Are Candles Bad For Birds? Find Out Here!

Updated on December 9, 2022

Table of Contents

Are Candles Harmful To Birds?

Candles are wonderful little gifts that bring warmth and light to our homes during cold winter nights.

There are times when candle wax drips onto bird feeders and candles can cause harm to birds. Birds are attracted to bright lights and shiny surfaces. As a result, they may land on a table or countertop where they can easily fall off. If they land on a hard surface, they may break a wing or foot.

To prevent this problem, place bird feeders away from windows and doors. Also, keep candles at least two feet away from bird feeders. You should never leave burning candles unattended.

Never burn candles near curtains or blinds. And if you must burn ordinary candles, make sure they are placed on a heat-resistant surface.

Maintain a clean and debris-free bird feeder. Clean bird seeds regularly to avoid attracting pests. Remove any dead insects or seeds that might attract ants or mice.

Keep your bird feeder well-ventilated to reduce condensation build-up. Avoid placing bird feeders in direct sunlight. And remember, never feed birds human food.

Bird-Safe Candles

To keep birds away from your candles, try using bird-safe candles. These candles are made with normal paraffin wax candles instead of beeswax. Beeswax is toxic to pet birds, so paraffin candle wax is safer.

Yankee Candles are made using soy wax, which is safe for birds. You can find bird-safe Yankee candles at most grocery stores. 

Beeswax candles

Beeswax candles are made using beeswax, which is extracted from honeybees. Because beeswax is highly flammable, it must be processed carefully to prevent fires.

Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to safely process unscented beeswax candles. As a result, many people end up leaving their candles burning unattended, causing harm to wildlife.

To avoid harming wildlife, keep your beeswax candles away from windows and doors where animals might enter.

Also, never burn candles near any kind of vegetation, since plants may catch fire and spread flames. Finally, extinguish candles after use to prevent accidental rekindling.

Yankee Candles

Yankee Candles are made using soy wax, which is safe for birds. However, if you live near a bird sanctuary, you may want to consider switching to beeswax candles instead.

Beeswax candles are safer for pet birds because they don't produce smoke. The best options for fragrant candles around birds would be beeswax and unscented soy candles.

Yankee Candles also use renewable resources, including corn starch and cottonseed oil. These products are biodegradable and non-toxic. Plus, they smell great!

What Are The Harmful Ingredients Present In Candles?

Candle makers are well aware of the dangers posed by candle waxes. Many bird species eat insects attracted to candles. Some pet birds also mistake candles for food sources.

As a result, candle manufacturers try to keep harmful ingredients out of their products.

Lead Core Wicks

Lead-core candle wicks are made from lead-based material and can cause harm to birds. Birds can ingest the wick and become poisoned.

To prevent bird deaths due to candle poisoning, keep your scented candles away from windows and doors where birds might fly through.

Also, place your candles in a safe location where children cannot reach them. You should never burn candles near water sources or food preparation areas.

Essential Oils

Essential oils come in two varieties: volatile and nonvolatile.

Volatile oils evaporate quickly at room temperature, whereas nonvolatile oils remain stable at room temperature. Essential oils are used in aromatherapy, massage therapy, skin care products, bath salts, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, food flavoring, insect repellents, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products.

Nonvolatile oils include cedarwood oil, clove oil, frankincense oil, geranium oil, grapefruit oil, jasmine oil, lemon oil, tea tree oil, patchouli oil, pine oil, sandalwood oil, sage oil, spearmint oil, sweet marjoram oil, tangerine oil, and ylang-ylang oil. These oils are usually added to products after manufacture.

Some essential oils are toxic if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Some essential oils may cause allergic reactions. A doctor should always be consulted before utilizing any essential oils.

Synthetic Fragrances

Are candles bad for birds? Well, if you think about it, most candles are made using synthetic fragrances.

These scents are used to mask unpleasant smells, but they can also cause problems for birds. Birds are attracted to the scent of burning candle wax, and they may land on the wick and become trapped inside.

To avoid candle burns, keep candles away from windows, doors, and open spaces where birds might fly through. Also, place candles on high shelves or tables to prevent birds from flying down to light them.

You should also consider buying bird-safe branded candles. They are the safest candles. These types of candles are specially formulated to minimize the chances of attracting birds.

Why Are Candles Dangerous To Parrots?

Candles are dangerous to parrots because they emit smoke and toxic fumes. These dangerous chemicals irritate the respiratory system of parrots and cause breathing problems.

It irritates a parrot's respiratory system to burn incense sticks because of the chemical compounds they create.

Parrots breathe through their mouths, not their noses, so they inhale the smoke and fumes directly into their lungs.

As soon as they start feeling uncomfortable, they will try to find somewhere safe to escape to. Unfortunately, there isn't anywhere safe for them to hide. Their only option is to fly away.

According to a study published in Environmental Chemical Letters, the smoke produced when incense is burned contains small and ultrafine particles that are virtually as toxic as cigarette smoke.

If you want to continue using candles, you can think about making parrot-friendly candles.

Carbon Monoxide

Birds are sensitive to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that comes from burning fuels, including wood, coal, gasoline, kerosene, oil, natural gas, propane, charcoal, and petroleum products.

Birds breathe through their lungs, not their nostrils. Therefore, if they inhale enough carbon monoxide, they may die.

Zinc Alloy

Birds are very sensitive to zinc alloy. Zinc is used in many products, including batteries, jewelry, coins, and antifreeze.

Birds may ingest zinc through contaminated water sources, food, or nesting materials. Some species of birds are especially vulnerable to zinc poisoning.

These include American kestrels, bluebirds, bobwhite quail, Carolina chickadees, common grackles, house wrens, northern mockingbirds, ovenbird, red-winged blackbirds, robins, song sparrows, tree swallows, vireos, wood thrushes, and yellow warblers.

House Fire Risk

Birds are especially vulnerable to house fires. Birds are attracted to light sources, including candle flames. Candle flames can easily ignite flammable materials, causing a house fire.

Tips For Keeping Your Bird Safe When You're Burning Candles

Candle burning is a great hobby for bird lovers. However, there are certain precautions that should be taken to keep your feathered friend safe. Here are some tips for keeping your bird safer when you're burning candles.

Birds are attracted to light sources, especially bright ones. So if you're not watching your candle burn, you may end up with a dead bird on your hands.

Place your candle where it won't pose a threat to your bird. A candle placed near a window or balcony is a danger to birds. Place your candle away from windows and balconies to avoid any accidents.

Make sure your bird isn't tempted by food or water nearby. Keep your bird's feeding dish clean and free of crumbs. Also, make sure that your bird doesn't drink from puddles or pools of water.

Finally, make sure that your candle burns safely. Never leave a lit candle unattended. And make sure that the wick is trimmed properly. If the wick starts to smoke, extinguish the flame immediately.

Keep your bird safe when you're burning candles!

Smell is one of the human senses which can flow through the whole body. I am the Founder of where we talk all about scented candles. Known as Candace the Candle Girl, I know pretty much all there is to know about scented candles. I make and sell them on Etsy and Ebay - so be sure to ask if you have any burning questions :) (pun intended ;) )

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