Night Flight

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Caring Cockatiel Articles














Night flight: The problem in the night.


   Night flight may become a problem if you keep your cockatiel in the out door aviary or cage. However, I think this problem will only effect your birds (physically) if it happen in a large aviary only. For birds that is keep in not so large cage, this may not effect your cockatiel physically or if it does, it is not very serious. This problem can happen especially if the aviary is locate a bit far from your house or it is in the dark place.

     There were many reason that contribute to this problem. One of them s cats or birds of preys (owls). I also have this problem sometimes because my are get lots of strays cats. Normally new comer will try to catch my cockatiels. However, luckily that after some try they will realize that they unable to do that and will not bother my cockatiel again. At first they think they able to catch my cockatiel. When they moved closer and try to catch the birds, it will make the cockatiel afraid and therefore will fly away. However, the cats will wait near the cage. The cockatiels is afraid and continue to fly.

     The second reason that is also common is because of rats. This also happen to my cockatiel some time ago. Rats actually can create big problem and not just night flight. Rats also can bring many disease, and if the food container is contaminated by the bacteria, the cockatiel may get ill. Luckily, in my case the rats unable to get inside the cage and I am able to eliminate the rats within few day I know it.

     One more reason that can make cockatiel get ‘night flight’ is because of light especially form car sport light. This problem can occurred if the aviary is near to the road. This is because the light will make the cockatiel afraid- actually they afraid of the ‘shadow’ create by the sport light!

     Night flight also may happen if you just add new birds to your collection. If your new birds is very sensitive and very nervous, he or she may able to 'create' or start the night fright. One birds that start to fly around in the dark will make the other birds in the flock afraid and will follow to fly (this is normal in the birds behaviour especially birds that live in the flock). if this is the case, you will need to separate this particular new comer away from the whole stock.


What will happen to the cockatiel ?

  Now you know the reason that contribute to the night flight. You may wonder, what will happen to the cockatiel if there is night flight. Well, night flight (or some people refer it as night fright) will actually injured your cockatiel. In the dark the cockatiels didn’t see the mesh. They will fly toward the mesh and normally their head will injured. The injury that normally happen is at the head, the wings, the legs, their eyes and lots of damages feather. And believe me, sometime the injury is very serious..


Note from me:

 If your cockatiel happen to have night flight, try to check the cause of it but don’t try to “check” the aviary using torch light. Using torch light will make the flight worse!! ( the birds will be more afraid). From my experience, just keep calm. If you sure the cause – say cats, you have to make sure the cats go away, then leave your cockatiel in the dark for a while. They will calm down on their own.



Cockatiel Books and Video Tapes from Avian Publications

The Complete Pet Bird Owner's Handbook (Revised Edition) by Dr. Gary A. Gallerstein

Avian Medicine: Principles and Application (Abridged Edition) by Dr. Branson Ritchie, Dr. Greg Harrison, Linda Harrison & Dr. Donald W. Zantop


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November 2003