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Can Birds Taste Spice? (Read This First!)

Birds have only 50 or highest 500 taste buds while humans have 8000-9000 taste buds. So, the taste receptors of birds are far different from humans. Also, their smell and taste senses are very poor. Let’s get to know more about birds tasting ability of spices.

Can birds taste spice?

Birds can’t taste spice. Actually, birds can’t feel the heat of spice. The olfactory receptors of recognizing spice are not strong enough. They are biologically unable to produce the capsaicin chemical, which creates the hot and burning sensation in humans or other mammal’s mouth.

Birds’ smell and taste senses are not their primary senses. They do not feel the heat and burning sensation because their taste receptors are not well-developed like other mammals.

Let’s get to know about the different species of birds and their respiratory glands.


Parrots don’t get the burning sensation. They have a few taste buds which do not recognize the taste of spice.

Their receptors are unable to produce the heat of spice and so, they can’t get the taste of spice.


We may see the parakeets eat spice, but they don’t get the real taste of spice. The reason is their taste buds can’t detect the taste of spice.


Cockatiels are also safe from the heat of spice. Because they don’ have spice recognize taste sensors. Though they get the taste of sweet, they don’t get the feel of spice.


They can’t taste spice because their taste buds are not well-developed that can detect spice. They are biologically unable to produce capsaicin, which allows the feel of spice.


The sense of lovebird’s smell, and taste aren’t very strong. The receptors can’t create any burning sensation or can’t produce any heat. So, they can’t taste or smell the spice.


They aren’t affected by spice because they don’t have a sense of spice. The receptors can’t produce the sensation of eating spice. Also, their smell and taste senses are not much developed.


Their taste receptors can’t get the heat and burning feeling. Though they eat spice but can’t get the burning heat feeling of spice.


Cockatoo don’t have the sensor that can taste capsaicin. They don’t get the heat of spice or any sensation. They can eat spice very pleasantly.


Spice is pleasant to conure. It’s like their other snacks. The reason is, they don’t get the real burning sensation extreme hotness of spice like humans.

Pionus Parrot:

Pionus parrots also have lack of the taste receptors. So, they can’t help to detect spice. They eat spice but don’t feel the real taste.

African Grey:

They can tolerate spices better than humans. The reason is they also can’t get the heat and spicy feeling.


Robins can’t get many flavors to taste. Because their sense of taste is very poor. They can’t recognize the taste of spice.

Why can’t birds taste spice?

Birds’ smell and taste senses are not that strong. Though they get the taste of foods to some extent, they don’t recognize the taste of spice. Here the reasons why birds can’t taste spice:

Poor receptors:

Their receptors are not developed like humans that can detect the heat.

Poor sense:

Their sense of smell and taste are very poor. So, birds are more reliable in their sight to recognize their food.

Poor taste buds:

They have a few taste buds (50-500) which can only detect sweet and sour and a little flavor.

Lack of capsaicin:

Capsaicin is the active ingredient of spice, which produces a burning and pain sensation. But it isn’t found in birds.

Can birds have spicy foods?

Birds can have spicy foods better than humans. Their senses of smell and taste are not strong enough and so, they can’t feel the heat of the spicy foods. Other reason is capsaicin. It produces the hot and burning sensation in spicy foods, but birds taste receptors can’t detect the capsaicin.

Spicy foods are like other snacks for birds. They eat many spicy foods, and spices are one of their favorite foods. They can eat:


No matter how much of the unbearable hotness a pepper bears, birds don’t feel any discomfort. Moreover, birds are very fond of the fresh peppers. It’s because they don’t get the feel of capsaicin.


They can have spicy cooked noodles also. It’s a very good source of carbohydrates for birds. They don’t get any spicy burning feeling for their weak receptors and taste buds; rather, they enjoy noodles.


Birds can eat potato chips. Roasted, baked, or mashed potatoes, all are suitable for birds. Chips can be spicy as well. They are also comfortable with spicy chips as they can’t detect spice.


Peanuts are very healthy for birds. Peanuts can be roasted, spicy or salted, birds can eat any type of peanuts. They are very comfortable with peanuts.

Is spicy food bad for birds?

