Blue And Gold Macaw Rose Breasted Cockatoos also called Galahs Moluccan Cockatoos

Dangers To Your Pet Bird

Often new individuals to birds go with the assumption that a bird knows what is good for it but this is far from the truth. There are dangers all around, in and out of the home even in the cage. Our environment, our world and the things in it have many hazards for the bird. I can not possibly list them all but I am hoping to open a door for you to think of things pertaining to safety for your bird in a new light.
It is a known fact that birds in the wild have ingested things like Christmas tinsel and many other objects it mistakenly thought were food and as a result died. Birds chew nibble and forage in play and in eating. It is up to you as the care taker to provide a safe environment for them to live in.
Lets take the shoe for instance. We all wear them and they go every where we go, the grocery store, the parking lot, the public bathroom and so on. We bring back to our homes everything we have stepped in! Now really think, does this now sound like an item that you should allow your bird to play with? Besides the fact that flip flops are toxic if ingested and leather is tanned and dyed most of the time with toxic substances, leather shoe laces too (so don't string beads or toys on a leather shoe lace for your bird to play with). Shoes doesn't bother us because we are not or at least should not put them in our mouths. The public bathroom alone makes me not want to wear them back into my house! When company comes over they are bringing all the above to your home everywhere they have been. The broom you sweep with, some are made of natural material others are not but we sweep all the goodies from above around the house so I think you can see why this is not good for the bird to play with.
Newspaper makes a great cage liner provided you do not use the advertisement sections that are died with lead based ink. Newspaper contains carbon and vegetable die that is safe but if you friends are saving paper for your bird and maybe their aunt Edith had a cold be assured your bird and family can catch it. Yes, the bird can also catch most illnesses we do.
Amazingly most bread wrappers and frozen food packages also contain toxins, that pretty picture on the bag can be lethal. It doesn't touch the food so we humans are ok but amazingly human babies in grocery carts often are seen putting their mouths on these items. The lead in a pencil is graphite now but the paint on the outside contains lead.
High levels of zinc are toxic and can not only be found in galvanized cages but is also in powder coated cages. It can also be found in chain link toys, padlocks, keys, pvc and that said there is a need for detoxing birds. These items are not as life threatening as other things but over a prolonged period of time can be. I currently have an umbrella cockatoo that is a pet slash breeder at the age of 54 human years this year and another at 35, in addition a blue and gold macaw hitting on near 70 years of age. They have been housed in both types of cages and are allowed many types of toys that probably do contain zinc, thus is the need for detoxing them on a regular basis which we have and we do. My veterinarian that I work for says this is the best way to keep birds healthy and happy besides a regular maintenance regiment of changing food and water daily and keeping the cage, toys and all things the birds interact with clean.
Birds are brought into our environment by us and it is up to us to care for them properly as this is not their natural environment.
Scented candles have been found by the EPA to contain hazardous chemicals that are commonly used in fragrance, including acetone, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, benzyl alcohol, camphor, ethanol, ethyl acetate, limonene, linalool, and methylene chloride. Besides the soot that is given off when burned thus causing damage to our lungs and even kidney damage.
It all sounds like a lot of trouble to care for a bird but sometimes I think the birds have just been a catalyst to make us more aware of our environment and the effects that it has on us and our children. Because the bird is designed with lungs and air sacs it makes them more sensitive and susceptible to these things.
Have we all forgotten the freshest scent is just plain clean and nothing can compare to the scent of a "real" rose or fresh sunshine and the natural ions that accure after a rain storm?


  • Heat Exhaustion: Over heating, bird placed near window with no escape from incoming sun light, or outside with no shade.

  • Cat Scratches or Bites: Even mild scratches or bites are life threatening!

  • Ceiling Fans: These can be a source of severe injury or even death for free flying birds.

  • Non-stick Cookware: Poisonous fumes can be released from non-stick cookware if temperatures are excessive, causing distress, incoordination, seizure, and death.

  • Hot Stoves/ Appliances: May be a source of severe burns.

  • Open Water: Birds can fly into sinks, toilets, bathtubs, aquariums, etc., and may be unable to get out.

  • Windows: Striking a window can easily break your pet's neck, cause concussions or damage it's beak.

  • Food: Certain foods (avocado, chocolate, fatty foods) that people commonly eat may be dangerous, also apple seeds, peach pits, and other fruit pits or seeds are toxic.

  • Lead Poisoning: Lead can be ingested from certain weighted bird toys, window curtain weights, solder, stained glass, pencils (even though the inside is now graphite) the outside paint is often lead paint, costume jewelry often contains lead, and sources. Signs include depression, convulsions, other nervous symptoms, and red or black stool.

  • Insect Spray/ Other Inhaled Toxins: Pesticides, ammonia or bleach fumes, hairsprays, (perm solutions & hair color) cleaning sprays and high levels of carbon monoxide can be toxic to your bird. As well as zinc oxide (often referred to as an odor neutralizer) which is contained in most odor eliminators, room deodorizers, plugins, scented candles, carpet deodorizers, and such.

  • Poisonous Plants: Some of the most common toxic plants may include azalea, diffenbachia, jerusalem cherry, philodendron, poinsettia, and mistletoe.


Please note this is a courtesy list and information to improve the health and aid in the better care of all birds. Informing and educating the public so we all can care for our feathered friends just a little bit better...there are many other dangers out there that we have not listed.
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