Can Parrots See in the Dark?

One might assume because some birds have a nocturnal vision that parrots can see just as well in the dark. However, what a bird is capable of entirely depends on their species and how their specific species have developed over time. If you are considering having a parrot has a pet, consider learning about their night vision.   

Parrots have trouble seeing in the dark. They have trouble in low-lit situations and environments. It’s because of the structure of the parrot’s eyes having fewer cones and rods, resulting in low light-sensing photoreceptors.  

Because of this, they are a very active daytime bird. When nighttime rolls around, they aren’t completely blind, but with the poor vision, it’s recommended that they are in an environment they are familiar with. It’s important to learn about their sleeping patterns and how parrots react to night time if you are considering them as a pet. Read on to find out more about this information.

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A Parrots Vision

Oddly enough, parrots have an excellent daytime vision. Some birds have eyes that similar to a human and close together while some birds have eyes that are separated more on the side of their heads. If you think about a parrot, their eyes are on the side, giving them peripheral vision. They have a larger field of vision because of this and is about 300 degrees total.

Parrots also have a better depth perception than humans as well as better color vision. So how is that they can’t see in the dark and why?  

This is because, in general, they have fewer light-sensing photoreceptors that are known as rods and cones.


–   Photoreceptors that are responsive to changes in darkness and lightness.

–   Also known for perceiving shape and movement.


–   Help us see color (only work in bright light)

Because of their lack of photoreceptors, it makes it hard for them to have anything but limited vision at nighttime. So does this mean that parrots need light at nighttime?


Do Parrots Need Light at Night?

Most people think that the answer to the solution is to provide a light at nighttime for the birds to be able to see and safely move around. However, because of the sleep needs of the parrot, light is not the solution to the problem of their low visibility at nighttime.  

It’s more important to work on the environment itself in a safe way for your parrot. The light can keep a parrot awake at nighttime, which is not optimal. Instead, providing a familiar environment such as their café every night around bedtime is optimal.

Keeping the bird inside the cage at night is important to ensure they won’t wander out and bump into things and hurt themselves. Keeping their favorite toys, water, food around them, so they don’t have to travel far is also important to reassure their comfort.  

How Do Parrots Sleep?

Sleep is incredibly important for parrots as they are originated from tropical climates where typically there is 12 hours of sunlight and 12 hours od nighttime. This had led for a minimum of 10 hours of sleep for pet parents, and with insufficient sleep, there can be a number of issues you may encounter with your bird.  

–  The bird can become stressed, and this can lead to behavioral issues.

–  Health issues may arrive with sleep deprivation with a weakened immune system.   

Some species of parrots who are exposed to too much light end up breeding with chronic egg-laying.  

There are a number of things recommended in order for the parrot to get its sleep, such as setting a schedule in which the parrot wakes up during sunrise and goes to bed as the sun goes down. However, this is not always possible because different parts of the world have different time zones with a different amount of hours of sunlight per day.   

This is when a cloth can come in handy to help cover the cage. However, some parrots do have night terrors, so sometimes a separate dark room where it is quiet can be helpful as well. If the owner has a different schedule than their parrots, the room is typically recommended the most as parrots are disturbed easily.

Can Birds Be Afraid of the Dark

Just like human’s parrots can experience night terrors and with low visibility, it can heighten the scariness of their experience. Each bird, however, is different and shows different signs that they may be afraid of the dark. Below is a chart to help tell some of the signs.    

Reason Reaction Solution
Quick Change Light to Dark The bird may start making a lot of noise or wandering around anxiously instead of calming down.  They may call their favorite person/owner frantically not to leave them.   The truth is, in their natural habitats, the light fades gradually as darkness creeps in. This is why it’s good for their bird to see the sun go down and start to settle in around nightfall.
Night Terrors Birds dream just like humans do, and so when they experience night terrors, they might feel frantic like they need to move. Even worse, they cannot see well and might panic more.   This is where the cloth may or may not help you. The cloth sometimes can help with keeping the disturbance of light out bit contribute to the bird being scared.  If the cloth is not working, opt for a different room to put the cage in that provides darkness but is not necessary for the cloth.   
Noise When all the lights are out in a house, and you hear a noise, you get spooked. The same goes for the birds as it disturbs them. They might start to call for their owner and scream from not being able to see where the noise is coming from.   Finding a soundproof part of your house is important when putting the parrot down for sleep. A room as far away as the TV or people walking around is important. Also important to keep the bird away from outside noises.    

Human Comparison

Parrots are sought after pets because of their ability to interact with humans. The unique way in which they communicate with us and after so active during the daytime and nonnative daring the nighttime makes them great companions if we are willing to stray from the usual cat and dog house pet.

Shaving said that consider them as a human when it comes to its health needs. Nighttime can be particularly hard for parrots, so ensuring they get their proper sleep just like a human is imperative. When humans are tired, they are irritable. The same goes for our parrots.

Humans also don’t see well in the night, so we do the convenient things like keeping water close so we don’t have to disturb our sleep. The exact same should be done for a parrot, so they don’t have to take a tumble to find water in case they are thirsty.

When in doubt, think what would a human need?

Final Thoughts

Because of their distinct personalities and needs that derived from their origin of tropical climates, it’s essential to cater to their needs. As mentioned earlier, if you do not cater to your parrot’s health needs, there can be a number of consequences that neither you nor your bird wants to have.  

Especially with their vision’s ability to decline as humans would as they get older, it’s important to provide the proper comfort and environment in the dark to ensure your parrot’s safety.