Do Budgies get Cold at Night?

Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 10:36 pm

Written by Isra P

Do budgies get cold at night? The answer to the previous question might surprise a few. Budgies are native to Australia, and in this land, temperatures vary greatly. Still, the regions these birds inhabit have mostly tropical and subtropical climates, indicating they prefer warm weather.

Budgies do get cold at night, especially when temperatures fall below 60°F (15.55°C). When they get cold, these birds crouch and puff up to keep the warm air inside their feathers. However, if the temperature keeps dropping, they become lethargic, sleep all the time, lose their appetite, and may even die.

Luckily, there are several steps you can take to prevent hypothermia from setting in before it’s too late for your pets. They are easy to implement, and the best part is that you and your budgies will have a worry-free good night’s sleep.

Keep reading to find out how much cold your birds can handle and what you can do to protect them.

Budgies get too cold if the temperature drops below 60°F (15.55°C). It’s at this point they become uncomfortable and stressed. Remember that budgies are native to Australia’s hot and dry regions, so they aren’t used to dealing with frigid temperatures.

However, they do have some mechanisms that help them regulate their body temperature, and a few degrees below what they are used to is not a problem.

Normally, budgies can handle temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). But things get rough for them when the weather gets even colder.

Can Budgies Survive Chilly Winters?

Budgies can handle chilly temperatures to a degree. But, even though these feathered friends of ours are pretty hardy creatures, they have their limits when it comes to temperature.

They can do their best to conserve heat and energy by resting, but when temperatures go lower than 60°F (15.55°C), budgies can easily get sick and may suffer hypothermia. Sure, they could get lucky and might make it, but the odds are against them.

How do Budgie Warm Themselves?

Budgies are resourceful, with a few tricks up their feathers to keep themselves warm. As long as the temperature doesn’t drop too much, they can avoid the dreaded hypothermia by applying one or more of their intuitive ways to preserve heat.

puff up male blue budgie

Puffing up

The first thing budgies do when exposed to low temperatures is puff up. By fluffing up their feathers, these birds use the feather’s inner layers to trap pockets of air close to their bodies. As they do this, the air insulates them from the cold air. In addition, the outer layers are used to shield them from the icy wind. Although it’s an effective method for preserving heat, it can only be sustained for a short time.

Shivering

Budgies are similar to us. We all shiver when temperatures get too low. But why is that? Well, shivering is an automatic body response when the environment is cold to reduce heat loss.

When that happens, a budgie’s bones and muscles will shake and vibrate to generate heat and maintain the body’s temperature. Of course, the process consumes a lot of energy and may work only for a few hours until the muscles become too tired.

Roosting

Another way for budgies to keep themselves warm is by getting together in groups, especially at night. Large flocks gather to share their heat and conserve it for as long as possible (resource).

Combined with puffing up, roosting help budgies slow down their metabolism to reduce energy usage. If you have two or more budgies, they will do that if the temperature gets too uncomfortable.

Crouching

Budgies crouch quite often, especially when they are getting ready to sleep. But they might also do it when the weather is too cold.

You see, budgies dissipate a lot of their bodies’ heat through their legs, and that’s something they want to avoid when temperatures are dropping fast. For that reason, they will almost always hunch while keeping one leg inside their feathers to retain as much heat as possible.

Tucking Their head

Another behavior you may notice when budgies need warmth is hiding the beaks in their necks. While they do the same when they are about to nap or sleep, it’s also useful to prevent heat loss.

Unusual Activity

At night, budgies prefer to sleep than do anything else. Still, from time to time, they might show bursts of peculiar quick movements to generate more heat.

What are the Symptoms of a Cold Budgie?

So you’re wondering how to tell if your budgies are feeling more chilly than they would like. Well, let me tell you, our pets can be pretty good at hiding their discomfort, but there are a few telltale signs to watch out for.

puffy budgies

When their techniques to warm themselves are not enough, they will let you know by behaving in a certain way.

Often, it is similar to what they do when getting sick; therefore, you have to find out if their room temperature is close to or below 60°F (15.55°C). If that’s the case, you must take all possible measures to warm them up.

Excessive Sleeping

It’s normal for budgies to be sleeping at night. However, they might have difficulty waking up if the temperature gets too low. If your pet seems to be in deep sleep longer than usual, that’s a possible sign you have to warm them up.

Sneezing

Often, budgies that sneeze frequently are either sick or on their way to being. Still, there’s a chance that their environment is simply too cold for their liking. So pay attention to this symptom whenever temperatures drop.

