Potential Sources of Poisoning in Birds

This list is not exhaustive, because several sources of intoxication are still unknown to date. It is therefore recommended that you never let your bird eat or destroy anything that is not known to be safe. Birds are attracted to metal objects, but lead and zinc can cause serious health problems when consumed. Be vigilant when taking your bird out of the cage and remove all metal ties from its cage (stainless steel is safe). Never expose your bird to smoke or aerosols. After smoking a cigarette, it is important to wash your hands well and rinse your mouth before handling your bird.


  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Avocados
  • Parsley
  • Onion and related vegetables
  • Rhubarb
  • Salty foods (chips, crackers, etc.)
  • Peanuts, seeds, and corn not intended for human consumption or improperly stored (mycotoxins)
  • Alcohol
  • Fresh food left too long in the cage (contamination by bacteria and mould)

Domestic products

  • Bleach
  • Swimming pool chemicals
  • Cleaning products
  • Furniture polish (Pledge)
  • Sofa protector
  • Perfumes
  • Odour eliminators
  • Denture cleaners
  • Deodorants
  • Shampoos
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Markers or pencils


Indoor plants

  • Panda grass (Kalanchoe sp)
  • Philodendron
  • Lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis)
  • Diffenbachia
  • Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Outdoor plants

  • Small burdock (Arctium minus) or “toques”
  • Castor (Ricinus communis)
  • Chinese cabbage/Taro (Colocasia esculenta)
  • Elephant ears (Alocasia sp)
  • Henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and other Solanaceae species
  • Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
  • Gout herbs (Aegopodium podagraria)
  • Blue algae (Microcystis aeruginosa)
  • Bunge (Trichodesma incanum)
  • Clematis (Montana rubens)
  • Rye ergot (Claviceps purpurea)
  • Astragalus
  • Asclepia


  • Robinia false acacia (Robina pseudoacacia)
  • Flambloyant from Hyères (Sesbania sp)
  • Oleander (Nerium oleander)
  • American grape (Phytolacca Americana)
  • Rhododendron
  • Oak (Quercus sp)
  • Abrus with rosary (Abrus precatorius)
  • Common yew (Taxus baccata)


  • Weights for curtains or fishing
  • Lead-based paint (old houses) or with lead drying agent
  • Galvanized metal
  • Corks of champagne bottles and some wine bottles
  • Plant seeds (coated with arsenate of lead)
  • Batteries
  • Linoleum / ceramic / plaster
  • Base of lightbulbs
  • Stained glass / tinted glass / Tiffany lamps
  • Certain lubricants
  • Bullets


  • Plumbing materials: nuts, washers, bolts
  • Galvanized metal
  • Certain toys or mineral block attachments
  • Rubber
  • 1 cent coins
  • Paper clips
  • Monopoly pieces
  • Some jewelry

Smoke and fumes

  • Cigarettes
  • Fireplace / furnace
  • Barbecue
  • Food burnt in the stove
  • Self-cleaning oven
  • Teflon (stove, hair dryer, iron)
  • Paints / varnishes