I do too F,A! And I also peer up bottoms. Not *up* them exactly lol, but peer underneath my birds for any kind of matting or clagging. I have a little rescue bunny with me now who has more wrong than right with him, and he is also well used to me hoiking his rear end up to check under his scut! Poops and bottoms can be the microscopes to spotting first signs of something wrong, and I check them all daily. Yup, even my goldfishes poops were scrutinised!
If you can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side.
Ah poop. My favorite topic. Always try to use white paper under trees, stands, play stations and under cage grids so I can really see them. In the beginning, it took me a while to relax as my birds have a very well rounded diet and eat a lot of different fresh veggies and fruit, live wheat grass, etc... that constantly change the color and the urine output. Then of course their pellets and seed/nut/dried fruit mixes change it all again... You just really, really need to keep an eye on their poops and know what is normal for them - so when it is abnormal, boom, you recognize it immediately! (Watching their weight is also important for this as well.)
My male - Shayne - unfortunately feels poop is part of the menu. He loves to eat his own poop. Has been this way since I first met him at 3 months. It's like he has his own vending machine built inside. Vet says some birds are just like that. I think there must be some undigested product in there that he likes. My female doesn't do this at all.
Thanks for the replies. We absolutely have a grate on his cage. But he finds ways. For instance, it is a very large cage and I usually fold some paper that he likes to chew that sits on top of the grate, but under his cups (that are much higher up). This allows him to chew paper, hide in the paper and also catches some of the food that drops that he continues to eat - the large piece of carrot or broccoli. That munchkin will take that long piece of paper (at least 16" and about 4" wide) and drag it across the cage to go under his favorite rope perch where it inevitably gets pooped on and, if I don't get home by 7:00 - it gets eatten. The rat!
When out of the cage, I really have to watch him because he really will poop to eat. Not all the time, but often enough.
As for blood panels. Yes, absolutely - has had this done at least 6 times in his 9 years on this planet. I am told he is a very healthy little black capped conure. Very much the alpha bird. Our avian vet is not concerned. He grooms the two of them every two months and they recently had their annual well birdie check up. They are good. He is just odd that way.