Sun conure sitting in cage

How Often Do Parrots Poop? (Average Poop Frequency) 

Most parrot owners will agree when I say that parrots are nothing like other pets. And when I say this, I specifically talk about their pooping tendencies.  

Parrots have small stomachs and a high metabolism, meaning they process food at a faster rate than they can actually store. So, it is not possible for them to go long without pooping. 

But this can sometimes create problems when you’re trying to keep the house clean. Many new parrot owners often wonder if it is normal for their bird to poop this much. So, how often do parrots actually poop?

In general, you can expect parrots to poop every 15-30 minutes. Although it depends on the species of parrot and the type of food you give them. Healthy parrots droppings are usually olive-colored with white urates. 

Parrot SpeciesPoop Frequency
Parrotlets15 – 20 minutes
Quaker Parrot15 – 20 minutes
Lovebirds15 – 20 minutes
Conures20 – 25 minutes
Cockatiels15 – 20 minutes
Ecelectus Parrot20 – 30 minutes
Pionus Parrot20 – 30 minutes
Macaws30 – 35 minutes
Cockatoos30 – 35 minutes
African Greys 20 – 30 minutes
Parrot Pooping Frequency By Species

How Many Times A Day Do Parrots Poop?

A healthy parrot may poop anywhere between 20-40 times a day, depending on the species, the diet you give them, and their individual eating habits. This translates to 2-3 pooping sessions every hour. 

In general, the larger species of parrots like cockatoos, macaws, and African greys poop less compared to small ones. They may poop twice or sometimes only once in an hour.

On the other hand, the medium to smaller species may poop as much as 4 times in an hour. Moreover, it must be noted that most parrots do not poop during the night. They usually wait till the morning to relieve themselves.

Why Do Parrots Poop So Much?

There are many factors that influence why parrots excrete as much as they do. Firstly there are biological reasons. Since parrots do not have an opening for urination, they excrete both solids and urine simultaneously. 

They also have a higher metabolic rate that lets them digest food much quicker, producing more waste. Parrots also need to stay light in order to be able to fly efficiently. This is the reason why they poop sometimes right before taking off.   

How To Identify If Your Parrot’s Poop Is Healthy?

To understand what a healthy poop might look like, we need to first know about the different components of the droppings. Unlike mammals, parrots and other birds have a separate urinary system, meaning they do not produce urine. Instead, their waste combines both solid and liquid components in a single dropping. 

Parrot poop is composed of three main parts: solid waste, semi-solid waste, and liquid waste. The color of a healthy dropping depends on what they eat, but it usually falls between green and brown shades.

The solid waste part is typically dark brown or greenish-brown, while the semi-solid waste, called urates, is white. It’s important to know that a parrot’s droppings can vary slightly during the day depending on what they’ve been eating.

Does Parrot Poop Smell?

Despite frequent pooping, you do not have to worry about the smell of parrot dropping. Parrot droppings do not have a foul smell. So, even if you have a small bird that poops more often, you don’t need to worry about the place stinking from it.

Parrots mostly eat fruits, veggies, and seeds so their droppings do not produce a bad odor. However, that isn’t to say that their poop never smells. The first poop of the day usually has a distinct musty smell. This is because parrots go all night without pooping and holding it for that long can produce a stench.  

How Does A Parrot’s Digestive System Work?

A parrot’s digestive system is a fascinating one. It is uniquely designed to help parrots break down solid foods properly, despite not having teeth.

They also have a fast metabolism that processes food much quicker giving them energy but also producing waste rapidly. Let us take a look at how a parrot’s digestive system works:

Beak: Parrots use their beaks to crack open seeds and nuts, upon which they swallow the food whole.

Esophagus: Food travels down the esophagus through to the crop.

Crop: The crop is a temporary food storage organ located near the base of the neck. It allows parrots to eat quickly and digest the food later.

Proventriculus: The proventriculus is a two-chambered, glandular part of the stomach where digestive enzymes and stomach acids are secreted to begin food breakdown.

Gizzard: The gizzard is a muscular part of the stomach that grinds the food further using small grits that the parrot has ingested.

Small Intestine: Partially digested food enters the small intestine where most nutrient absorption occurs. Enzymes and bile aid in further digestion and help in nutrient absorption.

