Is Cockatiel Dust Harmful?

Some tropical birds produce some white powder or bird dust.

Cockatiels are among the birds that produce fine powder on their skin and feathers.

The powder enables them to shed water efficiently when they preen.

It also keeps their feathers soft and shiny. 

Other birds that produce this powder include the African Grey, Cockatoo, and the Amazons.

Is this bird dust harmful to your health and that of your cockatiel?

Carry on reading and let’s find out

Is Bird Dust Harmful To Cockatiels?

Although not common, cockatiel dust can harm the bird itself.

Birds have a highly efficient respiratory system despite the fact that they have narrow air passage tubes. 

The narrow air passage tubes can easily get clogged.

If a cockatiel is breathing air with a high concentration of dander and dust, it can cause sinuses infection which affects its well-being and can lead to its death.

Can Bird Dust Make You Sick?

The fine bird dust can affect the health of humans, especially older people.

Also, people who struggle with health issues such as asthma and other respiratory problems can easily be affected by bird dust. 

A lot of bird dust and dander build-up can cause respiratory issues even for people without any underlying health conditions. 

Another common disease caused by bird dust is Psittacosis.

It is caused by bacterium Chlamydia psittaci, from the secretions, droppings, and feathers of an infected bird.

The symptoms of this disease can range from mild to severe.

Dust from cockatiel can cause discomfort to other pets around the house.

So is it possible to reduce bird dust?

Can it be controlled?

Let’s find out

How Do You Control Cockatiel Dust?

Some people make the hard decision of choosing their health over keeping their cockatiel.

However, it shouldn’t get to this.

You can still keep your pet and observe a few measures to keep cockatiel dust under control.

Yes it can be done and I’m going to share some tips and advice with you so don’t go anywhere!

Here are a few things you should do:

Get HEPA Filters

High-Efficiency Particle Arresting filtration (HEPA) is the most effective filter for cleaning fine dust and microorganisms in your home.

They can pick up to 99.9% of dust and other particles lingering in your home. 

HEPA filters clean up the air, which is beneficial to your health and your cockatiels too!

Even if you have pre-existing respiratory issues such as asthma or allergy issues, you can enjoy living with your cockatiel, thanks to HEPA filters.

Install the HEPA filters in a room where your cockatiel stays.

Ensure you get a vacuum cleaner that utilizes HEPA filters.

Give Your Cockatiel Regular Baths And Grooming

Giving your cockatiel regular baths will cause excessive dust to wash off.

So, there will not be much bird powder in your home.

Also, you can use the bird grooming spray to reduce the amount of dust particles on your bird’s feathers.

Reduce The Number Of Birds In a Room

If you want to reduce the amount of bird dust in your space, limit the number of birds you keep.

More birds in a room mean more dander and dust.

You can keep a maximum of two if you have allergies or respiratory problems such as asthma.

Clean Regularly 

Cleaning your space and your cockatiels cage can significantly help reduce the amount of dander in the air.

Additionally, ensure the space you share with your bird is well ventilated. 

Clean Properly

Be smart about how you clean your living space.

Keep your bird’s cage clean to reduce the amount of bird dust and dander. 

Use a wet piece of cloth when cleaning off dust from surfaces rather than a dry one.

A damp cloth can easily pick up dander, dust, dirt, and debris from the surface.

Use materials that are easy to clean in the bird’s room. 

Can Cockatiels Cause Lung Disease?

It is possible that dust from your cockatiel can affect human lungs.

This type of lung disease is called bird fancier lungs.

It happens when you inhale the dust from dried bird droppings.

The symptoms of this lung disease can appea quickly, within a 6-hour time frame in most cases.

What happens?

You start by having chills, fever, chest pains, or dry cough.

However, bird fancier disease is rare and can only be fatal in extreme cases. 

Do Cockatiels Give You Allergies?

As mentioned above, cockatiels are among pet birds that produce a good amount of feather dust.

Although dust is beneficial to your bird, it can cause allergic reactions in people. 

It triggers allergies and asthma to people who are sensitive to airborne allergies from house hold particles such as pet hair and dander, pollens, mildew spores, dust mite among others.

Particles such as bird dust can trigger and can be a cause of asthma flare up which can cause discomfort.

Symptoms of cockatiel dust include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Dark under eyes circle
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • In severe cases, reduced lung capacity or breathing difficulties

Wrapping Up

Pet birds such as cockatiels produce a lot of feather dust.

Not every cockatiel owner suffers the effects of bird powder.

However, dander can trigger an allergic reaction to some people.

Other possible effects of bird dust are allergic rhinitis, some types of asthma, or hypersensitivity pneumonitis. 

Use the measures mentioned above to keep bird dust under control.


We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.