Bird Behaviors Explained

»»Bird Behaviors Explained

There are many things that your bird will do while you own them. Sometimes, you won’t know why they do what they do, here’s a guide as to some of the things that they will do, so that you can better understand you birdies.


One thing a bird may do is preen their feathers. They may look like they are bothering their feathers, but they are clearing out any debris and breaking up the powder down feathers that grow close to their skin. The bird will use their beak to turn this into powder and helps with waterproofing the feathers. All birds (with the exception of hyacinth macaws and Amazon parrots) will also spread “preen gland” oil throughout the feathers that will also help with waterproofing and works as a precursor to the production of Vitamin D. The bird “zips” up their feathers so that each strand of the feather can stick to the other to form a tight feather. Birds like to preen their feathers after they take a bath and after they eat. When finished, the bird shakes out the feathers, and you may see dust emanate during this. Some of this is debris and some is powder down. African greys, cockatiels,and cockatoos contain a lot of powder down; which can be reduced with regular bathing.

Eye pinning

When the eyes of the bird start to dilate in and out (this is easier to notice in light colored birds) this is a result of the bird being excited. This is not the time to stick your finger in the bird’s face, not if you don’t want the bird to bite you.

Beak clicking

This either indicates that your bird is excited or to stay away.

Head Shaking

African grey parrots are known to shake their heads a lot; it looks like they have something stuck in their ears. No one is really sure why.

Head bobbing

The bird will do this either when they are feeling anxious to go somewhere. It can also mean the bird is about to regurgitate; in this case it would be to bond with you. Baby parrots bob their heads quite a lot; as do quakers.


Birds may scream for many reasons. They may be wanting to attract a mate, or compete with any other noises that are going on into the house, or to provoke you into screaming with them, or they want attention.

Plucking their feathers

Birds can pluck their feathers for many reasons; this is something you will want to find out why. Whether they have a medical reason for plucking, or if something new (or scary) has been introduced to the bird (birds hate change), they can pluck. Other things that cause plucking include: lost their mate or their friend or poor nutrition, boredom, or hormonal.

One thing you the owner of a bird must do is take time each day and spend it with your bird; they do much better when they aren’t ignored and treated well. They also need to be treated with respect and like an equal, not like a child with feathers. Birds are physically and emotionally fragile.

You will need to allow for some time to let the bird out of his or her cage, as birds are not naturally caged animals, they need to fly.

As a bird owner, there are many things that you will need to look for when you have a bird, and you must understand that birds aren’t play things, but require a lot of attention, proper feeding, and respect. When you have birds, their needs will need to come first.

By | 2016-05-17T07:00:33+00:00 May 17, 2016|Categories: , , |Tags: , |0 Comments

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