Caeca: The role of caeca is to absorb nutrients from the water before the waste is finally expelled. 

Rectum: It is what connects the intestines to the cloaca. 

Cloaca: The cloaca is a common chamber for waste elimination and reproductive functions. Undigested waste combines with urine and is expelled from the body through the vent.

Blue and gold macaw

Is Parrot Poop Dangerous?

It is obviously not possible to clean your parrot’s droppings as and when they do it. An untrained parrot goes about doing its business almost everywhere and so you might see dried poop and liquids on the floor, couch, and inside the cage. 

But this makes some parrot owners concerned about the potential harm it may cause from the bacteria lying around.

And this concern is indeed warranted. Parrot dropping when dried up can spread around through the air causing a host of health problems.

Although it is rare, germs from the droppings of parrots and other pet birds can cause various respiratory and other illnesses in people living with them.  

These are some of the health problems caused by pet bird droppings:

  • Cryptococcosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Psittacosis (Chlamydiophila psittaci)

So you should try to keep your environment clean from bird droppings as much as you can. While it may not always be possible to clean your parrot’s dropping immediately at all times, It is essential to minimize the risks by training them to poop at a designated spot.   

How To Clean Parrot Poop?

Parrots do not usually have a particular area where they will poop unless you train them to. If your parrot is not potty trained, it will poop around your place, leaving poop stains for you to clean. 

Frequent bowel movement is part and parcel of parrot ownership but a messy house doesn’t have to be. Thankfully, cleaning a parrot’s poop is not that hard. If the poop is fresh you can simply use a wet wipe or a tissue to wipe it off.

The fresh ones won’t usually leave any kind of stains and are easy to clean. When the droppings become solid after sitting on the surface for some time, it can be a little tricky to remove them along with the stains. But don’t worry, it is not that hard. Follow these steps to clean dried parrot droppings:

  • You will need a few supplies, like white vinegar, water, a spray bottle, and a scrub brush or sponge.
  • In a spray bottle, mix one part white vinegar with two parts water. You can put it in a bottle and shake it to let it get diluted properly. Also, you can adjust the concentration according to your needs. If a dropping is too old, it may require a stronger solution. However, you should not use the same solution for areas like couches, cushions, and clothes as that can damage the material. 
  • If the dried parrot droppings are on a hard surface or non-porous material, such as tile or laminate flooring, spray the vinegar solution directly onto the dried poop. 
  • Using a scrub brush or sponge, scrub the area where the droppings are. If needed, you can dip the sponge in more vinegar solution for cleaning tough stains.
  • Once the dried droppings are removed, use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe away the residue of the vinegar solution. 

What Does It Mean If Your Parrot Is Pooping Excessively?

If your parrot is pooping more than usual or if your notice a change in its pooping pattern, it may indicate an underlying health issue that requires attention. Here are a few possible reasons for excessive parrot pooping:


Excessive pooping most commonly is a sign of digestive problems, such as diarrhea. Parrots have a sensitive digestive system and certain foods may not suit them well.

It is crucial that we check if a food is suitable for them and introduce it slowly. If your parrot’s droppings appear watery or abnormal in color and consistency, it could be a sign of diarrhea. 

Diet Change

A sudden change in diet or the consumption of certain foods can lead to increased bowel movements for a short period of time. Foods that contain a lot of sugar, carbs, or lactose can be particularly problematic for a parrot’s stomach. 

Other Illnesses 

Certain medical conditions, such as infections, parasites, or hormonal imbalances, can lead to an increased frequency of bowel movements in parrots.

If such excessive pooping is accompanied by other symptoms like loss of appetite, lethargy, or depression, it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately. 


While parrots can poop up to 40 times a day, it is nothing that cannot be managed with care and patience. It can be especially challenging for new owners but remember, owning a parrot involves a little getting used to and we all start somewhere.

You can begin by incorporating potty training into your parrot’s daily schedule since they take a while before learning to poop in a designated spot. You can also focus on providing your parrot with a healthy diet of pellets, fruits, and veggies.

And if you notice that your parrot is consistently pooping excessively or if you have concerns about their droppings, do not hesitate to consult an avian veterinarian. They can examine your parrot, perform necessary tests, and provide appropriate advice or treatment for them.  

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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