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Where Do Birds Go At Night? Where Do They Sleep?

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blue waxbill bird perching
Image Credit: Dave Montreuil, shutterstock

Wild and domesticated birds that live outside tend to have unique places to go and sleep when the sun goes down. They are extremely active during the day because this is when they hunt for food, seek out new places to hide from predators, and find new places to nest their young. But where exactly do birds go at night? How and where do they sleep? Let’s explore these topics here.

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Where Do Birds Sleep Throughout the Day?

Although they mostly sleep at night, sometimes birds take naps during the daylight hours. So, where do they go to nap during daylight hours? They usually do so in places where potential predators cannot get to them. They are smart enough to know that napping on the ground is a bad idea. They know that anything can get to them while they are displayed in plain sight.

Therefore, birds tend to stay off the ground whenever they want to nap. You may find a bird snoozing on a branch in a tree, on a power line at a crossroad, or on the roof of your favorite restaurant. Birds know that at these heights, their chances of being hunted down by a predator while they are not paying attention are extremely slim.

parakeet perching on banana plant
Image Credit: apiguide, Shutterstock

Where Do Birds Go and Sleep at Night?

Birds like to sleep throughout the night. This is true for chickens, pigeons, macaws, hawks, ducks, and almost any other type of bird. Therefore, they must find a safe place that predators cannot get near. One place that birds go to sleep at night is the branches of trees. Even birds like chickens that do not display the natural ability to fly long distances will fly onto tree branches to stay safe at night.

If a bird does not have a manmade, enclosed place to sleep, it will seek out the safest natural place to nest for the night. This could be a hole in the ground or in a tree, a cave on the side of a mountain, or a branch on a tree where predators like coyotes and cats cannot reach them. When the sun starts to come out, birds tend to start talking and singing to find their companions and to warn predators that they are awake and alert.

Owl night
Image Credit: VIJAY RICHHIYA, Pixahive

Why Birds Sleep in These Places at Night?

The main reason that birds choose their nesting places at night is to stay safe from predators. Most bird predators roam at night, when their prey is least suspecting. Birds are not oblivious to this tactic. They understand that when light conditions get poor, the predators come out. Therefore, birds are typically in place and ready to sleep from their tree perches or in their snuggly caves by the time that the sun goes down.

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Birds are smart animals. They tend to understand their place in the food chain. Therefore, they understand how to protect themselves from predators both during the day and throughout the night. These beautiful animals can be helped by placing nesting boxes and food dispensers in trees around your home.

Featured Image Credit: Dave Montreuil, shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.