Scarlet macaw swollen area under eye

by Fred
(Princeton, West Virginia USA)

I have a proven pair of Scarlet Macaws that I just purchased and had flown into my local airport. I have had this pair for about 5 weeks and they are now sitting on eggs. The male Scarlet started sneezing and now has a swollen area under his eye. he is eating well and spending lots of time in the nestbox with his mate.

i hve noticed that the swelling is starting to go down. Could my macaw have a sinus infection? I have a vet that I take my birds to but she is a 2 hour drive and I do not want to remove him from his cage while his mate is on eggs. Please advise

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Jan 21, 2010
Scarlet macaw swollen area under eye
by: Linda

Well, this is quite the dilemma! Firstly, you should have taken both birds into your Avian Vet BEFORE setting them up for breeding. Birds who are being moved around and especially birds flown in in the cargo area of an airplane are most likely harboring an infection when they arrive.

Your male sounds like he may have an infection, and if HE does then so does his mate. Macaws can become dangerous during breeding and sitting, so I suggest you wait for eggs to hatch and then take both parents and babies into your Avian Vet to clear them of infections. The babies will contract infection from being fed and in such close proximity with the parents, and they can possibly die or one of the parents may kill them. In the wild, sick birds are dead birds, and this includes sick babies, so allow the babies to hatch and the parents to start feeding them. Weigh the babies EVERY SINGLE DAY, and if one of them loses ANY weight from the previous day, then that baby as well as the rest are sick.

If you can handle the parents, get both of them into an Avian Vet after the eggs hatch and chicks are stable. TAKE THE ENTIRE FAMILY IN FOR A CHECK FOR INFECTION. IF YOU TAKE THE PARENTS IN AND LEAVE THE BABIES, THEN THE BABIES CAN TRANSFER THE INFECTION BACK TO PARENTS AND START THE DEADLY CYCLE ALL OVER. Babies can also die in a very short time with any kind of infection as their immune systems are nil at birth and quite a while after. BE SURE TO KEEP THE PARENTS AND BABIES SEPARATE DURING TRIP TO AND FROM VET'S. Put babies in a box that will allow air to circulate and nestle it between the two parents' cages or travel boxes. Partially cover both parents' cages, and this should help keep the babies warm in trip to and from vet. I also suggest you use a small hot water bottle and put it into the box the babies are in the help keep them warm. Goes without saying to have the car warmed up BEFORE putting any of the birds in there.

In future, it is a lot less complicated if people just take new birds to Avian Vet before breeding, training or anything. Birds under stress are very likely to get infections, and they need a checkup soon after being brought home.

Thanks for writing,

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