New member
Apr 24, 2018
East New Market, Maryland
Illinger macaw
Hello. I am new to this site although Howie and I have been together for 27 years. He is an Illinger macaw. I have had him since he came from the breeder. He was mostly my mom's bird (even though he was a birthday gift from her to me). When we first got him (as per advice of vet), he kept our other bird company that had become a plucker due to my mom's absence in our home for two weeks at a time due to family illness....long story short...my mom has been deceased for ten years and the other bird for about 12 years. My job requires me to travel at times, so he loves me but he is what I call feisty. He typically cranks up when I enter the house. He likes me near but typically doesn't like to be held...fast forward...when I returned for a business trip in March, I noticed he wasn't his usual self. His feathers were a bit puffed and one of his wings was off just a bit. He sometimes looks like this after bathing and not preening well. He seemed to fine otherwise. I had to travel again in April, when I returned on the 9th, I noticed the basic same look and activity. However, in the past week, I have really noticed him just puffed at his food bowl and not eating like he usually does. I knew he had not been feeling well but I have heard him yelp a few times and finally caught him when he made the sound and he was just nestled in for a nap. His wing was looking drooped so I finally found a vet in my area and we went yesterday. The exam was AWFUL as the vet stretched out his wings and he screamed out in pain and fear. We all know that sound!!!! He was severely stressed from the strangers and the exam. The vet told me he was not a bird expert but thought we could lose him by stress. He suggested not doing the X-ray since he would have to tape him on the table and he was already too stressed. More upsetting, he said his keel was sticking out and he was too thin. I forget his weight but I will call this morning.

He said the books call for wrapping the wing but thought the bird was too stressed. We decided on pain meds and give it a couple of days to see if he would just start to heal on his own. I went and got all the suggested food - pellets, safflower mix and fruits and veggies. He really hasn't eat, just a few pieces. I put in his favorite sunflower seeds even the vet said no more if them. He eat a couple of peanuts and that was about it. He refused his beloved carrot, cucumber, orange and apple. He loves to hold these things when he eats but he isn't really doing anything but nestling in his beloved towel and puffed up hanging over food dish eating just a bit. I got him to drink fruit juice a few times. He always eat sunflower seeds and throws out all others but would eat fruit and cucumbers and carrots.

The vet also mentioned a possible underlying condition but I believe something happened while my new sitter was here in March. He was active until then and ate regularly. He is 27 but life span is 40-50.

The wing is drooped more and away from the body more. He got a dose of the pain meds around 4:30 yesterday. My fear is he is decreasing his appetite because his wing hurts. I feel like I need to find a avian specialist but worry about the stress of another exam but I feel like if we don't turn a corner he will lose more weight. Please help.


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
You need to get your Parrot to a Certified Avian Vet!!! Your Cat and Dog Vet does not have the depth of knowledge needed to provide proper care to your Parrot.


Staff member
Super Moderator
Dec 18, 2013
Maya (Female Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Jolly (Male Solomon Island eclectus parrot), Bixby (Male, red-sided eclectus. RIP), Suzie (Male cockatiel. RIP)
Agreed. Birds instinctively hide their illnesses since they are prey animals, so by the time their symptoms become obvious the situation is often quite serious. You definitely need to get him to an avian vet. I hear you about the stress, but you are risking losing him otherwise.


Well-known member
Jul 12, 2012
1 BFA- Kiwi. Hatch circa 98', forever home with us Dec. 08'
100% agreed on getting Howie to an avian specialized vet ASAP. Where do you live so members can help direct you to a CAV that can diagnose and hopefully treat the issue properly.


Staff member
Super Moderator
Aug 21, 2010
San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Welcome to you and Howie!

As others posted, Howie needs the services of a skilled certified avian vet. I found a single ABVP (type of accreditation) practice in Maryland, located in Westminster. Depending on your exact location, a nearby state may be as convenient. https://abvp.com/animal-owners/find-an-abvp-specialist/ Select "Avian" under category and complete country/state for a wide view.

You'll find many fine avian vets not ABVP certified; word of mouth is often the best method. Any nearby bird clubs?


Active member
Sep 12, 2012
Mitred Conure - Charlie 1994;
Cockatiel - Casey 2001;
Wild Caught ARN - Sylphie 2013
Looks like the avian certified vets are 2 hours away from you...

Feathers Scales & Tails Veterinary Hospital
310 Woodward Road Suite 3
Westminster, Maryland 21157

Not avian certified, but vets that treat birds... some that might be closer

Baltimore Animal Hospital - 24 Hour Pet ER Baltimore - Falls Road Animal Hospital

Adam S. Terry
All Kinds Veterinary Hospital, Inc.
20865 Callaway Village Way
Callaway, Maryland 20620-2210

Patricia Ware
VCA South Arundel Animal Hospital
85 Central Ave W
Edgewater, Maryland 21037-2620

Lacy A. Gilmer DVM
Welcome | Calvert Veterinary Center
Calvert Veterinary Center
4100 Mountain Rd Ste C
Pasadena, Maryland 21122-4470

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