Birds can easily be frightened by loud noises, and thunderstorms have been known to make birds quite anxious and stressed. That’s why keeping your bird calm during this time is so important. Thunderstorms can make your bird flighty, and they may attempt to fly around the enclosure and become vocal to show they are in distress.
We have compiled a list of tips that you can apply to help keep your bird as stress-free as possible during thunderstorms and help your bird feel calmer during these times.
The 6 Tips to Keep Your Bird Calm During a Thunderstorm
1. Keep Your Bird Indoors
If your birds are in an aviary outdoors, it is best to take them inside during a thunderstorm. It will be beneficial to have a cage set up for emergencies like this so that you can keep them inside where it is safe, and the noise is reduced. If your bird is already indoors, make sure that the cage is moved away from windows where the sound may be the loudest.
Rain and cloudy weather that usually comes with thunderstorms can also make your bird uncomfortable, which is why being indoors will be the safest option for them. The indoor cage should have water, food, perches, and a hideout where your bird can take shelter if they feel scared.
2. Do Not Place Them in a Dark Environment
Most people will try and place their birds in a dark environment by either turning off the lights or covering the cage with a blanket to try and get the bird to sleep during the storm. However, this does not always work. The loud thunderstorm will keep your bird awake and since many domestic birds like parrots do not have good night vision, they may feel even more stressed being in a dark environment.
Though they cannot see their surroundings they will still be kept awake by the loud noises from the thunderstorm. Your bird does not have to be in a brightly lit room, but a dim light source will work so that they can still see.
3. Close Windows and Doors
By closing windows and doors, you will be able to reduce the noise of the thunderstorm. It is also important to keep your bird away from windows where the sounds of the thunder will be the loudest. Moving the cage to the quietest room in the house where it is the least busy is a good option, and avoid placing them in rooms where the sound of thunder echoes the loudest, like an empty garage.
If it is raining during the thunderstorm, the battering sound of rain against the window may also stress your bird out further. The blinds and curtains of the windows should be closed to prevent the lightning from scaring your bird.
4. Play Gentle Background Music
You do not want to keep your bird in complete silence during thunderstorms, which is why you can try playing soft background music on a low volume from a speaker. Classical music and either white or pink noise will also work to make sure that the only sounds your bird is hearing are not from the loud bang of thunder. Music can also help drown out the thunder. Complete silence followed by the occasional sounds of thunder can make birds even more stressed than if the room is filled with background noises.
5. Try Calming Supplements
With the guidance of an avian veterinarian, you can try to use natural supplements that can help calm your bird down and are safe for pets. The type of calming supplement you use will depend on the type of bird you have, and the vet will be able to help you get the dosage correct according to your bird’s weight and size. There are calming aids available that will not cause your bird to become drowsy, depending on its ingredients. Some calming supplements that you can use for your bird include the UnRuffledRx Parrot Calming Dietary Supplement.
6. Keep Your Bird Busy
Making sure your bird is kept busy during a thunderstorm can help keep its mind off of the loud noises and lightning. You can offer them a new toy or give them treats to reward them for their good behavior. Ensuring that your bird’s mind is occupied while a thunderstorm is happening can be a good distraction while keeping your bird enriched with the activity they are doing.
Sitting by the cage and talking with your bird in a calming voice can also keep them busy, however, you should avoid taking them out of the cage in case lightning or thunder frightens them enough to fly away from you.
Thunderstorms can be scary for birds, but by using methods to keep your birds calm and reduce their stress during this time, you will find that you can make thunderstorms a bearable experience for them. The most important method to take is to make sure that your bird is indoors during the thunderstorm so that they are not exposed to the elements. Being indoors can also help reduce the sound of thunder especially if they are in a quiet room.
Some birds will eventually become used to thunderstorms after a while, but others may need to be calmed down each time depending on the bird.
Featured Image Credit: Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash