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Do you have a question that you have not found an answer for throughout this website or in my FAQ? Use this link to send your question directly to me. Be as specific as possible about the symptom or behavior in question...

Dr. Rob is a world renowned avian veterinarian in Sydney, Australia. He was the veterinary consultant for the Northern Territory Nature and Conservation Commission for a scientific study of the disease status in the wild population of the endangered Gouldian Finches as it related to a "Recovery Plan".



Tailai O’Brien is a Parrot Behavior Consultant who has worked along side Dr. Marshall and has developed special regimes for successful bird training and behavioral development. Fill out her Questionnaire so that she may help you with your parrot’s bad behavior.

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Jim Beverly from Bristol, TN asks: I purchased a Swainson’s Lory in Nov 05. It started picking its feathers and appears to have some type of parasite. We have had it to the vet several times with no cure yet. Tried Ivermectin and now Cefadrops. The bird has no feathers on his chest and left leg and now starting down his back. There are yellow scales on its neck and leg and back where the feathers used to be. Any suggestions.
Hello Jim, This question is more complicated than can be answered in this brief forum. A Questionnaire will be sent to you so that additional information may be gathered to help us answer this question for you. Rob

Sandra DeSante from Philadelphia, PA US asks: One more question. After molting my male orange-cheeked waxbill ended up with one white tail feather. How did this happen? Will it turn dark gray again with his next molt or will it stay white?
Hello Sandra, I am afraid that I do not know the answer to this question about the white feather. Rob

Kim from Iowa asks: I have a pair of redhead normal Gouldians. They have lost their head feathers and they have not returned. What is their problem and what can I do to assist them in regaining their head feathers?
Hello Kim, When birds loose their head feathers like yours have done, it is because they have not been allowed to molt at the right time of year. Gouldians need a specific time of year set aside for their yearly molt. For Gouldians this is in the late Spring. My suggestion would be to put your pair onto my Health Programme now and remove all nestboxes until well after they have completed their yearly molt. All the head feathers should then return. All the Best, Rob

Taryn DeChellis from Glendale, California asks: Dear Dr. Rob, I am writing you about Titan, a Senegal parrot, who started plucking last February, 2005. It started a couple weeks after we adopted another cockatiel and parakeet, both females. In the same room, is an African Grey, a pigeon, and at the time, three cockatiels. The Senegal was born 2/17/2000. Once the plucking began, I tried Profeda in his water. I have also put flower essence drops for anxiety in his water. I have since moved the cockatiels out of the room. I give him a shower each day. I spray him with George's aloe vera each day. I put aloe in his water, along with 911 Stress Control. I spray him with 911. Lately I have also been spraying him with Silver 100. This is similar to Collodial Silver (a natural antibiotic). He needs to be caged unless I am around because he will attack the parakeets through the cage bars. He is jealous that the African Grey is out all day, and he wants out. But this situation has not changed for three years. He has a lot of toys in his cage. He enjoys sitting under the full spectrum light. He used to love being outside. Now, he completely plucks if I put him outside or into another room for more than a half hour. A few feathers will grow back and then he will get stressed and pull them out. He used to be a great eater of fruits and vegetables, and now is not. He will eat dried papaya, a bit of egg, a couple peas, a grape, dehydrated raspberries, Lafaber's Nutri-berries, safflower seeds, an almond in the shell, and a pistachio nut. During the last year I eliminated nuts at one point, which made no difference. He has become a screamer. He has anxiety and is nervous. He is so plucked, He has one tail feather left. He cannot fly He just falls if he tries. I went to the Pomona Bird Show last Sunday and spoke with Laraine. She said that I should write to you, saying that Titan's plucking is a problem that possibly you could help me with. She said Titan's situation was beyond her level of expertise. Since the show, I now have him on Calcium Plus, at four drops per two ounces of water, and still have the aloe and 911 Stress Control in his water. On his Nutri-berries, on the papaya, and on his wet food, I have been sprinkling the Feather Fast. I want to ask if maybe I should try to syringe the calcium into his beak to ensure that he is getting enough of it into his system. I appreciate your time in analyzing Titan's situation. He was a beautiful and happy Senegal at one time. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions as to what else I could do to try and break Titan?s habit of plucking. Best regards, Taryn
Hello Taryn, This is a psychological problem but first I would treat for mites and lice. You must determine the bird's underlying frustration with the new birds. Perhaps you can get this bird out first or mix him with other birds or move his cage away from new bird. He may be separated from his friend. Check all these out then get back to us. All the Best, Rob

