Cockatiel Vomiting Clear Liquid (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Raising cockatiels can be a lovely and rewarding experience, seeing the birds enjoy living with you and interacting with you is reason enough to keep these birds.

However, these birds, just as any other bird, can get sick 

If your cockatiel is vomiting clear liquid then you may think that the bird is sick, this article looks into why your cockatiel is vomiting clear liquid 

Cockatiel vomiting clear liquid:

While regurgitation is normal, vomiting is not, in fact, vomiting is a sign that there is something up with your bird, here are reasons why your cockatiel may be vomiting clear liquid:


One of the odd things that birds do is regurgitate, Regurgitation is different from vomiting but may look similar, your cockatiel may actually be regurgitating a clear liquid mixed with yellow mucous.

The difference between regurgitation and vomiting is that regurgitation is a normal process, the bird will not appear distressed while regurgitating.

The bird will bob its head up and down in a controlled manner when regurgitating and will carefully place its food where they want it.

Vomiting happens when the bird forcibly expels semi-digested material out of its crop and mouth.

Birds will perform a pumping movement of their crop when regurgitating and will do more of a head-flicking movement and will flick mucous all over the place, in an uncontrolled manner, when vomiting. 

What to do:

You don’t have to worry if your bird is regurgitating, this is normal for the bird. You will have to worry however if the bird is vomiting, this is why the bird may be vomiting:

Bacterial infection:

A bacterial infection may be the reason behind your bird vomiting a clear liquid.

Birds can become infected with bacteria if they consume bacteria from dirty food or water bowls or spoiled foods.

There are always small amounts of bacteria in your bird’s stomach but too much bacteria can cause issues. 

The bacteria will colonize your bird’s crop and cause inflammation of the mucous membrane. This results in large amounts of mucous, clear liquids from the crop, being produced and vomited by the bird.

Unfortunately, inflammation of the bird’s crop may also happen for no reason at all.  

The birds may also start to vomit clear liquid if it has a fungal infection or a parasitic infection. 

What to do:

The best way to treat a bacterial infection in your bird is to give it antibiotics, these need to be prescribed by your vet.

Thus the recommended course of action for your bird is to take it to the vet who will physically examine the bird and run tests on the bird to determine which bacteria your bird is infected with and which medications to give your bird.

Giving the vet a complete history of the bird and details of its environment will also help with the diagnosis.

Collecting a sample of the clear liquid that your bird is vomiting will also help the vet with the diagnosis. 

If you can’t immediately get your bird to the vet then you should quarantine your sick bird so it doesn’t get the healthy birds sick.

If you don’t quarantine the sick bird then the other birds may start to get sick, you can reunite the birds once the sick bird has gotten better.

Spitting up water:

If your bird is neither regurgitating nor vomiting clear liquid then water may simply be flowing out of the bird’s mouth.

Birds and humans don’t drink water in the same way, humans can swallow water but your cockatiel can’t. 

Your bird will drink by dipping its bill into a body of water and then tipping its head back to allow the water to run down its throat.

If the bird takes in too much water, more water than can fit in its mouth, then the water that doesn’t go down the bird’s throat will run out of the bird’s mouth.

This may be the clear liquid that you’re seeing come out of the bird’s mouth, birds can also drink too much water while showering or bathing and the same thing can happen 

What to do:

This is not anything to be concerned about, water running out of your cockatiel’s mouth after the bird starts to drink is quite normal and natural.

This behavior is only something to worry about if the bird shows signs of being ill or distressed.

If you notice signs of illness or distress in your cockatiel then taking the bird to the vet to be diagnosed and treated is the way to go

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Conure Vomiting Clear Liquid, Lovebird Vomiting Clear LiquidWhy Do Birds Fall Off Their PerchBudgie Throwing Up Clear Liquid

Cockatiel Vomiting Clear Liquid (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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