Runny Nose

Just like sneezing, a runny nose is normally connected with health issues. But think about it for a moment. When it gets too cold, our noses get stuffed in no time. The same thing can happen to our beloved companions. So don’t rule out the possibility they need you to provide heat.

Lack of Appetite

When temperatures have been low for a while, budgies tend to lose their appetite. That’s a sign they need help. A budgie that won’t eat is likely in trouble. That being the case, keep an eye on your birds’ eating habits, especially when it gets cold.

Panting

It’s never a good sign when you see a budgie panting. As dry cold air draws near, your budgie’s airways can tighten, triggering spasms. Shortness of breath clearly indicates your pet is struggling, and freezing temperatures can do that.

Lethargy

Budgies are highly active by nature, so if they respond slower than usual to any stimuli, that’s a bad sign. Although most health conditions can do that, freezing temperatures are often behind the problem during winter.

How do you Keep a Budgie Warm at Night?

You can use many techniques to keep your budgie warm during chilly nights so you don’t spend the whole night wondering if it’s too cold for your winged companion. Here are some tips to make sure your budgie stays cozy.

Keep the Room Warm

One of the easiest ways to maintain a warm environment at home is by using a thermostat. If you have one, you can adjust it, so it doesn’t go below 65 °F (18.33°C). That way, your pets can continue their playing schedule as usual.

Cover the Cage

Partially covering your budgies’ cage or aviary with a blanket effectively prevents cold from getting the best of your winged companions (reference).

light blue blanket

You should use a light piece of breathable clothing or fabric that can insulate them. Then, take a mental note to remove it when the sun comes out to allow them to regulate their circadian rhythms.

Use Heating Devices

Pads

This is the moment when technology comes to our pets’ rescue. Heating pads are pretty efficient at saving budgies from hypothermia. Believe it or not, a few of these gadgets at the bottom of the cages can make a world of difference to them.

Warmers

Bird warmers are ideal for maintaining a suitable temperature in large cages. Place them strategically so your pets can benefit when they need them the most.

Remember to turn them off when it’s warm enough for your pets, and don’t forget to get those that are safe for birds to prevent accidents. Now, some budgies may get scared at the sight of a warmer. If that happens, you can move it to a spot where it won’t disturb them.

Perches

One addition that can prove to be beneficial for your pets is the heated perches. They are fantastic, as budgies can rest on them and get warmed whenever they feel like it. Since budgies lose a lot of their heat through their feet, a perch can give that heat back to restore their standard temperature.

The only drawback with these gadgets is they sometimes get too hot for your birds and may burn them, which is a problem. Usually, budgies jump to another perch if it gets too uncomfortable, but that may not always be the case.

Provide Additional Bedding

Can bedding keep a budgie warm? Sure it can! A simple solution to a cold cage is supplying more bedding material that insulates your pet from harsh weather. It’s like using an extra thick comforter when the air gets too chilly. Soft cloths, shredded paper, or a piece of blanket can get the job done by providing extra warmth at night.

Supply a Nesting Box

You may think nesting boxes are only helpful if you are breeding budgies, but that’s not true. They may work as shelters when winter presses on to preserve our feathered friends’ well-being. As temperatures fall, your birds will have a place where they can feel safe, especially when those occasional chilly drafts show up without warning.

Help Them Acclimatize

Acclimatization is one of the greatest tools in a budgie’s arsenal to survive rough winters. Under normal conditions, our beloved friends can stand temperatures as low as 65°F (18.33°C) without problems. However, as it gets colder, they have a hard time dealing with it.

So how can they maneuver through that? Well, you can take your pets outside one or two months before winter strikes, so they get familiar with colder weather. Do this for a few minutes daily, and they might develop a higher tolerance for lower temperatures.

I have observed there’s a limit to what they can handle through that method, as budgies will likely tolerate 7 Fahrenheit degrees more than they used to.

Beyond that limit, it’s way too risky. Just because you read some of them can survive if temperatures drop to 40°F (4.44°C), it doesn’t mean your pet will. So do your best to keep your bird’s surroundings above 60°F (15.55°C) at all times.

Budgies do get cold at night when temperatures get too low. You will notice it as they puff up, get more sleepy, or look for other companions to get cozy together. Luckily for you, there is no shortage of methods you can use to protect them from freezing temperatures. Apply one or all to safeguard the well-being and happiness of your feathered buddies.

He is the leading creator of featheredbuddies.com, a website dedicated to helping bird owners. For many years, Isra P has cared for budgies and other birds to ensure their happiness and well-being. His passion and enthusiasm for them have led him to a quest to find out why birds act the way they do and how to enrich their lives.