House plants and other dangers

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Written and compiled by David Lal

Lots of commonplace objects and situations in the home are dangerous to parrots. High on the list come plants and open fires but there are plenty of other things to think about: electric cables, mirrors, windows, electric fans, sharp knives and other tools. Children, other pets and even other parrots.

Poisonous houseplants

Parrots and houseplants do not mix: a great many quite common plants are actually lethal to parrots - and virtually all parrots are lethal to houseplants!

The look up boxes below are the result of searching around on the internet. There are over 200 plants listed. To use the look up facility first determine what the latin name of the plant is in the top box then use the second box to select the latin name. Toxicity information will be shown in the bottom box.

Note: Toxicity information probably really means toxic to humans. So the assumption is that the plant is also toxic to parrots.

By contrast, some things that are non-toxic to humans may be harmful to parrots. Moreover, too much of anything may well upset a bird's digestion, so a "Non-toxic" search result should be taken with a pinch of salt (so to speak!).

Candles, cookers, open fires

It seems obvious, doesn't it, when you read it here but all these things represent a serious danger to pet birds. Every year, numerous budgies are burned by flying into fires or candles which may be the brightest point in a dimly lit room. The delicate respiratory systems of parrots make them very susceptible to succumbing to fumes from fires, candles and chemical aerosols and aromatherapy oils.

All parrots are inquisitive and will want to know what you are doing clattering around in the kitchen. They are cunning too, they may deliberately wait for a moment when your back is turned to go and find out. Please make sure your pet's curiosity is not a burning one.

Mirrors and windows

A full speed collision with a mirror or glass window can break a bird's neck. Fortunately, parrots are very intelligent and quickly learn what these things are. You can help that process by sticking bits of paper all over the glass when you first take a parrot into a new environment. You can also show the bird the glass and allow him to touch it. The paper ensures a low collision speed. After a couple of weeks the bits of paper can be removed - although it is a good idea to invest in some of those silhouette transfers, net curtains or blinds.


The issue of wing-clipping is very subjective. It is up to each owner to make an informed decision but please consider your bird's overall welfare before using these dangers as justification. Remember, God gave him wings with which to fly: the essence of a bird is its wings.

View a list of plant types and their toxicity.

The Bird provides a toxic and non-toxic list of plants