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How does a Bird's Lungs Work?
By: Petey & Petunia
Birds have extremely delicate respiratory systems. Whatever
a bird breathes is circulated through the bird's body.
The lungs in birds operate quite differently than those in humans
and other animals.
Birds have two relatively small lungs and in the lungs are bellows-like
air sacs. These air sacs keep the lungs perpetually inflated.
Bird lungs have an opening on each end through which air flows
into the interconnected air sacs in the neck, chest, and
abdomen. Most birds have four paired air sacs, plus a single
unpaired sac for a total of nine. Some of the air sacs also
enter into bones.
Birds require two complete inspirations and two complete
expirations to circulate air through their respiratory tracts.
Humans, by comparison, require one inhalation and one exhalation.
There is a one way flow of air in their lungs...thus the lungs receive
fresh air during inhalation and again during exhalation
In the bird's respiratory system, air first flows through air sacs
that direct fresh, oxygenated air into the lungs where gas
exchange occurs, both when the bird inhales and
when it exhales.
Why Bird's need better Lungs
Bird lungs are much better at getting oxygen out of the air
than human lungs. This is important for birds, because they
use up a lot of energy when they fly, so their cells need
more oxygen to get the energy out of the food they eat.
Also, birds sometimes fly very high up, where there is very little
oxygen in the air. Birds can fly up that high without any help,
because of their special lungs.
The bird's respiratory system takes up 20% of a birds's volume
(our respiratory system takes up only 5% of our volume).
Birds breath much more rapidly than humans do. A large parrot
at rest requires 25 to 40 breaths per minute, compared with
12 to 16 breaths per minute for us. A canary requires 60 to
100 breaths per minute.
Because of the way their lungs work, birds can even sing
and fly at the same time.
Respiratory problems in Birds
However, because of their respiratory system being so sensitive,
it is vitally important that the bird's breath fresh, pure air.
Toxins or pollutants in the air can quickly become a major source
of problem and even death for the bird.
Fumes, especially those from cooking and cleansers, can sicken
and even kill house birds.
Birds can inhale mold spores, those nasty little organisms
that grow on surfaces. We can't see them, and usually don't
smell them, but spores float through the air and into our
When it comes to our birds, one type of mold seems to cause
more problems than all others:
If you have powder-down birds like Greys or toos,
other birds could develop respiratory infections from the dust
and dander of these birds.
Compounds in cigarettes that are on smoker's hands can end
up on bird's feathers', causing itching and feather pulling. The
same is true with sweat, dirt, food residue, etc.
Not only smoke from cigarettes can be fatal to birds, but also
smoke and irritants from things like wood stoves, kerosene
heaters, incense, exhaust fumes from vehicles and air
Dust can contain spores and is a general respiratory irritant
Vicks Vaporizer, the medicated vaporizer contains phenol, a
powerful disinfectant and bacteria killer. The fumes from
it can kill cats and birds
Human houses, closed and well insulated, are not designed for
birds, whose intricate respiratory systems need fresh, moving air
to stay in peak form.
Fresh, pure air in your home or aviary is vitally important
for the health of your pet bird.
The Solution to keeping your Bird Healthy
Our Air Purification Systems remove up to 95% of the
irritants like bacteria, mold and viruses from the air
in your home.
Using proven technology that literally destroys germs, mold and
mildew, We offer the only air purification system that
combines ultraviolet germicidal light with ozone and ionization
to cleanse the air.
The Environmental Protection Agency says indoor air is two to
five times more polluted than outdoor air, greatly increasing
the risk of illness caused by these irritants.
What about HEPA filters?
Our Air Systems do what expensive HEPA filters cannot. In
addition to removing airborne particles, OurAir Systems
actually purify the air you breathe by killing bacteria. The
result is cleaner air — without replacing costly filters!
What about Allergies?
Our Air Purifiers remove up to 95 percent of airborne
contaminants and irritants including pollen, fertilizers, dust
and pet dander that can trigger allergies. They allow you to
breathe clean and healthy air wherever you are.
Find out more about our
Air Purification Here