What plants are safe for birds?

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What plants are safe for birds?

Post by Kieran Mullen (kie.. » Fri, 29 Jan 1993 05:08:47

    Does anyone have a list of common house plants on which birds may safely
chew?  And a list of those that are dangerous?  Our jenday conure liked the
ficus benjamin tree at my parents house, and wanted to nimble on its leaves,
as well as the bark.  I was concerned it might hurt him.

    I know I could just plant cabbage and kale for the bird to eat, but I
am interested in knowing which plants are (a) attractive house plants and
(2) are not bad for the bird.


                   Kieran Mullen


What plants are safe for birds?

Post by Krell Krav » Tue, 09 Feb 1993 08:39:48

Date: Fri, 18 Oct 91 08:31:39 -0400

     The appended note is one I wrote about 2 years ago after a previous
discussion on safe/bad plants in rec.birds.  I had just gotten Annie, my
pearl***atiel.  About a year ago, _Bird Talk_ published another article
by the same author on the same subject.  It gave less complete information,
so this list from October 87 is more complete (in my estimation).  I think
the symptoms stuff was deleted in the newer article.


     I finally got the Oct. 87 _Bird Talk_ with the plants & birds article.
The lists of dangerous and safe plants are copied below (without permission).
There is somewhat more information in the article that I didn't copy (as
I am more of a hunt and peck typist than a touch-typist).  If you would
like a photocopy, let me know.

     ***** DANGEROUS PLANTS *****
The article gives latin names as well that I did not copy in.  The
symptoms codes are:  GI = gastrointestinal, CV = cardiovascular, BL =
*** abnormalities, CNS = nervous system, IR = irritant, UR = urinary
tract, CY = signs associated with cyanide poisoning, RE = reproductive.
The text of the article gives more information and detail on the symptoms.

All or part of the listed plant may be deemed hazardous.

COMMON NAME                          SYMPTOMS
Autumn crocus or Meadow saffron         GI
Avocado                                 GI
Azalea                                  GI
Baneberry                               GI
        Castor                          GI
        Horse, Fava, Broad Java         BL
        Glory, Scarlet Runner           CY
        Mescal                          CNS
        Rosary peas, Ind. Licorice      GI

Bird of Paradise                        GI
Bleeding Heart or Dutchman's Breeches   CNS
***root                               GI
Boxwood                                 GI
Bracken Fern                            BL
Buckthorn                               GI
Bulb Flowers:
        Amaryllis                       GI
        Daffodil, Narcissus             GI
        Hyacinth                        GI
        Iris                            GI

Caladium                                IR
Calla Lily                              IR
Cardinal Flower                         CNS
Chalice or Trumpet Vine                 GI
Cherry Tree                             CNS
Chinaberry Tree                         CNS
Christmas Candle or Rose                GI
Clematis or ***ia Bower              CNS
C***Plant                             GI
Cowslip, Marsh Marigold                 CNS

Daphne                                  GI
Death Camas                             CNS
Dieffenbachia, or Dumb Cane             IR

Elderberry                              CNS
Elephants Ear or Taro                   IR
Eucalyptus Tree - not dried, dyed,
  treated                               CY*
Euonymus or Spindle Tree                GI

False Hellebore                         CV
Firethorn, Pyracantha                   IR*
Four O'Clock                            GI
Foxglove                                CV

Golden Chain                            CNS
Grass: Johnson, Sorghum, Sudan,
   Broomcorn                            CY
Ground Cherry                           GI

        Poison                          CNS
        Water                           CNS
Henbane                                 CNS
Holly                                   GI
Honeysuckle                             GI*
Horsechestnut or Buckeye                GI
Horsetail                               CNS
Hydrangea                               CNS

Ivy, English, varieties                 GI*

Jack-in-the-Pulpit or Ind. Turnip       IR
Jasmine                                 GI, CNS
Jimson Weed or Thornapple               CNS

Kentucky Coffee Tree                    CNS

Lantana                                 CNS
Larkspur                                CV
Lily-of-the-Valley                      CV
        Black                           GI
        Honey                           RE
Lord and Ladies or cuckoopint           GI
Lupines or Bluebonnet                   CNS

*** or Hemp                       CNS
Mayapple, Mandrake                      GI
Mistletoe                               GI
Mock Orange                             GI, CNS
Monkshood, Aconite                      CV
Moonseed                                CNS
Morning Glory                           CNS
Mushrooms - Amanita, others             GI, CNS

Nettles                                 CNS, CV
Nightshades: Deadly, Black, Garden,
   Woody, Bittersweet, Eggplant,
   Jerusalem Cherry, Potato shoots      GI, CNS

Oaks                                    GI
Oleander                                CV

Periwinkle                              CNS
Philodendrons: var. Split Leaf, Swiss
   Cheese                               IR*
Pigweed                                 BL
Poinsetta                               IR*
Poison Ivy                              IR
Poison Oak: Western, Eastern            IR
Pokeweed or Inkberry                    GI
Privet                                  GI

Rain Tree                               GI
Ranunculus, Buttercup                   CNS
Red Maple                               GI
Rhubarb leaves                          UR
Rhododendrons, Azaleas, Laurels         GI

Sandbox Tree                            GI
Skunk Cabbage                           IR
Sorrel, Dock                            CNS
Snowdrop                                GI
Spurges:                                GI, IR
        Pencil Tree
        Snow on the Mountain
        Candelabra Tree
        Crown of Thorns
Sweet Pea and related peas              CNS

Tansy Ragwort                           CNS
Tobacco, Tree Tobacco                   CNS

Vetch                                   CY
***ia Creeper                        GI

Wisteria                                GI

Yews                                    CV, GI
Yellow Jaasmine                         CNS

* These plants have been used in aviaries without reported problems
and may be considered of questionable hazard to birds.

