Dear Jordan: Why do birds fall off their perch at night?

by San on November 24, 2008

Dear Jordan,

Can you tell me what you know about the reasons a bird would fall off his perch in the middle of the night, if his environment hasn’t changed?


Wake up hearing a thud!


a parrot needs sleep — and if i stay on my perch, i am sure to not wake up my human!

Dear Wake up hearing a thud,

It must be somewhat disturbing to suddenly hear your bird fall to its cage bottom or floor.  I know that sometimes in the middle of the night, something must have happened and Jazzmine or as we sometimes call her, Mrs. G (greenbird –greenberg..??) falls off her basket perch and being that it is dark, she wanders under the bed to sleep.  Or sometimes I, Jordan  the grey, and Roger the senegal are found not where our cage is – one on the couch back and one perched on a chair leg.

Birds sometimes hear things you adults do not hear.


yes, a night light might be good, for in the middle of the night, this lil guy, just might scare me enough to fall off my perch!

However, if your bird is falling off consistently or often enough in the middle of the night, it could be that you might want to change some perches around.  Use a variety of different perches or widths and ones not slippery.

Leaving a night light on at least in the distance might help as well.

One more thing, if by chance you are questioning because of a cockatiel, or have one, they are known to have something called ‘night fright’ and in the middle of the night, they start to thrash in their  cage and fall off the perch. Mike is the cockatiel around here and he will scare a few of us big parrots too.


sleeping roger senegal?????  (no falling off the perch for Roger senegal, he sleeps inside the tent!)

Hope some of these suggestions will help, and feel free to ask me, Jordan the African Grey, any bird questions you might have.

beakie kisses  : >

night frights in birds, especially cockatiels

{ 2 trackbacks }

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie 01.21.14 at 10:58 pm

I just inherited my Macaw, Gizmo, 2 months ago. He is 28 years old. He has fallen off his perch twice and this last time he fell and was unconscious for a 2-3 minutes. My father took him out of his cage and kept him snuggled on his lap until he came around and started walking. Is this normal?

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LKJ 06.27.15 at 9:07 am

I have 2 African Grey parrots and one is 34 years old and for this last year he started falling off his perch during the night, is something wrong with him? I’ve had him for 30 years and he’s never done that before. Please let me know what you know about this kind of behavior?

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