Parrot Body Language: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to understanding parrot body language, there is a lot more to it than just knowing when they’re happy, sad, or scared. Their body language can indicate a lot of information about their emotional and mental state.

In this post, we will discuss the different ways that parrots communicate with their bodies, as well as what each gesture means. If you want to be able to better understand your feathered friend, then this is the post for you!

What is Body Language?

white parrot dancing

Body language is a form of nonverbal communication, which consists of body posture, gestures, and facial expressions. For humans, it can be categorized into several types, such as kinesics (body movements), haptics (touch), proxemics (personal space), and chronemics (time).

Body language is believed to originate from the early days of human evolution when it was used as a form of communication between animals. Today, body language is still an important part of communication, and can be used to convey messages without words.

Understanding Parrot Body Language

Parrots are interesting creatures and they are known to be very intelligent. They are also quite social, which means they have their way of communicating with others.

Just like humans, parrots use body language to express themselves. If you’re interested in learning more about what your parrot is trying to tell you, then read on to find out more about particular cues you can pick up from your parrot’s body language.

Beak

One of the most common ways that parrots communicate is through their beak. If you see your parrot poking its beak, it could mean that the bird is trying to get your attention. It could also be a sign of affection or simply a way of exploring its surroundings.

If your parrot is biting its beak, it could be a sign of stress or anxiety. This is usually followed by other body language cues such as head shaking or ruffled feathers. If you see your parrot doing this, it’s important to try and figure out what is causing the stress and remove it from the bird’s environment.

Feathers

parrot cleaning its wing

Another way that parrots use body position to communicate is through preening. Preening is when a bird cleans and arranges its feathers. This is usually done as a way of maintaining the bird’s plumage, but it can also be used as a form of communication (the language of feathers).

If you see your parrot preening itself aggressively, it could be a sign that the bird is feeling threatened or is in a state of fight-or-flight. On the other hand, if you see your parrot preening more calmly or gently, it may be a sign of contentment or relaxation.

You might also notice that your parrot’s body feathers are ruffled up when it’s communicating. This feather position is usually a sign of either excitement or fear. If you see your parrot doing this, it’s important to try and figure out what has caused the reaction.

Eyes

parrot's eyes

The eyes are another important part of parrot body language. If you see your parrot’s pupils dilated, it could be a sign of fear or excitement. It could also be a form of aggressive behavior or an attack stance. 

If you see your parrot’s eyes closed, it could be a sign of sleepiness or a relaxed parrot. However, it could also be a sign of aggression, so it’s important to pay attention to the other body language cues as well.

If your parrot is staring at you intently or eye-pinning you, this is usually a sign of affection or interest. Try to return the stare and see what happens.

Tail

The tail is another important part of parrot body language. If you see your parrot’s tail pointing up, it could be a sign of excitement or happiness. It could also be a sign that the bird is ready to mate.

If you see your parrot’s tail feathers pointing down, it could be a sign of relaxation or submission. It could also be a sign that the bird is feeling threatened.

If you see your parrot’s tail moving back and forth (tail wagging), it could be a sign of agitation or fear. Tail fanning could also be a warning sign, telling you to stay away.

Facial Expressions

Companion parrots are also known to express themselves through facial expressions. If you see your parrot baring its teeth, it could be a form of aggression or negative emotions. It could also be a sign that the bird is angry and trying to intimidate you.

If you see your parrot nodding its head, it could be a sign of agreement or understanding. It could also be a sign that the bird is ready to mate.

If you see your parrot shaking its head, it could be a sign of disagreement or confusion or even an indication that the bird is feeling dizzy or disoriented.

Body Position

bird showing its wings

The way a parrot holds its body can also be a form of communication. For example, if you see your parrot standing tall with its head held high, it could signify confidence, dominance, or an aggressive stance. It could also be a sign that the bird is ready to mate.

If you see your parrot hunched over with its rapid wing drooping, it could be a sign of relaxation or submission. This frozen posture could also mean that the bird is feeling threatened.

Conclusion

There are a variety of ways that parrots communicate through body language and behaviors. By being aware of these cues, you’ll be able to better understand what your pet birds are trying to tell you.

If you’re ever unsure about what your parrot is trying to communicate, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. By being observant of your parrot’s behavior and with lots of care, you can help create a bond of trust and understanding between the two of you. 

Harlan Derricks
Latest posts by Harlan Derricks (see all)