When the death of your pet bird happens suddenly or unexpectedly, the grief can be overwhelming.
I know it’s hard. I’ve been through all these. No matter how old your bird was, a parrot, a parakeet, or a finch, the bird’s death will affect you and other members of your family.
The loss of a parrot can cause sadness and grief similar to that experienced after losing a person or pet due to any other reason.
Dealing With The Grief Of Losing Your Bird
When this happens, do not resist what is going on inside yourself. Emotional upheaval is part of the normal grieving process when someone loses a loved one – in this case, your parrot friend who was very close to you. You may feel anger at whoever or whatever you think caused their death, mixed with guilt for not preventing it from happening somehow.
It is okay to go through all of these emotions while going through the grief process. Understanding this can help you deal with them better. It is perfectly normal to have a hard time functioning normally at first after such a sudden death, particularly if it was a much-loved companion animal that passed away unexpectedly.
Coping With The Loss Of Your Budgie
Someone might tell you this: “Oh, come on. It’s no big deal. What’s the big deal about a bird, anyway? You can just get another one.”
This actually doesn’t help at all.
What they don’t understand is that your parrot was not just “a bird” – it was an important part of your family! It took years for you to bond with your pet and for it to trust you enough to allow you to care for it. This relationship got to the point where you could share your life with your parrot, and now that pet is gone.
You can’t just substitute one for another.
Reach Out To An Avian Veterinarian
For those who have lost a pet bird, this may be a good time to reach out and connect with other parrot owners or avian veterinary professionals. If you do not have any friends or relatives that have birds, see if you can contact your veterinarian, local avian society, or humane society about getting in touch with people who own birds.
Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian or bird store owner about their experiences with the loss of a parrot. Do not try and deal with this alone – grief counseling might make all the difference in helping you cope with these feelings.
If a bird dies at a veterinary clinic, the staff will usually wrap the dead parrot in a towel and place it inside a plastic bag. If you have thought of bringing it home, you can then place this into an unused cardboard box, if possible.
Find Someone Who Listens
Sometimes it is hard reaching out during a time of loss, but talking with others who know what you are going through can be very helpful. Having someone listen to your worries and fears is often the best way to work through them.
Hang On To Some Of Your Bird’s Things
You may want to keep some of your pet’s things around as a way to help you remember them. This could be anything from their favorite food dish, perches, or toys that you played with together. As time goes on, you can donate these items to pet rescues or pet stores so they can be passed on to other pet birds.
The loss of a pet parrot is often very upsetting, but by doing some simple things, you can help ease the pain and start looking for another pet bird when you are ready.
Share Your Memories On A Parrot Forum
The parrot forum is a great place to connect with other pet bird owners and pet bird enthusiasts. The people here can relate to your pet-ownership experiences and go through similar emotions as you do when it comes time for your pet’s final days.
You will find that many pet parrot owners have experienced pet loss just like you, so don’t be afraid to share your pet’s story or pet loss experiences here.
There is also other pet parrot information that you can browse through on the pet bird forum that might help provide some pet bereavement support for you.
Post Memorials For Your Loss
Search the internet – there are quite a few websites that allow you to post memorials or offer pet loss chat rooms. Websites like Petloss.com or Aplb.org is a good place to share your pet memories. This will allow pet parrot owners to share their thoughts and experiences with pet loss, pet grief, pet memorials, or pet condolences.
If you are having struggles after the death of your pet parrot, please reach out to others on these forums for support. You are not alone in this!
Additional Tips And Thoughts
Please keep in mind that pet loss is a process rather than an event. It takes time to deal with pet loss, so please be patient with yourself as you work through your emotions.
There are some practical as well as emotional ways of coping with the loss of your parrot:
- Keep a journal. Write down how you’re feeling on a daily basis or whenever it feels right. This can help you come to terms with your feelings about the death and will be an aid in helping other family members who might need support from you at this time.
- Get support from friends, family members, and especially other bird owners whom you know have also experienced similar types of losses before so they can understand what you are going through now and offer advice or comfort if needed.
- Make a photo album. Replace the memories that have been lost by compiling pictures together in a photo album, making a scrapbook of favorite times spent with your parrot.
- Take a photo of your budgie at rest – due to your hurting, you probably won’t be able to look at the developed photo for a while, but in time this photo can be comforting to some people.
- Bury Your Bird. You may wish to bury your bird or keep it in its cage where you can talk to it for several days before doing anything else. Either is fine – just remember that if you choose to bury your pet outside, never use any pesticides or chemical weedkillers around the gravesite. If burying your pet in the garden, dig down six inches below ground level so that predators are likely to dig up the body.
- Offer a modest ceremony when you bury your bird. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, especially if you are not religious. Simply talking about your pet parrot and the wonderful things it meant to you is often sufficient. You can mark the pet’s grave with a small plaque or plant a tree/shrubs that will be able to grow for many years to come as an everlasting reminder.
- Make a donation in your bird’s name to a bird society or bird rescue center. This will help others who are also in need of pet parrot support.
If you have a friend whose pet bird dies, send them a sympathy card and add a few words of your own. Many veterinary practices do this, and it is surprising the comfort that this gesture brings.
Signs Parrots Give That Indicate They Are In Pain Or Dying
Physical problems, such as a sudden loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or bloody stools, are often cause for concern. Sudden weight loss may indicate a serious illness, while an increase in appetite can be an indication of dietary or other problems.
It is always advised to get your parrot checked by the avian vet if you notice anything different about it, no matter how small the change seems to you.
Birds that are having a lot of physical discomforts may appear restless and uncomfortable at times even when you cannot see any physical signs.
If your bird has been acting differently from usual, being quiet more than normal, or not eating much for several days in a row, it could be cause for concern. Most birds will stop eating when they get very sick, so watch closely to see if your parrot does this.
A bird that is dehydrated will also have dry skin around the neck and tail areas. If this happens, contact a veterinarian immediately because there can be underlying medical reasons for this behavior. Also, look out for other signs that indicate illness, such as
Weakness and listlessness: Birds can get very sick and die within a few days of becoming weak and listless. Your birds can even fall off the perch, so if you suspect something serious is wrong with your pet bird, get it to an avian vet as quickly as possible. It is usually best to take the pet parrot to the veterinarian rather
Loss of appetite or sudden weight loss: in some cases, a bird that is ill may eat more because it feels the need to “fuel up,” but this behavior can also indicate an emergency medical situation.
Heavy breathing and difficulty breathing due to illness or injury: birds that are having problems breathing normally will sit hunched over with their neck pulled in close to their body. They may be very still when they do this, moving only enough to continue breathing.
Birds can also suffer from organ failure after becoming stressed due to illness, external stressors, or emotional upset. Be aware that it is common for a bird to die suddenly just after someone has left the house or just after a change in their normal daily schedule. If this happens, be observant of other signs indicating illness so you can get your parrot help as soon as possible if needed.
If you suspect your parrot may be in the early stages of organ failure, contact a veterinarian immediately. If possible, take some fresh droppings along to help their assessment.
Don’t blame yourself for your budgie’s death or try punishing yourself by refusing food or being too hard on yourself., etc. It won’t achieve anything but make you feel worse.
Finally, the time will come when you may decide to get yourself another bird. Once again, this is personal, and you may be able to cope with a new bird a few days after the death of your bird, or it may be a year before you wish to obtain another bird.
Although it will never be the same, it will be a new member of your family with its own personality, another companion that you can love and care for for the next ten years or more.