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Parrots/Double Yellow Headed Amazon' s Tongue is Red?


We adopted a double yellow headed Amazon about 2 weeks ago named Everette, and just several days ago I noticed something concerning on the back of his tongue. For the most part his tongue is pink, but at the back I caught a glimpse of some redness. The rescue told us he' d been vet checked before. He eats fine and is perfectly healthy, but I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry, so I came here to see if there is a potential issue and perhaps what it might be. Thanks for your time

-- I believe what you're seeing is the infundibular cleft, a normal structure in a psittacine's tongue.   Sometimes this area can look very red; other times it's pinkish and preferably we find it dull pink or flesh colored.

There are multiple reasons why it might brighten now and then, but as long as it's not constant chances are there's nothing wrong.

IF you see it's red all the time and especially if you find there's an odor coming from the bird's mouth (bready/yeast like, sour, pungent, rotten or any combination) and you cannot associate it with a food recently eaten, don't waste any time in having it checked out.

 Our birds should be like our children.  Far, far better to head a problem off early than to be faced with correcting a problem that's taken hold.  

In a bird's case, prevention is nearly always going to be way cheaper than a cure (and easier)

Even though your bird is a rescue and they claim to have had a vet check, YOU still need to establish your own vet and this is the perfect motivation to doing so sooner rather than later.

 Also, it's your right to have Everette's medical files (or a copy) from the rescue.  Or at least the name of the vet and the rescue's signed 'release' on the medical files so you can attain them yourself.

 Chances are this is nothing, but yes, better to err on the side of caution.

What could it be?  Anything from a minor infection to a complication of malnutrition or a condition called hypovitaminosis A.  If the bird has been on a mostly seed diet, the risks go up and even liver disease needs to be factored in.  

 But again, let's not hear hoofbeats and think Zebras, right?

Check here to go over your feeding options

and get the vet check up scheduled for this week, just because it's time anyway.

Good luck and THANK YOU for saving this bird  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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