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Parrots/Amazon's Tongue


We have adopted a double yellow headed amazon last week, and I am fairly new to birds. I was just concerned about the back of his tongue, looked hollow/ reddened? I can't get him to open his mouth all the way, but it looked rough and discolored from the rest of the tongue.Before I continue I'd like to say we got him from a rescue that claimed he'd been vet checked, and he's perfectly healthy in every way. Couldn't find anything online about the anatomy of a bird tongue.I figured I was just being paranoid, but I thought it'd be good to get some insight before I decided against a vet check.

Sorry if this question is silly, but I just wanted to know or not if my bird is in bad shape.

Thanks for your time!

-- Yes, it's very likely normal.  This is the glottis and it's in direct opposition to a similar opening at the roof of the mouth called the choana.  

 Yes, sometimes it can become infected with all sorts of things from bacteria to viruses and that's why you must never decide against a vet check.  

When it comes to birds, they don't do well with a 'watch and wait' stance like a mammal would.  By the time we see what we're waiting for (unmistakable signs of illness) it's usually pretty far along, if not already too late to do anything about.  Birds will not moan in pain or show symptoms like a mammal.  In fact, they will do everything necessary to HIDE symptoms until the very last breath.

 So, you not only need to establish a vet early on with your bird, but be prepared to haul beak and tailfeathers out the door each and every time you suspect something is a bit off.

 And it's important to maintain regular twice a year 'well bird visits' to your vet.  It's worth it for the nail and wing trims that should be included

 The fallacy about really expensive vets for birds is usually associated with people only seeking a vet during an emergency.  Of course this is going to be more expensive, especially if the vet never saw the bird before.

Where I am, a vet visit is just $40 and once you're established you can be sure that even an urgent visit isn't going to be more than this during regular days/hours and within reason if during the night or a holiday

 Check here for more about ideal birdy care  


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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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