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Discussion Starter #1
I was laying down watching TV just now and heard Luna flapping violently in her cage. So i rushed in there and flipped the light on but she kept thrashing until i got over to her. I opened her cage door (at this point she had fallen to the floor of her cage but it's a short fall--18 inches in the quarantine cage)...she jumped out and flew right past me! I got her from the floor and cuddled her to my chest until she calmed down. Then i let her down to move around so i could make sure she wasn't injured. I put her in her cage and put a night light near her.

She seems okay and it didn't seem too bad of a fright but i've also never experienced this. I read on another forum about a poor cockatiel who got her wing stuck on the side of the cage and almost ripped it off. Her amputation was completed by a veterinarian...apparently she is still a happy bird and can fly short distances low to the ground.

I've had her about 2 months and she's never done this. Other than the night light, what can i do to keep her from having recurring night frights?
 

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Try to figure out what caused it. Was there any kind of unusual noise, or a shadow that might have startled her? For example, I've learned that I have to keep my air conditioner's fan running overnight, because its automatic shut off makes a bang noise that scares Roo. We also had to put blackout curtains on the windows in her sleep room, because the lights from cars would scare her.

It is always possible that it could just be an occasional thing, though. It's good to eliminate as many possibilities as you can, but there are always going to be random occurrences. Serious injuries are pretty uncommon, although I definitely understand your anxiety in reading about them. I've had 'tiels for 18 years and we've never had a serious injury from a night fright. *knock on wood*
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The room she's in has windows near the road. Maybe she saw a car light or heard someone drive by? I usually cover her cage but leave the front open but i hadn't tonight yet because it wasn't too late. Hopefully it's random because when i first got her i didn't cover her cage for the first couple weeks and she didn't have any problems.
 

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What kind of covering do you have on the window? You might consider adding a blackout curtain. You can get a really cheap black curtain panel (I think I paid $8) at Walmart. It's designed to keep sun out to keep your house cool, but it works great for a bird room! This would also help give her maximum dark hours to prevent hormones. Just some thoughts for you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We have custom-made mini blinds..they are made of dark wood so as long as we have them shut then it pretty much has a black-out effect. We have the blinds open by her cage but it isn't a window facing the road so i don't think any light would come through. The only difference today that is pretty new is the Christmas tree; we didn't have it lit up tonight but we have the blinds open in front of the tree. So it's possible for lights to shine against the wall behind the tree or maybe the shadow of the tree itself might've scared her?
 

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Hmm, maybe. If it was just that one time, I wouldn't worry too much about it. Night frights are bound to happen occasionally, and it sounds like you reacted appropriately. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I try to keep up on my cockatiel research and with the forums :) i just hope it doesn't become a common occurence. Thanks!
 

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It shows! If it starts to become a chronic thing, you could look into getting her a safer sleep cage. Is Luna a lutino, by any chance?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nope, she's a normal grey. What would it mean if she was Lutino? Our other bird, Kirk, is Lutino..he stays at my boyfriend's house (so it isn't him who spooked her).
 

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Nothing, really. My vet once told me that red-eyed birds may be more prone to night frights because they have worse vision in low light. But that certainly doesn't mean that normal greys DON'T get night frights. It also depends on the temperament of the bird, IMO. In fact, my lutino has them less than my grey. Just a fun factoid, mostly. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wonder if there's any fact behind that. Kirk hasn't had any problems with night frights and we've had him about 4 months and just recently started covering his cage.

I'd probably say Luna is a little easier to startle than Kirk but she is also far more adventurous (doesn't make sense to me). Luna gets out of her cage and runs around and explores but might flap a little if you accidentally drop something that makes a loud noise...Kirk on the other hand will just stand in one spot and watch the room if you put him down and would probably just stand there and hiss at anything that bothered him.
 

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Roo (my lutino) is like that too. She's super playful and adventurous, but there are some things that REALLY set her off. For example, if you cough or sneeze in the room with her, she'll start thrashing around her cage like crazy. My grey, Sunny, is a REALLY anxious bird in general, but doesn't startle like that. He sits and hisses like you described. But he also has more night frights than Roo does. On the other hand, it's not really a great comparison, because he lives in my parents' front hallway, and Roo has her own spare bedroom. so it's probably quieter where she is. I dunno. This is the curse of being a scientist. I can't help theorizing about everything. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Luna has her own room, except that it is the computer room of the house and it is open to all other parts of the house (our living room, kitchen, dining room, and the computer room--is all one big space, with archways that mark each room). Luna can hear everyone interacting and moving about the house but can only see people if they enter her room. Kirk stays in the bedroom at my boyfriend's house so he only gets to be around all the noise when we bring him out of the room...but our bird Ava, who passed away, was living with Kirk in the same situation and would come out of the cage every morning to explore..Luna actually has a really similar personality to Ava so maybe their living situation has nothing to do with it. LOL.
 
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