natural light and our birds


Light influences all animals. Natural light sources come from rays directly off the sun and stars or rays reflected by the moon. Numerous sources of artificial light occur in indoor dwellings. Lighting like full spectrum mimic the light energy from the sun and causes the same physiological results in animals.

In my opinion birds (and humans), more than any other species, are profoundly affected by light because they rely on sensory input from their eyes. Light affects birds in many ways. Birds obtain vitamin D3 from both diet and synthesis in their skin. The synthesis of vitamin D3 in the skin requires ultraviolet (UV) light.

This UV light stimulates oils secreted by the uropygeal gland near the base of the tail and the oil is converted to vitamin D3. When your bird preens they are ingesting this vitamin.
Your normal glass windows at home filter out UV rays. So your bird needs either unfiltered sunshine or a good source of certified light like full spectrum lighting. Stay away from broad or wide spectrum lights and chromium lights -- they don't produce the same kind of color rays. Full spectrum light produces healthful UV radiation for both you and your birds.

Sunlight prevents infection. Sunlight stimulates male songbirds to sing. Light has a profound effect on avian reproduction behavior also. Molting is also affected by light.

Without a doubt, light influences the growth, metabolism, reproduction and behavior of all bird species and it is ultimately necessary for them to survive. So remember when the sun is out and it's making you fell happy and healthy it can do the same for your bird. So let your bird bask in some of those unfilterd sunrays.

Full spectrum lights are available in many places today. I will tell you they are not cheap! The benefit you and your birds will receive from them is worth the price. One place I know where you can get these lights, and also get some great information on the lighting, is Light Energy Company in Seattle, Washington. Their toll-free phone number is 1-800-544-4826 or local 206-542-7612.

© 2001, Sandy Gaston. All rights reserved.

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Last updated:
10/25/2002 11:43 AM

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