Birds are very different from each other, but most of our avian pets have certain body language that translates from bird to bird. Observing your bird's eyes, wings, tail, and overall posture can be very telling, and can help you understand your bird better.
We've put together a few examples to help gauge how your bird is feeling. Observe for a combination of these instead of a single behavior to indicate mood.
what is your bird thinking?
clues to non-verbal communication
- Tail flared
- Feathers on top of head raised
- Body forward, weaving head movement
- Eyes "pinning" or "flashing" (going from large to small quickly).Birds have a unique ability to voluntarily dilate or contract their pupils.
- Dilated pupils
- Bobbing head movement
- Ruffled feathers
hint: Your bird may bite when he is angry or excited, so if you need to move your bird when she's exhibiting these behaviors, it's best to have a stick or perch handy. A Dragonwood Perch has a rough surface that's easier for your bird to grip than a smooth wood perch.
- "Skinny bird" - feathers held against body
- Mouth open slightly
- Preening lightly
Remember, the combination of these behaviors is most strongly indicative that your bird is nervous.
- Wing and/or leg stretching
- Facial feathers puffed
- One foot tucked up into body
- Hanging upside down
- Singing, talking, or whistling
- Tail wagging
Communicating with your bird starts by observing and interpreting her body language and makes your relationship much easier and satisfying.