My parrot keeps falling off its perch

Why Does My Parrot Fall Off Its Perch?

Parrots don’t simply fall down by accident. Parrots have a firm grip that allows them to balance easily even as they are hanging upside down or standing on one foot.

Also, if they ever slip, they have their wings to prevent them from falling to the ground. So a sudden tumble can be a matter of concern.

If you notice your parrot fall off its perch on more than one occasion, it may be the result of an inappropriate perch or medical issues, including injury, stroke, or metal poisoning.

It can be even more concerning when your parrot keeps losing balance and can’t get up. It indicates that your bird is ill and needs to be seen by a vet.

Why Is My Parrot Falling Off Its Perch?

Balance issues in parrots are usually a cause for concern. Parrots don’t usually have trouble keeping their balance. A parrot may fall repeatedly either because of a perch issue or a serious medical condition. Here are a few reasons why a parrot may fall:

Improper Perch

Before moving on to medical reasons, you should see if your parrot is able to rest comfortably on its perch. An improper perch can make it difficult for the parrot to keep its balance.

If the perch is too thin for the parrot’s foot, it may not be able to form a grip around it. You may see the parrot fidgeting on its perch as it tries to prevent itself from slipping off.

A perch with a smooth surface like a dowel perch can cause your parrot to slip off accidentally. Parrot need something they can comfortably wrap their feet around, which is why a natural tree branch perch is often the best and most suitable option.

Overgrown Toenails

Parrots have two digits at the front of the foot and two at the back. In order to grip anything they need to be able to close their foot properly. If a parrot’s nails get too long, it can have trouble holding onto its perch. This might make it slip and fall. 

However, they should land relatively smoothly since they have their wings to support them. They shouldn’t immediately fall to the ground. 

You should keep your parrot’s nails trimmed to avoid this problem. It can also be helpful to provide them with a secondary perch with a coarse texture, like a sand perch.

It can help your parrot maintain its trim its nails and also provide good support. However, do not make it the primary perch. Sand perches can also irritate a parrot’s foot pad if used for a long time.

Foot Conditions 

Foot problems can significantly impact a parrot’s ability to perch. Parrot’s feet are an important tool that they use in holding things securely such as the surface they stand on.

Their foot can be affected by numerous conditions such as diseases, infections, and sometimes injury. As the condition progresses, it can lead to difficulty in gripping perches and result in falling over.


Arthritis usually affects senior parrots, but it can happen at any age. It is a condition where the leg joints become inflamed which causes pain and loss of mobility. A parrot’ with swollen feet can have difficulty perching and will usually resort to sitting on the bottom of the cage. 

However, initially, the parrot may try to hide the symptoms of arthritis due to its natural instinct, which may lead to falling off the perch. Parrots with arthritis are less active, unable to perch, and have swollen joints.

Bumble Foot

Bumblefoot or pododermatitis is also more common in older parrots. It is characterized by red spots on the bottom of the parrot’s feet, also called pressure sores. It is a degenerative disease meaning it progressively gets worse and affects your parrot’s ability to perch properly.

Typically it is caused by an injury to the leg but an inappropriate perch can also contribute to the issue. Parrots who are already suffering from arthritis are at a higher risk of developing bumblefoot.


A parrot may also fall off its perch out of weakness. Factors like low blood sugar could also make your parrot dizzy and weak. At that point, you should pay attention to your parrot’s diet and see if it is eating properly.

Certain nutritional deficiencies can also cause parrots to lose balance, particularly calcium. According to PetMD, Hypocalcemia can lead to seizures and tremors in birds.  


Overweight parrots often have trouble finding balance. Although a parrot’s legs are quite strong for its size, extra weight can tire them quickly. Sometimes, they may try to balance themselves by flapping their wings, however, if their wings are clipped they may fall down.

Heat Stroke

Coming from tropical regions, parrots can acclimate well to warm weather. However, they cannot tolerate temperatures that are too extreme. In extremely hot temperatures, parrots can begin to overheat, which can lead to difficulties in breathing and impact their cognitive function.

They can only stand in the heat for brief periods of time before overheating becomes life-threatening. After which, the parrot may collapse on its perch due to a heatstroke.

Symptoms of heatstroke in parrots include:

  • Holding wings out
  • Panting
  • Hot feet
  • Restlessness

Night Fright

If your parrot is falling off its perch at night, it’s probably had an episode of night fright. Nightmares can jolt your parrot out of its sleep which makes them tumble. While the parrot’s legs are firmly attached to its perch even as it sleeps, for a brief moment it may lose muscle control due to the shock.

For some parrots, nightmares are a common occurrence which may be the reason why your parrot falls off its perch at night repeatedly.

Signs your parrot is having an episode of night fright:

  • Thrashing on the cage floor
  • Feathers fall on the cage floor
  • Flapping Wings uncontrollably
  • Falling off the perch 

Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders can also impair a parrot’s balance. Parrots with a neurological condition may fall off their perches unexpectedly due to uncoordinated movements and lack of muscle control. At one point they may seem completely fine while the next second, their muscles give in suddenly.


Ataxia is a neurological condition in which the bird experiences a lack of coordination in muscle movements. It can result in instead and unusual movements. It often affects the parrot’s ability to walk. A parrot with ataxia may walk in a strange way. Sometimes the parrot may walk backwards and exhibit other unusual behaviors. 

Due to the impaired motor abilities, the parrot may also have difficulty perching and may fall down to the cage bottom repeatedly. Ataxia can be caused by various factors, including underlying medical conditions, genetic disorders, head injuries, or exposure to toxins.


Extreme dehydration can have adverse consequences for your parrot. According To Avian Medicine, parrots may fall and pass out from dehydration. If a parrot has been deprived of water for a length of time, it can make it weak and unsteady. Because it doesn’t have the necessary balance of fluids to function properly, it may be difficult to balance on its perch.

Heavy Metal Toxicosis

Heavy metal poisoning is quite common in parrots, but unfortunately, its symptoms do not surface until the toxicity reaches a severe level. These metals do not immediately affect a parrot’s system, instead, they accumulate gradually over time, which makes it very dangerous.

When there is a build-up of heavy metals in your bird’s body, it can cause symptoms like dizziness, and lethargy which may be the reason for the fall. Heavy metal toxicosis can also lead to neurological disorders and impair the parrot’s brain function.

Parrots can get these metals from their living environment. Cage accessories and household items that may be lying around close enough for your parrot to chew are common sources of heavy metal. They can also be found in metallic paints, galvanized cage bars, and certain toys.


A stroke can be caused by many things. Parrots usually hide their illnesses which can make conditions worse over time. A parrot having a stroke will exhibit symptoms like wing flapping, frantic movements, and convulsions. During a stroke, the parrot’s feet can become wobbly and they may fall to the bottom of the cage.

What To Do If Your Parrot Keeps Falling Off Its Perch?

If your parrot keeps falling off its perch, there are a few steps you should take to minimize the chances of accidents. Firstly, ensure that your parrot’s perch is the right size and material. 

Inappropriate perches are not only bad for your parrot’s balance but also lead to various foot problems. So it may be a good idea to replace the perch with a more comfortable one, especially if your parrot is suffering from a foot condition or injury.

Cotton Rope Perches are often best suited for parrots with arthritis as they offer more cushioning without compromising on stability and sturdiness. These perches are made from natural fibers and provide a softer surface for your parrot to rest its feet on.

However, if you do not notice an injury or anything unusual with your parrot’s feet, you should probably take them to an avian vet. There can be a variety of reasons for your parrot falling over. 

A vet can conduct a detailed evaluation and tests, to find out the root of the issue and recommend appropriate treatments.

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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