The realm of bird body language is vast and includes
beak, eye, head, wing, feather, tail, and foot movements;
vocalizations; and more – so many that this article
concentrates on posture, since this may be the easiest
and most important way to determine what your bird is
trying to tell you.
|Here are a few of the common bird postures with their
RELAXED • If the bird has a relaxed body and her
head and body are at attention, she is happy and
content. NOTE: If her head and body are at attention
but her body is rigid and her feathers are flared, she
is letting you know she owns that territory.
BOWING • When a bird is crouching with her head
tipped downward toward you, and perhaps bobbing
her head, she is asking to be petted or scratched.
HEAD DOWN • If she is crouching with her head
down with a relaxed body and raised wings, she is
trying to attract attention, either from you or from
a potential mate. NOTE: If a bird is crouching with
her head down, eyes pinning, flared tail feathers,
ruffled feathers, and a rigid body weaving from side
to side, she is giving a warning and won't hesitate to
bite if provoked. Hissing and a raised crest may be
additional clues that the bird is in an aggressive state.
LYING ON BACK • Though probably uncommon
in the wild, some pet birds will lie on their backs, and
may even sleep in that position. When not ill, this
posture indicates trust.
Communicating with your bird by observing and
interpreting her body language will make your
relationship much easier and satisfying for you both.
Communication can be easy if you spend time
with her, offer an interesting environment (including
interactive toys, such as Teach Box and Bank, giving her a play area out of her cage (such as
a Playstand), and bonding
with grooming/bathing sessions (with items like the
Two-Liter Hand Mister).