Two Simple & Clever Ideas On What To Use To Cover Bird Cage

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Caring for a pet bird means learning about what the bird’s needs are to ensure your bird has a long and happy life. This requires providing the correct types of food and also making sure the bird has the right type of cage and cage cover. It can be tricky to know the type of cover to use for your bird’s cage.

The simplest things to use to cover a bird cage are a sheet and a fleece blanket. Using a sheet is ideal for covering a cage during hot summer nights, and a fleece blanket is the perfect cage covering for cold winter nights. Both are ideal for covering a birdcage and regulating its temperature.

You should cover your bird’s cage if it is not too hot and if the bird feels secure. Two types of covers are best. You should use material made of cotton for summer covers or fleece for winter covers (if it is very cold). Bird cages should be covered at the same time each night.

Read further to learn about bird cage covers.

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Should You Cover A Bird’s Cage?

Should You Cover A Bird’s Cage?
Should You Cover A Bird’s Cage?

There are at least three factors to consider when determining if you should cover your bird’s cage. It depends on the species of bird, local weather conditions, and the time of day.

In cold conditions, it is a good idea to keep the cage covered at night. If it is cold during the day as well, you may need to partly cover the cage, making sure that enough light enters that the birds can see to eat and drink. 

What To Use To Cover A Bird Cage?

The choice of covering for the cage depends on the local conditions, with temperature being an important factor determining if you should cover the cage. 

The general recommendation is to keep birds in an environment that is at temperatures of between 65oF and 80oF.

Temperatures outside of this range can cause physical stress on the bird and make it more likely that the bird will become ill.

It is also important to remember that some domesticated birds are produced from inbreeding to some extent. Birds with special colors are often bred this way and are due to genetic mutations and are not the wild type. 

These birds that are mutations are often not as physically strong as the wild type of the species, which is another reason you need to be careful in keeping them in a place without extremes in temperature. 

These birds, although attractive, may not be as genetically strong and easily adaptable as the original wild type of the species.

1. At Summer Nights

A sheet can be used to cover birds when conditions are mild but not too cold or too hot. In very hot conditions, the cage should not be covered at all, not even with a light sheet. Rather, make sure the birds are kept in a darkened room so they are not disturbed.

Make sure your birds are not disturbed once they are put to bed. You can do this by making sure the lights are off and that no television is on in the area where the birds are meant to be sleeping at night.

It is especially important to use caution with birds like cockatiels that are prone to night frights. If you do have to go into the room at night, you will need to put the lights on so as not to frighten your cockatiel. 

These birds easily frighten if they see a shadow or hear a noise, so it is best to make sure they can see what is going on. 

2. At Winter Nights

During winter, conditions are usually colder (but this is not the case in the tropics). If conditions are significantly colder, you may use a fleece blanket instead of just a cotton cover. This can help prevent the cage from becoming too cold.  

While some species of birds do well at low temperatures, these are not usually the species found as cage birds. Most cage birds are types of parrots that originate from and are used to the climate in Australia or South America. 

This means that if you live in a country that is significantly colder than the in the country of origin, then these birds need to be kept indoors and kept at a warmer temperature than the outside ambient winter temperature.

Materials Used To Cover Bird Cages

Materials Used To Cover Bird Cages
Materials Used To Cover Bird Cages

You can use covers made of cotton fabric or fleece. The covers do need to be washed regularly, but you should avoid using scented laundry detergents. 

It is safer to use only a little detergent and to use unscented detergent because birds may be sensitive to the scents.

Cotton sheets can be used to make simple cage covers, as can fleece material. You can also buy specially-made covers for your particular bird cage, depending on your budget and the availability of those covers.

For parrots that tend to chew up objects, it is best to try and peg the cover away from the cage bars so it is not directly against the bars. This can help stop your parrot from chewing up the material and ending up with a blockage in its gut.

Size And Types Of Cage Covers

The size of cage covers varies, and you can often find covers for sale that fit your particular cage. You can make your own cage covers, either by buying fabric and sewing it yourself or simply using small sheets or fleece blankets that fit the cage.

Whatever covers you decide on, you should stick with and use these all the time for your birds. To prevent your bird from panicking, it is best to use the same covers. 

Introducing a new cover can take away the sense of security that your bird feels at night. A new and different cover can trigger a stress and panic response in your bird.

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Deluxe Treat Blend Wild Bird Food
Eastern Regional Wild Bird Food
Western Regional Wild Bird Food
Midwest Regional Wild Bird Food
Southern Regional Wild Bird Food

Seed Guards

Seed guards are another type of cover you may want for the birdcage. These are used for seed-eating birds that are messy. The idea behind seed guards is to stop seeds from spilling out of the cage and onto the floor.

While some bird cages may come with a plastic seed guard, most do not. You can sometimes buy a fabric seed guard that fits around the base of the cage.

Alternatively, you can make your own type of seed guard. These are usually made out of cotton and simply need to be measured, cut, sewn, and elastic added at the base to properly encircle the cage. 

Do Birds Have To Be Covered At Night?

Birds that are kept outdoors in an aviary are not normally covered as they usually have a sheltered area in the aviary. 

The exception is if unusually cold weather is expected in the area. In this case, it may be helpful to put up additional covers at least on another part of the aviary or to transfer the birds inside until conditions improve.

Birds kept in cages inside should be covered if this is what they are used to and if conditions are not too hot. In very hot conditions, you cannot cover the cages as the birds can overheat.

What Time Should I Cover My Bird’s Cage?

What Time Should I Cover My Bird’s Cage?
What Time Should I Cover My Bird’s Cage?

The cage should be covered at sunset as this is the time when birds get ready to roost for the evening. It is also useful to keep this time the same even during summer when the day length increases.  

This is to help reduce breeding activity, which is typically triggered by increased photoperiod. 

Photoperiod is the length of a day. In many parts of the world, the day length is longer during summer than during winter. In other words, there are more hours of daylight than nighttime. 

This allows birds to have enough time to find food for their developing chicks, and so often, this is when the birds will breed. 

Summer is when insects emerge, providing a bountiful food source for birds. It is not surprising that many birds have an increase in their reproductive hormones which coincides with summer and their breeding season.

However, some birds in certain parts of the world do breed all year, so it is not the case that all birds only nest during summer. It depends on the species and what part of the world they live in.

Pet birds tend to become moody and aggressive due to the surge of hormones that occurs during the breeding season. Putting these birds to bed at the same time as in winter is one way to reduce this behavior. 

The birds may still be aggressive because they may hear baby birds chirping outside, and the temperatures will be higher.


Bird cage covers are useful in helping birds feel secure and keeping them warm, and preventing night frights. It is important that birds are not covered during the day as they need to have enough time awake to eat and feed. 

Covers should be made of cotton or fleece, depending on temperature conditions. Do not use covers if it is very hot. The birds need to be covered at the same time in winter and summer to help reduce hormonal behavior in summer.

TIP: Choosing the right bird feeder is crucial when you want to attract birds on your backyard. There are a lot of options on how and where to place a bird feeder. Check out my picks on different bird feeders below (Amazon links):
Free-standing Bird Feeder
Hanging Bird Feeder
Bird Feeder with Camera

Rae Osborn

Rae Osborn is an avid bird watcher and holds a doctorate in Biology. Her interests in birds began as a child growing up in South Africa. She has continued to study birds and has bird watched in the United States and South Africa.

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