Can Birds Fly In The Dark?

Can birds fly in the dark?

Birds can fly in the dark, especially nocturnal birds such as owls. The average bird prefers to rest during the night, but is more than capable of flying in the dark if necessary.

It’s important to note, just like humans, birds will also deal with visibility concerns while flying in the dark. It takes time for their eyes to adjust to the lack of light.

This can lead to:

  • Accidents
  • Becoming Easier to Hunt
  • Choosing the Wrong Flight Path

Due to these natural concerns, a bird would rather take the time to find a safe spot and go to sleep. After all, if it is not a nocturnal bird, they are going to want to spend time resting up for the next day.

This is an essential factor to consider when asking, “Can birds fly in the dark?”

It’s not just about can birds fly in the dark, but also whether they want to fly in the dark!

This article will take a look at reasons a bird may fly in the dark and why it is an option they rarely consider unless it’s necessary.

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Reasons for Birds Flying in the Night

1. Migration

This is the most common reason you’ll see birds flying around at night.

In general, migratory birds have to cover long distances and will prefer flying at night in comparison to a rainstorm when it’s pelting down. The rain makes it difficult for them to fly, so they try making up the distance later on during the nighttime.

This is still rare and it’s not something the birds prefer doing.

However, if you are asking, “Can birds fly in the dark?” they most certainly can if it is mandatory such as having to cover a certain distance during migration periods.

The best course of action for birds is to find pockets of time when they can fly safely. If this means it has to be done at night then that is what they do.

Experts Say...
Thousands of birds migrate before the winter kicks in and will often spend days flying with short breaks.

Migratory birds will also look towards getting to a spot that is safe to rest in.

If they can’t find that spot during the day, they will continue until they get to a spot that is deemed to be safe. There are certain requirements that come with such spots including making sure predators won’t attack when they’re resting.

Due to these natural calculations that run through their minds, they take the time to focus on these details as much as possible.

Can birds fly in the dark

2. Flying From Danger

This is another common cause for birds flying at night.

If you are asking “Can birds fly in the dark?” you will realize danger is a part of a bird’s life. A bird will fly during the night when they sense a bit of danger around them.

It will be similar to someone entering your house in the middle of the night. It will cause you to run! The same applies to birds.

Certain animals will hunt during the night such as owls and cats making smaller birds weary of what’s around them.

If the bird feels threatened, it is going to start flying away.

This is why most birds are alert even when they are resting. They sense danger and are more than willing to fly away if that is what it takes.

During the night, you will often see birds fly when a cat is around. This is why cats try to be as quiet as possible if they ever get the chance to go after a bird at night.

Can birds fly in the dark

3. Hungry/Thirsty

This can happen when the birds are staying in an area that doesn’t have enough water/food.

While they will try to do most of their work during the day, it’s not always possible to find food/water in the nick of time. This is why loads of birds will fly around even as the sun sets.

The idea is to get as much food in their belly so they can rest at some point during the night.

Final Thoughts

“Can birds fly in the dark?”

Birds are more than capable of flying in the dark, but it is not their preferred option. The average bird would prefer to rest during the night and then pick up its daily routine after the sunrises.

This is why most birds will start sleeping early and settle in as soon as the sun begins to set.

If you are observing birds in your area, this will become a noticeable pattern. You will realize they rest as soon as the sun goes down and then don’t wake up until the sun rises next morning.

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