Scruffy-looking Green-cheek conure

by Susan
(Houston, TX)

I have a couple of questions about my green cheek Gypsy. She is a little over 2 yrs old. I'm not sure if the incidents are related or are coincidental. Our family went on a vacation for 2 weeks. I left her with my mother who is a bird lover, and she talked to Gypsy and petted her several times a day, without taking her from the cage.

When we came back, Gypsy was sort of scruffy-looking. My mother thought she was molting, but it looked different. Her colored feathers on her shoulders and the upper part of her chest were gone and replaced with downy-looking short gray feathers. Is she molting or did she pluck out her feathers because she was mad at us?

Also, when we went to get her back, I took her out of her cage, she flew to my daughter (usually her favorite) and bit her on the lip hard! Then she nipped both me and my mother before we put her back in the cage. What's up with that? I'd expect her to be mad at us, not my mom. We have been back, and her behavior is back to normal, but she's looking even more ragged.

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Jul 02, 2008
Scruffy GC Conure
by: The Vet

She is plucking her feathers.

Keep her at home and she may eventually stop when her routine returns to normal. The sad part is she may not stop.

The behaviors you describe are her exhibiting her displeasure at you leaving and moving her. Birds are intelligent and emotional.

Dr B

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