Hey guys, we’re here at Animal Wonders—home of many animals, including 34 birds. I’ve cared for well over 50 birds in my animal career and over that time I’ve learned to easily spot if a bird is sick. [light cheerful music] Bird behaviour tends to be difficult for many humans to read, partly because they don’t have any facial expression. And their bodies don’t move like us. And birds are really good at hiding any symptoms of an illness. Even if they’re feeling really terrible. And they have to be in order to hide from any predator that might want to pick a slow, injured, or sick bird out of a flock. But a combination of humans’ inability to read bird behaviour, and the bird’s ability to hide any symptoms of illness, leads to a big problem of sick birds going without medical treatment or dying from treatable ailments. So here are 5 tell tale signs that your bird might be sick. Number 1: Weight loss. The best and easiest way to tell if your bird is getting sick is to monitor their weight. Everyone who cares for a bird should own a small gram scale with a perch attached, like this. Weigh your bird first thing in the morning, after their morning poop but before they eat breakfast. This will give you the most accurate weight and once you have this weight you can weigh them daily, weekly, or monthly to monitor their health. Now there will be some fluctuation especially if your bird is still growing. But if they ever drop more then 10% of their normal morning weight, you know there’s something serious going on. Get them to a vet. Birds can be very delicate when it comes to illness. So you have to be proactive in their treatment. Make sure you have a veterinarian that’s familiar with avian health. Alright: Number 2! Watch the poo. Birds have unique droppings. Different then mammals [bird squawks] and it can take a bit to learn how to read them. But watching their droppings is a great way to tell the health of a bird. It comes in three parts. The feces, which should be cylindrical, well-formed and a consistent colour. The uric acid, which should be white or slightly yellow and chalky after it’s dry. And the excess liquid which should be clear and only slightly dampen the area around the feces and uric acid. If your birds droppings are black, bright green, or red that could be a sign of sickness. If the feces portion of the droppings is not well formed that’s considered diarrhea and your bird needs medical attention to treat the illness and prevent dehydration. Get them to a vet. Number 3! Take a breath. Watch the bird breathe. Their breaths should be consistent without any sound coming from their nostrils. If there’s a wheezing, whistling, clicking, or rasp that’s an indication of a respiratory infection and they need medical attention as soon as possible. While you’re listening watch their tail. If it’s moving up and down with each breath that’s a sign of labored breathing which is also a sign of a respiratory infection. Get them to a vet. Number 4: Pretty Bird. Birds only look pretty if they feel good on the inside. The quality of their feathers tells you a lot about their nutrition and the health of their organs. The feathers should be brightly coloured and sleek. Many birds have an oil gland that they use to shine their feathers. Other birds have a downy powder used to coat their feathers. Either way the feathers should look clean and vibrant. If their feathers look dull or drab it’s important to re-evaluate their diet and make sure they’re getting the proper amounts of nutrients. If the feathers have dark lines throughout them, that’s a sign of malnutrition and either their diet needs to be revamped or they’re not absorbing the nutrients properly. If their feather are over-groomed, plucked, or frayed at the ends that could be a sign of mental or physical distress. If their feathers show any of these symptoms. Get them to a vet. Number 5: Being Weird. If you’ve had your bird for a while and you notice a sudden change in personality it could be a sign that they aren’t feeling well. It’s important to never “wait and see” with a bird, once they start showing signs of illness it’s already quite advanced. So if you think your bird is acting weird and might be sick you know what I am going to say. Get them to a vet. The bird in your care is depending on you. So it’s a good idea to always have an emergency fund in case they need medical treatment. I hope all of you are staying healthy and happy and you never need to use any of this advice. But if you do, I hope for a speedy recovery. Thank you for watching and if you have any questions for me you can leave them in the comments below. If you want to keep learning about animals you can come on an adventure with us every week by subscribing to our YouTube channel: Animal Wonders Montana. Have a great week. And we’ll see you next time. [light cheerful music] Meet Blueberry the Northern Blue-Tongued Skink. Blueberry came to us like so many of our other animals do—from an owner who just didn’t want to care for her anymore.