Why Is My Parrot Throwing Up? (Vomiting In Birds)

It can be alarming to see your parrot spew up the food it just ate. Vomiting is a serious health issue for parrots, but it’s important to be aware that they also have a natural inclination to regurgitate, which is different from vomiting. 

You may sometimes see your parrot casually walk up to you to regurgitate. And as gross as it may seem, it is actually normal behavior. 

However, anytime your parrot seems like it ejects a liquid from its mouth, it is not a good sign. True vomiting is when a parrot throws up contents from the stomach that it had recently eaten. It is common to find undigested seeds and other food in your parrot’s vomit.

Is My Parrot Vomiting Or Regurgitating?

Many people get confused between the two terms and often use them interchangeably. But regurgitating and vomiting are not one and the same thing. And depending on whether your parrot is regurgitating or vomiting, its diagnoses may be different. 

Vomiting is an involuntary action that occurs when the parrot abruptly expels content from its stomach. Parrot vomit contains partially digested food along with some amount of liquid from the stomach. The parrot may sometimes appear to be nauseated before throwing up. 

Regurgitation, on the other hand, is a voluntary action. It occurs when the parrot brings up food stored inside its crop. When a parrot is regurgitating, you will see it bobbing its head in an up-and-down motion to bring up the food in its mouth. The regurgitated material is often undigested and solid. 

Regurgitation is a natural behavior in parrots, and for the most part, it is not something to be worried about. The most important distinction between the two is that vomiting is a serious health issue while regurgitation is a behavioral trait.

What Causes Vomiting In Parrots?

Once you’re sure that your parrot is indeed vomiting and not regurgitating, you can try to determine what may be causing it. However, it’s crucial to understand that vomiting in parrots can be a result of various health conditions that can only be determined through proper diagnosis.

Food Intolerance 

The are a number of foods that are highly toxic to parrots. Many of those foods are what we eat on a daily basis. And as our parrots have the habit of eating whatever we may choose to have, it is not uncommon for people to accidentally feed their parrots a toxic item. 

Foods that are toxic to parrots:

  • Chocolate
  • Avocado
  • Onion & Garlic
  • Comfrey
  • Fruit Pits & Apple Seeds

Foods that are not tolerated well:

  • Peanuts
  • Certain Plants
  • Dairy
  • Sugar
  • Sodium 

Remember, the foods that are fit for human consumption, may not always be suitable for parrots. If you know your parrot has eaten toxic food, you should take it to the vet right away. 

However, in case they have eaten something like dairy or a sugary snack, the symptoms may subside after a while, depending on how much they ate it. A diet change to mild foods can help to alleviate the discomfort and stop the vomiting. 

Food allergies are the only situation where vomiting in parrots can sometimes be addressed at home. In most other cases, it is necessary to get a proper diagnosis.  

Intestinal Or Crop Obstruction

All parrots have an instinctual urge to scratch and nibble on the objects around them. It is part of their exploratory nature and helps them know their surroundings better. But this can sometimes create problems when they accidentally ingest objects that they shouldn’t. 

Household items such as cotton cloth, pieces of plastic from their toy, and other small things can get stuck inside the parrot’s crop and damage the wall lining. 

This can cause inflammation, which often induces vomiting. The parrot may try to induce vomit by itself if it feels that there is something lodged inside its mouth. This is technique parrots use for crop cleaning. 

In some cases, the swallowed objects can build up in the crop and block it, causing decay. If the parrot has access to grit and gravel, it could also lead to similar problems.


Another reason parrots may throw up is due to the ingestion of toxins, specifically heavy metals like zinc and lead, and certain toxic plants. A parrot may easily find heavy metals in their environment and chew on them. 

Common household items such as iron bars of the birdcage, jewelry, curtain weights, etc., can all cause potentially cause heavy metal toxicosis in parrots. 

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections are quite common in parrots. The most common cause for such infection is an unhygienic environment or when the food and water being fed are not fresh. Young birds are more susceptible to contracting bacterial infections if they are not cared for properly. 

Yeast Infection  

In addition to bacteria, fungal infections can also affect the digestive function of birds. Candida is a yeast infection that often affects baby birds or those with a weakened immune system.

The most common areas it infects include the crop and intestines. In severe cases, it can further spread to other organs as well. Signs of candidiasis include loss of appetite, crop stasis, vomiting, and weight loss. The crop may also become thicker and have a notable lump.

Intestinal Parasites 

Internal parasites are organisms that live inside the host’s organs like the stomach or intestines. Certain parrot species can be more susceptible than others to these parasites.

A parrot with intestinal parasites may vomit frequently with a foul odor and show other symptoms of sickness.

Why Is My Parrot Vomiting Clear Liquid

If your parrot is vomiting a clear liquid, it could be because it drank water while feeling nauseous. The water it drank may come up along with vomit. It may also happen if your parrot vomits on an empty stomach.   

Sometimes, when a clear liquid is coming out of your parrot’s mouth, it may actually be their saliva. Parrots can drool when they have infections in their crop or gastrointestinal tract. When a parrot is drooling, you might notice excessive saliva dripping from the sides of its beaks. It is because the parrot cannot keep its mouth fully closed due to pain. 

Parrot fluffed up feathers

Why Is My Parrot Vomiting Blood

The presence of blood in a parrot’s vomit can be a serious issue. It usually indicates bleeding inside the parrot’s crop or upper GI tract. Moreover, if the bleeding is inside the stomach, you may also notice dark and sticky droppings. This is because the blood gets digested before being expelled with the stool. 

It can also be due to cuts or lesions inside the parrot’s mouth. Since parrots are always nibbling and putting their tongues on different objects, an oral injury can possibly cause the parrot to vomit blood.  

However, bleeding in any form can be fatal for parrots and required immediate veterinary attention. If your parrot is repeatedly throwing up blood, it is crucial to see an avian vet immediately. 

Signs Your Parrot Is Sick 

Vomiting in parrots can be linked to various causes. Parrots have the unfortunate habit of hiding their illnesses, which can prevent you from knowing if they’re sick until the condition gets much more severe. For this reason, it’s important that you look for any unusual signs and take your parrot to a vet for a proper diagnosis. 

Parrot looking sick
  • Lethargy
  • Fluffed appearance
  • Infrequent droppings 
  • Blood in the stool
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping on the bottom of the cage
  • Reduced appetite

What To Do When Your Parrot Is Vomiting?

Regardless of what may be causing the issue, if your parrot vomits repeatedly, you should visit an avian vet immediately. Vomiting can be a sign of many different conditions like ulcers, tumors, infections in the crop, or even cancer. It is not recommended that you diagnose it at home. Home remedies often do not work in this case and a visit to the veterinarian is warranted.

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.

Articles: 240

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *