Whilst you might feel comfortable at a normal room temperature, your tropical pet bird may find this condition to be freezing! This can affect your bird’s health and sleeping patterns, making them more vulnerable to diseases. What’s more, long cold nights and harsh winters will require your birds to be even further protected. This is why bird heaters and bird warmers are a necessary bird cage accessory for many pet owners. With a bird warmer properly set up, your pets will be much more comfortable, happy and able to get a warm nighttime rest.
Top Bird Heaters & Bird Warmers Comparison
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Bird Heating Guide
How to find the ideal temperature for your pet bird?
Different bird species are adapted to different climates and so their cage temperatures need to be set at varying ranges. To discover what is the ideal temperature range for your species of bird, you just need to follow a few simple steps:
- Look up the species of your pet bird on a website like Wikipedia
- The Wikipedia entry will give you the country the species is commonly found in and the area within the country.
- For that area, look at what the average temperature range is for that region for both the daytime and the night time. You can use a website like Weatherbase.
- Use this temperature range as a guide when setting up your heaters for your pet birds.
Is your bird too hot?
Your bird may be over heating if you see if it is breathing heavily, extending it’s neck or stretching out and airing it’s wings – so be careful.
Safety when using bird heaters
- First, use the buying guide below to purchase a bird warmer such as a heat panel, infrared bulb or heated perch. Gas fireplaces and regular heaters are made for humans and may not be bird safe.
- If using a heat panel or thermo perch then you can install this on the side of the cage.
- If using any bulbs or lamps, then place these next to the cage but outside of it. They can become very hot and would harm your bird if touched by them.
- Next, plug in the heating element and ensure it is protected from any water or potential rain.
- Double check to ensure that any cables, cords or parts of the heating element are not within reach of your pet birds (otherwise they might get chewed).
- For additional temperature control, see the heating accessories that you can buy such as timers, bird cage covers and thermometers in the accessory section.
What to look for when buying a bird heater?
Types of Bird Heater
First you need to decide on what type of bird warmer will suit you, your bird, and the housing situation that you currently have. Different types of bird warmers are more effective in different situations. Here are some of the options available:
1. Heating Panels and Pads
The most popular and commonly used bird cage heater available, these are placed inside of the cage and are attached to the sides of a cage, ideally next to a perch. They will allow your birds to snuggle up next to the panel. An example of a bird heating pad can be seen here.
2. Bird Heat Lamps
Heating lamps for birds are infrared based and do not emit UV light (which would keep your bird awake). These are placed outside of the cage and to the side or on top of the cage. Not to be confused with full spectrum avian lighting. An example of a bird heat lamp bulb can be seen here.
3. Heated Perches
Also known as thermo bird perches, they use low voltage electricity to generate heat, and this runs through the full length of the perch. An example of a heated bird perch can be seen here.
4. Room Heaters
Placed outside of the cage, you can use room heaters to keep your bird warm. However, you must ensure they are bird safe as heaters because gas or kerosene heaters can be harmful for your bird. So if you decide to go down this route, we recommend infrared room heaters. An example of a room heater for birds can be seen here.
5. Bird Breeding Incubation Heaters
These are bird heaters are specially designed to help a pet baby bird grow until it hatches. See our full guide to pet bird breeding and incubators here.
Effectiveness at heating
Heating panels are very effective and preferred by many birds because they can be located inside of the cage and so the bird can actually snuggle up next to the panel if it is cold. A bird can also obviously rest on a heating perch but they are less effective and provide less heat than panels.
Heating bulbs on the otherhand may be inefficient as they have to be located outside of the cage. However, because they are so hot they can still provide enough warmth for most cages.
When buying a bird warmer 3 factors to consider when choosing a bird warmer are non-toxicity, non-UV light emitting and electrically safe.
Some types of normal light bulb contain polytetrafluoroethylene which is a harmful chemical that is emitted in certain cooking elements. This is why it’s necessary for you to purchase bird safe heat lamps that are specifically designed for heating bird cages as these do not emit this chemical when heated.
