Festivals, Fumes and Parrots


New member
Oct 14, 2015
1 Green Cheek Conure named Baby.
Hey Everyone!

On November 11 it is Diwali, an Indian festival of lights. Every year, my family fills clay lamps with mustard oil and cotton wicks and burns them throughout the night. This year, the festival coincides with Remembrance Day in Canada so it won't be as grand but some lamps will still be lit so had a concern.

Will we be able to light a lamp in the room the bird is in? We live in a house (the bird is in the family room upstairs) not in an apartment so can we light the lamps in the same room as the bird. The lamp would be in the other side of the room (12ft×16ft). If it can't be burned in the same room, can it at least be burned in the house/in other rooms?

Some more specific details about the lamps: Imagine a quarter cup measuring cup used in baking. Cut it in half and thats about how big the lamps are. They are made of clay and are filled with 100% mustard oil. The mustard oil is what would be fueling the cotton wick. We know its a cotton wick because we get raw cotton and make the wicks ourselves. The lamp burns for around 4 hours because we refill it with oil halfway through (we could just not refill it so it would only burn for like one and a half to two hours). The flame doesn't release visible smoke but like all flames, if you were to hold an object above it, it would prduce soot. In the morning, there is a slight aroma of the mustard oil but nothing strong.

Does the smell mean it's dangerous for the bird? It wouldn't be let out when the flame is burning so he wouldn't catch fire or get the actual oil on him. This wouldn't be a norm (only happens once a year) so would it be bad for him because he wouldn't have longterm exposure to the fumes.

P.S. The bird in question is a green cheek conure.

Thanks a lot for your input!


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
Move you parrot to a room away and not connected to the family room during this event. The process of low temperature burning is an automatic assurance of CO2. Whatever you burn will either contribute somewhat or greatly. Air the room out prior to the return of your parrot.


New member
Oct 23, 2015
Migratory :-) But UK mainly!
Hyacinth Macaw; 'Blue' (born July 2013)
Yup, I agree.

Obviously, everyone knows they used to take Canaries down the mines as they were so sensitive to gasses . . birds get 6 x as much Oxygen/Pollutants out of every breath compared to us. The reason they are designed like this is that in order to fly they need a massive amount of oxygen in their blood or they'd collapse like us. This incredibly high rate of Oxygen (and gas) metabolism makes them super sensitive to things that we wouldn't even consider:

a) Teflon coated pans in cooking - a bird killer
b) Frying oil in pans or woks
c) Smoke
d) Carbon Dioxide or Monoxide (very low levels)

etc. etc.

Worse still the only symptoms they exhibit as they are being poisoned are they get fussy or sleepy (or both) and then they quietly fall off their perches . . .

Even when I'm cooking and Blue is in the Kitchen, I have the extractors on full blast and the back door open (with him near it) if I'm doing any cooking with melted butter or oil.

Don't risk it - you'll only get it wrong once remember, and that is one time to many!!

God bless

Mark and Blue (see video link below if you want a smile)

Most Reactions