The scoop on what materials are safe or potentially harmful to birds. There is a lot of misinformation online. This list is compiled to the best of our knowledge and experience.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. (888) 426-4435 They can assist you with plant toxins, household chemicals as well as toxic foods.


Safe Metals

  • Powdered Coated Wire
  • Stainless Steel
  • Nickle Plated Metal
  • Aluminum

Toxic Metals

  • Galvanized Metal
  • Zinc
  • Lead
  • Copper
  • Rusty Metal (Steel & Iron is safe until rusted!)
  • Chrome

Toxic Fumes & Substances

  • Incense
  • Scented Candles
  • Air Fresheners
  • Smoke
  • Perfumes
  • Teflon Fumes (Non-Stick pans)
  • Gas and Machinery Fumes
  • Household Cleaners
  • Paint Remover and Thinner
  • Acetone (Nail Polish Remover)
  • Ammonia
  • Mothballs
  • Pesticides
  • Carpet powders
  • Glue
  • Tobacco or cigarette smoke

Other Known Hazards

  • Electrical Cords
  • Sequins and Small Jewelry Pieces (swallowing hazard)
  • Lead or Zinc based paints
  • Broken, rusted or easily dismantled toys
  • Frayed fabric or rope (entanglement, intestinal blockage)
  • Crayons and wax (intestinal blockage)
  • Hot cooking oil
  • Overheated items and surfaces (burn hazard)
  • Ceiling fans (when on)
  • Sandpaper or grit covered perches
  • Toxic houseplants
  • Dogs, cats, ferrets, and young children
  • Cedar, redwood and pressure treated shavings
  • Window Blinds (entanglement)
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Toxic Plants

For a more complete list, see our posts on toxic woods and toxic plants.

  • Amaryllis
  • Cedar Tree
  • Daffodil
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Morning Glory
  • Philodendron
  • Poinsettia
  • Shamrock

We do recommend the VCA’s article on safe plants as a reference.

This is not an all-inclusive listing. Please consult your veterinarian for a more comprehensive list or for specific hazards.

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