********* End of Hazardous Plant List **********************

     ***** "SAFE" Plants *****
These plants are considered safe for use in aviaries or around homes
containing curious birds.  The list in the article includes country of
origin for the plant as well as Latin name.  Thus you could "match" your
plants to you birds.

African Violet

Baby Tears

Christmas Cactus
Cissus, Kangaroo Vine
Corn Plant
Crab Apple

Donkey Tail
Dracaena varieties

Ferns: Asparagus, Bird's Nest, Boston and related, Maiden Hair
Figs: Creeping, ***, Fiddleleaf, Laurel Leaf, Weeping, etc.

Grape Ivy

Hens and Chicks

Jade Plant


Monkey Plant
Mother-in-Law's Tongue

Natal Plum
Norfolk Island Pine

Palms: Areca, Fan, Lady, Parlour, Howeia-Kentia, Phoenix (Date), Sago
Prayer Plant
Purple Passion (Velvet Nettle)

Sensitive Plant
Spider Plant
Swedish Ivy


Wandering Jew
White Clover

Zebra Plant

Article 5095 of rec.birds:

Newsgroups: rec.birds
Subject: Re: INDOOR: Safe plants
Date: 16 Oct 91 21:59:59 GMT


Posted: Wed Oct 16 14:59:59 1991


other plants not on these lists may be equally dangerous
        (e.g. a cupful of apple pips has proved fatal)
animal reactions can be different from human reactions
        (e.g. most pets seem to react badly to chocolate)

The bad news is that, even incomplete, the lists are long. Note that some of
the plants are on the lists because the seeds, berries or bulbs are poisonous,
rather than the foliage - if this is going to make a difference (e.g. your
pets like playing with shiny berries, or you always dead-head your plants) you
need to investigate further. The good news (?) is that I have about half these
plants, including some of the more dangerous ones, but I have not yet
encountered any obviously poisoned animals.

I have tried to use latin names to avoid confusion over different common
names. If in doubt, look them up in a good garden or house plant book.

"spp" means (several) species.

        Known to cause allergies, rashes, photo-sensitivity etc.:
        * = particularly severe symptoms
        (note that many of these are also on the "poisonous" list below)

 Bamboo - hairs on stems & leaves
 Chrysanthemum - leaves & stems
 Courgette, cucumber & marrow - hairs
 Narcissus (Daffodil) - bulbs, sap
 Euphorbia (Spurge, pointsettia) - sap
 Pelargonium (Geranium) - hairy leaves
*Heracleum mantegazzianum (Giant Hogweed) - sap, spiny stems
 Hellebore corsicus & orientalis - sap
 Hyacinth - bulbs
 Urtica dioica (nettle) - stings
 Primula spp esp. obconica - hairs?
*Rhus spp especially Rhus toxicodendron (poison ivy) - contact
*Ruta graveolens (Rue) - sap
 Tulip - sap, bulbs
(also several, mainly hairy, plants which only give rare or mild symptoms
 e.g. strawberry, runner bean, tomato, conifers)

Anenome, bluebell, buttercup, clematis, colchicum, daphne and radish also
contain irritant chemicals which can have adverse effects on some people;

Umbellifers such as celery & parsnip, and citruses, figs & hypericum
perforatum (wild st johns wort) also can cause photo-sensitivity.

        Plants known to have caused poisoning:
        * = known to be potentially fatal to

read more »


What plants are safe for birds?

Post by Shiv Swarup Path » Tue, 09 Feb 1993 16:05:11

I just got a pet female peparakeet (about 6 months old) today.  I had a
parakeet which died a few months ago which lived for 10 years.  He was
very well trained and loved human companionship (used to follow me all
over the place!)  However, I forgot how I got him trained.  My new
parakeet (got him today) is scared of me and his new surroundings.  So
far, I've gotten him to perch on my finger (his winged are clipped) in
his cage... but he does it *very* hesitantly, jumping off soon as I move
suddendly.  I guess this is better than earlier today when he used to
throw a fit whenever my finger came near the cage.  Is this the right
approach?  I know all parakeets are different, but I would like a some
advice on how to get him accustomed to me and his new environment.
Thanks in advance.



What plants are safe for birds?

Post by Ravi Pale » Thu, 11 Feb 1993 09:51:04

>I just got a pet female peparakeet (about 6 months old) today.  I had a
>parakeet which died a few months ago which lived for 10 years.  He was
>very well trained and loved human companionship (used to follow me all

I have been in the same situation :-(
There is no substitute for time but I do have some tid-bits.

Its probably common knowledge but I think that our hearts often mislead us.  
Try not to expect too much from a new budgie.  ie) Don't expect him or her
to love celery, beer and the other snacks that your previous friend cherished
... Trust comes with time so try not to get to impatient with your new friend...

If possible, allow the bird to come out of the cage ( I assume that the
cage is on the floor) via a ladder (with mirror and bell :-) )....
sprinkle seeds around the base of the ladder for enticement.  
My favorite 'trick' was leading the bird back to the cage with a trail of  
seeds.  This never failed me in the early stages of development/training....

Best of luck, and I hope to hear more advice/ideas from others,
 BSCH Computer Science/Budgies
 Acadia University


What plants are safe for birds?

Post by Kim Murp » Thu, 11 Feb 1993 23:38:01

RP> Try not to expect too much from a new budgie.  ie) Don't expect him or her
RP> to love celery, beer and the other snacks that your previous friend cherished
(stuff deleted)

I assume the beer was a joke.  If not, it should be clear to everyone
that any *** is dangerous to the birdies and can be fatal.

Kim Murphy