What to Do If Your Pet Bird Regurgitates or Vomits

Black-footed albatross regurgitating food

Regurgitation is when a bird vomit up little amounts of food with the goal of giving it to a loved one, and it is one of the most baffling bird habits. Regurgitation is quite typical in birds and is not a cause for worry. Vomiting, on the other hand, is an indication of disease that should be treated right once.

Why Do Birds Regurgitate?

Regurgitation is a common occurrence in bird parenthood. During regurgitation, a bird will usually bob its head and extend out its neck, and the food it produces will not be digested. A regurgitating bird will also exhibit no indications of disease or discomfort.

The nest may be the ideal place to examine regurgitation behavior in birds. When a hen is lying on eggs, her kids' father will frequently gorge himself before returning to the nest and purging to feed his partner. When the eggs hatch, the baby birds are fully reliant on their parents for nourishment, forcing the adults to vomit their meals in order to feed their newborn progeny. It is an extremely effective method of feeding their young. They don't need to bring anything, because it's already warmed up. It is a bit simpler for the newborns to absorb the food supplied to them since it is partially digested.

Birds use regurgitation to indicate each other that they are "interested." This is a natural courting activity, and frequently puke on other birds, humans they like, or even objects they like. It's most certainly a show of affection if your bird regurgitates on you.

Why Do Birds Vomit?

While regurgitation is a perfectly typical activity, keep in mind that your bird may not be regurgitating every time it vomits. If it's vomiting rather than regurgitating, it's probably sick or has parasites.

It might be difficult to tell the difference between regurgitation and vomiting, but it is critical. While real regurgitation is rarely unpleasant or aggressive in nature, a sick bird will occasionally flip its head, throwing partly digested food all over the place. You could notice your bird's head feathers are stuck together or caked with food, or you might find digested food about the cage.

The contents of a vomiting bird's stomach will be spat out in a highly untidy and random way. When a bird regurgitates food, it pulls it up from its crop with significantly more precision; in other words, its aim is far superior.

Vomiting can be the result of any of a number of physical problems including:

  • Infections, including viral or parasitical infections, bacterial infections, or fungal infections; candida and tapeworm are particularly common issues
  • Diseases including heart, kidney, or liver disease, diabetes, or septicemia
  • Nutritional or dietary issues such as overfeeding, feeding too much protein or vitamin A, D, E, or iron
  • Change in diet
  • Poisoning as a result of accidental ingestion of certain foods, , pesticides, or household products
  • Gastrointestinal disease or blockage
  • Drug reactions
  • Physical or as a result of a change in location or changes to the household structure (new pets, new people, etc.)


If you observe any signs that your bird may be vomiting due to disease, you should call an avian veterinarian right once for an examination. Treatment options might include:

  • Change of diet
  • Medications to treat an underlying disease or infection
  • Surgery for a blockage
  • Careful cleaning of the environment and removal of any potentially toxic substances

How to Prevent Vomiting in Birds

There is no way (or reason) to prevent regurgitation in birds, as it's a natural behavior. Vomiting can't be absolutely prevented, but these steps will reduce the likelihood of a health issue:

  • Provide your bird with an appropriate diet for its species, size, and age. If you are unsure about exactly which food is best for your pet, ask your vet.
  • Monitor your bird carefully when it's out of the cage, making sure it doesn't ingest stray items that could cause a blockage.
  • Carefully monitor your bird's surroundings both in and outside the cage to be sure there are no potential choking hazards or toxic substances in the area.

Furthermore, keep a close eye on your bird and inspect the cage before cleaning it. Take your bird to the vet as soon as possible if you observe indications of vomiting rather than regurgitation. While the issue may be minor, it might also be a precursor to a more significant issue.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.


"Signs of Illness in Pet Birds. Merck Veterinary Manual.", "Sexual Behavior in Birds. VCA Animal Hospitals.", "Pet Birds. Merck Veterinary Manual." ;