks happening outside.
You can also try minimizing the sound of the fireworks with a television show or even a white noise machine.
5. Use Calming Products
Several calming supplements on the market may give your bird the relief he needs in stressful situations. As always, we recommend speaking with your avian vet before using any calming supplement for your bird.
6. Give Them a Place to Hide
Your bird may just need a place they can hide when the fireworks begin so they can feel in charge of the situation. Try hanging a giant toy in their cage that they can sneak behind when they feel afraid or threatened.
If your bird is nervous about new toys, put it in the cage well before the fireworks show, so they have time to acquaint themselves with it.
7. Playtime (Or Netflix and Chill) Distraction
Music, snuggles, and a Netflix binge session together can all be great distractions. But some birds may prefer distraction in the form of a new toy. Whatever the form of distraction, you know your bird best. And if new toys are a source of stress initially, don’t bring one into their environment on the day of the fireworks.
Signs of Fear and Stress in Birds
If your bird is afraid of the fireworks show, you may notice some of the following behaviors:
Keep an eye on your bird for these signs of stress and fear. If you notice these behaviors, one of the calming techniques above may be your best bet in combating this fear.
Firework displays can be an incredibly stressful event for your bird. Preparing a list of distraction techniques and calming strategies will be your best bet in staving off fear and stress. In some cases, you won’t need a shiny new toy or a blanket-covered window to provide relief; your bird may just need you to be there with them to let them know it’s all going to be okay.
Featured Image Credit: Gisha Bruev, Shutterstock