Ask Lafeber


May 8, 2019

Follow up question on Severe Macaws and Wings of Compassion website?

Hi Brenda,

Thank you for answering my question about the average age of Severe Macaws. I will look forward to hearing about the Wings of Compassion website.

A quick follow up question. I read the entry about the Cockatiel illness. Merlin had the same symptoms. He was fine the days before, although drinking more water than usual, then we found him in the morning with his wings puffed up and eyes mostly closed and unstable on his perch. He passed away later that day. It was so sudden. Do you think, like the cockatiel, this was probably caused by kidney or liver or other organ failure?


Hi Chris,

I think it is most likely that Merlin had some type of organ failure. It’s hard to lose one so suddenly, but on the other hand, parrots do not tend to suffer or linger when they develop age related end of life problems, like a dog or cat will. Most will die at home rather than have to be taken to the vet. They have such a fast metabolism that disease progresses quickly. I would not have done anything differently if he had been my bird. In fact both of my Severe’s died in the same manner as Merlin. It doesn’t make it easy, but you gave Merlin the fullest life he could have.

Take care,


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