Bird in Shock Symptoms – How to Identify (5 Remedies)

When you see an injured or shocked bird, it can be heart-wrenching. Thus, almost immediately, you would want to rescue the bird and help it escape the shock.

A bird may become stunned and shocked due to a predator’s attack if it gets sick or for some unknown reason.

Bird in shock symptoms include immobility, rapid breathing, and disorientation. Providing a quiet and warm environment can aid recovery; consult a professional for severe cases.

When you try helping a shocked or injured bird, you must know what is the bird in shock symptoms. Keep reading to know more.

How to Tell a Bird in Shock

How to Tell a Bird in Shock?

Birds are one of the most beautiful creatures of nature. Their vivid colors, amazing flying skills, and chirping make it feel heavenly. Thus, when they are in shock, we feel numb. At that moment, we would want to help them.

But for this, you must know the symptoms of a shocked bird.

1. Lying immobile:

A shocked bird will stay immobile on the ground. It won’t move and appear dead even. Thus, when you see immobile birds lying on the ground, you must approach them carefully. Also, their wings may have been damaged, causing problems with their movement.

2. Does not fly while approaching it:

A shocked bird won’t move or even try flying when you approach it. Thus, it is clear that the bird is in serious shock.

It happens mostly when it is attacked by predators like eagles, cats, or dogs. Cats often attack and kill pet birds.

So, be careful if you have pet birds. They can even get shocked inside their cage when a cat tries to attack and approach them.

Also, a bird refusing to fly even when you approach it means it is probably injured. So, you must rescue it and start treating it.

3. Fluffed feathers:

When a bird is in shock, it will try to frighten its predators. As a result, it will fluff its feathers to appear bigger. However, the good news is a fluffed bird means it is in shock, but it has recovered considerably from the miserable condition.

4. Bleeding with wounds:

It is the easiest sign to identify a bird in shock. When a bird is bleeding due to wounds, it is shocking and at the verse of fatal injury.

At this moment, you must respond ASAP to recover and treat the bird in a safe environment.

Also, when a bird is wounded and bleeding, its wings may have broken. So, it might be incapable of flying for an extended period.

It would be best if you treated the bird until it recovers from the wound and may fly at full pace.

5. Injured body parts and swollen eyes:

A bird in shock may even have one or several parts of its body badly injured. When a predator like a cat or a bigger bird attacks the pet bird, it can easily get injured.

A pet bird must be more vulnerable to predators because it loses much of its wild instincts.

For a shocked and injured bird, you may see the following symptoms:

  1. Dangling legs without any control
  2. Wings will be hanging instead of folding
  3. The bird may even move in a circle

Also, it would be best if you observed its eyes closed. The stunned bird will almost always have swollen or squinted eyes. You may even see crust on the eyes.

6. Slow or fast breathing:

A shocked bird may behave differently when it comes to breathing. Some species will breathe faster when in shock, and others will breathe slowly.

Thus, when you catch a bird lying on the ground, you should observe its breathing rate immediately.

If it breathes too slowly, you may need to apply the emergency response for breathing. You will have to push air into its lungs using your mouth. It is similar to the way you recover a drowning man.

7. Fails to fly:

Sometimes a shocked bird will struggle to fly. It will try to fly by spreading its wings but will fail. A bird in awe needs a few moments to recover its control over the neural part.

So, it will fail to control its wings and flying techniques. As a result, it will fail to fly even if the bird tries harder than ever.

8. Weakness and Floppiness:

A parrot in shock may exhibit a weakened and floppy posture, lacking the usual alertness and responsiveness.

9. Pale Gums and Beak:

The parrot’s gums and beak may appear pale or white, indicating reduced blood flow and potential oxygen deprivation.

9. Cold to the Touch:

The parrot’s body may feel cold to the touch, further confirming the reduced blood circulation and core temperature drop associated with shock.

10. Rapid Breathing:

Rapid and shallow breathing is a common symptom of shock, as the body attempts to compensate for impaired oxygen delivery.

11. Weak or Absent Heartbeat:

A weak or absent heartbeat is a serious sign of shock, indicating a critical decline in cardiovascular function.

Causes of Shock in Birds

External Trauma: Injuries such as broken bones, bleeding, or severe burns can lead to shock.

Internal Injuries: Internal bleeding, organ damage, and infections can also cause shock.

Dehydration: Severe dehydration depletes the body’s fluids and can impair oxygen delivery, causing shock.

Heatstroke: Exposure to extreme heat can overwhelm the bird’s ability to regulate its body temperature, leading to shock.

Poisoning: Consumption of toxic substances, such as pesticides or rodenticides, can induce shock.

Tips on Treating a Bird in Shock

Tips on Treating a Bird in Shock

When a pet bird or even a wild bird is in shock, you must rescue it. However, the difficult part starts after rescuing it. You need to help it recover.

The recovery process may be a long one. Nonetheless, you may take the following actions immediately to help a stunned bird recover soon.

  • Check the breathing of the bird immediately. If it has stopped breathing or breathing slowly, you need to help it breathe through its beak.
  • Next up, check the wings, limbs, head, and other bird parts for any injuries. If the injury is minor, you can treat it at home.
  • For major injuries, you must take the bird to an expert vet and follow his suggestion.
  • You should keep the bird in a calm environment at room temperature. You may put it over a soft piece of cloth and let it rest.
  • Ensure that you keep the shocked bird in a noise-free and calm environment.

When the bird recovers slightly from the shock, try feeding it. You don’t need to force-feed it. Simply put a bowl of food and water in front of it.

When the bird recovers from the shock and finds food in front of it, the bird should try eating it. If it doesn’t eat, you must consult the vet or aviary expert.


How do you treat a traumatized bird?

The first thing you should do is remove it from any immediate danger. Once the bird is in a safe place, you can assess its injuries.

If the bird has any obvious injuries, such as broken bones or bleeding, you should contact a wildlife rehabilitation center or veterinarian immediately.

You can try to calm it down by providing it with a warm, dark place to rest.

You can also offer the bird some water and food but do not force it to eat or drink. If the bird does not improve within a few hours, you should contact a wildlife rehabilitation center or veterinarian.

Can parrots go into shock?

Yes, parrots can go into shock just like any other animal. Shock is a life-threatening condition that occurs when there is not enough blood flow to the body’s organs.

What happens when a bird is stunned?

A bird that is stunned is usually temporarily unconscious or disoriented. This can happen if the bird flies into a window or other object, or if it is startled by a loud noise. Usually, a stunned bird will recover on its own within a few minutes.


Is there anyone who doesn’t love birds? We know you all love these beautiful and interesting creatures. So, when a bird is in shock, you must act ASAP to rescue and recover it.

The recovery process starts with knowing the bird in shock symptoms. When a bird is in shock, it will breathe slowly, won’t move, and struggle to fly. At worst, the bird may have injuries.

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