Badly Bruised face :(


New member
Feb 27, 2013
Los Angeles, CA
Blue and Gold Macaw, Timnah African Grey, Sun Conure
Hey everyone. So I have a little darling that hurt herself and of course I immediately looked up the 24 hour vet. After consulting with her, she said that she didn't think a late night visit was necessary (wow! A real vet that isn't just out for $$ especially for after hours services!!) given the nature of what happened, she said to just monitor the situation and come in if anything changes and then gave me a list of instructions.

We determined by talking and with photos-love the internet/yahoo messenger/technologically savvy vets-that Haley has a contusion (deep bruise) on her face and since the internet has NOTHING on this topic I figured I would share with everyone so that they too might be put at ease if your little feather baby gets something similar. Please please please consult your vet if you have any sort of trauma because you never know what is going on!

So Haley was startled by a small earthquake we had (gotta love L.A.) and she jumped from her perch and had a very hard landing into some nearby packages that were going to be mailed the next day. The vet didn't think she had a concussion but told me to beware of the signs and act accordingly. Her weight has remained consistent, her behavior is normal, she is eating drinking and going to the bathroom normally. Just a bump-thank goodness!

Here are some photos of the way her bruise is progressing so that others might have reference. I will post more as she continues to heal.

Day 1: 10:00 pm This was about three hours after the crash, its a bit blurry but the red spot was more of a blood filled bubble at this point. It was not laying flat against her skin and right at the very lower edge where the skin meets the beak there was tiny micro droplets of blood.

I didn't think to document and take a photo on day 2 :( However, the spot was still raised about half as much and had darkened to a deeper "healing" color red, much like a blood blister does. Her skin looked wrinkly laying on top of it and it is MUCH more tender the "morning after." She didn't really like the fact that I had to poke at her to make sure things were coming along like the vet said they should. I noted that she spent MUCH more time on her heated perch than she normally does (I love that thing!) all day long. She wanted to eat all day and was showing zero signs of pain when cracking open unsalted peanuts (no hard nuts per the vet.) She really enjoyed the extra boost of goodies she got (higher iron content veggies and some diluted gatorade).

Day 3: 11:00 am Her skin is laying flat now, thanks goodness! However, the spot is a dark green color with very dark edges and light yellowing around that. It looks more like a bruise now rather than a blood blister. My poor baby! She is a very "blushy" bird so the light red around the eye and nostrils are because she just had a piece of scrambled egg and was still pretty excited about it. The red around the bruise is from the injury, not her blush.

I will post tomorrow's update so that you can continue to see how a deep bruise on the soft facial skin of a parrot progresses.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #2
So I know it isn't tomorrow yet but since Haley is being so silly and is up WAY past her bedtime I figured I would give you an update.

Day 3: 10:00 pm: It is almost 12 hours since the last photo was taken and as you can see the bruise is changing a little. It is about 10% smaller but still very green. The very outer most edges have really yellowed up and the red areas are yellowing out too.

Haley is acting like her normal self: chasing the puppy all over and laughing! (Supervised of course-the puppy and her are pals and have been since day 1, and to note, Haley is bigger than the puppy, ha ha) She has gained 26g today which is the largest single day weight gain she has had in over a year and she is at the heaviest she has been in about 6 months. (usually no more than 10g in either direction in a single day) She is so excited right now that I had to bribe her with scratches to get her to sit still long enough to get a clear photo of the bruise. I think that the extra treats and the diluted gatorade have given her too much energy!

I'll take a photo update tomorrow morning as well just to keep you all in the loop. The photos are really not doing this justice. They look mild compared to how bad it looks with the naked eye. It is healing though and that makes me one happy birdie mama!

Thanks you so much for sharing these pics and documenting the bruise. I am sure many people will find this post very useful. Glad she is okay:)
I agree. Thanks for the photos and updates. This may prove to be very helpful to someone in the future!! Glad your baby is doing so well!
Thanks for posting. You were lucky that you knew what caused the bruise otherwise you would be going crazy and spending big bucks at the vet.
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Good Afternoon!

So Haley is super cranky today and didn't want to hold still at all to let me take photos.

I finally got one this afternoon. It is not the greatest but you can see she is healing up and you can really see how the bruise is changing.

Day 4 1:30 pm: It is about 60% it's original size and the color has changed quite a bit since last night. It is still green in the middle but the edges are not so crisp and the green is much lighter. There is some scabbing right where the skin and beak meet and she is getting a few new feathers in so it is very itchy for her with the bruise and scabs. She keeps trying to rub her face so I have had to really watch her closely so that she doesn't do more harm.

I am getting super parrot attitude from the Little Miss today, she really wants to be left alone to rub away but I can tell that she is irritating the surrounding skin by doing so. It's pretty clear to me that she is 100% out of the woods since she found the Hazelnuts that I hid in a drawer and munched away on them. I guess if it hurt at all she didn't care. I'll still put up photos though in case they are helpful for someone else :) I really think that the bruise will just continue to heal normally now.

