Parrots suffering head trauma or concussion

If your parrot flies into a window or wall and is unresponsive, suffering wing droop, unable to perch and in severe shock, all signs of concussion or potential cerebral hemorrhaging. The obvious question you ask yourself is ‘What do I do now?” Firstly bundling your parrot up in the car and taking them directly to the vet can actually be the worst thing you can do initially.

Unfortunately accidents like this happen all too often both in the home and in the aviary. Some species of birds can be easily spooked especially when kept as aviary birds as sometimes all it takes is the flash of a set of headlights or the neighborhood cat wandering past to spook the birds and send them into a state of panic with some parrots even known to have broken their necks due to night fright. Breeders with ‘night fright’ prone parrots are somewhat accustomed to discovering a ‘concussed’ parrot recovering in the bottom of their aviary on their morning rounds.

When it comes to companion parrots, windows are the bane of their existence. Regardless how ‘used to’ windows your parrot may be, all it takes is for them to take fright, panic and fly head first into a window trying to escape the source of their fright.

Recognising the symptoms of concussion or cerebral damage


There are some very easy signs to look out for if you think your bird may be concussed. Sadly if there is brain damage there is not a great deal that can be done but both can present similarly. If you actually witness your bird fly smack bang into a window, its a pretty easy guess what has caused the problem but some owners will come home to find their bird perching but acting very strangely for no apparent reason. This is where this check list comes is to play.

Symptoms for medium grade concussion:

•Difficulty perching
•Slight wing droop
•Loss of appetite
•Uncoordinated flight
•Needing to sleep a great deal more than usual (unusual sleep pattern)
•Fluffed up and shivering coupled with above symptom(s)

Symptoms for serious concussion or cerebral hemorrhaging:

•Inability to perch, falling off perch
•Ataxia – loss of coordination due to neurological damage
•Head rolling onto back of neck, in circular motion or lolling entirely
•Eyes rolling, tracking back and forth uncharacteristically
•Unconscious entirely