Does It Look Like My Caique Is Getting Stress Feathers?

Does It Look Like My Caique Is Getting Stress Feathers?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Susan F. is concerned,

I just noticed a patch of black on Seymour’s right side just now. 

Should I be overly concerned about this enough to get her in to see the vet? 

I have been giving Seymour 1/2 of a strawberry almost every day for the past two weeks. 

Could that be causing this? 

Also, I have been trying to file Seymour’s nails with a crystal file for the last several weeks on Sundays to get her used to it and to do a little at a time…perhaps 5 mins because she pulls away so often.

She gets VERY stressed and last week, she bit my finger so hard as she attacked the file and ripped it out of my grasp. 


I have been timing her out in her cage for 10-mins each time she gets nippy and bites me which has been. 


Maybe the time out is stressing her out? 


I hope that this is nothing to worry about. 


She is very playful, vocal, and energetic. 


She also loves cuddling and having her head rubbed.  Have you ever heard of this or seen this in other birds?



Roger that, Susan – here’s some reading to start with.


What Are Feather Stress Bars? Does Your Bird Have Them?


Also, try a simple nail clipper to remove the sharp tips of Seymour’s nails.


Thank you, Mitch.

 I do not see these perpendicular lines on her feathers at all…just a few patches of black which is more pronounced on her right-wing. 

I originally thought that her feather coloring was changing, but I just wanted to be absolutely sure. 


Seymour is showing no behavioral changes and is chirping and as playful as ever.  


She is very stubborn though and will nip if she wants to do something I don’t want her to do.


She will give me that loud squawk which tells me to beware of a bite.


I back off and grab the kitchen towel because if I give her her way, she will learn how to use that squawk to her advantage. 


As cute as she is…sometimes she can be a little scary. 


This just started happening after COVID and I’ve been spending more time at home.


The pics were very clear so hopefully, with these new pics, the vet will be able to confirm what he originally thought which is a change in her pigmentation. 


I just hope that he’ll have the time to look at them today.  As she loses those feathers, will Seymour’s new feathers grow in with those same black patches?  


I will keep you posted,



Hi Mitch,


I called my vet’s office today and was asked to send over some pics. 



My vet relayed the message that the spots are nothing to worry about.  They are caused by a change in pigmentation as Seymour is getting older.  She is 8 years old now.  I was asked to send over some close-ups which I did and he is going to get back to me.  I’ll let you know what he says.


Stay well,

Have a great weekend too!



Hi Mrs. Fong. I just wanted you to know that my dad said it looks like dead feathers that need to molt out. Hope this helps! Have a great weekend.




Hello Dr. Krasnoff,

Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease.  It’s a big relief if it’s only Seymour’s pigmentation changing as she’s getting older.  If you see anything different in these close-ups, please let me know.


Thank you and stay well,


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