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why does my parrot wake up so early?

Why Do Parrots Wake Up So Early in The Morning?

(Last Updated On: August 18, 2023)

Parrots are early risers, typically becoming vocal as soon as the sun rises.

Birds are controlled by their circadian rhythms, pairing sleep and waking routines with the rise and fall of the sun. All birds, including parrots, sleep at sunset and awaken at dawn.

Parrots become vocal upon waking up, vocalizing loudly. In the wild, this is to check on the welfare of flockmates and declare that it’s time to gather and forage for food. Birds eat twice a day.

A pet parrot will behave identically, checking you’re okay and letting you know it wants food.

What Time Do Parrots Wake Up?

Most parrots are diurnal, meaning they’re active during the day. This is because parrots can’t see well in darkness, and it’s easier to locate food and remain safe from predators while the sun is out.

Parrots have a cycle of about 12 hours of being awake and 12 hours of sleep.

Why Does My Parrot Wake Up So Early?

While a pet parrot needn’t worry about finding food during the day as its needs are met, it’ll still keep the same hours as a wild bird. This means that pet parrots will wake up first thing in the morning.

A parrot is governed by its circadian rhythms, which is an instinctual desire to match its sleeping patterns with the rise and fall of the sun. This will be heavily influenced by the changing seasons.

Artificial light can help keep a bird awake, but a parrot’s instincts will always be to follow an “early to bed, early to rise” sleep pattern. This means bird owners may be unable to sleep or wake up late.

what time to parrots wake up?

Why Do Parrots Make Noise at Sunrise?

Birds become extremely vocal when the sun rises. A parrot that vocalizes loudly at dawn will disturb your sleep and may upset neighbors who are woken up prematurely on a work day.

Why do parrots scream in the morning when this behavior seems unnecessary? There are two primary explanations, both of which are related to the bird’s wild instincts:

Connecting with A Flock

Wild parrots live in large flocks of hundreds of birds, separating into smaller groups to feed.

Not all flock members can sleep in the same location due to space or logistical restrictions, so the parrots unite upon waking in the morning. When parrots awaken, they squawk and scream.

The birds are announcing they’re awake and active, and it’s time for others to come together to form their pandemonium (the collective name for a group of wild parrots.)

Current Biology explains how parrots create unique sounds that others recognize and mimic unique calls. This helps each parrot understand that a member of its flock is calling and it’s safe to approach.

Once the flock is united, they can confirm the terrain is safe. This usually involves searching for food, as up to 80% of a wild parrot’s day is spent foraging.

Parrots may go their separate ways after this initial greeting, but the morning roll call sets minds at rest that the flock is safe and the terrain can be returned to at the end of a long day.


Following sleep, parrots wake up hungry. This is why wild parrots immediately start foraging upon uniting in the morning. Upon waking, a captive parrot squawks loudly to announce that it wants to eat.

The human instinct is to immediately respond to this call and provide food. While this is admirable, it also creates a “feedback loop” in the bird’s mind – loud vocalizations result in getting fed.

Can I Train My Parrot to Sleep Later?

If a pet bird is disturbing your sleep cycle, forcing you to rise earlier than you would like, things can be done to train a parrot to stay awake and sleep for 1-2 additional hours.

While parrots can be taught to fit into the lives of their human carers, instinct is hard for a wild animal to overcome. Parrots are naturally inclined to be early risers.

Covering a parrot’s cage can be beneficial. A thick – but breathable – cover will block access to the morning sun, especially if the parrot also sleeps in a room with drawn blinds or drapes.

You’ll still need to perform training and make lifestyle changes.

Later Bedtimes

Parrots need at least 10 hours of sleep, so the best way to get a bird to wake up later is to delay bedtime. Artificial light will appear the same as natural light to a parrot.

Parrots relish routine, so keeping a bird up for 2 hours longer than usual won’t be well-received. You’ll likely find it squawks when it expects the cage to be covered, growing increasingly upset.

Push a parrot’s bedtime back in small increments, increasingly daily.

Start by covering the cage 10 minutes later than usual, then 20, then 30, until you reach a point where the bird has a new anticipated bedtime. Evening feedings must also be delayed.

Start this training in the winter if possible. Many parrots enter the breeding season and experience hormonal fluctuations in the spring and summer.

Staying awake longer, with more sunlight exposure, can increase the desire to mate. This can lead to chronic egg-laying in females or undesirable and hostile behaviors in males.

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Separate Cage for Sleeping

Once you’ve established a new bedtime for a parrot, get a second cage used exclusively for sleeping.

House the second cage in a different part of the home, which you won’t need to access in the morning. This ensures that mornings are quiet and the bird doesn’t hear you moving around or talking.

Maintain a low profile in the morning until you’re ready for the parrot to wake up. If you can stay quiet and undetected during the early morning hours, the parrot is likelier to remain asleep.

Early Morning Entertainment

You may be able to avoid being disturbed if you provide things for the bird to do in the morning. A parrot that has the opportunity to play may be more content to remain quiet and covered for longer.

Populate the cage with familiar, favored toys. These will give a parrot something to look forward to in the morning and may inspire a quieter start to the day if the parrot wakes up before you’re ready.

Parrots are early risers, and this instinct can’t be changed in birds as it underpins their very existence. However, cage covers and artificial light can slightly modify the sleep-wake cycles of birds.

If the sleep-wake cycles of parrots are adjusted, they must get enough sleep to remain happy and healthy. Sleep-deprived parrots become moody and unhappy, leading to negative behaviors.