Strange physical manifestation: Seizure??

by Ben
(Sunland, CA - USA)

I have a White-Bellied Caique who has recently been exhibiting some strange behavior. I have noticed this occur 7 or 8 times over the past couple of weeks and each time it manifests exactly the same way. Other than this she appears to be completely healthy and acts normal.

Here is my best description of the behavior: She will be perched on the spiral rope in the middle of her cage with one foot while holding on to a woven palm-leaf piñata with the other foot. She bounces up and down very rapidly for 30 to 45 seconds and makes a noise normally reserved for discomfort or agitation. If I try to approach her with my hand she becomes more agitated, but continues with the bouncing – which appears to be involuntary. I am not sure what this behavior means as I have never seen this before. I have had her for over 5 years and I am become more concerned as this continues to happen.

After the incident is over she is back to normal and goes about her business.

Do you have any thoughts on what this could be and/or the cause? Should I remove the palm-leaf toy from her cage?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Comments for Strange physical manifestation: Seizure??

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May 30, 2011
Bird possibly masturbating
by: The Avian Vet

The most likely explanation is that she is masturbating Is "she" DNA sexed? Males more commonly exhibit this behavior, but, females will sometimes do it, too. There is nothing you need to do to stop this if that is the cause. Sometimes poor nutrition can manifest in tremor and seizure-like activity. Typically it is a calcium deficiency or a vitamin D3 deficiency. If your bird is not eating pellets,like Harrison's, she should be. I recommend that birds be examined every year, so, it it has been more than a year since you bird saw a veterinarian, then it is time for a visit. Video taping the behavior can make it easier for the avian veterinarian to diagnose the behavior.

Dr B

May 28, 2011
by: Anonymous

I think your little baby is a sexually mature bird. This sounds like sexual behavior to me-but you should take her to the vet for a check up to be sure!

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