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Tail Bobbing

Tail bobbing is an abnormal amount of motion of a bird’s tail feathers when breathing.


Tail bobbing applies to an abnormal amount of motion of a bird’s tail feathers associated with respiration. It is also called “tail pumping.”


A bird that is tail bobbing is an animal that is having trouble breathing. Respiratory distress in a bird can be caused by anything from pneumonia to foreign bodies or tumors that occlude the action of the lungs. This is a medical emergency.


Contact an experienced avian veterinarian immediately, and get the bird in to be seen as soon as possible. This is a potentially life-threatening situation and needs to be dealt with immediately.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Tail Bobbing

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Reader Comments
Thank you so very much for the information. We have 2 love birds and one is having exactly what you describe as "tail bobbing". hopefully we'll take it the Vet tomorrow. Thanks again! Great website!!
Liz, Torrance, CA
Posted: 8/20/2011 10:37:22 PM
Good information to have!
Elaine, Darien, IL
Posted: 10/6/2010 2:26:16 PM
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