How to Tell if your Parrot is Sick

How to Tell if your Parrot is Sick

6 Signs your Parrot may be Ill

A healthy parrot is one of life’s greatest blessings. Nothing is more rewarding than watching your bird playing with his favorite bird toy(s), eating his favorite food or just singing or talking.

As a birdy parent, it is critical that you monitor your feather friend’s health on a regular basis.  Each day, take a few moments to watch your bird as he moves around his bird-cage or when he is on his/her bird stand. Make sure he/she is in good health and behaving normally.   Even a slight change in behavior could signify an illness or injury.   A healthy parrot is active, perky and well-groomed.  His eyes are bright and clear and his beak is clean and smooth.

Here are 6 signs that your bird may be sick or need medical attention:

1.    Sleepiness: Most birds need a good night’s rest each evening.   Preferably 10 to 12 hours per night.  However, if your feathered friend seems more tired than usual, and wants to fall asleep when he or she is usually playing with his bird toys or on his/her playgym, it could signal a health concern.

2.    Lethargy: Healthy birds tend to be extremely active and vocal. They are thrilled with life and want to enjoy it to the fullest. If your bird is feeling under the weather, he may sleep a lot during periods when he used to be very active and he may react very sluggish.  You will notice that he or she is sitting with feathers puffed and eyes closed.

3.    Dirty Feathers: Birds are meticulous about keeping their feathers well- groomed. It is called “preening”.  In fact, they spend hours each day engaged in preening and looking beautiful.  If you notice that your bird’s feathers are looking dull or crusty, or have leftover food on them, it’s a definite sign that your birdy is not feeling well.

4.    Lack of appetite: Birds love to eat. My Double Yellow Headed Amazon “Kiwi” just loves his food.  So if your parrot suddenly stops getting excited about meal-time, it could indicate a problem. Your parrot may be suffering from an intestinal blockage or impaction.

5.    Labored breathing:  If you notice your bird is panting, wheezing or breathing with his mouth open, take him to the veterinarian immediately. These symptoms could indicate a respiratory condition, which is extremely serious in parrots.

6.    Sudden Personality Changes:  If your parrot normally enjoys interacting with you and your family  but suddenly becomes disinterested, he may not be feeling well. Also, keep an eye out for changes in his vocalization patterns, sleeping habits and general mood. Early detection of any type of illness is critical.

It is very important to become familiar with your feathered friend’s individual personality.   Knowing his mannerisms when he is healthy will go along way to picking up any changes very early on that could indicate poor health.

Please let me know if this article has helped you in anyway with your beloved feathered child.


FunTime Birdy


  1. Bryan on July 27, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Great information! It will be really useful to all parrot owners, on what tell tale signs to watch out for.

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