5 year old Sun Conure suddenly dies..

by Jenna Bixby
(Nowthen, MN)

My sun conure was about 5.5 years old. When we got him he was much smaller than the rest of the conures. The lady we got him from said he was the runt of the litter. He didn't really grow much and was still pretty small. (bigger than a parakeet, smaller than a cockateil).

My Husband called me at work this morning to inform me that our conure (Stinky) has suddenly passed away. He went to change his water to put him to bed, came back in the room, and Stinky was crawling around the bottom of his cage, squeeked a few times, then fell over and died..

I'm not sure what caused this, my husband looked in his mouth to see if he was maybe choking on something, but there wans't anything. No blood.. no warning.. Just gone..

He didn't show any sign of sickness or illness.. He was always squacking and visiting the other birds in the room like always.

I'm trying to find a vet to do a biopsy incase he had some sort of sickness that could transfer to our other 6 parrots.

Any thoughts on what could have happened?
We cook with stainless steel only and moved into a new house 1 month ago.

Stinky seemed just fine with the move at all and didn't care it all. Just a free loving parrot gone in the blink of an eye...

Any info would be appreciated!

Thank you

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Jan 16, 2017
My Conure passed away 1/16/17
by: Anonymous

I was eating something I had made, and my Conure was standing on his wooden support.

His eyes closed as if he was falling asleep, but when I called out to him he opened them normally but something looked odd. My Conure showed lack of focus or control in every step, and had started to walk around much like a person would with the influence of alcohol and he caught my attention with a small squeal he made like something pierced his chest accompanied with a struggle to keep his breath.

He started to climb down the cage from the inside, and laid with his head down struggling to breath. I thought something was wrong with the air around him or he at least needed more oxygen so I tried to take him out and he squealed once more but this time with effort that obviously screamed help in my mind. I tried to take him to another room to remove his surrounding and then took him outside for air but he squealed for help for a few more times in my hand before staying still.

I tried blowing more air, and checking his heart rate but he had no signature to show he was coming back from this. I prayed for him while he was in my hands and I hoped that it wasn’t too painful for him as it was for me to watch. I know he had a stroke or heart attack of some kind for him to out of nowhere have such an event, I will not buy another bird with ought knowing what I can do to aid them in a relevant situation such as this.

I’m crushed but you think about how much of an impact you made in their life and not what you did wrong, think about how you spoiled them with food they didn’t have to struggle for and other luxuries you give them that’s now rooted as your pain.

They learn from you, they acknowledge that you provide them food, they always study you with their look just as you do when you look at them, they are the ones that want to see you most when they’re hungry and when they want a shower. There is always something that they think about most when they see you and that’s the connection they have to you and that’s who they call for help or fly to if they need something, and regardless of the situation who do you think crosses their mind in the last minute of panic? It’s you.

Because when you’re most scared and you’re at a shock with what’s happening to your body, you think of the being with the strongest connection to you. You might rush in thought but you grip that image for comfort, that bird that passed away had to at some point think of you in its struggle. As it laid dormant with their last thought fueled by oxygen they recall the last experiences and I wager most of it has been seeing you home.

Oct 04, 2016
Heart failure
by: Todd

My sun conure is 25 years old and has been healthy up till recent days. He has never had his wings clipped and shares a bed room with his brother from same clutch. There cage is covered at night.
I noticed Max hadn't flown to me in some days and stayed in the cage. I was concerned so I separated the 2 , so I could take Max on my shoulder. He hopped on my shoulder, walked 5 feet he flew back to cage.
- he then became disoriented
- heavy breathing
- could hear his heart pounding (so scared thought it was going to explode)
- through all this I had him in my hands on the ground breathing warm air on his neck to calm him.
- immediate doctor visit within 40 min.
-heart failure
He can't move without HEAVY breathing. If he flies he could die. He can't move to bottom of cage without getting out of breath.

I'm so scared for the morning

Editor's note: So sorry, but it sounds like making a hospital cage, where perches & food/water is low with towel on bottom, is best. You can partially cover the cage to keep in heat too.

Jul 04, 2016
by: Anonymous

This is exactly what happened to my conure today, may i ask what the results were? It would make me feel better to know what happened to him? :(

Apr 25, 2014
Im sorry.
by: Lilia

Just came across this and I am sorry. I have one green cheek conure. Had no idea they could have heart attacks. He is only 1 1/2 years old. I will be watching George more closely.

Jun 27, 2012
Cause of death
by: Jenna Bixby

The Necropsy results came back Tuesday morning, stinky died from a heart attack. One of his valves was too small. Im at peace now knowing why he died. We are having him cremated on Friday. RIP Stinky...

Jun 24, 2012
by: Jenna Bixby

Thank you all for your kind words. I still miss him terribly and will never forget the impact he had on my life. Hopefully i will have the results back monday or Tuesday this week. Stinky is in a cooler at the University of Minnesota vet clinic and will be examinied monday. I feel horriable leaving him there, but had no other option

Jun 24, 2012
Bird dying
by: Anonymous

So sorry for your loss,it's heart breaking when our pets die.

Jun 23, 2012
5 year old Sun Conure suddenly dies..
by: Linda

Getting the necropsy done will put your mind at ease about this. Also, if your bird did have some disease, then your other birds can be examined, diagnosed and treated before anything happens to them.

I've had a bird or two suddenly die as well, and the ones I'm thinking of appeared to be very healthy up until they fell over dead. Sometimes birds do die from heart attacks, kidney or liver failure. Birds today are for the most part inbred which leads to all kinds of weaknesses in the lines and causes these types of problems.

I discourage breeding birds because the market is flooded and just about anyone can afford to get a bird and breed it whether they know what they're doing or not. The birds are the losers in this situation, and because there is a more and more limited supply of wild caught birds, inbreeding is done without even realizing it which produces inferior offspring in so many ways.

I'm sorry for your loss, and go ahead and have the necropsy done as it could save your other bird's lives. At the very least you'll know what happened which will give you closure for this terrible loss.


Jun 23, 2012
Conure died suddenly
by: Tracie

Oh wow, I am so sorry for your loss! (((hugs)))

It sounds like a stroke or something to me. You appear to be on top of things as far as toxic items go.

When I read the part about changing the water, it occurred to me that you may be using water dishes, instead of something like a Lixit water bottle, and our avian vet says these are the number one cause of bacterial infections. However, I think your bird would have showed some signs of illness if it had a bad infection.

If your bird was not eating 80% high quality pellets like Harrison's or Roudybush, then it could have died from fatty liver disease, stroke or organ failure.

As you mentioned, it could just be that the bird had a defect and that caused it's death. I am glad you are getting a necropsy done, just in case it is a disease. We can bring in bird disease on our shoes etc.

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