Understanding Body Language of Birds

Understanding Body Language of Birds

In terms of behavior, birds can be like humans. There are times your pet bird will be moody and unwilling to interact, but become very playful and interactive the next minute. Some may be shy, while others are very aggressive. Most of the time, these behaviors are your bird’s way to communicate with humans and other animals. This is the reason why as a pet owner, you need to understand and learn about the different body languages that are commonly displayed by birds.

Understanding Body Language of Birds

Photo: Lucas de Vries|Flickr


Bird’s eyes reflect its emotions and feelings. An example is when it does “eye pinning” or “eye flashing”, which is a sign of being excited and curious. If you are teaching a trick or command and your pet starts to do eye pinning, it means that it is very interested in what you are trying to communicate. Chances are, your pet will learn these commands or tricks in no time. Still, you need to show full patience and understanding during the whole process. It is a fact that birds are harder to train than other domesticated pets such as cats or dogs. However, with proper training methods, this task is not impossible to accomplish.

When your pet does not flash its eyes, it usually means that it is not in the mood to learn or be trained. When experiencing this, never show any negative emotions and reactions such as shouting or cursing because doing so will only result in training failure. Birds are sensitive animals, and they can easily detect any negative feelings toward them.

The best way to handle an uninterested bird is to show extra patience and care. Your pet must know that you are the master and it needs to follow your commands. Once you see its eyes flashing or pinning, make sure to take advantage of the moment and repeat the commands until it successfully follows.

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Birds are some of the noisiest animals known to man. In the wild, they will make various sounds to signal danger to other birds, make mating calls, protect their territory and interact with other flocks. Aside from these sounds, there are ways your pet bird can communicate with humans such as:

Singing and whistling – these sounds indicate that your bird is happy and healthy. These sounds are usually heard when you are playing or interacting with it. For other species, talking is also a sign of happiness and willingness to interact with humans.

Growling – unlike singing and whistling, growling is usually a display of anger, discontentment, and aggressiveness. Although not heard in most bird species, growling can also signal that something is bothering your pet. When you hear this sound, examine its surrounding and look for something that is bothering its movement or causing discomfort. Look under its feet and see if something is lodged in between the claws. Often, a growling bird will become more agitated when handled or touched, so try to keep as much distance as possible when searching for the reason of growling.

Purring – believe it or not, birds can also purr. Hoverer, this kind of purr is not the same as a cat’s purr. It is more of a soft growl that is usually heard when your pet bird is annoyed or not satisfied with something.

In addition to making these different sounds, birds also use their body parts to communicate or express their feelings with humans. An example is:

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Wing Flapping – when you see or hear your pet flapping its wings, this usually means that it is happy or excited witty your presence. It is expecting a greeting or acknowledgment from you. This may also mean that it is exciting to play and interact with you. In addition to signaling happiness, wing flapping can also be a way to get your attention. This usually happens when your pet wants something, and you are too far or busy to notice it. Lastly, wing flapping may simply mean that your pet is stretching its body after being inactive for quite some time. This can also be a way to cool down its body especially during hot seasons.


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