Regurgitation is defined as expulsion of material from the mouth or crop and can be voluntary or involuntary in nature. Vomiting is the expulsion of material from the proventriculus, ventriculus or intestines and is involuntary.
Voluntary regurgitation is typically a social behavior. The bird will bob its head up and down and without much fuss, produce a small lump of food material. On the other hand, a sick bird that is regurgitating or vomiting as a clinical symptom, will violently and uncontrollably eject material from its mouth, often swinging its head around and spraying the sticky contents over its face and head.
Pathologic causes of regurgitation and vomiting include a wide range of possibilities such as toxins, foreign bodies, bacterial, fungal, or protozoal infections, ingestion of oral irritants (such as plants) or rancid food, goiter, GI obstruction, pancreas, kidney or liver problems, motion sickness, excess water intake, egg binding and PDD.
A vomiting bird should be seen by an avian veterinarian immediately.
Dr. Kerry Korber
Calgary Avian & Exotic Pet Clinic