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Tail Bobbing

If your bird is bobbing its tail, it might be a sign of exhaustion or a respiratory problem.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: August 7, 2013, 3:15 p.m. PDT


While sitting on a perch, you may notice your bird’s tail moving up and down continuously.


If the bird is somewhat overweight or not regularly active but has recently been playing or exercising more actively than normal, its tail may bob as part of its exhaustion. If your bird has not been recently active and its tail is bobbing, this could be a sign of infection or a breathing problem.


Your bird should be seen by an avian vet if you notice tail bobbing for no apparent reason.


If an infection is found to be the cause, all primary and secondary infections need to be properly treated. For overweight birds that exhibit tail bobbing due to exhaustion, be active with your bird more often and provide the bird a healthy diet to ensure it is not overeating.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Health section 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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