Avian Health Tips

Read these 13 Avian Health Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Bird tips and hundreds of other topics.

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What can I offer my bird if he isn´t hungry or thirsty?

Giving Fluids

If your parrot isn't feeling well and hasn't been eating or drinking much, try tempting him with a little bit of a sports drink. A few sips of Gatoraide will help replenish minerals and fluids. Don't hesitate to call the doctor if your bird goes more than a couple of days with no appetite.

Why do my bird´s vent feathers look stained or matted?

Signs of diarrhea

If a bird's vent feathers are stained, matted or picked at, the bird may be suffering from diarrhea or from an internal parasite. Consult an avian veterinarian.

What do I do if my bird is sick?

Keep them warm

Sick birds need to be kept warm. Cover the cage with a blanket and put a lamp nearby to provide extra heat.

How can I tell if my bird is sick?

Identifying a sick parrot

How can you tell the difference between a sick parrotand a sleepy parrot? Their appearance is similar--both will sit fluffed up, eyes closed, usually perching on one foot. The sleepy bird will awake immediately if startled and will respond with bright eyes and curiosity. The sick parrot will be unsteady on its perch, will shiver and appear lethargic.

What are some symptoms of illness?

Symptoms of illness

Birds are normally active, curious, playful, and have good appetites. Should your bird suddenly become lethargic, lose her appetite, seem to sleep a lot, or experience drastic changes in behavior, take notice. These are all symptoms of a sick bird.

Can I give my bird human medications?

Never medicate the bird yourself!

Never medicate your bird yourself! Most over-the-counter medications meant for humans (such as Tylenol) are deadly to birds.

How can I tell if my bird has a sinus infection?

Swollen eyes

Should you notice that one of your bird's eyes seems swollen, he might have a sinus infection. See a vet. The bird may require antibiotics.

What should I do if my bird is bleeding?

Bleeding parrots

Should your parrot start to bleed for any reason, take action immediately! It doesn't take much blood loss to be dangerous to an avian system. Gently restrain the bird and apply pressure to the area until the bleeding stops. You may need to use a cautery stick or Quik Stop powder to stop the bleeding. If you don't have these items, use flour or cornstarch to help clot the blood.

What does tail-bobbing mean?


If the bird is tail-bobbing (the tail bobs up and down when the bird breathes) it is in distress. Until you can make an appointment with an avian vet, keep the bird warm and offer a sports drink such as Gatoraid.

How can I tell if my bird has been vomiting?


If the adult bird has crusty matter dried on its face and head, there is a good possibility that it has been vomiting. Call a vet immediately. (If it's a baby bird, the dried matter may be baby food.)

How should a healthy bird´s eyes look?

Dull eyes

Your bird's eyes should be bright and shiny. If they become dull or ‘weepy', that could be a sign that the bird is ill.

What does it mean if my bird is ´clicking´ when he breathes?


If you can hear a clicking sound when the bird breathes, call the vet. It could mean an upper respiratory infection or worse.

Why is my bird sneezing?


A sick bird may sneeze a lot. If the sneezes are dry, it's possible the bird is just reacting to dust. But if the sneezes are frequent and wet, consult an avian vet. The bird may have a cold or other problem.

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Guru Spotlight
PJ Campbell