Why Do Parrots Like To Sit on Shoulders?

Parrots like to sit on shoulders because it’s easier for them to be expressive that way. Being interesting creatures, they are capable of performing several gestures and actions that we are not completely used to as human beings. The way they eat, dance, act, and show affection is different from the way humans are used to.

One of the most common gestures or acts that parrots do and that we sometimes find difficult to comprehend is sitting on our shoulders. What goes on when they do this? Do they act like this to gain attention, bond with their owner, or show disapproval? 

We’ll be answering these questions in this article, letting you know why parrots sit on shoulders and the message they pass across by doing so. If you’re a parrot owner or just inquisitive and want to know more, let’s get to the point.

Why Parrots Sit on Shoulders

Parrots sit on the shoulders of a person they feel bonded to. This is why a parrot will most likely sit on its owner’s shoulders. It means that they have a close relationship with the person and are looking for a way to be expressive about it. 

Generally, parrots would hang on tree branches and our shoulders are similar to that of a tree branch. A tree branch makes them feel at home, and how they feel when they hang in one is similar to the feeling they get when hanging on your shoulders. 

While it may seem confusing to always have your parrot on your shoulder, this is not something you should worry about. At the same time, your parrots may not like to sit on your shoulders. It doesn’t mean that the parrots don’t like you or feel bonded to you. 

Parrots seeking your shoulders to sit on, to a large extent, depend on how you’ve trained them.

What It Means When Parrots Sit on Your Shoulders

There are several reasons a parrot would want to sit on your shoulders. They include:


As mentioned earlier, a parrot will sit on your shoulders because of the bonding that exists between both of you. 

Parrots like to develop friendships and bonds with their owners, and sitting on their shoulders can be a good way for them to develop the kind of friendship that every parrot owner hopes to achieve with their parrot. 


Another reason can be that your parrots feel very comfortable around you. Just like bonding, parrots sit on your shoulders as a way of coming close and seeking comfort. 

As your parrots start to feel a particular way about their owners, they develop trust for them. Hanging on your shoulders can be a good signal that they trust you. 

Considering trust is an important virtue in every relationship, this would be a nice gesture between you and your parrots.

Your Parrot Likes You

Your parrot can sit on your shoulders because they like you. This can be their simple way of showing emotions. 

When you develop a deepened relationship with your parrot, they can start to fly over to your shoulders more frequently. This is their way of showing that they love and appreciate you.

To Gain Your Attention

Your parrot can sit on your shoulder when they are looking to gain your attention. Sometimes, they can include other gestures like cuddling your face or talking in your ears. 

Parrots prefer this act when they want to be close to you. But it is essential to train your parrot properly so that your shoulders do not become the ultimate way to get your attention every time, especially when they do this too often. 

If your parrot already exhibits negative behaviors such as disobedience or stubbornness, sitting on your shoulders to gain your attention may only worsen the issue. 

Your Parrot Is in Need of Company

Everyone likes to have company and parrots too are not left out. Parrots tend to sit on your shoulders when they want your company. They are just like every other social animal which means they’ll want attention from time to time. 

If your parrot loves to play with you or just be around you, you’ll likely find them sitting on your shoulders more often than not.

Should You Allow Your Parrot To Sit on Your Shoulders?

As a parrot owner, understand that it’s up to you to allow your parrots to sit on your shoulders. If you don’t enjoy this, it’s not compulsory to let them. 

However, there’s nothing wrong with your parrots on your shoulders as long as they’re healthy and do not perform any silly acts whenever they sit on you. 

You also need to be mindful of how often you find your parrot on your shoulders. If your parrots become overly dependent and insist on sitting on your shoulder every time, you may start to have problems with the relationship that exists between you and them. 

This is not to imply that you should completely neglect these parrots. Just ensure that they are not completely reliant on you. 

If your parrot is also sickly or does something silly such as biting you or urinating whenever they are on your shoulder, it may be a wrong idea to let them.

You can also train your parrots to sit on your shoulders as a form of communication or for certain reasons. For instance, letting you know that they are happy or need to be attended to. 


Parrots can be one of the most beautiful birds to help keep you company if you understand how to handle them. You don’t need to worry about these creatures as they are very intuitive and can form bonds with you. 

Parrots sit on shoulders for several reasons. It can be because they seek comfort, and attention, need your company or just let you know that they like you. If your parrots show any kind of negative behaviors, letting them sit on your shoulders will enhance or reward those behaviors so you need to stop them. 

Finally, it’s okay for your parrots to not sit on your shoulders often, the way you train them matters.

You may be interested in reading Parrot Behaviour if you liked this article

Harlan Derricks