Our pet birds are dependent on us to ensure they are kept safe from harm in our homes. Just like little children, our bird's curiosity can help them find very creative ways to find trouble if they are left unsupervised. Most household related deaths are the result of either exposure to a toxic substance or due to a physical trauma.
There are many household items that are toxic or potentially toxic to birds if they breathe in the fumes:
- Household cleaners (kitchen, bathroom, furniture polish, fabric protectors)
- Teflon fumes (non-stick cookware, irons, self-cleaning ovens, etc.)
- Aerosols (cleaners, hairspray, deodorant, perfumes, etc.)
- Insecticides (bug bombs)
- Paint Fumes
- Tobacco Smoke
- Smoke from poorly ventilated woodstoves and fireplaces.
- Garden chemicals (fertilizers, insecticides)
- New carpet fumes
- Scented candles, Incense, Potpourri Air Fresheners (aerosol & plug-in)
- Carbon Monoxide
There are also many household items and foods that are toxic if swallowed by your bird:
- Foods include:
- Dried beans
- Fruits pits and seeds
- Tomato leaves, vines and stems
- Toxic house plants
- Metal items containing lead or zinc
- Human medicines
- Pesticides on unwashed fruits and vegetables
Many birds have also suffered fatal or serious physical injuries when left unsupervised by:
- Drowning in an open toilet, sink or fish tank.
- Flying into window, mirror or moving ceiling fan.
- Suffering heat exposure in a car.
- Getting burned from a stove, boiling water, wood stove or fireplace
- Other animals or small children - knocking over cage, playing rough, scratches, bites
- Suffocation in bed by owner
- Crushing injuries by being stepped on
- Strangling in unkempt rope toy
- Escape through open window or door
- Killed by hawk or other predator
- Entrapment due to overgrown toenails or beak.
- Electrocution by chewing through an electrical cord.
Most physical accidents are the result of a lack of supervision when your bird is out of its cage. By exercising good judgement, bird-proofing your house and being vigilent all of these tragic scenarios are avoidable.