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What is light and why is it so important?

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By John Courteney-Smith MRSB

Since last writing for this magazine, I have been busy developing new products that help us to provide the best care for our pets in the most natural way, and explaining the real value of natural light.

This then led to the release of a new book in December 2018 that deals solely with this subject in regard to the ethical and effective keeping of captive reptiles. However, this is a theory that applies to all of life, as we all utilise light, and largely all in the same way. It is worth noting also, that birds and reptiles are very closely related, subsequently, the vast research conducted into the correct provision of light for reptiles also applies in almost every way to the correct provision for birds. The only core difference is, that reptiles are ectothermic (cold blooded, gleaning the energy they need to function from light), and that birds are endothermic (able to use the energy contained within food to power their bodies).

In this article, I will describe what light is, why it is vitally important for nutrition, and then seek to cover the subject of why full-spectrum+UV-B lighting for birds is so important. It is clear that I cannot cover this huge subject in just one issue, so have split into a number of articles, as I try to explain the jumble of facts in a coherent fashion. I hope you are then able to make suitable changes in your homes, so that your birds can live long and healthy lives.

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