Birds can get Heatstroke too

I thought it was a good idea to give my birds a bit of sun this morning. The weather is good at the moment with the temperature in the low 30s and the sun is shining. So I took all the cages with their birds out and placed them in a sunny location in the garden for about 10 – 15 minutes.

But soon, I discovered that the birds were getting anxious and some where going under whatever sliver of shade they could find. The sickly female turquoise conure was visibly stressed with her stretching her wings as wide as she possibly could. I actually thought that she was enjoying the sun, but no, I now know after having researched heat stroke in birds a bit that the poor thing was stressed.

I quickly reeled the cages into the house and sprayed all the birds with water to cool them down. I could see and almost hear their relief once I’ve done that. I never knew that birds could get heat stroke. I thought that as they come from hot climates and jungles anyway that they would have more tolerance to heat and the sun. That is definitely not the case.

The female turquoise conure unfortunately died this morning as the heat stress along with her already very failing health were too much for the poor soul.

The lesson taken is birds do get sun and heat stroke so please be careful how you expose them to the sun and heat especially in countries like Bahrain.

Here’s some good advice from I found which might be helpful to you too:

Birds, like other warm-blooded animals can overheat. This most commonly occurs if:

  • The bird is kept in a cage in direct sunlight where there is no shade or shelter from the sun.
  • A bird is in a vehicle with the windows closed or with inadequate ventilation.
  • Too much supplemental heat, in the form of a heat lamp or heating pad, is supplied.
  • The bird is wrapped in a towel (a common method of restraint) for too long of a time period.

Overheating tends to occur more commonly in birds that are overweight, so keep your bird at her optimal weight.

Signs of heat stress or heatstroke

Signs of heatstroke in a bird include:

  • Panting (open-mouth breathing)
  • Holding the wings away from the body
  • Anxiety or agitation

Heatstroke can be fatal, so prompt attention is required.

First aid for heatstroke

To treat a bird with heat stress or heatstroke:

  • Move the bird to a quiet, cooler location
  • Mist the bird with water until his skin is wet
  • Keep the bird’s feet and legs moist with cool water
  • Do not additionally stress the bird
  • Monitor the bird closely and contact your veterinarian