My Sun Conure is acting scared.

by by Carol
(Great Meadows, NJ)

My 19 yr old Sun Conure is suddenly exhibiting very strange behavior. When my husband (whom she adores)approached her cage this morning, she freaked out, flapping and screeching like never before. This is very unusual. He is her absolute favorite. She usually comes right to him and is very physical and affectionate. It really scared both of us.He thought maybe he startled her or that he woke her. She fluttered to the bottom and sat there looking at him as if in fear. He spoke gently and soothingly and she looked frightened. I opened the door to see if I could pet and calm her and she flew out of the cage and under our bed. It took a lot of coaxing until my husband was able to pick her up and put her in her cage. Then for a little while she looked around like she was very unsure of her surroundings. He eventually was able to pet her again and she's eating, perching and cooing like usual again, but I'm very worried. This happened once before about a week ago in the middle of the night. It woke us both up. She ate, bathed and interacted o.k other than those 2 incidents. Do conures experience anything like senility or aging symptoms? We're really distressed about this and worried for her.

Thank you for your site,

Comments for My Sun Conure is acting scared.

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Dec 13, 2012
Re: My Sun Conure is acting scared.
by: diannethisisme63

It could be a problem of age related seizures and mild strokes. A lot of times, not only do us humans, but also our animal friends, have small strokes, sort of like a tea kettle, when it builds pressure, it will blow off a little steam so it doesn't go full blown, as in a full on stroke. It really does sound as if he were having mild seizures or strokes, which after a short time, he does/wil recooperate from. In time though this could also lead to a few symptoms that do not go away, soke more permanent side effects of stroke damage as he ages. It's a bit rough for the elderly of any species at times, and they tend to need extra care for symptoms of aging.

Nov 11, 2008
by: Susan L. Chandler

I certainly would suggest you take your bird to a vet, but consider this as well, parrots can have nightmares, waking them suddenly, could easily cause disorientation, and sometimes a bird will be frightened into flight, while half awake, very dangerous, I had a 'tiel break his neck that way and a quaker stun himself hitting a wall. Try leaving a night light on and 'anouncing yourself' ('morning birdy') as you enter the room with the bird.

Sep 06, 2008
Aging Conure going senile?
by: The Vet

Age related "senility" does occur, but I would not expect it at this age.

This can happen if there is not much light in the room because birds do not see well in dim light. At night, especially they can thrash because of a sudden noise, or sudden movement, such as a cat slinking though the room or something moving outside of the window like an owl or other nocturnal creature.

What you describe could be seizures, too. This can be related to old age, too. I have also seen birds react negatively to clothing such as "offensive" colors or patterns. It is also possible that her eye sight is affected by age, for example due to cataracts.

If you have not had her examined within the last year, then it is time to take her in. She needs to be looked at for this problem to rule out the things I have mentioned above. But she should be examined every year, and even vaccinated annually.

If you determine what has happened, please let me know so I can add it to my knowledge base.

Dr B

Sep 05, 2008
Frightened Conure
by: Tracie

Hi Carol,

I have not heard of birds doing this when they age, I will ask our vet.

If the bird hadn't done this in the dark of night also, I would have thought that someone had on something "scary" to the bird or something like that.

One lady mentioned that her bird started plucking last fall and she could not figure out why. He was acting weird. Eventually she figured out that she had purchased new salt and pepper shakers in the shape of birds for the holidays. She removed those and everything went back to normal.

Someone once figured out that their bird was scared of the buttons on a particular shirt. You just never know about these birds and what will bother them.

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