I swear the Pet shop sold me a blind cockatiel

by Marisha S.
(Minot, ND USA)

His eyes taken in June of last year when I brought him home.

His eyes taken in June of last year when I brought him home.

His eyes taken in June of last year when I brought him home.
A normal picture of him in June when I first bought him. He was just a baby.
This is him now, picture taken in January.
Super close up of his eye, and they both have the same droopy lower lid appearance.

I purchased my cockatiel last year as a baby in June and while we were driving home I noticed his eyes looked a little weird, they seem to droop at the bottom. Thinking nothing of it we continued the 2 hr drive home. When I got home and over the next couple days I could tell that something was very wrong, he does not blink when you put your finger close to either of his eyes (you could poke his eye and he wouldn't see it coming. When he tries to fly he always go straight down, and will somersault over and over again, I have seen a wild bird do this after being hit by a car.

I have to keep his wings clipped cause he will almost certainly break his neck from the weird somersaulting he does when he falls. Now that I have had him for almost a year I know for certain something is wrong with him, if I try to give him a sunflower seed he reaches for it, but usually goes in too high or too low to grab it the first couple times. He often falls off his perches to the bottom of the cage, and every time I leave the room he gets super excited even though my husband is still in the room (like he thinks he is all alone.

He is either semi-retarded or semi blind. I know he must be able to see somethings because he can navigate around his cage and knows when I leave or enter the room. Beyond that I don't know what else is wrong with him. I am attaching some pictures of him and his eyes please let me know if you have any idea what it could be. I was thinking maybe it could have been from his breeding.

Comments for I swear the Pet shop sold me a blind cockatiel

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 05, 2017
Blind Albino Cockatiel
by: Anonymous

I had a couple 'give' me a pair of tiels, the male is normal grey (they thought he was a 'piebald" (well, a pied; though they didn't know)). Anyway, it didn't take long before it was evident she was blind as a bat. She negotiates the cage well, and once her flight feathers grow back (they clipped her pretty short), she'll be able to fly. My birds (9 tiels) have a netted area of my livingroom to fly in. However, she rarely goes out of the cage. She can't tell I'm around her unless I talk to her or her mate, I've named solomon. She's Sheba. When she is touched, she goes nuts, so I'm trying to find a way to get her to trust me when she can't even see me coming. Millet won't work as she waits for her mate to lead the way. I love it that he is so darn protective. When I'm around her, he watches me and will come sit on my arm - like when I had to get her off the floor one day after she fell, trying to fly. Any ideas for building trust? It's a bit unusual situation.

Apr 09, 2017
Help please
by: Gail

Help. I have a few cockatiels, The one couple laid eggs. They had 2 eggs hatch. Well the one is all white with red eyes. The other looks like a pearl white faced.
My concern is I think the white one can't see. I am still hand feeding them and they are not quite a month old. How can I tell if it is? And what can I do for the poor thing?

May 01, 2012
by: Marisha

YES! I know for sure he is blind, but I don't have an avian vet in my area so they couldn't tell me anymore then that. He has to be semi retarded too though, he flies backwards and upside down. I have to keep his wings clipped, and he only has one whistle that he does. Thanks for your answer...Does yours have eyes like mine? Where the eye lids droop at the bottom? Thanks

Apr 30, 2012
genetic blindness
by: Anonymous

Hi, I adopted a blind cockatiel last week.
The lady had paid $75 for him from the local bird club in her town to then discover he was blind.
I did some research and discovered it is genetic in lutino's and whiteface. It occurs when 2 lutino's etc are bread together.

I have started a blog about our experience with Chewie so other's looking for info on how to care for blind birds can find some info (I found it very hard to find useful info).

Note lutino syndrome can cause mental retardation though my bird is very smart. If your bird doesn't see your finger then he is very vision impaired as is mine, mine finds his way around his cage by feeling with his beak and feet. He smells his food and water and knows when I leave the room due to his incredible hearing. Just like a human their other senses get stronger.

Feb 20, 2012
I swear the Pet shop sold me a blind cockatiel
by: Linda

All new birds have to be examined by an Avian Vet ONLy during the first few days we have them. The reason for this is that all birds are under a lot of stress in being moved, thrown in with lots of other possibly sick birds and so on.

Find an Avian Vet in your area and have this poor bird examined because he may have something wrong that has caused the blindness. No one on the internet can tell you what caused this or how to treat it. Only an in-person visit with an Avian Vet can give you any concrete answers.


Feb 20, 2012
I know many great pet stores
by: Marisha S

I know many great Pet stores and I am a responsible person pet owner. I know a great deal about bad pet stores as most people do also. This was no ordinary pet store it is only for birds, and the women who own this store also takes care of other people birds (boarding) she hand raises all the birds she sells. So its more like an Aviary or kind of like a sanctuary. So I didn't buy my bird from a regular pet store and that is probably why I am so upset.

I love my bird but he gets hurt easily and I just hope he is happy. We do not have any Avian vets anywhere near where I live. I cant even find one listed for this whole state. All I want to know is if someone who knows about Avian Medicine who might know what is wrong with my bird from the pictures I posted.

Thanks again

Feb 20, 2012
Bird with bad vision
by: Tracie

Many birds at large pet store chains are sick or unhealthy. I suggest you Find an Avian Vet to examine your bird to make sure is does not have an illness or disease.

Click here to add your own comments