Parrots Die From... compiled
by Debbie Stahre (Hookbill Haven)
- Overheated non-stick cookware
- Air fresheners (especially plug-ins)
- Aerosol sprays (many types can kill a parrot including hairspray, paint, shoe dyes,
water repellants, household cleaners, insect sprays[killers, repellants,flea spray, etc.])
- Finger nail polish and remover
- Lead (can be found in many places you may not be aware of including: window calking,
wine bottles, paint, stained glass, old window sashes and old houses [can be filled with
- Zinc Poisoning - new cages fabricated with hardware cloth (wire) need to be washed with
a vinegar rinse before use
- Vitamin overdosing (dont overdo it with vitamin use, especially with pellets in
the diet. Vitamins in the drinking water can cause an infection in your bird which
eventually leads to death
- Polyurethane being applied in another part of the house can travel through the airways
and air systems
- Diseases - They can linger in cages and airspace for months. If you bring a new bird
into your home where a previous bird died, it is possible that the new bird will die from
the same disease (this often happens without the owners knowing that their previous bird
had a contagious disease).
- Cat Bites that are not obvious or severe looking need to be treated immediately with
antibiotics by an avian vet the bacteria in a cats mouth is very deadly and
fast moving in birds.
- Windows and mirrors. Birds can easily break their necks or receive a fatal blow to the
head by flying into these objects. They are trying to fly through them but dont
realize they cant.
- Steam coming from hot food cooking on the stove will attract birds who will fly right
into a hot pan
- Uncovered toilets, buckets of water or other liquids, sinks filled with water, fish
tanks, etc. can attract and drown a bird
- Dogs can bring a heavy paw down too hard on a bird and kill it
- Ferrets and lizards might eat your bird
- A bird with poor wing clipping can fall and break its breast bone or beak, causing
serious injury requiring extensive care from an avian vet. Some people may not be able to
afford this and will choose euthanasia over svaing the bird.
- Veterinarians - It is imperative to locate a qualified AVIAN vet before you need one in
an emergency situation. The average practicing vet is not schooled in the care of parrots
and make make a fatal mistake while intending to help.
- Sunflower seed - Feeding a diet heavy with sunflower seed is likely to cause damage toa
parrot in captivity. Sunflower seed, peanuts, etc. are heavy in fat and may cause your
parrot to become overweight. Liver damage may result Some birds living on such diets for a
long period of time end up having heart attacks when placed under stress. Do not feed
sunflower seeds to Amazons more so than any other specie, except Lories which should not
be fed dry seed at all.
- Dremmel tools used to grind beaks and toenails have been known to stress a bird enough
to induce a heart attacks. Do not allow a Dremmel tool to be used on a bird that is easily
stressed or an imported Amazon that has had a diet rich in fatty foods such as sunflower
seeds and peanuts.
- Cigarette smoke - BAD!!
- Avacado - This is a controversial topic. Some birds die from eating it, some owners feed
it with no ill effect. [ed. my recommendation: avoid it]
- Other birds - birds may fight when placed together. Never put teo or more birds together
without watching for compatability. Watch large birds around small bird. Watch birds that
land on other birds cages. Do not put two female lovebirds in the same cage. Do not add a
new bird into an established territory.
- Corn cob bedding can quickly turn moldy and cause deadly illnesses. Some birds will eat
the corn cob and it then may build up inside of them resulting in a blockage. Birds are
able to reach the smallest of spacings in a grate to get at it.
- Young children should be supervised by an adult.
- Cage covers or other materials around a birds cage can be pulled through the bars
and chewed on. The resulting holes can entagle the bird and strangle it, or hang it up on
the cage panicing the bird which may also lead to death. Threads can also be a problem
both internally and externally. Externally they may wrap around toes and not be seen until
a toe falls off. Or, they may entangle other parts of the body
- Ceiling fans should never be running whenever a bird can get at them
- Electrical cords within beak reach will be chewed on and will electrocute the bird
- Toys should be examined for safety - just because a toy is on the market doesnt
make it safe! Many of the most popular toys on the market carry serious safety risk
factors. Some of them include cotton rope, rags or cloth with threads hanging out of them
(or even finely sewn cloth), bells, clips that attach the toy to the cage, etc.
- Doors. Birds like to sit on the tops of open doors. They can be killed if someone closes
the door or the wind blows it shut
- Flypaper and mousetraps - Deadly!
- Rolling over in bed onto the bird
- Stepping or sitting on the bird
- Feather picking. There are many causes for this and left untreated may lead to death
through a variety of various effects. Some causes are bacterial infection, Giardia,
infection from self mutilation, both internal and external parasites , brutality from
other birds including mates, psycological reasons, physical ailments, cigarette smoke,
lack of proper lighting on a long term basis, change of home or owner, lack of exercise,
lack of interaction with owner, poor siting of the cage such as in a high traffic area or
near other types of animals, sexual maturity and the need to be placed in a breeding
- Soaps of various types can cause serious illness or death
- House plants - some may be poisonous to your bird
- Plastic items that jump out of place in the dishwasher and get stuck against the heating
- Hospital germicides or disinfectants sprayed in one part of the house can kill birds in
another part of the house
- Any repairman or serviceman that comes into your home must be questioned, briefed and
watched for any substances he may use that can be toxic to your bird(s).
- Falling into a filthy waste basket can cause bacterial infection eventually leading to
death or death within minutes if the contents are toxic to birds
- Being left in a very sunny window where the bird can not escape the heat on its own.
Many owners overheat their birds believing that the need to be kept in hot humid rooms
Copyright: Birds of A Feather Avicultural Society March 1998