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Dr. Dan
Dr. Dan, Bird Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
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Experience:  12 years of pet, wildlife, and zoo avian experience, PLEASE rate my service when satisfied.
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How can I tell if my African Grey parrot has mites

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How can I tell if my African Grey parrot has mites?I found a bald spot on his neck under his bill. Could he be molting. I find small white and grey feathers on the bottom of his cage.

I had another parrot named "Bones I had the two parrots for over twelve years. Two weeks ago the other parrot moved back to my sons house. I am worried that Morgan is grieiving over" Bones" moving out. Bones was ill and has passed away.
What should I do?



Thanks for using, I'm Dr. Dan and I'll try to help you.


Is the skin associated with the bald spots flaky, red or itch?


Dr. Dan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
no, the spot is very small. you can see tiny black dots on it. Lastnight Morgan shook his head as if something was annoying him.

he is eating well. My thoughts are possibly missing the other bird. Bones.

Thanks for the information.


This is not the typical spot for mites and typically mites cause reddened skin and flaky skin. I would probably have the spot checked by a vet just to be on the safe side. I would like to have a professional look at the black spots. However I wouldn't be surprised if the black dots are new feathers coming in to replace the old one. If you look too closely then most owners mistake the normal featherless area between the lower jaws behind the beak as abnormal feather loss. This area is normally bald or almost bald. It's a good idea to have it looked at but my suspicion is that if you are patient then the feathers will return on their own. If the feather loss spreads then it's definitely vet time. I hope this helps, best wishes.


Dr. Dan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Dan, I may have not discribed the area correctly. When I said under the bill,I probably should have said around the neck like a ring. Feathers are missing aound his neck that gives the appearance of a circle of missing feathers. He has been preeming constantly around his neck line, above his shoulders. Have you worked with African Greys before.Do African Greys grieve? I am changing position of his cage. Bones cage was next to his.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Perhaps someone who has worked closely with African Greys? If Dan has workd with African Greys. I will consider his advice. I just don't want Morgan to get bald. If your advice is to see a Vet. Let me know.

Ok thank you for describing the area more carefully. I have worked with many Grey's before. Birds don't typically grieve but they do very much get a security from their flock members. When their flock numbers decrease they feel more vulnerable and less protected. This will increase their stress level and decrease their security. This is sounding more like feather damaging behavior.


What is in the best interest of your feathery friend is still to see a bird savvy vet. Make sure you ask if this vet has dealt with feather loss before. A vet is needed to take a detailed history and examine your bird to make absolutely sure there is no complicating medical issues. Then your vet can help you with creating a plan to introduce more security and decrease stress in your birds life. I can tell you these cases take a lot of time, patience and understanding on your part. There is almost never a quick shot, pill or fix to take care of this. If you want to try things on your own first, a good place to start is by purchasing the following things Birds for Dummies© written by Brian Speer, DVM, and the DVD called Captive Foraging© by Scott Echols, DVM. Here are a couple of other free resources to give you an idea about feather damaging. (when you get to the second website click feather plucking) These items may get you a start but are much more effective if guided by a vet. I hope this helps, best wishes.


Dr. Dan

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