My birds don’t diminish my air quality – doc.

cockatiel wearing gask mask on top of alarm clock with radio active lable
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Water Wind & Stars replied  – Oct 4, 10:12pm

After writing my first message I took a big pile of towels and curtains from the bathroom where my birds’ cage had been located and carried them to the basement to wash the bird dander out; the pile was big enough to cover my nose and mouth.

Not more than 5 minutes after I came back upstairs, I started to cough in the breathless, slightly spasming way that has been the main symptom of my lung issue.

The coughing didn’t last for more than a few minutes — then it calmed down and was over — but there was the proof in the pudding! The big pile of towels from the birds’ room had set off the response.

The woman who adopted the birds today on a trial basis is very willing to keep the birds if I can’t take them back, which I now know I cannot, and they will be in a very good home, I made very sure of that.

My first symptoms started within a month of bringing the birds home and continued to worsen in the coming months.

So yes, I realize now that different species affect different people differently and in my case, sadly the beautiful little parrotlet and lovebird did set off an allergic reaction.

The good news is that the adopter, who has years of experience with birds, already has a pair of bonded lovebirds and she wrote me this evening that already the two little outposts of bonded birdies within visual and hearing range of each other were singing back and forth!

That was balm to my hurting heart. She lives only 5 minutes away so I can visit them now and then.

I can’t tell you how terribly it hurt when I first heard that the cause of my lung issues was Lulu and Louie.


It seems to be working out for the best for all of us. Thank you for listening and I hope my set of messages may be useful to you as one person’s experience with this difficult topic. Sonia Kovitz

Water Wind & Stars replied – Oct 4, 4:54pm

Are you aware of significant differences between one species and another re: causing allergic reactions in the lungs of humans?

I have had cockatiels, a conure, and a quaker parrot over the years– have had the quaker for a full decade with nary a lung problem and I have no other allergies. 

In May I bought a bonded pair, Parrotlet and Lovebird, and starting in June began having strange and unprecedented cough, breathing and lung symptoms plus inexplicable weight loss.

In Sept I had XRay, then CT-scan and lungs show allergic inflammation.

Yesterday a specialist evaluated all this and his primary hypothesis in view of all other factors is that the two birds I got in May are the cause.

I am lucky enough to have someone willing to keep them for a month (permanently only if necessary) while I get more tests.

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He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they would visit their monthly birdie brunch in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.