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Consult Information Form


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Avian Behavior Consult Information Form

Feather Abusive Behavior


Date of Consult:




Time difference:

Email address (work):

Email address (home):

Do you want my messages sent to both?

Are you a Pet Bird Report subscriber?

Species of parrot:

Name of parrot:



Method of sexing:

Source (where did you get the bird):

Age when acquired:

Weaned or unweaned when purchased?

What information was given to you about the birdís past at the time you acquired him?



When did the feather picking start (month/year)? Was it gradual or sudden?

Was there a "precipitating event" this time? (A precipitating event could include a change in food, change in cage location, new bird/pet addition, interior decoration, exterior work on house, new people, a boarding experience, or loss of buddy or human, etc.)

When does it occur during the day? Is it worse morning, night, after handling, after eating?

Does the bird pick only at night?

Has the bird feather picked in the past, stopped and then resumed picking?

Has the bird been picking long enough to see if there is a seasonal pattern?

Is the picking associated with a molt?

Does the parrot exhibit signs of increased reproductive activity? More aggressive? Rubs vent on objects in cage? Paper shredding on bottom of cage? Etc?

Do you actually see the bird picking?

Does the bird pick when you are absent?

If the bird picks when you are present, how does he act?

Itchy or not itchy?

Does he scream or vocalize when he picks?

Agitated or calm?

Will he interrupt a favorite activity to pick?

If you see him picking, how do you respond?

What emotions does this behavior evoke in you?

Does the bird entertain itself when in his cage?

From a personality standpoint, how would you characterize your bird in general? (Relaxed, anxious, excitable, energetic, lethargic, playful, calm, comfortable, uncomfortable, crabby, happy, angry, fearful, aggressive?)

Please describe the progression and pattern of the feather loss. Where did the original plucking start? Where did it go from there? Which areas are most effected? Does the bird have bald spots, and if so where? (For example: leggings, chest, back, wing web, flight feathers, tail, head)

At what stage are feathers picked? As they just begin to emerge from the sheath, at 1", when fully developed?

Are feathers pulled or just chewed? If chewed off, to what length?

What is the condition of the skin? Normal? Reddened, or any open wounds?

Are feather sheaths retained beyond the normal period?

What is the condition of the feathers? Clean and shiny? Old and frayed?

How are wings clipped?

Has the bird ever had a "bad" wing clip (i.e. too short)?

Does the bird know how to fly? To land?

What have you done to solve the problem?



Veterinarianís name:

Location (city and state):


Does this vet specialize in exotic birds?

Member of Association of Avian Veterinarians (AAV)?

Has this bird seen this vet for the feather picking?

If so, what tests were done? (Please respond in detail, providing the exact name of each test performed and the possible cause it was supposed to rule out.)

Were any medications prescribed?

If the bird has not been seen for the current problem, please provide the date of the last vet visit:

What tests were done at this last visit?

Has your bird ever been ill? If so, with what? Treatment?

Have droppings changed in color, frequency, consistency, quantity, odor?

Does the birdís breath have a funny smell?

Please describe any other aspects of the birdís behavior which trouble you, in addition to the feather picking behavior -things he does that donít seem "right", things which cause you aggravation or concern, etc.



Family Life:

Adults living in the home:

Work schedules:

Children living in the home (names and ages):

Other Pets:

How does the bird respond to each of these pets?

Other Birds:

How do the birds respond to each other?

Who spends the most time with the bird? Which human does the bird prefer?

Are any of the other pets or family members ill?

How long is the bird alone during the day?

Is the bird quiet or vocal usually when you are home?

Is there any animosity between residents (including pets) and the parrot?

Please alert me to any unusual life events that you are experiencing at this time, which increase your own stress levels and/or anxiety? How long has this been going on? (These might include serious illnesses in family members, recent deaths, moves, job changes, etc.)


Please describe the cage size and type (including manufacturer, exact measurements, type of top, material cage is made of):

What type of perches are in the cage and describe their location:

If these are natural wood perches taken from the outdoors, what exactly is the plant name from which they were taken?

What is used in the bottom of the cage (newspaper, corn cob, etc.)? Does the bird have access to this?

Where is the cage located in the home? Is the cage in the main living area of the house? Is it located next to a window?

Is this room located over your garage?

Is there much activity in this room during the day?

Do you provide alternate perching sites? Playstands? Table top perches? Hanging perches? Does the bird travel around the house with you to these?

What toys does the bird have (please describe in detail)? How many in cage?

Does he play with them? Is he aggressive or passive with them? Do you provide an extra dish for foot toys? Do you provide wood for chewing, and if so, does he chew on it?


What are the major products you use for general cleaning (Ex: Clorox, Windex, types of soaps, disinfectants used on cage, etc.)

Are there carpets and what chemicals are used for cleaning them?

Is the bird exposed to any air-borne irritants? (These would include scented candles, fumes from non-stick cookware, air fresheners, carpet fresheners/cleaners, plug-in air fresheners, cigarette smoke, etc.)

What temperature do you keep your home?

Does anyone wear chemical perfumes?

Are fabric softeners used in cage coverings?

Do you smoke cigarettes? Anything else?

Does anyone who smokes handle the bird? If so, do you wash your hands first?

What type of aerosol sprays are used? Room deodorizers, hair sprays, pesticides?

What houseplants does the bird have access to?

Social Activities:

Do you take your bird any places with you? If so, where?

What is a typical day like? What is his schedule? Please answer in as much detail as you can, describing what he does from the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed, describing especially your involvement with him, as well as that of other family members.

How does the bird respond to activity happening close to his cage?

How does he respond to being alone? What does he do if you leave the room?

How often and for how long is the bird alone?

How often and for how long each day is the bird out of his cage?

What type of exercise does the bird enjoy (flapping, flying, exploring on the floor, etc)?

Describe in detail your best moments or experience with him in the last week:

Describe in detail your worst moments or experience with him in the last week:


What type of pellets do you feed? Does he eat them? How much?

Seed, what type (brand) and how much?

Fresh foods (vegetables, fruits, beans, grains, etc), what kinds and how often?

Are vegetables washed and rinsed first?

Does your bird eat table foods, and if so, what are its preferences?

Favorite foods? What does your bird appear to eat, and does he crave other foods?

Did you introduce any new foods just prior to the beginning of the picking? Something he has never had before?

Times(s) parrot is fed during each day?

Treats? When?

Do you give any kind of supplements? (If so Ė exact names, dosages, method of administration.)

Do you provide a calcium supplement (mineral block, cuttle bone, etc.)?

Water source for drinking water (tap, filtered, bottled, etc)? Even if you ordinarily use filtered water, did you give him tap water at any time prior to the picking?

Do you add anything to the drinking water?

Please provide me with a "food diary" for three days, indicating everything that is fed, when it is fed, and whether he eats it or not.


How often does the bird get showered? Water source for this?

How do you shower him? (please describe the process in detail)

Does your bird have access to fresh air and sunshine or full-spectrum lighting?

If using full-spectrum lighting, what is the photoperiod (from when to when does the bird experience lighting of his environment)?

Where does the bird sleep? In his regular cage? In a different cage?

Do you cover the cage?

Is there a night light in the room where he sleeps?

Is there activity in the room after the cage is covered?

How long is the cage covered, or the room darkened each night? From when to when?

Could any predators be disturbing him at night? (Cats, wild birds, mice, insects?)


Provided by Pamela Clark, Avian Behavioral Consultant

Atascadero, Ca.

Telephone (805) 466-9023



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Last Update:  01/14/01