Acclimatizing Your Parrot to Hot and Cold Temperatures

I live in Austin, TX.  Since the onset of June, the temperatures have been over 100 degrees nearly continuously.  Three quarters of the year here is spent in A/C, and less than 1/4 of the year requires the use of heating.  My favorite times are those rare days when neither the heat nor the A/C is necessary, the windows are open, and the fresh air is blowing in on a balmy breeze.  If I am ever going to play hooky from work, it will be on one of these days.

I am moving to Florida at the end of October.  This is a wonderful opportunity for me, and my birds will have the benefits of a bird room and outdoor aviaries.  Hurray for natural lighting, I can’t wait!

Currently, there are birds situated everywhere in my apartment.  My goffins cockatoo can fling her pellets from her cage onto my bed, which she delights in doing.  I am looking forward to not needing to vacuum and wipe down surfaces everyday because their mess will be confined to one room.

However, the bird room there is not air conditioned.  There are lots of windows providing fresh air and light, and of course, the aviaries are outside.  The temperatures in Florida are a bit lower, but they make up for that with very high humidity levels.  I am wondering how my spoiled, indoor flock are going to be able to handle the temperature and climate changes.  Right now, they last about 30-45 minutes in the heat, out of direct sun, before their wings are drooping and they look like they need a Margarita.

I have been taking them outside more trying to up their tolerance for the heat.  The really fortunate part about this concern is the time of year we are moving. October temperatures will be cooler and more easily tolerated, but still warmer that what they are accustomed to.  Once they get used to October’s temperatures and humidity, they will then be able to make the adjustment to colder temperatures naturally and gradually.  In the spring they will start the slow adjustment toward the oncoming warmer temperatures again.  Their metabolic rates and heat regulation will change as the seasons dictate.

There are flocks of feral Quakers throughout the US.  Quakers are very hearty birds and have learned not only to adapt and survive in our climates, but thrive.  These South American parrots live well in the very cold climates of the northeast.  The very distinct seasonal temperature changes  have helped them slowly adapt to the harsh winters and scorching summers.

Rumor has it that the first flock originated in 1968 after a group of Quakers broke free from a shipping crate.  Because they are so prolific, and like to build their elaborate nests on the highest available site with the least obstructed view, which happens to be our power transformers, they are banned in some states.

Author Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.

7 comments

Eveleen

I have the opposite problem. I live in VT. I’m getting an African Grey this March. He’ll have his own room for sleeping. We turn down the heat at night to conserve resources and save $. Of course, we will accommodate the health and comfort of our new housemate. What is the best minimum temp for a CAG?

Eveleen
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Jamieleigh

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Jamieleigh
Prierundunext

Basically, I’m 20 and I turn 21 at the beginning of my freshers week so am worried that I will have very few, if any, friends. I’m not a stereotypical student who likes to get drunk, thats just not my scene. I am in a very stable relationship of nearly two years and I don’t want to be pushed into going out with people if I really don’t want to. I’ve always been REALLY close to my family so moving out and being completely independant is a very frightening prospect. I’m finding myself, already, not being able to sleep because I’m so worried about it. I have cried about three times this week already about it and I just don’t know what to do. Part of me just wants to bottle it and say **** it, I’m not going. Can anyone offer any advice comfort to me? I also feel like I’m becomming a burrden to my boyfriend by worrying about it all the time. I know people say it’ll be fine and its the best few years of your life but is it true that university isn’t for everyone?? Please help! I’m in absolute turmoil!! (I’m going to study music at royal holloway)

Prierundunext
Patty

Hi Sophia, Texas doesn’t get much in the way of a hard freeze, but personally, I wouldn’t leave a single parrot out side below 45 degrees. Other people do keep their parrots out year round, but they are usually in pairs or more, and can use each other for body heat. It just isn’t something I choose to do. For general information, neither parrots nor humans get sick from the cold. What the cold DOES do is work against your immune system and lowers your body’s defenses making you susceptible to illness. That’s why our parents were always telling us to bundle up so we didn’t get sick. My umbrella cockatoo’s body language tells me he doesn’t like to be cold, my goffins cockatoo doesn’t seem to be as bothered by it, although she does seem to eat less. If the temps go into the low 50’s, my small birds come in for the night, and until I get better control over the temp in the bird room, which is unheated, my big ones come in if it gets into the lower 40s. Regarding your other question about the parrot and peacocks, parrots are very social animals and while I’m sure the peacocks offer some entertainment, I don’t think it’s enough company for a parrot. If you aren’t able to spend time with your parrot, consider getting another of his species to keep him company. Know, however, that doing this might make him less handleable or sociable since he doesn’t get much human interaction. If that’s fine with you, it will also be fine with him as long as he has another parrot that he likes to be friends with. Patty

Patty
sophia Libby

we live in texas and the temperatures usually 80% of the time are above 75 degrees but the winter sometimes will dip down to 30-32 degrees F but these are very few isolated days where the temperature rises back up to 60-75 degrees during Jan and Feb. the other months are usually warm to cool. Is it ok day to leave my parrot outside in his aviary during the really cold night time when it dips down to 35-45 degrees? i have tried to bring him in and out of the the garage smaller cage but he squawks and refuses to eat. so i am thinking he prefers to be cold in those few instances. also, he shares a divided large aviary with two peacocks . is that enough company for him because we as a family do not spend much time with the parrot per se, we feed him and visit with him daily but short visits. pls comments

sophia Libby
Hammy

My fiance and I will get married in her country, El Salvador, and I’ve looked up the form (VS 17-129) for importing Brigit Bardot (Bree), our Amazon Parrot. However, I cannot tell if this means we have to ship Bree via a commercial service or if we can bring her on the airplane with us and then hand her off to USDA officials at Miami International for her 30-day quarantine. DOES ANYONE KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS? Also, are there any rules from El Salvador prohibiting us from taking our long-time pet from the country?

Hammy

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