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General Health Care Remember to use common sense and consult with an avian veterinarian.

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Old 07-13-2020, 02:51 PM
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Is my bird sick or is he mimicking me?

My alexandrine worries me.
I read some posts on this forum about birds mimicking their owners sneezes and other sounds, but I'm still not sure what to make of this.

Sometimes (not regularly, he can go weeks without doing this) he'll make this snorting sound. He sometimes even lifts his head up a bit.

I think he might have copied the sound of me crying.
I want to know if that's a possibility, cause there are no avian vets in my city. Just getting to a city that has a vet could take hours, so I need to know if I should start prepping for a road trip.
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Old 07-13-2020, 02:57 PM
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Re: Is my bird sick or is he mimicking me?

I mean...I guess the question is, when did you last have him checked?
It's good that it isn't frequent---for sure....
It could be an imitation, but it could also be something else...really hard to say! I know that isn't much help!!! If it is something else, you would be better off catching it earlier rather than later, but again, hard to know.
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:12 PM
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Re: Is my bird sick or is he mimicking me?

With my Sun Conure, usually if she is mimicking me, or something else it will be sort-of generally close-in-time to what she's mimicking.

So - last year she started making an odd noise some days. One weekend I realized there was a woodpecker at the siding.. and she made the noise, to call my attention. It became clear that on work days she was copying the woodpecker's noise when I got home, to tell me he'd been at work while I was. Same for my scream the day I stepped upon and killed a mouse last winter. Over the following days I trapped & removed the other few mice who had thought my apt was a nice haven from the cold -- each time, she made a vocalization imitating my original reaction... UNTIL i examined the trap & found the mouse.

ALSO for sneezing. Every now and then she gets me worried when she starts sneezing regularly. She does NOT just imitate my sneezes right when I sneeze. But So Far, each of these times, more or less quickly, I have realized that it is Allergy-Time For Me, and although not sneezing right At That Moment, I have been sneezing throughout the day. Seems she thinks they are just random sounds I make, and so she makes them at me randomly also. (Yeah, nose-blowing noises also. In fact, those are usually what clues me that her sneezes were imitative. Oh, and also, watching her Make Herself Sneeze by sticking her nares in her water, just so she can get going with the sound.)

So anyway IF you were making specific sounds close-in-time to when your bird started, then yeah, there's a reasonable chance he was copying you, especially if you don't see evidence of any other problems.

BUT if you made some sounds and then months later he made some sounds-- based on how my bird acts, I would tend to assume those were probably Not copying.
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Last edited by fiddlejen; 07-13-2020 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 07-13-2020, 04:43 PM
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Re: Is my bird sick or is he mimicking me?

I would watch out for other signs other than sneezing sounds. Is there any nasal discharge when he sneezes or does he have a runny nose? Is he puffed up in his cage or ignoring his food and water? My sunny sneezes after a bath to get the water of her nose.
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Old 07-15-2020, 11:12 AM
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Re: Is my bird sick or is he mimicking me?

My Hahns Macaw imitates me all the time. He mimics my cough and the way I chew. If I grab a bag of chips or something he knows crunches he makes the sounds before I even start eating it. So yours could actually associate some activity or item to the sound. Something to keep an eye out for.


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