Why Are My Green Cheek Conures Unable to Fly When Wet?

Why Are My Green Cheek Conures Unable to Fly When Wet?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Chris T. is concerned about:


My 2 birds are not repelling some of the water.


I’m not sure how to state this but the water would bead up and not get completely wet.


After bathing could fly. Now they are completely wet and cannot fly.


I am wondering if they have a vitamin deficiency, or it can just be age?


Dear Chris,

Parrots are not ducks. They surely can get wet from bathing and their feathers will get saturated. It all depends on how much time they spend in the water.


With a little splashing around their feathers may repel some water, but yes, they can become wet enough that their feathers will absorb enough water to possibly require you to blot them off with a towel and put them where they can be warm while they preen and dry off.


Why does your bird preen & how the heck do you pronounce Uropygial?


Most birds have the uropygial gland near their tail feathers where they are able to access it and get a little preening oil from it. They will use this oil and dispense it through their feather to condition them and yes, this oil is naturally water repellent.


Some parrots do not have this gland, particularly amazons.



Not all birds have enough of this natural oil. Aging can also affect the gland so it does not produce as much as it used to.


We do offer a product that contains the needed preening oil and it is simply sprayed onto your bird’s feathers. They will then distribute it through their own feathers, cleaning and conditioning them.


Natra Bird Bath Spray


I hope this helps.




Mitch R here putting in his 2 cents in spite of the coin shortage.


Here’s a scenario,


You’re out for a walk on the park district trail wearing a t-shirt, favorite flannel shirt, and your favorite hoody.


You’re a mile and a half from the car and it starts to rain but you forgot your NorthFace gear in the car.


How fast will you be moving after half a mile when your clothing is soaked?


The added weight and resistance will increase caloric needs.


We also have to factor in that birds don’t fly in the rain more so because of the air than the water. Storms alter the actual air.


Find a low atmospheric pressure air system and you’ll find a rainstorm.


Air is less dense in low-pressure systems, but birds need dense air for flight.


High humidity, while rain is coming down, adds a lot of water molecules to the air.


Water takes up space in the air which makes it even less dense.


It makes sense, to the bird to stay out of the rain for energy conservation.


If they are stuck in the open on a fence, they will face into the wind reducing air resistance and limiting precious body heat loss.


Thus you have 100,000,000 years of instinctual expectations, working against allowing a bird to get itself wet ~ at times.



Mitch Rezman

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