My bird is acting weird and won't fly

by Priscilla
(Southern California)

You're an Avian Vet so I think you can answer my question. I have a House Sparrow (not a parrot but I don't think that matters) that I raised since it was featherless. He is about a month and a half old now. He has feathers, he can fly and he roams around my house.

About two days ago he started acting funny. He got puffed up, sleepy and won't fly. I thought he might be sick but he eats in his cage as normal and when I open his cage he flies out but he flies like if he was barley learning to fly, he flies low and lands on the ground. As I'm typing, he just flew and couldn't go higher than my waist. He is alert though, he hops around the house following me and he chirps a lot.

Before, he would land on my ceiling fan or on my dining table, now he can't get higher than my waist. Also, when i would grab him he would squirm and fly off, now he's very easy to handle.

I didn't know how to take care of a baby sparrow so I looked online and I saw that I should feed him mushed up dry dog food. Here is my concern, he won't eat seed, he hates it. I even tried feeding him bread and he pecks a little but he always chirps and chirps and CHIRPS until i give him his dog food, then he quiets down.

I have been giving him Wild Harvest Multi-Drops every day in the water that i use to mush up his dog food but i stopped giving him that because i fear that i might be overdosing him or something.I looked online and i fear he might have Salmonella from the dog food but he doesn't like anything else.

He's not as puffed up as he was anymore or lethargic but I'm scared that he's not flying like he should, like how he was before. I don't really have $ to be taking him to a vet but I love my birdie and please tell me what i should do. His name is Jack (Jack Sparrow)
Thank you

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Jan 06, 2012
Mystery solved:
by: Mario.

The analysis is simple.

Your sparrow (domesticated), is fat.
Obesity is a common disease acquired with domestication, not only on animals, humans get it too with oversupply of salty, fatty, sugary food and lack of movement.

The sparrow is a "victim" of the society, but it is also his own fault too, not being able to control his urge to eat yummy food.

He should have known better.

Sparrows are social beings and learn a lot from other sparrown in their company and acquire good or bad habits too.

Aug 24, 2011
Sparrow rescued
by: The Avian Vet

This diet is totally inappropriate for a house sparrow and the water vitamins are not helping, and in fact can cause bacterial infections. House sparrows are notorious for harboring disease, especially disease that is contagious to humans.

You need to have your bird examined and tested, before he dies and before he infects your or a family member. You need to do more research on what to feed him. I recommend contacting a wildlife rescue organization in your area. The one I use is Triangle Wildlife Center in Durham NC. You can search for them online and they are happy to help you raise this bird properly. These birds eat lots of insects, so you might try something called Bag-o-Bugs (sold here at the link above an many places).

Find an Avian Vet
Dr B

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