I have not had my cockatiel long, he was given to me by a friend. I am noticing little white spikey feathers on his head only and am concerned if this is normal or not. I wondered if it could be new feathers growing in maybe, but I am worried. Otherwise, he is acting completely normally and all his other feathers look fine. I attached a picture below. I would really appreciate the help. I just don't want to go to a vet and have him charge me for saying the bird is fine, but I will if I have to.
It's kind of cool looking. It's hard to see the feathers on the head clearly but those on the cheek patch look like new feathers still in the feather sheath. The new feather grows out like a spike but it's more like a rolled up feather in a straw. As the "straw" - feather sheath - flakes away or is preened, the new feather unfurls.
I don't see any signs of a chewed feather shaft as you would see with feather lice or mites. These in the picture look normal. Give it a couple more weeks and you should see nice flat feathers there. Watch a couple closely and you'll see the feather start to appear at the end of each spike. Almost looks like a tiny feather duster for awhile.
Thanks for letting me know. I'm so glad he's doing just fine. I deal with a lot of baby birds during the summer and am quite familiar with new feather growth. For awhile they look like tiny porcupines with wings. :-)
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.