Non-UV light emitting
A UV light or bird lamp can be beneficial for pet birds that are kept indoors or are in low light environments. However, it’s NOT something that should be used for heating. The sleeping cycle of a bird can be easily disrupted with a UV lamp if it is used at night time for heat. This is why special types of heating bulbs such as thermostatic, infrared and ceramic heat emitters are used instead. These provide the bird with heat without disrupting it’s sleep cycle. For more information about helping your birds to sleep at night, see our guide here.
Whilst the chance of electrocuting yourself or your bird is low, some bird heaters are safer than others. For example, the K&H range of heaters and perches are designed to use a harmless 12 volts so that if any accident were to occur you or your birds would not be harmed.
When installing an electrical heater that is outside, double check that the heater is in a location that is weatherproof and waterproof – typically beneath the roof of a cage.
The heating options available typically range from $20-$50. However, ensure that the bulb is also included in the heating solution as some products do not include this and it will alter the price. Also, look out for products that provide a warranty or guarantee.
7 Best Bird Heater and Bird Warmer Reviews
The most popular bird heater is the K&H Snuggle Up Bird Warmer which uses a thermostatically controlled heat generator to provide warmth and is bird safe as it uses a harmless 12 volt electrical supply. Also from the same company is the K&H Thermo Perch which also uses a similar harmless 12 volt current to provide heating to bird perches of varying sizes. Other types of bird warmers typically get sold as bird heat lamps, these include the Ceramic Heat Emitter from Zoo Med which is designed to provide 24 hour heat throughout the day. Avitech also provides a similar solution with their Avitemp ceramic heat emitter, which can easily be screwed into an electricity socket.
We reviewed these bird heaters by looking at how effective they are at heating a cage, how safe they are are, and the price of the item. From this we were able to discover the best bird warmers and cheapest options that are available.
1. K&H Snuggle Up Bird Warmer Review
Perhaps the best bird warmer available. Ideal for most situations although you may need more than one you have several birds.Check Price
2. K&H Thermo Perch Review
Ideal if you don’t want the fuss of setting up a bird heat panel or lamp. Integrates with a cage seamlessly.Check Price
3. AviTemp Ceramic Heat Emitter Review
Far better than any normal glass bulb for heating. This bird heat lamp will help your pet get a warm nights rest without it any light disrupting it’s sleep.Check Price
4. Dr Infrared Portable Heater Review
A top qualtiy heater that’s designed for room heating in general but works great with parrots and other birds.Check Price
5. Zoo Med Ceramic Heat Emitter Review
Similar to the Avitemp. Must be set up outside of your cage and will provide a source of non-UV light based heat which will provide general warmth to a cage.Check Price
6. BYB Ceramic Infrared Heat Emitter Review
One of the more affordable heating lamp options available. This brooder and pet bird bulb will heat your enclosure whilst also being energy efficient.Check Price
7. K&H Heating Pad For Birds Review
Aimed at poultry and chicken owners, this is the number one aviary heater option for birds. Popular because it’s a heated pad, instead of a light, which some bird owners are concerned with as a fire hazard since chickens tend to be outdoors.Check Price
Accessories for heating your bird cage
Other items that will help you to heat your bird cage include:
Once you know the ideal temperature that your pet bird should be kept at, you can then use a thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature of the bird cage. The TP50 thermometer from ThermoPro is ideal for this as it’ll give you an accurate reading of the temperature and humidity as well.
Whilst most bird heaters don’t come with a timer, you can easily buy a separate electrical timer and then set this up to work with your bird warmer.
Bird cage covers
We have an entire article dedicated to the best bird cage covers that will not only provide warmth but will also make your bird feel more protected and help it to get a better nights sleep.
Video guide to keeping your pet birds warm
In the video below, you’ll see the steps you can take to keeping a pet budgie warm at night time or on a cold winter’s day: