Yes...there are many dangers endangering your bird!!!


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There are actually a lot of dangers out there in the “bird world.” Bird marts, pet stores, bathrooms, plants, fans, new ovens, on........

The most obvious household dangers are toilets, boiling water and fans. Be careful whether your bird’s wings are clipped or not. Clipped birds CAN fly and they fool their unsuspecting Parront all the time. Most people thing that their bird’s wings are clipped. I have heard so many times that "my bird can't fly and won't leave me. He is clipped and goes straight down." Well, that bird can still fly when fright or wind takes over. We knew a friend who had had his bird for many years and he took that bird outside EVERY morning to have his morning coffee. One morning, the bird (being caught on a draft) flew away. After a couple days, they DID get him back. However, you can’t always be sure that you WILL get them back. In other words, don’t take your birds outside or you may end up with NO bird. If you want to take your bird outside…put it in a flight suit/harness!

The following precautions cover most household dangers to companion birds. Please add any warnings specific to your home and print the list for your bird sitter.

*FOODS that are toxic to parrots include avocado, guacamole, chocolate, cocoa, alcohol, caffeine, the pits of apricots, peaches, plums, prunes, and  seeds of the cherimoya fruit, as well as foods containing large amounts of salt, sugar, grease, preservatives, artificial coloring, and other additives.  Obvious  dangers such as moldy foods and under-cooked or raw meat should be avoided.  Parrot food should be safe enough for human infants. Make sure you take any plant portions (green leaves) off of eggplant and tomatoes.

*NUTS in the shell, such as English walnuts, should be offered with caution.  To minimize risk, do not offer whole hard-shell nuts when birds are extremely hungry, nor  without supervision. Concealed nuts in the shell such as the "sock toy" can cause  impaction. Between the meat of the nut and the shell, molds and fungus can grow, so we stay away from nuts in the shell.

*LITTER made of walnut shells or corn cobs can cause life-threatening impaction if ingested by birds. It also harbors fungal spores when soiled or wet. Newspaper is a safer litter material. We buy compressed pine pellets at a feed store for litter. These pellets are about the size of rabbit food pellets.

*WOOD SHAVINGS, specifically cedar and redwood, are toxic to birds and should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes. Pine or aspen shavings are safer nestbox substrate. We use Pine.

*KITCHENS, especially when cooking is in progress, are unsafe for birds.  The obvious hazards of open flames, hot ranges, open pots of hot food or boiling water are as deadly as smoke or other toxic fumes, even from dishwashers if a plastic item falls into a heating element during the dry cycle.

*PTFE treated products such as "Teflon" and other name brands of non-stick cookware kill birds by releasing deadly, odorless gases when overheated.   PTFE is used in some space heaters, ranges, ovens, stove-top burner bibs  or liners, heat lamps, irons, griddles, bread makers, woks, waffle makers, electric skillets, crock pots, corn poppers, coffee makers, roasters, curling irons, hair dryers, and more. Check labels before purchase.

*SELF CLEANING OVENS use extremely high heat to burn off oven debris. During that process, toxic fumes are emitted and they can harm or kill parrots.

*COOKING BAGS, especially those treated with PTFE, emit harmful fumes when heated. Any substance that releases smoke and/or fumes when heated should be avoided in homes with birds. It can be fatal.

*CAGES should be made of safe metal with non-toxic paint, no sharp points that can cause injuries, proper spacing between cage bars to prevent strangulation, and no empty cup holders.  Birds have been injured or killed by getting stuck in empty cup holders in cages. Use empty dishes or fill them with toys or treats, but never leave empty cup holders in a cage. Stainless Steel is the safest metal.

*GRIT is unnecessary and can cause impaction of the avian digestive system.

*HALOGEN LIGHT FIXTURES such as torchier-style floor lamps create extreme heat and can kill birds that land on them. Choose only bird-safe light fixtures for bird homes.

*METALS such as lead, zinc, copper, and iron can cause metal toxicities if ingested by birds. Some sources are galvanized cage and aviary wire, house keys, (especially gold colored keys), lead-based paints, metallic paints, paints containing zinc, linoleum, vinyl mini-blinds, foil from champagne and wine bottles, lead weights, bells with lead clappers, stained glass, some improperly-glazed ceramics, costume jewelry, mirror backing, copper pennies, zinc oxide, artist paints containing cadmium, cardboard or paper with high gloss inks, and magnetic business cards.

*QUIK-STOP and other styptic products should never be applied to avian skin. Styptic products are safe for bleeding toenails when broken or cut too short, but they destroy skin. For broken or pulled blood feathers, cornstarch or flour are safer. Aloe gel can be applied first to help the flour or cornstarch to adhere to the wound and to help with pain and healing.

