Ask Lafeber


April 12, 2021

Best bird for my schedule

I’ve been considering getting a bird recently, as they are some of my favorite animals. I’ve been especially interested in the bronze winged pionus. The problem is that I work an evening shift at my job, where I clock in at 3:00 PM and clock out at 11:00 PM. Would the hypothetical bird be happy and healthy if I interacted with it at night when I get home in addition to the time before I leave? Or should I consider something else like a snake?


Hi Spencer,

Birds can typically adjust to their owner’s schedule. But even indoors, they tend to be aware of when dawn and dusk are. Which means your bird might decide to vocalize at those times, since that is when parrots are the noisiest. Covering the cage can help. It depends on how late you sleep in and when you go to bed once you are home. Your bird is more likely to want to interact when you get up and before you go to work. You don’t want his days to be too long, so you could have lights on a timer to turn off when it gets dark outside. But then when you come home, it’s hard to know if he will want to wake up and interact. And on your days off, he is going to expect a similar schedule. It’s not an easy answer because each bird has his own personality. But many people with late or swing shifts do have pet birds. And schedules change, so the bird’s schedule changes, too. It more about how you handle these changes and knowing how to work with any behavior issues that might come up.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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