Parrots are descended from tropical and sub-tropical climates, so they’re accustomed to hot temperatures. However, wild parrots can shelter in the shade and benefit from refreshing breezes.
Pet parrots are confined to their cages and subjected to the ambient temperatures of the home.
The optimum temperature for captive parrots is 65OF to 80OF, but healthy birds can cope in slightly warmer conditions. Temperatures of 104OF or higher can cause overheating or heatstroke.
If a parrot is visibly panting through an open beak, holding its wings away from its body, drinking to excess, and declining to exercise, it’s struggling with the heat.
During hot weather, provide parrots with a room-temperature bath to splash in, mist the feathers, shade by closing curtains and drawing blinds, and circulate air with a tower fan or air conditioner.
What is the Best Temperature for Parrots?
Parrots cope better with warm weather than cold weather.
The ideal ambient temperature for larger parrots like macaws, African greys, and cockatiels is 65OF and 80OF, although smaller birds like parakeets and parrotlets prefer slightly lower temperatures.
This ideal temperature scale is broad, so how hot can parrots tolerate? While it’s advisable to keep the ambient temperature at a maximum of 80OF, healthy parrots can cope with heat for a while.
What Temperature Is Too Hot for Parrots?
When temperatures reach 104OF or higher, a parrot is in imminent danger. The parrot is at risk of dehydration and heatstroke if exposed to this heat level.
Can Parrots Moderate Their Body Temperature?
A parrot’s body temperature control becomes crucial at the hottest times of the year. Parrots molt as the seasons change, shedding feathers to allow air to circulate the skin and feet.
Unfortunately, birds don’t sweat, so they must reduce heat through panting. If a parrot feels too hot, it opens its beak and breathes deeply because this introduces cooler air and removes excess heat.
The ambient temperature around the parrot also needs to be comparatively cool. If a parrot is in a hot room with a breeze, it’ll find it increasingly difficult to moderate its temperature.
Can Parrots Overheat?
If temperatures are exceptionally hot, a parrot is at risk of overheating.
This can lead to heatstroke, resulting in loss of consciousness and eventual death. Dehydration is also a common side effect, which can be equally dangerous.
The Journal of Experimental Biology explains how wild Australian parrots are prone to mass mortality during freak weather conditions, such as heatwaves.
This outcome can be prevented by managing the ambient temperature around captive parrots.
Signs That a Parrot is Overheating
The warning signs that a parrot is overheating include:
- Puffing the feathers away from the body, aiming to get more air to the skin.
- Drooping and spreading the wings while standing with legs apart.
- Panting and breathing heavily.
- Changes in behavior, including aggression or unusual levels of passivity.
- Declining to exercise or interact with humans.
If you observe these signs and behaviors, steps must be taken to reduce the parrot’s body temperature.
How To Help Parrots in Hot Weather
Although wild parrots are native to tropical and sub-tropical conditions, captive birds can’t avoid the heat. So, protect the parrot from overhearing during hot spells.
Keeping the parrot’s weight down is even more important in hot conditions. If a parrot carries extra weight, it’ll find it increasingly difficult to breathe during the summer.
Before the summer, reduce the parrot’s calories and give it more exercise.
Parrots need more clean, fresh drinking water in the summer months.
Healthy parrots drink little and often, so do not expect to find them drinking constantly. If the parrot isn’t approaching its water, consider switching to filtered or bottled water.
Parrots can be fussy, and some dislike the taste of tap water. Consider adding electrolytes to its drinking water during hot weather. Pedialyte is a popular choice.
Wild parrots cool off in hot weather by frolicking in the water.
You can recreate this experience at home by offering the parrot a bath in room-temperature water. The water will evaporate on the parrot’s skin and reduce its body temperature.
Avoid using refrigerated water or putting ice cubes in the water because it could cause shock.
Run the water, let it reach an appropriate temperature, and splash a little. The parrot will take notice and likely decide that it looks like fun.
Mist The Parrot
Misting can keep a parrot cool and refreshed in hot weather. This is important if the parrot is starting to molt in the heat, as water loosens the keratin that covers its pin feathers.
Use a clean spray bottle that has never housed cleaning chemicals for misting the parrot and fill it with room-temperature water. Set the nozzle to a fine spray, as you’re not looking to soak your bird.
Spray the mist in the vicinity before applying it on the parrot. If you mist yourself, the parrot realizes there’s nothing to be afraid of. Soon, the parrot will start to welcome misting as part of its daily routine.
Fans And Air Conditioners
The simplest way to cool off your parrot is to utilize a fan or air conditioning.
However, it must be approached with care to protect the parrot. Don’t use a ceiling fan during any out-of-cage time, as there’s a risk that the parrot will injure itself on the rotating blades.
Tower fans and wall-mounted AC units are usually safe but don’t blow the cool air directly onto the parrot. Birds can be spooked and irritated by draughts applied directly to their face or body.
A gentle breeze that circulates the room is fine, as this will reduce the ambient temperature.
Ensure the parrot has access to a shaded area to retreat to during the day.
Pull the blinds or close the curtains if the parrot is caged while you’re away for several hours. This prevents the parrot from facing constant sun exposure.
In homes with large windows, you may need to consider relocating the parrot’s cage during the hottest months. Assess the temperature in each room, identifying the safest location.