Bird Drinking Beer

Most of us serious bird enthusiasts love to include our parrots in our mealtime.  In fact, many healthy plant based foods that we eat are good for our pet birds.  

And, parrots love sharing mealtime with us, since they are so social by nature.  Sharing meal time with our birds is good for their  emotional health.  Nevertheless, several common "people foods" are harmful and poisonous foods for parrots.

Learn which "people foods" are unsafe to share with your parrot and why they can be deadly. Read on to find out the top ten foods that are on the poisonous bird foods list for parrots. 

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Top 10 Poisonous Foods for Parrots


While not technically a food, alcohol is a poisonous food for parrots. Beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages depress a parrot's organ systems, just like it does ours.  More so, alcohol can be fatal to birds. 

Make sure that your bird stays safe by not allowing him to drink any alcohol whatsoever.  Even if just a little sip to quiet him down!  Some birds enjoy walking onto the table and taking a nip, but alcohol and bird health don't mix!

Fruit Seeds

Many fruit seeds contain trace amounts of Cyanide. Not just apples, but peaches, cherries, apricots and pears have toxic seeds. While most fruit pulp is safe for your bird, the seeds need to be avoided.  

On top of poisonous seeds, fruit peel may have been sprayed with pesticides. Thoroughly wash and core all fruit that you share with your bird to avoid exposure to toxins.

While on the topic of feeding your bird fruit, avoid acidic fruits, like oranges.  Opt for low-sugar, antioxidant rich fruits like berries, melons, kiwi, and the like. 


Although there is some debate regarding how toxic avocados are for parrots, it is generally advised to abide by a "better safe than sorry" attitude toward them.  

Don't allow your parrot to consume guacamole or other avocado products.  Avocado skin and pits are suspected of causing cardiac distress and eventual heart failure in pet birds and parrots. 


Caffeine is known to be toxic to parrots so don't allow your parrot to consume any caffeinated beverages including soda, coffee, and caffeinated tea. We had a Caique named Rascal for a number of years who would sneak swigs of coffee between scrambled eggs.

One little swig made him act like a maniac.  We simply had to make sure he was caged as we drank our morning coffee.  Caffeine may cause cardiac malfunction in birds, and is associated with increased heartbeat, arrhythmia, hyperactivity, and cardiac arrest. What affects us with a boost in energy is potentially deadly to our pet parrots. 


While chocolate is a favorite treat for humans, it is a poisonous food for parrots and many other animals.  The first symptom of chocolate poisoning is diarrhea and vomiting. Additionally, your bird's central nervous system is affected.  You may see deadly seizures, too.  

Keep all chocolate out of reach of your bird. 

Dried Beans

While cooked beans are a healthy supplement to your daily bird food, raw, dry bean mixes are poisonous foods for parrots.

Uncooked beans contain a poison called hemagglutinin which is very toxic to birds. To avoid poisoning, make sure to thoroughly cook any beans that you feed your bird.


Mushrooms are a type of fungus that not only may result in digestive upset for our pet birds and may even induce liver failure.


Very small amounts of onion in flavorings may be safe, but too much onion will cause severe digestive problems including vomiting and diarrhea and they are considered a poisonous food for parrots.  

A bird that is fed too much onion for long periods of time will even develop a serious blood condition called hemolytic anemia. Finally, breathing problems develop and the bird ultimately dies.  


While all living beings need moderate amounts of sodium to stay healthy, too much salt leads to many healthy problems such as excessive thirst, dehydration, kidney dysfunction, and even death.

Many salty foods also contain a lot of fat.  Our pet birds want to share our chips and crackers, but these food items are just not healthy for our pet birds. 

Vegetable Leaves

The stems, leaves and vines of common garden plants such as tomatoes, potatoes and some other vegetables are poisonous to birds. Make sure that you only feed your parrot the actual fruit or vegetable part of garden plants and never the stems, leaves or vines.

Click here to learn How To Tell If Your Bird Has Been Poisoned 

Learn more about healthy foods and get bird friendly recipes in this great book.


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