Just as we enjoy the outdoors, so do our birds. After all, outdoors is their natural habitat. But pet birds need extra care if we want them to have some fresh air and sun.
If you’ve trained your bird to use a harness, make sure that it fits well. If you take your bird outside in his/her cage, check all doors and food containers so that they are secure and your bird can’t escape and fly off.
Start slowly to accustom your bird to being outside. Begin with only a few minutes, lengthening the time to about 15-20 minutes. Be aware of the temperature. If your bird holds its wings out at the sides, it’s trying to circulate the air. It may also be breathing open-mouthed. If this happens, take your bird indoors immediately into the air-conditioning. Don’t place your bird near any air vents as the blowing air can cause illness. It may be best to go out early in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are lower.
NEVER leave your bird outdoors unattended. Cats can easily scales fences and some dogs can as well. If it’s too hot outdoors and you are uncomfortable, your bird will be uncomfortable too. Beware of predator birds such as hawks, eagles and more. The cage does not provide enough safety against these birds which is why it’s important for you to be there at all times.
While too much sunlight can be harmful to your bird, some sunlight can be healthful. Sunlight can strengthen bones and beaks, improve the immune system, kill germs and bacteria on feathers and skin, aid vision, help in the production of vitamin D3, an aid to calcium absorption.
Sunlight can also improve the mood and behavior of your bird. We all know how depressing days without sunlight can be. The same is true for your bird.
If you can’t take your bird outdoors for a bit of sun, you might consider full spectrum lighting which has some of the advantages of sunlight. Be sure to purchase lighting specifically for birds.
Have some outdoor time with your best feathered friend.