*CATS, DOGS, FERRETS (and many other pets) are a danger to birds. The slightest cat scratch can infect birds with Pasteurella bacteria and immediate vet treatment is required to save the bird's life. Never allow birds to interact with ANY pet without close supervision.
If your parrot is injured by a cat, I  would recommend quickly taking your parrot to the vet for the bite transmits the bacterium Pastuerella to the parrot which then translates into Pastuerella Septicemia and then to death. The wound should be washed immediately (I would grab the Nolvasan) (Nolvasan works well at killing most bacteria but not damaging tissue like Betadine can do. Remember though, that Novalsan does not kill Polyoma). I would also put an antibiotic ointment on the wound. This would include a wound caused by a tooth or by a claw. I have read that 60-75% of normal house cats carry this bacteria in their mouths. Fatal Septicemia works quickly against a bird.

*PESTICIDE SPRAYS, NO-PEST STRIPS, AND FOGGERS poison the air and can kill birds.  Safer solutions are roach traps, ant bait, and other solid insect poisons that can be safely secured in the back of cabinets and other areas that are inaccessible to birds.

*FLEA COLLARS AND SPRAYS emit toxins and should not be used in bird homes. The metal discs sold in pet stores to attach to cages for killing lice also  poison the bird's environment -- do NOT use them!  Shampoos for lice also contain  dangerous  toxins and should never be used on birds.

*STICKY PEST STRIPS for flying insects should always be enclosed in old cages or other containers accessible to insects but out of the reach of birds and other pets. Citrus oil or peanut butter can be used to safely remove sticky substances from feathers.

*WING CLIPS should be checked on the first day of each month to prevent flight-related accidents. Wing-clipped birds can often fly well enough to escape so they should be protected by a flight suit/harness, leash, or carrier when taken outside.

*TRANSPARENT AND REFLECTIVE SURFACES like glass windows doors, and mirrors should be shown to flighted birds. Many birds can be trained to avoid large expanses of glass by repeatedly holding the bird on your hand and imitating flight toward the glass and then lightly pressing their beak, feet, and body against the surfaces. Decals can be used as a visible reminder.

*CEILING FANS should not be used in homes with flighted birds. Other household  dangers to flighted birds are open windows and doors, hot pots and stove burners,  open containers of water (sinks, toilets,
tubs, boiling water), poisonous or thorny  houseplants, electrical wires, medication, insect bait traps, and many other toxic substances.

*TOYS, both new and used, should be cleaned and examined for loose parts that could lodge in a bird's throat. Loose strings and threads can trap and cut off circulation to necks, wings, legs, and toes. Use only stainless steel (not zinc) "quick links" as toy fasteners and never use strings, chains or ropes long enough to wrap around a birds' neck or other body parts.
Click here for an article on the safety of your bird toys.

*PRESSURE TREATED LUMBER, conventional plywood, and particle board contain a variety of toxic substances. Untreated pine boards are a safer choice.

*HOUSEPLANTS and FERTILIZER including "fertilizer spikes" can poisonbirds so they should be kept out of their reach. Some of the most common poisonous houseplants are azalea, oleander, castor bean, sago
palm, yew plants, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), asparagus fern, daffodils, flower bulbs, mistletoe, poinsettia, philodendron, and potato sprouts or "eyes".  Choose only non-poisonous plants for bird homes.

*CIGARETTES, CIGARS, PIPES, AND OTHER SMOKING SUBSTANCES should  never be used in air space shared by birds.  Passive  inhalation of smoke, including smoke from burning incense, damages
the sensitive avian respiratory system, eyes and skin. Nicotine can settle on perches and other cage surfaces and cause the self-mutilation of feet and legs in sensitive birds, especially Amazon parrots.

*ESSENTIAL OILS and potpourri oils should never be used in the breathing space of parrots. Perfume, hairspray, and other aerosolized grooming products also can damage the avian respiratory system.

*AIR FRESHENERS which includes plug-ins and scented sprays are considered unsafe. Bird deaths from using. To safely freshen the air,  simmer  spices like cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and citrus rinds.

*SCENTED CANDLES release toxins when burned, so only unscented candles should be used in bird homes. (Protect birds from the open flame). Beeswax candles are generally safe and unscented unless they
are imported and contain lead wicks (which are illegal and rarely used.)

*CARPET POWDERS AND SPRAYS such as Carpet Fresh, as well as similar treatments for upholstery such as Febreze, often contain toxins which are dispersed into the air when they are vacuumed so they should not be used in bird homes. Carpets can be cleaned safely with solutions of water and baking soda, vinegar, or Grapefruit Seed Extract.

*CLEANING AND DISINFECTING PRODUCTS like pine oil, ammonia, mold and  mildew cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, drain cleaners, furniture polish, oven cleaners, dishwasher detergents, furniture polish, car cleaning products, and laundry products, including bleach, can irritate or burn the skin, eyes and respiratory tract of birds when used in their air space. Spray starch is also toxic to birds.

*HOME IMPROVEMENT PRODUCTS that create fumes include fresh paint, new carpet, drapes, furniture and flooring that uses toxic glues. The outgassing of toxic  chemicals from new furnishings, paints,
solvents, adhesives, various finishes, and  other building materials are sometimes described as the "new smell" and can damage  the sensitive avian respiratory system.

*MEDICATION and natural remedies containing tea tree oil, which contains the oil of the melaleuca tree, as well as all over-the-counter medications should be kept out of the reach of parrots.

