Birds Eye View on Parrots Emotions

Birds Eye View on Parrots Emotions

Parrot's. The most emotive bird in the world, right? You’ve got that right! Parrots emotions are almost human like and that make them great pets that interact with the whole family, when cared for properly. Parrots are not only smart and friendly but they are sensitive and highly emotionally attached to their family members. On the flip side, dealing with a very smart yet very emotional pet can be challenging at times.

Understanding parrots emotions is a great skill for enhancing your relationship with your bird. Learn to understand your parrots emotions for well behaved bird. Parrots emotions are recognizable, if you know what you’re looking for.  Unlike a 5 or 6 year old child’s, though, your parrot doesn’t have the words to tell you what it is thinking and feeling. These exotic pets still have a lot of their innate instinctual behaviors intact so the only way they can communicate with you is through body language.  According to Quaker Parrots Website, if you have ever experienced a toddler before language skills are developed fully, you’ll be well prepared for those cognitive abilities of a parrot too.

Research Shows That Parrots Have Great Cognitive Abilities

  • Basic problem-solving
  • How to use tools
  • Object identification – including shapes, colors, and matter
  • General safety skills
  • Working as a team – give and take
  • Communicating intent
  • Putting off desires
  • Influencing others

 Parrots Learn Words, Colors and Shapes

When you listen to your parrot talk you may be able to learn its emotions through the words it says. According to Parrot Parrot, a bird learns to talk just as a baby would by repeating words over and over again until they catch on.  Timmy has learned a huge variety of words just by paying attention to what words that I say with more enthusiasm. As you can imagine, I sometimes have to watch my language!

In addition, parrots can learn colors and shapes through repetitive teaching. Some ways to teach them colors are to show them different colored blocks over and over again. Color Cubes are a great toy for this since you can hide a treat inside of them. You can teach parrots basic shapes through the same process showing different shaped blocks.

Parrots Can Understand and Show Emotions

In addition to talking, parrots can understand and show emotions as well. In order to show emotions people must be able to understand some emotions as well and this goes the same for parrots. states that birds show a wide variety of emotions.  As you're learning to read parrot body language, look for a cluster of visual signs. Some of these emotions include:

  • Contentment: Chattering, singing, purring, talking, and whistling
  • Annoyance: Purring, pinning eyes, ruffled neck feathers
  • Requesting Attention: Tongue-clicking may show that they are staying entertained or that they are asking for more attention, leaning in toward you with head bowed, and feathers laid down
  • Anger: Growling, fluffed up feathers, perching low and looking up at you with pinning eyes may show that they are angry or want to be left alone

Check out our series on understanding parrot body language.

While there are some other meanings for all of these acts of emotions, these are the general meanings for them. As you can see, parrots are very emotive creatures. Sometimes they are asking for attention while other times they want to be left alone.  Sometimes they are scared and other times, angry.  And, like any intelligent creature, boredom is an ongoing concern. It’s kind of the same issues people deal with when living together.

So, two important take-aways are that you need to keep your bird healthy and happy with toys and attention to stimulate the mind, but you'll also want to learn how to read parrot emotions that are displayed through body language.  Your parrot will feel less stress when it trusts that you understand and respect its fast changing emotions.  Bond deeper with your baby by learning about parrots emotions.


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  • Diane Burroughs
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