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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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My parakeet has a discoloration on his beak, a ...

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My parakeet has a discoloration on his beak, a dark stripe down the middle. What causes this? Is there anything I can do. He has always been in good health and is 8 to 9 years old.
Hi Klynn. What color is the streak? Darker or lighter than the rest of the beak? Are you saying it runs from nostrils towards the tip and not from side to side? Is there any roughness or dryness to that discolored area? Can you feel any difference in the texture of it as compared to the other parts? Does the cere (the area above the beak where the nostrils are located) seem normal; no lumps, bumps or crustyness? Please tell me about his normal dailey diet. This extra information will help me give you my best advice. Thanks, Patricia
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Patricia's Post: Patricia, the streak runs from nostril to tip. It is reddish/brownish in color, there is no roughness or dryness and the cere looks normal. His diet consists of regular food, oat groats, millet spray, some bananas & greens and we use powder vitamins in his food. He also has occasional treat type foods such as orange blossom mix. He will fly daily, is very talkative and social. thanks

Thanks for the extra information. It's very helpful. Nothing that you have described leads me to believe there is any real problem with the beak. So long as there is no abnormal flaking, or chunks breaking away and so long as his cere stays healthy looking, (no crusty spots, etc.) I'm sure he is fine. Things can happen to cause some color changes, and marks such as you describe that are not serious events. It could be diet related, enviornmental and/or as simple as a hard bump from playing too hard with toy and it manifests as a "bruise" type mark as the beak grows. It sounds like you are doing a very good job with him. Congratulations on that. There are some more things you can try adding to his diet that can make him that much more healthy and possibly extend his life expectancy even more. I'm guessing that when you say "regular" food, you mean seeds. Actually seeds and seed products should not be more than about 30% of a birds entire dailey diet. In addition to what you are giving him, he can also have cooked brown rice, cooked pastas, hard boiled or scrambled eggs, well cooked bean mixes, unseasoned and much more. You didn't say which types of greens he gets but the best for him are kale, mustard, turnip and collard greens and romaine lettuce. No spinach only because it can interfere with his absorption of calcium and no ice berg lettuce, only because it has no nutritional value at all. He can have almost any vegetable that you eat with few exceptions. No raw white potatoes. One handy thing I keep on hand for mine when I'm either to busy to grate up fresh veggies or have none on hand, is a sack of the frozen mixed veggies. Not the kind for soup or stew because there are onions in that mix and he shouldn't have onions. The mix with carrots, limas, corn and green beans is good. I take out a serving, thaw it under hot running water and serve. All my flock just loves them and it's low labor for me. Since they can have almost everything we eat, it's easier to give you a couple links to help you with things they should not have. At his age, you will likely get some resistance to new things in the diet but if you will be persistent and keep offering, he must may give in and accept at least some of them. It can only help him out if he will. I hope all this helps you out and puts your mind at ease over the beak. But if you have any more questions, just let me know. Patricia

Click here: Safe Vs. Unsafe Foods for Avians

Click here: Out With The Old, In With The New

Here are some links to lists of the things that could begin to show up later in life if his diet has been too high in seeds and fat.

Click here: Hepatic Lipidosis

Click here: PetCareLibrary - Tumors in Parakeets (

Click here: Parakeet Medical and Safety Information

Click here: Nutrition

Obesity & Diets (budgies)

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