As 90% of the sunís beneficial near ultraviolet rays are filtered out through modern window glass (even aluminum screening will filter out 30% or more), simply placing the cage by the window is ineffective. The next best thing we can offer as an alternative is full spectrum (FS) lighting in our indoor cage areas.
What is FS (full spectrum) lighting?
Full spectrum is a term used when describing bulbs that replicate natural sunlight. They radiate near ultraviolet light that, while not equal in quality to sunlight, it is the best artificial light that we have at this time and is very effective.
Recommended time length per species
Most smaller birds (cockatiels, parakeets, lovebirds, canaries, finches, etc.) 6-8 hours per day maximum.
Most African Parrots (Greys, Poicephalus, & most likely, Vasa Parrots) Eclectus & Cockatoos:6-8 hours per day maximum.
All other birds (including all South American Parrots): 4-6 hours per day maximum.
In conclusion, all of our companion birds would benefit from exposure to FS lighting at least a few hours a day. Symptoms of birds lacking exposure include stress-related feather picking, biting, screaming, lack of preening and in serious cases calcium deficiency.
Bulb should be no closer than 12 inches from perch, no farther than 15 inches. Light up 1/3 - 1/2 of cage to allow for self-regulation. Replace bulb every 6-12 months. (Will still be lit up, but UV will no longer be produced at necessary levels.)