Body Language of Parrots

The body language of parrots says a lot about their emotional state. In fact, it can help us understand how our bird feels. But to understand their body language, you need to know all the signs.

You might have noticed cockatoos sometimes raise their crest, puff up feathers, and scream a lot. All these signs mean something; let me tell you what they mean.

Excited or Happy

When excited, they look very active and make sounds. If they are too excited, they raise their crest and make a lot of joyful sounds. They start jumping and moving their head when they are too excited.

I have observed this behavior in pet cockatoos; they start jumping and moving their head. It’s a kind of dance parrots do when they listen to music. It surely means parrots like music.

Unhappy or sick

Parrots are extremely vibrant parrots; they love to play all day and do not like to rest for long. If a cockatoo stays idle for several hours, doesn’t keep its eyes fully opened, or slightly fluffs its feathers, then it might be unhappy or sick.

If the bird does not eat for long, shows no interest even if given attention, or is shivering, it needs a medical checkup.


Parrots, in their resting posture, spread their feathers which look fluffy. They keep their eyes almost closed and look inactive. Sometimes, they stand on one leg, put their head in their wings, or clean their feathers with their beak.

If they are too tired or sleepy, they start yawning; It is also a sign of relaxation. My parrots often yawn when they are tired after a hectic day of messing up my room, and they are getting cuddles.


Parrots are very playful birds; they cannot keep themselves from checking out everything around them. If a new person, a new pet, or a toy is introduced, they act shy and curious.

Usually, in such conditions, parrots raise their crest, stand tall and still from a distance, and observe the new toy. If everything looks cool, they slowly start approaching the new toy, touching it with their beak, and making very short sounds.

Aggressive or destructive

Parrots show their aggression by standing tall, opening their wings, and swaying from side to side. They hiss and puff their feathers to warn first. The hissing is kind of an alarm call to scare you.

When they are about to bite, they crouch with open beaks, crest tightly held back, and run towards you. Be careful; parrots bites are really strong; if your bird bites, you should maintain a distance and train it not to bite.

Generally, parrots do not get aggressive. But if it is their mating season, they are not being cared for properly, or something is disturbing them, they can get aggressive. In such conditions, parrots become destructive; they try to chew everything around them.

In such situations, they need immediate medical help. If not helped properly, they can fall into depression and start plucking their feathers.

Seeking attention

Sometimes, they are not exactly excited but show off their beauty and want to be adored. They spread their wings, raise their crest, and make joying sounds. But in most cases, this simply means your parrots is trying to grab your attention.

Like most parrots, pet parrots are attention-seekers. When my parrots do this, I talk to them; they are interested in making conversations, being played with, and being admired.

Moreover, parrots love getting scratches and cuddles. If a parrots is habitual of getting scratches and cuddles, it comes close to the owner, slightly tilts its head, and puffs its feathers. They give the owner a perfect spot to scratch on the head.


Usually, parrots scream when they are attacked or feel insecure. They scream in various other situations, too, but when they are scared, their screams are loud, frequent, and shrill.

Moreover, they defend themselves by flapping their wings, moving around the cage, and trying to distance themselves from the predator. If they cannot create a distance, they bite the predator for self-defense.

Generally, pet parrots are not afraid of humans, but wild parrots do. However, if an untamed parrots is touched forcefully or a pet parrots is being raised in an abusive environment, it stays scared and such parrots can attack humans.


Taking care of parrots becomes simpler when you understand every action of your bird. It also helps bond better and keeps your bird happy.

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