• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Live plants & Aspergillosis


Jogging around the block
I'm planning to give my birds a few live trees to perch on and probably destroy, which I'm not sure if that will be safe for them as they would be in dirt, which gives risk of Asper.
If I cover the soil so the bird can't land or play in it will that greatly reduce or eliminate the risk? Or is there anything you can do to reduce/eliminate it? I would really like to give them live trees but if Asper is a risk I wont.


Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Avian Angel
Avenue Concierge
Real Name
Mary Lynn Skinner
I am especially sensitive to asper - I had one bird die of it and fought asper with Hank over many years. I think you need that information. Other than that I will give you something to read that mentions soils and it's risks. It's not the plants, it's the soil they live in.


Aspergillosis is a fungal disease that in parrots has a very high mortality rate. The Aspergillus fungus is around us all of the time and we humans, as well as parrots, generally are not susceptible to the disease unless we are immune compromised or somehow get infested with a very large dose of the fungus. Aspergillus is native in soil and is especially virulent in warm damp soil such as potted plant soil or rich composted soil like the soil in your flower beds and garden.

To understand the true danger of fungal infections, one needs to understand a little about fungi in general. Fungi are most similar to plants, but are not plants. The truly difficult issue with a fungus is that they reproduce through emitting spores (seeds). Spores from fungi from thousands of years ago have been found and when given the proper conditions produce fungus. Spores are known to remain viable through very high temperatures and extreme low temperatures.

My veterinarian says that Aspergillosis in parrots can present in a hundred different ways. Therefore making it difficult to advise the owner to look for x, y and z for an Asper diagnosis. Asper can be chronic or acute. It can be difficult to diagnose and is most certainly difficult and very expensive to treat.

For those of you who are geeks (like me) and want to know the knitty-gritty about the Aspergillus fungus this is the definitive site for information:
The Aspergillus/Aspergillosis Website

This site is the avian aspergillosis section of the same organization:
Avian Aspergillosis - Aspergillus and Aspergillosis
A word about peanuts. Peanuts, especially in shell peanuts are notorious for giving birds Asper. Aflotoxins can also be present on peanuts that have hosted the fungus. Peanuts are grown in the ground – where the Aspergillus fungus lives. There are many nuts that are safer, some such as in shell almonds and Brazil nuts have been known to have Aspergillosus , although the occurrence is rare in those nuts. Peanuts are also very high in saturated fats and for birds that are susceptible to fatty liver disease and heart problems, peanuts will contribute to the potential. My personal rule is DON’T FEED PEANUTS. You will find that the great majority of veterinarians feel the same as I.

Additional information about Avian Aspergillosis:
Excellent article:
How to prevent aspergillosis in parrots
The first e-zine for parrot owners, including features, news, bird-club and bird-rescue group listings, and advice on health, behavior and breeding.
Very complete with several articles: Avian Aspergillosis | Beauty of Birds