Do Birds Sleep?

birdDay flyer or night rider?

If you’ve ever seen an owl, then you may know that some birds prefer to fly primarily at night. Nocturnal birds, like owls and nighthawks, wake up as the sun sets and hunt at night. During the daytime, they find a safe place and close their eyes to block out the light. By contrast, most birds are diurnal, meaning they’re awake during the day and asleep at night. These species will find something to perch on, like a branch or a windowsill, for the night. Then, the bird will fluff out its down feathers, turn its head around, tuck its beak into its back feathers, and pull one leg up to its belly before falling asleep. Sounds uncomfortable, right?


Actually, it’s quite warm for the snoozing bird. Down feathers, the short fluffy feathers under the sleek outer ones, hold in heat. The bare parts of the bird (the beak and the legs) are tucked in to keep warm under the thick blanket of feathers as temperatures drop for the night.

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