No, spicy food isn’t bad for birds. Rather, spicy foods don’t harm the birds at all. It’s like any other foods for birds. So, they don’t feel any discomfort while having any spicy food.

Birds enjoy eating spicy foods like black peppers, bell peppers, cinnamon, green chilies, red chilies, chips, noodles etc. They are the source of carbohydrates or vitamins or proteins for birds.

The sensation that we humans get from spicy foods; birds don’t get. They are free from the heat and burning sensation and also any effect of spicy foods.

What birds can have spicy food?

About every bird can have spicy foods. They are very much comfortable while having spicy foods. It’s like their other types of food they eat normally. Because they can’t separate the spicy taste from the other taste.


Parrots are very fond of red chilies, green chilies, fresh peppers, oregano etc. They are a great source of vitamin A and C.

Though these bear an unbearable hotness, parrots eat these without any hesitation. They don’t feel any spice at all.


They eat oregano, peppers, chilies, basil, mints which provide them vitamins. They eat cooked meats, rice, pasta or noodles or any other spicy foods as well that provides them protein and carbohydrates.


Cockatiel can eat hot peppers, chilies, spicy chips, pasta, noodles etc. They don’t get the heat and hot feeling of spicy foods. So, they can comfortably eat spicy foods.


They like fresh chilies, peppers very much. Also, they can eat cooked pasta, noodles, and meat. They can have any type of spicy food, no matter how spicy it is.


They can eat cooked meats, fishes, or eggs if it is cooked very spicy. Their taste buds are different from humans that don’t recognize spicy foods.


They can also eat spicy foods like noodles, pasta, chips etc. These spicy foods don’t harm them at all, and they are also comfortable with these spicy foods.


They can eat cumin, turmeric, peppers as well as other spicy foods. They enjoy eating these foods. These spices are very helpful for their health as well.


Cockatoos eat spices like chilies, peppers, turmeric, potato chips, noodles etc. Their taste buds can’t get the capsaicin, so they are free from the burning feeling.


Conure can eat any spicy foods. Spicy foods are like any other foods for them.

They can comfortably eat chilies, peppers, oregano, noodles, chips etc. Spicy foods are pleasant to them.

Pionus Parrot:

They feel tempted very much in green, red chilies, peppers, turmeric, basil etc. Their sense of taste and smell are not strong enough and so, they can’t detect spice.

African Grey:

They can eat spicy foods better than humans and very comfortably. They eat chilies, peppers, oregano, spicy and roasted nuts, chips, pasta, noodles, meats etc.


They know very little about flavors. They eat spicy foods without having any heat or burning feeling.

They eat peppers, chilies, basil, oregano, cooked meats, fishes, noodles etc. like other foods. Furthermore, they feel pleasant while eating the spicy foods.

Can birds eat peppers?

Yes, birds are very fond of fresh peppers. Though pepper carries extreme heat and burning sensation, birds don’t feel that pain. There are different types of peppers birds eat. Like:

Black peppers:

Black peppers bear capsaicin that produce extreme hotness and heat in the mouth. But birds don’t feel the spice and can eat it easily.

Cayenne peppers:

The active ingredient of spices can be found in cayenne peppers. Though they are extremely hot, birds do not care at all.

Bell peppers:

Most of the birds like bell peppers very much. Whether they are spicy or not, birds can easily eat bell peppers.

Hot peppers:

Though hot peppers are a great source of spice; birds don’t feel any discomfort while having hot peppers.

Green peppers:

Cooked or raw, both green peppers birds can eat. Though they have the burning sensation, it’s totally safe to the birds.

Ghost peppers:

Ghost peppers are the spiciest peppers of all. But birds can comfortably eat these spicy peppers.

Yellow peppers:

Birds can eat raw or cooked yellow peppers. They are a great source of vitamins, iron, and potassium.

Banana peppers:

Birds can easily eat banana peppers as well. They help to boost their health and help its digestion and immune system.

Final Thoughts

The receptors of birds are not developed like humans and the numbers are also very little. They are biologically unable to recognize capsaicin; the active ingredient of producing the heat and burning sensation. So, the birds can eat spicy foods without recognizing the real sensation of spice.