Parrot died, grieving partner

by Lynn
(Tampa Florida)

I have had my two female blue & gold macaws ages 15 & 16 since babies...same Goliath cage. Yesterday, (Sunday) I returned home after a few hours, and my 15 year olds leg was injured and bleeding. I tried to clean it, there was a lot of blood...then I rushed her to the emergency animal hospital. She seemed fine when we got there, and then they said she went into cardiac arrest and died while we were there.

They tried CPR. I am so heartbroken, I don't know what to do. But my main concern now is her female partner. They loved each other, slept on the same perch...In a huge cage...many toys and perches...a human can stand inside. The cage is in front of a big window, so she can see outside. I have soft music playing. I am home with her most of the day and we have two all other activity remains the same. But the two birds practically moved as one. Preened each other...talked...everything.

My question do I deal with my 16 year old baby that is left behind? How can I help her with the grieving process? Is there anything else I can do? My heart hurts. Thank you.

Comments for Parrot died, grieving partner

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Aug 10, 2018
by: Mike Maddux

Somehow a grieving bird is exceptionally poignant to me, so intense and pure. I wonder if captive birds might have a rougher time with loss than a bird in the wild, because she has little else to do but miss her partner, her partner was almost all she had and she has no other birds to comfort her or distract her.

Oct 05, 2017
bird grief
by: Anonymous

one of a pair of wood pigeons was killed, leaving feathers in patch on my lawn. The mate kept returning every twenty minutes and then I thought he was gone.Today I looked and saw him in a trance like state, his wings spread wide over the feathers, his head bowed down to the ground, his beak touching the soil. He remained like this for so long I thought he was dead. I approached and saw his eyes were open and he was blinking, his feathers unkempt and obviously distressed. He looked thin and had obviously not been eating. He was grieving, I'm sure of it and he was giving in to his sorrow at the last place his mate had been. He did not fly off when I got right next to him Only when I had stroked his head feathers did he seem to come round and fly away. A fox had probably taken his friend, but I was astonished to see such grief in a smallish creature. It made me cry as you could see the sorrow in his eyes.

Oct 02, 2017
I just lost a Quaker, her mate is plucking all feathers out now
by: Carrie H

I know it has been several years since this post but I read all the comments hoping for help in dealing with the loss of one of my Quakers. She has had a wound that kept her in a cage separate from her mate for several months but her mate is still grieving a lot. Nibbly has plucked all but three feathers out of his tale since Bobo died though he didn't see her die; he just knows she's gone and we sometimes mistakenly say her name. Bobo did not die here, I had to take her to the vet to be put to sleep because she started having health problems that seemed to us was causing her to suffer a lot, we didn't want her to suffer any more. It seems Nibbly is eating some, he just calls for Bobo a lot and plucks his feathers out, over 100 in just a few days. Will he fall off the perch if he pulls out all of his tail feathers? I'm going to try some of the ideas, the music/bird whistling, etc. to help him, I pray it does. Thank you.

Jun 23, 2016
GRIEVING BIRD, what to do.
by: Small bird MOM

I kept my birds ALWAYS NEAR ME. That way, The bird who is left MAY BOND with YOU. But, mine got scared when Id have to go out. I played bird tapes and music for those left all the time.

Jan 23, 2015
mourning Parrot
by: Kim from Germany

I am going through the same process. The female died in November and the male is not eating and losing a lot of weight. So I contacted a friend who has other parrots and I left mine there for 2 individual weekends to distract him and when he saw them eating, he started eating too. BUT mine screams a lot now whenever I want to leave the room/house. So I went to youtube and taped a few whistled songs and play it to him and dance with him and spend more time. And when I leave I let him listen to the whistled songs. So enter Whistling or whistled and a title. He is now occupied trying to learn the whistled songs.. and he is eating again... Good luck to you! All the best, Kim

Apr 15, 2013
Parrot died, grieving partner
by: Linda

I'm very sorry for your loss, and having been where you are, there is no easy way around the fact that she is gone. Time supposedly heals all wounds, and you will never forget her or stop loving her.

As for the one left, make sure you know what happened to the other one's leg. Is it something on or in the cage. It sounds as if this was where she got her leg caught in something or she was attacked by the other bird. Run the cage inside and out including the grate in the bottom. Grates and bar size have to be big enough to be able to get a toe back through without injury but not large enough for head or entire foot to go through. If she got her leg caught in either the bars of cage or grate, she would have panicked and made it worse. From what you said, this was a serious injury and not just some minor accidental thing.

Macaws are usually great together especially in a cage large enough for both of them, so not sure about an attack. It is a mystery, so make sure cage is safe in everyway possible.

As for the bird left, this is tricky and not to be taken lightly. I've had birds refuse to eat when mate died, and it took getting another one for them to come out of it. In this case, getting another bird is not a good idea at the moment. First, you have to get to the bottom of exactly what happened here, which may be difficult to do.

As Tracie said, give her extra attention, and since birds are highly receptive to our emotional state of mind, keep a picture of the other bird being happy and safe wherever she may be. Your bird will also know that you are torn up over both your losses which can help her feel that she is not the only one suffering.

If she goes off her feed or begins to look sick, taking her to an Avian Vet will be necessary to make sure she's not losing weight. In times of stress, like this, birds sometimes become more open to contracting various infections, so she needs to be monitored as to her state of mind and whether or not it is effecting her physical body.

My heart goes out to you, and there is no way for me to lessen the loss you feel. All I can say is we've all been there, and the pain gets better as time passes though it never seems to go too far away. Once our pets find a place in our hearts, there they will stay forever.


Apr 15, 2013
Parrot died and left grieving partner
by: Tracie

First of all, I am sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

Because Dr B has answered this a few times over the last few years, I will not send this question to him. He has said "The existing bird will mourn for 2-4 weeks." He suggests spending extra time with the bird and if you decide to purchase another bird be sure to keep it in a separate cage and closely monitor any time they have together until you are sure they WANT to be with each other.

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