Recognizing Illness In Your Parrot

11 November 2015
 Categories: , Blog


If you have recently acquired a parrot, you may not realize what the signs of illness are in your exotic pet, especially if this is your first bird. Aviary illness may be more difficult to detect than poor health in your other pets. You are used to their "sick" behavior while your bird's may seem a mystery. 

Parrot Poop

As unpleasant as this task may be, you need to examine your bird's poop for signs of illness. If the substance is runny although your bird has not had "juicy" fruits recently, then it may signal a problem. Also, color is important. Your parrot's excrement should not be runny and should have a white center surrounded by a "greenish-brown" ring. If your bird is ill, you may notice that it relieves itself more frequently. When filth covers the bird's rear, it is also a concern as a healthy bird's excrement should not stick to its feathers.


The condition of your parrot's feathers gives you clear clues about its health. Birds that are chilled will ruffle their feathers for long periods in order to keep themselves warm. When "puffed up," the feathers keep a warm layer of air next to the bird's body. Dirty, ragged feathers can reflect physical illness or emotional difficulties. Dull feathers, bald spots, and stained and matted feathers are also signs that all is not well with your bird. 

Other Signs

If your bird squints or has discharge around its eyes, it may well be ill. Other signs of sickness include an overgrown or discolored beak and excessive head twitching. Also be concerned if your bird is breathing with its beak open, wheezes, or bobs its tail while it breathes. If your bird's feet exhibit unusual nail growth, swollen joints, or flaking, you need to seek help from your veterinarian.

Keeping an eye out for these conditions is important because your bird may try and hide its illness from you. Appearing weak in the wild attracts predators who seek out the easiest prey. Your parrot still has these instincts, so you have to be much more vigilant than you would with other animals not as adept at disguising their discomfort. Since some parrots live well over 50 years, your bird can provide you with companionship for the rest of your life if you take care to maintain its health. If your pet exhibits any of the above symptoms, consult with a local veterinarian (discover more about this here) immediately.