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Curly Tail Feathers

Expert Question

Hello!  I have female Plumhead Parakeet. Some of her tail feathers are curvy. She is about a year now. I got her month ago. She seems healthy otherwise. Droppings are normal and she has good appetite. A bit afraid of Beak and feather syndrome, cause have other birds too…. Is it possible she has had the sickness but recovered? Is she then carrying it and dangerous to my other birds?
Yours Tom

Expert Answer

Hi Tom,  Thanks for the great question.  The best advice I can give is to take your bird to an avian veterinarian for a complete physical examination.  Your veterinarian may then recommend some tests for general health and specifically for Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). 

Birds in general are capable of appearing healthy and normal, in spite of serious disease or organ dysfunction.  Your bird may be perfectly normal or may be ill or a carrier for PBFD.  A good veterinarian can determine your bird’s health status.

Ellen K. Cook, DVM

Ellen K. Cook, DVM
About Ellen K. Cook, DVM

Dr. Ellen K. Cook has been practicing small animal medicine since 1975. In 1998, she rescued Merlin, a six-year-old Moluccan cockatoo with many undesirable behaviours, and soon began focusing primarily on avian veterinary medicine and behavioral issues.

Dr. Cook is a member of the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the International Association of Trainers and Educators, the Animal Behavior Management Alliance, and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists.

She has published numerous articles over the years on avian veterinary and behavioural care, and serves as on online consultant for the World Parrot Trust. Dr. Cook has been teaching basic behavior classes to parrots and their caregivers since 2009, and is the founder of Parrots Anonymous, an organization dedicated to educating those who live with companion parrots.

To book a consultation with Dr. Cook, visit the Cicero Veterinary Clinic at