“Is that a happy fluff or an angry fluff? Can I pet him or not?”
Your Parrot Communicates Whether He Talks Or Not
That’s right, Harry my male Senegal parrot, communicates with me even though he doesn’t use English words.
All parrots tell you when they are angry, getting ready to bite and even hungry. The problem is that a beak, not hard enough to be a bite, can be “I’m hungry, give me seeds!” or it can be “Get away!”
How can you tell the difference? I got tired of asking my daughter, who is a natural parrot whisperer, and then having her say, “I knew he was going to bite you. He was fluffed up.”
Basic Red Light, Green Light
Humans are very complicated beings and can be complex in their communication. Its not to say that parrots are simple in comparison, but think of it that way. Generally speaking, you’ll have an easier time understanding what your parrot is communicating if you don’t think of their communication as complex, but simple.
Just think of them as giving you a red light or a green light.
They are either warning you, being defensive and trying to remove themselves from your immediate space or they are engaging you, approaching you and seeking your affection and attention.
Red Light Means “No”
I don’t know Harry’s history, but I’m guessing that he was hand-fed but never really handled. He doesn’t know how to step up and tends to want to be left alone. Harry is untame.
Harry’s red lights are obvious: tonight he furrowed his brow and the feathers on his head were standing up!
As if Harry were in the army and standing at attention to salute his captain, when he is showing me a red light, he’s at attention! His chin is elevated, his shoulders are stiff and he looks like he’s standing straight up.
Any parrot will also communicate a lot to you by their position in their cage. When they are as close to you as they can get from within their cage, they want come to you – and have come as close as they can. Green light.
When they are in the back of their cage almost trying to be invisible, they don’t want to engage; sometimes they don’t want to be seen! Red light.
And, in case some of their posturing or positioning isn’t clear enough, parrots will also start to communicate a red or green light with their beak. A beak aimed up at you and open is ready, like an alligator, to chomp down! Bloody-red light!
On the other hand, a relaxed beak looks like a hook in the sense that your parrot’s beak will likely be curving down – since it’s not in a defensive position. Their body may be relaxed, not perfectly upright, and their wings may ‘rest’ a little lower.
Watch Harry Tell Me How I Can Connect
In the video I tell you about how I approach a parrot I’m working to tame. I also point out the body language that Harry is teaching us and, best of all, I show you how Harry lets me know that I have permission, and he wants me to, pet his beak – but really nothing more!
I hope Harry helps you understand your parrot’s body language better so that you have a more positive experience taming your parrot.
After all, one of life’s greatest gifts is bliss, parrot bliss! There is nothing better than having a BFF – a best-feathered-friend. Parrots are companions: they share our meals, they talk to us and can even cuddle — and talk!
Have a questions about parrots?
As the author of “The Parrot Bliss Bond,” I love and welcome questions about having a parrot and creating one of the best experiences of your life!
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