Do Budgies Need Sunlight to Live?

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

Written by Isra P

Do budgies need sunlight to live? You probably have asked that question yourself many times since many animals need sunlight to some degree to remain in good health. But does that apply to budgies as well?

Budgies do need sunlight to be healthy and happy, as it is necessary for vitamin D synthesis. You see, vitamin D is essential to build strong bones, creating a robust immune system that repels pathogens, and breeding healthy baby budgies. Moreover, since budgies are originally from Australia, where sunlight is plenty, it innately makes them excited and joyful.

Now, while generally speaking, sunlight is good for budgies, you have to pay attention to the amount they receive, as too much or too little can be detrimental to their well-being. But, of course, there are other details you must consider before placing your pets in the sun. So keep reading to find out how much sunlight they should get and what you can do in case sunlight is scarce.

Budgies like a good amount of sunlight. Remember that in their native land of Australia, sunlight is present from 10 to 14 hours every day, depending on the season, especially in the western regions, where they can easily be found.

That’s a strong indicator they prefer areas where the sun is readily available for them to get all the vitamin D they need. So keep that in mind as you set a spot at home where they can get the sun they need.

Do Baby Budgies Need Sunlight?

Newborn baby budgies don’t need sunlight at all. As long as they remain inside the nesting box, which may take a month or more, they won’t have any need for it.

do budgies need sunlight

Of course, once they have grown a bit, they will leave the box and look for the sunlight to regulate their sleep patterns and get vitamin D. Although it is in a lesser amount than their adult counterparts, they will still need a bit of it.

How Much Sunlight do Budgies Need?

Budgies need between 20 minutes to one hour of sunlight every day to keep their bones and immune system strong. Moreover, sun rays are also necessary for them to have amazing-looking feathers.

Regarding general daylight, 10 to 12 hours on a daily basis is good enough for their circadian rhythm to remain in working order (reference).

What are the Benefits of Sunlight for Budgies?

There are several benefits that budgies can enjoy when they get enough sunlight. It’s crucial to keeping your budgies’ health and well-being, so remember them carefully.

⦁ Vitamin D production: You could say that creating vitamin D is easily the most significant benefit of sunlight. This compound is responsible for calcium metabolism, which affects bone strength. Moreover, it boosts the immune system.

⦁ Healthy appetite: It isn’t a secret that budgies that get sunlight are more likely to eat the right amount of food they need to maintain a healthy weight.

⦁ Sharp-looking feathers: Your budgies’ feathers won’t look as great if the sun doesn’t shine on them. UV radiation, which is the main component of sunlight, can destroy harmful microorganisms and expose parasites that may try to ruin your pets’ plumage (research).

⦁ Reduce stress: Sunlight can make your budgies happy. How? It adjusts their circadian rhythms, which lowers their anxiety and encourages them to be more playful.

Should Budgies be Kept in Sunlight?

Budgies shouldn’t be kept in sunlight all the time. Like humans, budgies can only briefly tolerate direct sunlight before overheating or dehydrating.

blue and yellow birds

Remember, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.

In general, you want them to remain in a shaded area with access to sunlight whenever they are up for it. Remember that if you place a budgie’s cage outside, you have to be wary of predators, such as hawks or cats, that will try to snatch your pet if you get careless.

Can Budgies get Enough Vitamin D Without Sunlight?

It is possible for budgies to get enough vitamin D without sunlight. Even though sunlight is the preferred way of getting it, there are viable alternatives to provide the valuable nutrient without your pet soaking up the sun’s warmth.

Vitamin D supplements: Plenty of Vitamin D-fortified foods like pellets offer your budgie the chance of developing strong bones in case sunlight is not an option.

Artificial light: Technology can do wonders for your pet’s health. Full spectrum and UV lights are available in the market to simulate sunlight, and I assure you they can help out quite a bit.

UV radiation, found in natural sunlight and some artificial lights, is critical to triggering the production of vitamin D. Whenever any part of a budgie’s skin, being the legs or feathers, is exposed to this type of light, a process called cutaneous synthesis takes place, which means you pet gets the vitamin D it needs.

