Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Parrot Body Language - Learning to Communicate With Your Parrot

Look into your parrot's eyes. Beautiful, aren't they? Look a little more closely though and you'll notice that, unlike you and me, your parrot can control the size of his iris. This is the portion of the eye that gives him his eye color. And he'll change the size of his iris if he's angry, frightened or feeling aggressive. This is called "flashing" or "pinning."

Understanding this gives you an indication of your friend's mood. Take time to note this action and place it into the context of the activity you and he are participating in. If eye pinning or flashing occurs while you're training, you may want to end the session or try to ease his fear or anger.


Yes, I know that your parrot is a natural-born vocalizer to begin with. But, the type of sounds your bird makes can go a long way to telling you exactly what he's feeling.

Singing, whistling, talking. These sounds are signs of a healthy and content parrot. You may have a bird who is a natural entertainer and this is his way of putting on a show.

Chattering. Your bird may chatter - you'll know the sound when you hear it. Whether it's loud or soft, it can signal one of two things. Either your friend is content or he's beginning to learn to talk. If he's chattering rather loudly, though, consider the fact that he's attempting to get your attention. If you notice that he chatters in the evening before going to sleep, he's trying to connect with other flock members.

Purring. And you thought only cats purr. This may be called purring, it's really nothing like what your cat does. The purr of a parrot is similar to a growl. But don't let this fool you, because like a cat's purr, it too is a sign of contentment. Then again - as complex as your parrot is - it may actually be a signal that he's annoyed with something. To read this vocalization properly, then, you need to take it in the context of the entire environment he's in at the moment.

Tongue clicking. Your parrot at times may click his tongue against his beak. Don't be concerned about this. Usually, he does this just to entertain himself. But he also may be asking you to pet him or to pick him up.

Growling. This is a form of aggressive vocalization and not all birds do this. But, if yours does, then you need to immediately take a good, hard look at her surroundings. Remove anything that you think may be bothering her. But just a word of caution, don't try to pick your parrot up at this point or even touch him. Treat him as you would a growling dog. They definitely don't want any part of you at this point.


Yes, in addition to flight, your parrot uses his wings as a way to communicate as well. Your friend may display his emotions in three distinct ways: Flapping, flipping or drooping.

If your parrot is flapping his wings or flying in place, he's actually exercising, trying to get your attention, or just being happy. Birds also may use their wings simply to stretch or as a built in fan - to cool themselves.

Your friend may perform wing flipping for several different reasons. Perhaps he's angry or in pain. He may also just be fluffing his feathers in order to get them to lay properly. If he's performing this activity while hunching over and bobbing his head (I'm sure you've seen this in some birds), it means he wants to be fed.

The drooping of wings indicates normally that your friend isn't feeling well. This is especially true if your bird is a little older. If, however, your friend has recently taken a bath, she may droop her wings to allow them to dry.

If, however, your friend is a youngster she just may be learning how to fold and tuck in her wings. Often, the wings droop during their attempts at mastering this skill.

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