Sleeping Bird and Its Characteristics

Sleeping birds are called sleeping because they are sleeping most of the time. A sleeping bird looks like a dead bird, so it is hard to distinguish between them. They are good at sleeping and sleeping on branches, trees, the ground, roofs, etc.

Sleeping Bird and Its Characteristics
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These birds sleep during the daytime and open their eyes only when it gets dark. They do not move around much during daytime hours because it is difficult for their prey to see them in bright sunlight conditions.

This species of birds can be seen almost everywhere across the world where there are trees and woods including forests, houses, farms, etc., except polar areas-circumpolar region including the North Pole and South Pole areas of the Earth.

The Genus of the Sleeping Bird

The sleeping bird belongs to the order Apodiformes. It’s scientific name is Apus apus.

This species of bird has a short neck, short bill, and forked tail with a pointed end. They are mostly brown, which helps them to camouflage with their surroundings more easily. Their feet are small, weak, and are adapted only for perching on trees-arboreal locomotion.

A sleeping bird measures about 14 inches or more in length excluding the tail feathers. It has a large wingspan of about 32 to 40 inches, which makes it capable of flying at high speeds within no time while chasing its prey. It can fly up to 65 kilometers per hour speed when needed through dense forests.

The difference between a sleeping bird and a dead one is that while a sleeping bird’s eyes are closed, and when sleeping, its neck is curved like the letter ‘C’, while dead sleeping birds will have their necks straight and they do not sleep in a curled position.

The Life & Habits of a Sleeping Bird

A sleeping bird usually flies in pairs during cold months; but sometimes they can be seen in colonies in warm seasons for breeding purposes and to protect themselves from predators like eagles, owls, etc.

This bird does not build nests of its own rather it lays eggs on the nests built by other birds such as crows, pigeons, etc. It never raises its young ones but rather an adult bird protects the chicks from predators. The babies raise themselves on their own.

Sleeping birds lay approximately 4 or 5 eggs at one time approximately two times per year during nesting seasons. They usually fly great distances to find food-foraging, particularly in the breeding season. The sleeping birds are seen far away from their sleeping sites at night.

The sleeping bird catches its prey using long legs while sleeping on tree branches and captures them while they are sleeping. It eats insects, earthworms, spiders, small reptiles, etc., which are also sleeping at that time when the sleeping birds hunt them down.

A sleeping bird does not have a very good sense of hearing but has an excellent vision during dark hours-nocturnal vision to see its prey. Even if it sleeps for 14 hours per day, it still spends approximately 40 percent of the day awake and remains constantly vigilant.

When a sleeping bird sleeps it is constantly vigilant-hypervigilant during sleeping because it does not have a very good sense of hearing rather has good vision to see its sleeping prey.

How Sleeping Birds Communicates

The sleeping bird is known to be very noisy when captured by predators or while sleeping in flocks at night. It can make shrill sounds, also emit whistling noise through short trills, etc. If the sleeping birds are sleeping on the branch of a tree, they bend their necks downwards to protect their heads from predators or any other danger.

They catch hold tightly with claws of feet and fold wings over their backs to save themselves from threats. A sleeping bird adapts this behavior only when it feels threatened by anything. If these sleeping birds are sleeping in groups then many are a little bit away from others but sleeping closely so that they can protect themselves from predators by raising alarm.

Similarities Between the Sleeping Bird & Other Birds

The sleeping bird leads its life almost in a similar way to eagles, owls, and other birds of prey which hunt sleeping birds at night while sleeping in groups on trees or perches-resting places. A sleeping bird has weak legs but strong massive wings that help them to cover large distances when migrating or during the breeding season where it catches insects etc., for food.

Although sleeping birds are not very big, during their sleeping time they try to protect themselves by covering with folded wings, holding claws tightly overheads, etc. The sleeping bird usually hunts at night catching insects, small reptiles but it does not dig burrows like White-rumped sandpipers and other birds from the “peeps” kind. It is diurnal meaning it has activity during the daytime.

Species of Sleeping Birds

There are two sub-species of sleeping birds known as white sleeping birds and gray sleeping birds respectively, both sleeping birds are like each other except for their color. The sleeping bird is found in the southern parts of Asia including India’s forests, Sri Lanka, etc.,

it can be easily seen there during its breeding seasons also during nighttime. They are hard to see because they remain almost unseen at night or sleep throughout the day on tree branches, leaves, or other resting places.

The sleeping bird is mostly active at night when it hunts for food catching small insects, reptiles, etc., but sometimes it becomes diurnal depending upon the availability of food items like insects, etc., for their meals which they hunt down through vision which is very good at night.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.