Why Is My Parrot Closing One Eye?

When a parrot is holding one of its eyes closed, it is probably not a friendly wink. Parrots keep their eyes open when they’re awake and you’ll hardly ever see them blink. 

So, it can be worrying if all of a sudden your parrot is keeping one eye closed.

When a parrot squints its eyes, it is often indicative of pain and irritation. It could be possible that they have developed an eye infection or may have underlying health conditions. 

However, sometimes, you may see your parrot sleeping with one or both eyes open, which is completely normal. It happens usually during the daytime, when they’re having a light nap.

Why Is My Parrot Not Opening One Eye?

There can be several reasons why your parrot is not opening one eye. Here are a few possible reasons:

Eye Problems

When assessing eye problems in parrots, several factors need to be considered such as how long they have had the issue, the condition of the eye, and other signs of illness. You should also check to see if the issue affects one eye or both. It can provide insight into the severity and extent of the problem. Some of the symptoms of eye problems in parrots:

  • Swollen or red eyes 
  • Closed or partially closed eyes
  • excessive blinking
  • Squinting eyes
  • Puffy eyes 
  • Excessive tearing or discharge 
  • Cloudy eyes that appear blue in color

Parrots may develop an eye condition for a few different reasons. Let’s take a look at some of those reasons.  

Foreign Object In The Eye

Parrots often come in contact with foreign particles like dust, metal shavings from the cage bars, or even their own dander because they sit low compared to us, which exposes them to those irritants.

However, the eyes may be susceptible even more because parrots don’t blink as often. They have a nictating membrane that sweeps across their eyes to keep them clean and moist. But the blink is much slower which can put them at higher risk of getting irritants in their eyes.


Parrots can sustain injuries from flight especially when they are in the learning phase. They can also get injured if they have a fight with one of their cage mates. If you have more than one bird in your cage, they can sometimes run into fights. 

The injured parrot may keep that eye closed in an attempt to alleviate discomfort and also to hide the scratch from you. It may also go to the bottom of the cage if the other bird is bullying it. However, there can be a variety of ways a parrot may get hurt. So it is best to do an inspection to see if your parrot is okay. 


If your parrot’s eyes look have swelling and inflammation, it could be a sign of conjunctivitis. It can be caused by bacteria and maybe just be limited to the eyes. However, in some cases, the infection may spread to other parts of the body.

Inflammation of the eyes can be attributed to another condition called uveitis. This could indicate a more widespread disease. If left untreated, it could lead to the development of a cataract in the affected eye. If your parrot has either of the eye infections, you may see the following symptoms:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • discharge from the eye
  • excessive blinking
  • keeping their eye(s) closed

In such a case, it’s important to see an avian veterinarian right away for treatment. Most eye infections can be effectively treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments.

Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers can occur as a result of eye trauma. When a wound forms over the cornea, it can be painful for the parrot, making it difficult to open the affected eye. Corneal ulcers can be serious if left untreated. 

Other Health Diseases 

A myriad of eye conditions can lead to discomfort and the inability to open the affected eye. However, there can be a number of other diseases that can indirectly cause eye pain and even secretions. 

Unihemispheric Sleep

Many times, the reason why a parrot closes one of its eyes can be unrelated to any health condition. Parrots usually keep one of their eyes open when taking a light daytime nap. This is known as unihemispheric sleep. 

In this kind of sleep, the parrot is half awake and opens either one of its eyes intermittently to take a look around. This helps them be more aware of the situation and sleep soundly. So if you notice your parrot sleeping with one eye open, it is probably nothing to get concerned about. 

What To Do If Your Parrot Is Closing One Eye? 

If you notice your parrot closing one eye, you should call your avian vet immediately. The vet will ask a few questions like how long the condition has been for if the other eye seems okay, the parrot’s appetite, changes in fecal consistency, or if there’s any eye discharge. Based on this, they will assess your parrot’s condition and probably suggest, home care for the next 24 hours. 

Meanwhile, you should keep an eye out for eye discharge and other symptoms like sneezing or scratching of the eye. This can give you an idea of how serious the problem might be. Also, try to find out how long the problem has been going on and if there have been any changes in the parrot’s eating or pooping habits. While the parrot is not feeling well, it’s essential to make sure it stays strong and eats enough food.

If the eye condition does not resolve or get better in a day, you should visit your vet. If your parrot has a foreign object in its eye, the veterinarian may flush it out. For other health conditions, the vet will recommend procedures accordingly. 

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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