Questions & Answersback

Do the  birds sleep – and how – and do they lie down like humans?

Answer: Yes, birds need sleep just like humans but they only lie down if they spend the night/spend the winter in a nesting box. Birds normally sleep in the seated position.
They pull one leg up underneath their body and bend the leg they are going to sleep on. When they bend their leg in this way, the sinews tighten and the claw automatically closes round the ‘perch’ with the help of the ‘locked’ sinews.
In the course of a night’s sleep, the birds alternatively change from one leg to another.
The birds go to roost after sundown and wake up just before sunrise, when it begins to get light.
They sleep long in winter and short in summer. When they awake, the first thing they do is break out in song so if you want to hear nature filled with the most beautiful birdsong, get up with the birds.
The ability of migratory birds to cover huge distances without stopping has long puzzled biologists.
Whether they sleep in the air during the long flight by alternatively using the left or right cerebral hemisphere remains to be proved.

Certain birds with a wingspan that prevents them from taking off if they have to force land are quite simply forced to sleep while they are in the air. One such bird is the swift.