Scissor Beak In Parrots

Red fronted macaw with scissor beak photo by macawsaspets.blogspot.com

Q: I rehomed a blue and gold macaw this week from someone who couldn’t afford him any longer. His beak is crooked and overgrown. Will he be able to eat normally? — Jackie W, Decatur, IL

A: What you are describing sounds like “scissor beak”. It is a somewhat common condition where the upper and lower portions of the beak (mandibles) do not meet properly causing one or both to deform. Beak overgrowth is commonly associated with scissor beak as an afflicted bird will not ...

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Beak Grooming

Q: Is it true that I should have my bird’s beak trimmed?
 – Miles.B., Billings. MO

A:  A bird’s beak is made of keratin, the same fibrous protein that forms our nails and hair. And like our nails and hair, beaks are in a state of perpetual growth throughout life. One would think that this would necessitate a beak trim every now and again, but this is not usually the case. If your bird’s beak is normal in appearance, there is no need to have ...

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Your Bird’s Beak


Think for a minute about all the things your parrot does with its beak:  It forages for, transports and breaks apart food.  It builds nests and feeds the babies.  It’s used for climbing, gripping and balancing.  It’s used in daily grooming. It’s their tool of choice in picking the padlocks we put on their cages, and, in conjunction with pressure capabilities of up to 1500 psi in their jaws (in macaws, according to tests done with a veterinarian’s oral speculum), it is a formidable weapon. We mere humans require power tools to ...

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