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How to Dry a Bird After a Bath

| Updated September 26, 2017

Most birds love to take baths and are quite good at drying themselves after. However, factors like cold and the age of your bird might mean your bird needs a little help with the drying process.

Choose the Natural Way

In the wild, birds air dry themselves after a bath. This is often a good choice for pet birds as well, as long as your bird is in a warm room with no air drafts. If your bird has a perch or an open cage, you can also try placing that near a sunny -- but closed -- window to speed up the drying process.

Offer a Little Assistance

If you have a very tame bird who doesn't mind being handled, you can try using a small towel to help him dry. Keep in mind that a large towel wrapped too tight can be scary to birds, so be gentle and use a small cloth or hand towel. You can also try paper towels to absorb some of the excess water on the head and under the wings.

Use a Hairdryer

In very cold weather or in the case of baby birds -- whose feathers can become very saturated with water and can take a long time to dry -- you can help the drying process using a hairdryer.

Because bird skin is very sensitive, make sure you use a low heat level and keep the dryer a safe distance from the bird. If your dryer has a "cool" setting, use that, as the air will still be slightly warm and might be enough to dry the feathers. You can also try placing your hand in front of the hairdryer, so the warm air doesn't blow directly on your bird but instead dissipates around your fingers and hits the bird indirectly.

Use Technology

Infrared panels and heat lamps are meant to help keep your birds warm in winter and to provide the right environment for baby birds, who need higher temperatures to stay warm and safe. Bird-safe heat lamps -- available through farm supply and pet stores -- can be attached to your pet's cage and turn on to help speed up the drying process.


  • Blow dry the head first, but never blow hot air directly on your bird's face, as this can hurt his eyes.