Hugo Perez from Arecibo, Puerto Rico asks: Hi Dr. Rob I live in Puerto Rico and I just purchased a pair of Vosmary Electus from a person that was leaving to the gulf ,, he left the birds with his brother and his brother has no info on them. Well the male has pluck in the back and in the chest all the way down. I went to the vet, and they don’t know to much on birds down here. His wings are clip,,and I have not seen him plucking or pulling feathers in the month or so they have bee here,,.I have been Spring mite and lice bird spray on him but no feather yet…Please help thank you ...
Hello Hugo, I believe that you need to take your Eclectus to a good avian vet for a complete physical examination. All the Best, Rob

Mick from Senior asks: Dr. Rob, How can you tell if a Gouldian has a ingrown feather (eye area)? It is swollen and yellow, he keeps rubbing it. I have tried colloidal silver drops, and a antibiotic ointiment! How do you care for this? Thanks ..Mick
Hello Mick, Ingrown feathers are very rare in Gouldian Finches. It is more of a problem in Budgerigars. I believe that your Gouldian’s problem may be a sinus infection. A vet must assess whether it is a bacterial or fungal infection and treat with the appropriate medication. Good Luck, Rob

Andrea Bonoldi from Southborough, MA asks: What does it mean if both of the side wings are dropped slightly and not exactly in line with the back feathers.
Hello Andrea, Dropped wings can be a position that you bird is exhibiting because it is not well. Assess the possible health issues that may be involved. All the Best, Rob

Sue Lloyd from USA - North East asks: Wondering what would cause Canaries to go into a soft molt. This - of course ruins any hope of breeding. They seem to just finish a molt and start another. Could this be related to a medical problem? I am not the only one seeing this in my birdroom. Reading your book on Canary Health and wondering if an antibiotic treatment would be a good idea. Would you recommend Baytril? When would be a good time of year to treat the entire flock with Baytril? After the summer molt - or just before Breeding season?
Hello Sue, A soft molt can be induced in canaries by any sort of stress, a food change or temperature/daylight fluctuations. All the Best, Rob

Richard Noewood from Columbia, SC asks: I have Society Finches that have some feather loss that seems permanent. They lose feathers on their upper chest, the nape of their neck, and over their shoulders. The loss is in patches. I have used S76 and I have sprayed for mites with no improvement. Any ideas? Thanks.
Hello Richard, Your Society Finches may have self induced trauma or inter bird picking. I would check for compatibility in the flight and dust in the environment. Birds can get Staph skin infections with dirty air conditioning systems. Best of Luck, Rob

Rocco Cicirello from Staten Island, New York asks: Hello, my red factor male canary will be molting soon. He dropped a couple big feathers, so i know from the past he's a few weeks away from a major molt. I noticed last week for a couple of days he would sleep almost all day on the top perch or on the floor, with his feathers all fluffed up. He was still eating his L'AVIAN CANARY SEEDS, Cede red egg food, and Petamine. just yesterday he perked up and seems normal again. Is this a stress sign of the molt? Thank you
Hello Rocco, Your canary could be in the beginnings of his yearly molt and therefore experiencing some stress. I would suggest keeping an eye on him for a change in droppings or any other behavior out of the ordinary which could be a sign of illness. A good molting supplement would be most helpful to him during this time. Regards, Rob