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Substances Toxic to Our Birds

Substances Toxic to our Birds

Fumes:  Because of the nature of the avian respiratory tract, birds are extremely sensitive to chemical fumes, smoke and environmental toxins. After common kitchen odors, paint fumes, pesticides and smoke are the most common problem areas. Birds should be removed for at least 24 to 48 hours after any odor-producing chemicals are used in the home or until all detectable smells have disappeared.  For everyday household odors, air filters can be helpful.

Lead and Zinc:  Lead and zinc poisoning are real threats to birds.  A bird's natural curiosity and strong beak make peeling and swallowing these soft metals very easy.  Unfortunately, sources of lead and zinc can still be found in our homes today. 

Foods to Avoid Feeding
  • Alcohol
  • High-fat junk food (potato chips, nachos, doughnuts, etc.)
  • Salt
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate
  • Moldy Foods
  • Mushrooms (some varities)
  • Raw meat
  • Raw poultry
  • Raw onions

Miscellaneous

  • Ant Syrup or paste
  • Antifreeze
  • Asbestos
  • Aspirin
  • Bathroom bowl cleaner
  • Boric Acid
  • Camphophenique
  • Clinitest tablets
  • Copper and brass cleaners
  • Corn and wart removers
  • Crayons
  • Detergents
  • Fire Crackers
  • Furniture polish
  • Galvanized metal (if galvanized coating is coming off)
  • Gunpowder
  • Gun Cleaner
  • Insecticides
  • Lead shot
  • Linoleum (contains lead salts)
  • Lye
  • Match tips
  • Moth balls
  • Muriatic acid
  • Prescription and non-prescription drugs
  • Shoe polish
  • Stained glass windows (leading)
  • Silver polish
  • Snail bait
  • Zinc items
  • All lead items, foil, curtain weights, fishing weights

Potential Dangers

  • Frayed electrical wiring
  • Hot pot, pan, utensils
  • Hot water from tap
  • Lit electric stoves
  • Lit gas stoves
  • Lit wood stoves
  • Poisonous plants
  • Rotating window or ceiling fans
  • Uncurtained windows.
Fumes
  • Aerosol propellant
  • Aerosol ingredient
  • Bleach
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Charcoal lighter
  • Chlordane
  • Chlorine
  • Corn and Wart remover
  • Deodorants
  • Drain Cleaners
  • Epoxy glue
  • Fabric softeners
  • Flea bombs
  • Floor cleaners
  • Floor polish
  • Formaldehyde
  • Gasoline
  • Garden Sprays
  • Hair spray, dyes
  • Hexachlorophene (in some soaps)
  • Indelible markers
  • Kerosine
  • Lighter fluid
  • Model glue
  • Nail polish and remover
  • Naphtha products
  • Oven cleaners
  • Paints, lacquers, varnish, shellac
  • Paint remover, thinner
  • Perfume
  • Permanent wave solutions
  • Pesticides
  • Photographic solutions
  • Pine oil
  • Propane
  • Podenticides
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Shaving lotion
  • Spot remover
  • Spray starch
  • Smoke
  • Syrychnine
  • Super glue
  • Suntan lotion
  • Teflon
  • Turpentine
  • Wax
  • Weed Killers

Information from Gary Gallerstein, Bird Owner's Home Health and Care Handbook; Birds USA Magazine; Birds USA Annual 1992, author Bonnie Munroe Doane



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