She has been looking for high protein and high iron things. She stole some of my chicken when I got up to answer the phone. (We don't keep her cage bound, she is a part of our family) She also was eating some dark leafy greens which she would normally throw out of her bowl to get to the "good stuff." No matter how hard I try, until today, she would not touch any really healthy greens!! Maybe she is lacking in some vitamins since the healing process is happening? The vet is still not concerned and pretty much said that at this point I don't even need to worry anymore unless she shows signs of abnormality.

Thanks for keeping an eye on her with me!

Green bruises can be pretty scary to see on a bird!!!! Been through a similar incident, although the damage was not as severe as what Haley did to herself.

Glad to see she's on the mend! And what a great vet!!!! Thanks for the photos!
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Hi everyone who is keeping up! Thanks for all of the kind words.

Here is today's update (x2, morning and night)

Day 5 8:30 am Wow, it's been 5 calendar days, sure only 4 really since it happened at night and now it is still early morning but still. Wow! Birds heal nicely :)

So I have been trying to get a good photo of the scabbing and have been unsuccessful until today-you can just barely see it. The swelling is 100% gone so the scab is poking out more. You can see that the green is gone and the bruise is mostly brown and yellow now.
The only thing I can say that I am not thrilled about is how much she is favoring her heated perch still. It has been warm here so she should not be on it quite as much as she has been. I have left it plugged in because clearly she is seeking it out for a reason. It's not causing burns or anything so I am not overly worried but just noted that she is preferring to be warmer right now.

And now for 9:30 pm:

Oh my gosh what a day makes! Her bruise is nearly gone. I imagine it will be 99% gone tomorrow and probably wont photograph well even. Just a bit yellow but a nice shot of the scabbing that is still there. It is the small dark red/blackish pinpoint dot on her now nearly white face. If you are having trouble finding it, it is near the beak/skin/feather joining point (I haven't wanted to put mineral/coconut oils on while she is healing so its a bit white in that area). I know that will probably be gone by morning too since it is barely hanging on now. Take a look for yourself!! :)

It looks so much better. Thank you again for posting this thread:)
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Hi! Time got away from me yesterday so here is a double whammy!

Day 6, Around 5pm
The bruise is still there, all yellow now. Smaller and isolated to just a spot the size of a pea.

The scab did not fall off like I imagined but it barley hanging on! It is getting harder to see so the descriptions are probably more important to you now :)

Day 7: 8pm bedtime.

Haley has been rubbing all day. I have not been able to hold her much (she usually gets several hours of being on my arm or shoulder) and so I have not been able to stop the rubbing as much as I would like. Some vets will tell you that this is behavioral-some will say its itchy. I am leaning toward itchy because this is out of character for her.

Her bruise is a little darker as a result. At least I think it is darker. Either way, the photos are hardly showing it now but because there is still discoloration I will keep posting. Maybe tomorrow will be the day that it is all gone. I certainly hope so!!

  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
Oh and I should also note, she is NOT happy being preened right now if it is in that area. She is protesting any sort of pin feather picking that I try to do! Cranky girl just wants to snuggle and that is all. :)

Tomorrow I plan to condition her beak with coconut oil and give her a nice warm shower. A clean bird is a happy bird!
Oh and I should also note, she is NOT happy being preened right now if it is in that area. She is protesting any sort of pin feather picking that I try to do! Cranky girl just wants to snuggle and that is all. :)

Tomorrow I plan to condition her beak with coconut oil and give her a nice warm shower. A clean bird is a happy bird!

You are being a wonderful caring guardian, doing every thing possible for your bird.

Thank you so much for showing us step by step pictures of the bruising. Very interesting.......

Let us know how the conditioning of her beak goes.

  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
Hey! Final post on this topic. Sorry for the delay, I got the flu and am just now back up and around :(

Day 8: Saw very little change, in fact, the photos looked exactly like Day 7 at night. Didn't want to post up a no-change photo but figured it was important to note that the last bit of healing is being stubborn.

Day 9: Finally all better! So I polished her beak up with coconut oil, I like it because I use it for other things (cooking, etc.) and that way I don't have mineral oil laying around for long periods of time. Remember to smell your oils before putting on your bird!! Oils go rancid. I sometimes put a little on her legs and tops (only) of feet too, depending on how dry our hot California weather is. So without any more babble, here is my beautiful girl!

Thanks for reading over my long post! Thanks for sticking with me, and hopefully someone will benefit from this series of posts. Remember CONTACT YOUR VET FOR ANY TRAUMA!!! Your bird's life might depend on it!
Oiling the beak, feet and legs, never thought of that.
Glad to see Haley all healed up!

BTW, found the photos I was thinking of! Was told to just keep an eye on it and allow it to heal, which it did.



vs normal

I know your post is from over two years ago, but still very helpful!
My blue and gold was being very silly and fell when hanging from his perch. I didn't notice anything until the next day when his face showed a small scratch and a swollen area (same area as yours) but the extent does not seem to be as extensive and dark red.
He is acting and doing just fine. I am keeping a close eye on it to see if it reduces in size.
But, thank you again for the post.

Most Reactions

Latest posts