In the following video, you will see the astounding benefits of exposing budgies to sunlight:

Do Budgies Need Artificial Light?

Budgies don’t need artificial light unless they are in a dark room without any light source whatsoever. In the absence of light, they get stressed or sick and will always be disoriented.

Under normal conditions, sunlight is enough to regulate a budgie’s circadian rhythm and provide them with all the necessary vitamin D during the day. However, at night, they should be in a dark room where they can rest.

If, for some reason, your budgies don’t have access to any light source during the day, artificial lights such as full-spectrum lights should be good enough. These lights mimic natural sunlight providing the wavelengths your pets need. Although most of them work only for a short time, they are useful to satisfy their ultraviolet light needs.

Are all Artificial Lights the Same for Budgies?

Not all artificial lights are the same for budgies. You can’t use your typical yellow light bulb and expect them to thrive like it is sunlight.

Daylight contains infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectra. Of all of them, the ultraviolet spectrum, which is composed of UVA and UVB, is the one that triggers the formation of vitamin D. Specifically, UVB is the one responsible for it.

Budgies require a type of light that simulates sunlight as much as possible. So if an artificial light doesn’t have the UV spectrum, it won’t help your pets at all. Besides the proper spectrum, the light’s color temperature is also crucial.

Our winged companions require full-spectrum light with a color temperature of around 5,500K to 6,500 K, which is within the range of natural sunlight. It is precisely this kind of light that regulates their sleep cycle and enhances their overall well-being.

Now, any light with a color temperature of less than 5,500 K may appear too yellow for budgies. In contrast, lights with a temperature of more than 6500 K can seem excessively blue to them.

What Color of Light do Budgies Like?

Budgies don’t have a particular preference when it comes to the color of light. You see, they have something called tetrachromatic vision, which means they can see a wider range of colors than us.

Still, it doesn’t mean they love some colors while disliking others. While it’s true that colors such as blue may help them rest better, it’s more important to focus on lights that resemble the natural spectrum found in nature as it is the one that benefits them the most and not in any other specific hue.

What Light is Best for Budgies?

Without a doubt, natural sunlight is the best light for budgies. Nothing beats the real thing, right?

However, if sunlight is not an option, you can go with full-spectrum artificial lights that are virtually identical to the light emitted by the sun with all the helpful wavelengths included.

Is UV Light Safe for Budgies?

UV lights can be safe for budgies as long as you use them the right way. So, what is the right way? Well, UV radiation is necessary for producing vitamin D in birds and humans. But too much of it can damage our cells and cause a lot of health problems.

Ideally, as you put the light to use, you should aim for one hour of direct UV exposition. Any more, and you risk stressing them and harming their eyes unnecessarily.

Do Budgies Need UVA and UVB Light?

Budgies need both the UVA and UVB found in sunlight. The short wavelength of the ultraviolet spectrum is crucial to improve your pet’s health.

UVA helps budgies see better to identify mates and determine the ripeness of food. UVB facilitates the absorption of calcium and the generation of vitamin D3. So both ultraviolet radiation components must be present, or your feathered friends won’t be able to thrive.

Now, you have to be picky when choosing lights, as not all bulbs are the same. The ones you need are specially designed for birds, as any other might damage your budgie’s skin and eyes, and you definitely don’t want that to happen.

How do I Know if my Budgie had too Much sun?

Too much sun is bad for anyone, including your budgies. The best way to determine if your birds have been exposed to excessive sunlight is to watch them carefully.

Budgies that seem lethargic, unbalanced, or don’t desire to eat could be overheating. Furthermore, if you see them keeping their wings away from their bodies or panting, they may have taken too much sun as well.

As soon as you spot any of these signs, it’s time to act. First, take them to a well-ventilated shaded area with plenty of fresh water. Then, use a mist spray to cool them down, and they will hopefully recover in no time.

If nothing seems to work, take them to an avian vet immediately.

Budgies need plenty of sunlight. But you must be aware of the proper amount and the conditions in which they must be exposed to it.

Bear in mind that too much sunlight or using the wrong bulbs to supply UV light may threaten your budgie’s well-being, so use your best judgment to keep them out of harm’s way.

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.