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Celebrating a Happy New Year
This is what budgerigars, canaries and the like might think on New Year's Eve.

Guidelines for celebrating a Happy New Year

This is what budgerigars, canaries and the like might think on New Year's Eve. Most of us enjoy popping corks and letting off fireworks for the New Year. Generally this is no fun for animals. Birds in particular react with great fear to loud noise and bright flashes of light.

With a few precautions, bird lovers can prevent their birds getting panic or even hurting themselves. "The bird cage should be placed in the quietest room of the flat and the shutters should be lowered. This protects the birds from the bright flashes of light and the noise is reduced," biologist and behavioural therapist for parrots Hildegard Niemann recommends. If there are no shutters, the insides of the windows can be covered with blackout curtains. "As many birds live in flocks in the wild, they are used to permanently being exposed to noise. Bird owners should start playing soft music or birdsong as a background noise in the evenings before New Year's Eve. That calms sensitive birds and gives them a feeling of security," the biologist adds.

During the night of New Year's Eve, bird owners should leave a small emergency light on in the room where the birds are, as an exception. Niemann says, "If the birds should panic in spite of all protective measures and flutter about in their aviary, this light helps them get their bearings more quickly and calm down again."

If you have birds that are easily frightened - set them a good example and stay calm yourself. "It tends to be counterproductive if you want to calm birds by talking to them," the bird expert explains.


"Turn on the light if there should be a panic and check if any bird has injured itself. If everything is ok, turn off the light and leave the room once the birds have settled on their perches again. Speak as little as possible, because you do not want to birds to connect your voice to this frightening situation." 

And one last tip: of course there should not be any indoor fireworks in your flat!  

If you adhere to these tips, the New Year will be a happy one for your birds. However, you should have the phone number of the vet on duty or the veterinary clinic at hand - just in case.

Source: German Industrial Association for Pet Supplies IVH