*MOLD on food or in the air is dangerous to parrots. Aspergillus mold can cause the deadly disease, aspergillosis. It can grow on improperly handled and stored foods, especially grains such as corn. Excessive moisture in bathrooms promotes the growth of various molds in homes.

*CARBON MONOXIDE is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas produced by furnaces and other heaters. Birds in poorly ventilated, heated areasare at high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It robs the blood of
oxygen and can be particularly harmful to animals and humans with heart ailments when inhaled at levels often found indoors.

*DRY CLEANED CLOTHING should be aired outside or in an airspace not shared by birds until there is no remaining odor. The chemical "perc" (perchloroethylene) causes cancer in lab animals.

*MOTHBALLS and moth-repellent cakes and crystals contain paradichlorobenzene,  which also is found in toilet disinfectants and in deodorizers, and it causes cancer  in lab animals.

*HUMAN SALIVA contains pathogens that are deadly to birds. Never allow a bird to place its beak in your nose or mouth. Do not allow them to "clean your teeth".

*CLEANLINESS is important to the prevention of bacterial infections. Wash your hands frequently when working with birds and preparing  their food and dishes.

*DISEASE EXPOSURE should be avoided by quarantining all new birds from your existing flock or companion birds for one to three months. Taking birds to pet stores, bird fairs, swap shops and other bird
gatherings with birds can expose them to deadly diseases. It is safer to have a friend or relative come into your home or  keep your birds in their home when you must be away from home for extended periods.

*EMERGENCY INFORMATION and instructions such as your vet's contact information should be left with your bird's caregivers when you're away. Warnings about potential emergencies and how to handle them
should be discussed before you leave.

The above list was used with permission from I added the words that are in blue font above.

Two of the most dangerous things, as far as acquiring diseases, are Pet Stores and Bird Marts. Carolyn Swicegood once told me that buying and selling birds at bird marts was the equivalent of playing "Russian Roulette" wih your flock. One very  good “Parront” we know takes extra clothes and shoes to Bird Marts. After the mart she goes to a fast food place to change clothes and shoes. After that procedure, she washes her hair in the sink. We choose another disinfecting procedure...we strip in the garage and bag up our clothes before re-entering our house. Then, Mom throws the clothes in the laundry machine and throws us in the shower. A study was once done by Scott Lewis of “Old World Aviaries” were he went to a mart and swabbed cages, birds, tabletops, etc. and all of them were infected. (Click here to see the test) If you ever buy anything at a mart, soak it in bleach water and then let it sit in the sun for a couple of days. However, don’t read me wrong!! Bird Marts and Pet Stores aren’t the worst thing in the world! We go to them and so can you. We just all have to make sure we do all we can to prevent bringing home a disease along with that new toy.

The following list(s) are toxic and non-toxic plants....these are good guidelines, but Pamperedpeeps Aviary is not to be held responsible. One of the best lists I have found on which branches are listed for their toxicity is at this link , which is within the landscape website  


Angel’s Trumpet
Calla Lily
Castor Bean
Chinese Evergreen
Devil’s Ivy
Dieffenbachia (Dumbcane)
Elephant’s Ear
Four O’clock
Horsetail Reed
Jerusalem Cherry
Jessamine (Yellow Jasmine)
Lantana Camara (Red Sage)
Morning Glory
Peace Lily
Peyote (mescal)
Poison Hemlock
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Pyracantha Berries
Rosary Pea
Tomato Greens
Water Hemlock
Yew to name a few


Acacia (some species)-Acacia
African Daisy
African Violet
African Palm
Aluminum Plant
peel away yellow green sap and outer skin

Butterfly Cane
Asparagus Fern
Baby’s Tears
Baby’s Breath
Bachelor Buttons
Bird’s Nest fern
Blood Leaf Plant
Boston Fern
Brake, Ribbon, Dish
California Holly
Cat Claw Vine
Christmas cactus
Cissus kangaroo Vine
Claw Cactus
Coffee Tree
Corn Plant
Creeping Charlie
Creeping Jennie
Croton (house variety)
Donkey Tail
Dragon Tree
Easter cactus
Elderberry (cooked ripe fruit)
Elephant foot tree
Elk’s Horn
European Fan
Gold Dust Dracaena
Grape Ivy
Grape vine
Hens and Chicks
Indian Hawthorne
Jade plant
Lemon Balm
Lily (Easter or Tiger)
Lipstick Plant
Mayapple (fruit only)
Monkey Plant
Mother in Laws Tongue
Mountain Ash
Natal Plant
Nerve Plant
Norfolk Island Pine
Oregon Grape
Passion Flower
Piggy-back Plant
Pony tail Palm
Prayer Plant
Purple Passion
Purple Velvet
Rubber Plant
Russian Olive
Sensitive Plant
Spider Plant
Squirrel’s Foor Fern
Star jasmine
String of Beads
Swedish Ivy
Sword Fern
Ti Plant
Umbrella Plant
Wax Plant
Wandering Jew
White Clover
Yucca Plant
Zebra Plant to name a few…more!


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