Where Do Songbirds Sleep at Night?

October 7, 2023

Many people are surprised to learn that robins and mockingbirds sing at night. It certainly seems out of place since birds are diurnal and should be sleeping at night! Our article will help you to understand why these bird species and others like them, continue to sing even when it is dark outside.

Where Do Songbirds Sleep at Night?

The most common place for songbirds to sleep at night is on a perch. The majority of birds, known as passerines, are natural perchers and have excellent balance. They also have a special adaptation that helps them to stay on their perch while asleep. The tendons in their feet are designed to close tightly around the branch when they are perched. This is what allows the birds to remain on their perch while sleeping at night and even if they lose balance or wind up too far from their spot, the tendons will clamp down tightly over the branch and won’t let go until the bird straightens out its leg to fly off.

Other than on a perch, bird’s find other places to sleep at night. For example, small birds often seek shelter from predators in dense brush or in the crook of a tree. Waterfowl, such as geese and ducks, often sleep in shallow water near the water’s edge.

For smaller birds, roosting sites can include vacant birdhouses or a roosting box, a small cave or rock crevice, chimneys or just the deep crook of a tree. Other birds, such as hummingbirds and some bats, have been known to sleep lying down on their bellies.


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