It’s no wonder why humans adore having parrots as pets- they are intelligent, quirky, and come in an array of stunning colors. But perhaps their most endearing quality is that they are capable of giving out an enormous amount of affection to their favorite humans.
Not sure what techniques your parrot uses to show affection? Then continue reading to check out the many different behaviors your pet parrot can use to say “I love you!”
1. Your parrot loves to cuddle
If your parrot can’t get close enough to you- it loves you. Cuddling is a common way parrots show affection to their favorite humans. This intimate act lets you know your bird fully trusts you.
Parrots love cuddling up to their owners because they take in some of your body heat, are in a prime spot to receive pets, and build up the bond you share.
This is also a plus for bird owners. It’s rewarding to have your bird want to be so close to you. Additionally, cuddling a pet had lots of health benefits. This includes lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety, depression, and stress.
If you are looking for a really affectionate and cuddly parrot, have a look at our article here! We show you the 5 most affectionate parrots you can get!
2. Your parrot gives you kisses
Despite not having any lips to pucker, parrots absolutely love to dole out “kisses” to their favorite people. Owners report various techniques parrots use to plant a loving kiss on their human.
Parrot kisses usually consist of the bird putting its beak against your face, often around your cheeks or lips. This can be accompanied by your bird gently nibbling you. Some parrots even stick out their tongues and lick their owners during a kiss.
A bird smooch usually comes with a typical kiss sound they learn from us.
Also, this very human-like behavior is not exclusive to us humans. Birds show affection to one another by kissing their flock mates. This action is learned as a baby when a mother bird has beak to beak contact with its baby to feed it.
Birds keep this behavior with them throughout their lives to help solidify bonds with other birds.
3. Your parrot contact calls you
You know how your mom always says to call her when you make it home so she knows you are safe? This is essentially the same as a parrot’s contact call.
Parrots use contact calling, which can range from a squawk to a loud scream, to make sure their partner is close by and safe. This behavior shows how important your well being is to your parrot.
If your bird does not see you or hear back from you, it will often continue calling more frequently and more loudly until it knows you are fine (just like a mother would). When your parrot does this, give a callback or pop into the room to let your bird know you are doing okay.
4. Your parrot coos, sings, or purrs for you
Bird owners know that their feathered friends like to make noise. A lot of noise, actually. But most of the time, these different sounds have different meanings, especially if it is directed towards you. If your parrot is looking to send some love your way, it will likely vocalize it.
If your parrot is happy to be with you, it will whistle and sing. Singing is not just a way for your bird to show off its talent. It indicates your bird is tapping into happy memories wants to share it with you.
Your parrot may also click its tongue or chatter in your presence, which also demonstrates positive feelings. Best of all, happy parrots will purr just like cats. This is not as common as other vocal cues, so don’t be discouraged if you never hear your bird purr.
But if you are lucky enough to experience this, know that a parrot purrs when it is feeling most content.
5. Your parrot moves its mouth a lot when it sees you
A parrot’s mouth does a lot more than make enough noise to wake you up in the early morning. These birds can use their mouths to convey emotions nonverbally.
These actions, including beak fluttering and tongue movement, let you know that your bird is feeling quite content with your company.
Beak fluttering or grinding is a common sign of contentment. This is a way for your bird to relax, showing that it is comfortable around you. In addition, tongue-wagging means your bird is a happy camper.
6. Your parrot gives you a jealousy nip
Usually biting is an act of aggression for parrots, but if your normally cuddly bird decides to chomp down on your hand, it can actually be a sign of love. Parrots are picky about who they love.
If you are lucky enough to be the apple of your bird’s eye, you will be blessed with endless traditional moments of affection.
But, a loving bird can become a very jealous bird if it must vie for your attention.
A parrot’s love bite will mostly happen when you are paying attention to someone or something else. Your parrot views other people and animals as a threat to your relationship.
To avoid this agonizing affection, place your bird in its cage before interacting with others that may make your bird jealous.
Sometimes it can even get too much and your parrots jealous behavior can become sudden aggression. In this case, we recommend reading our article on reasons for sudden aggression in parrots here!
7. Your parrot regurgitates food for you
Bear with me on this one. It sounds disgusting but this odd behavior is a sign of love. In the wild, birds throw up food for their flock mates as a sign of affection and trust.
When your bird does this around you, it means your bird is viewing you as one of its favorite beings. Birds only do this when they feel completely comfortable around someone.
It is understandable that you may not enjoy this strange behavior. If you wish to limit the amount of “gifts” your parrot gives, look for what actions warrant the behavior. Birds will often regurgitate when prompted by certain actions like head pets, or playing with a particular toy.
Take note of the cause and limit those actions.
Also, it is always better to have two (or more) parrots. If your parrot loves you that much that he/she regurgitates food for you, he/she sees you somehow as his/her partner.
Since you are not a bird, you can’t give your parrot what your parrot really needs. (Except you want to regurgitate food for your parrot… urgh)
Needless to say, that can be very frustrating for your parrot. In fact, if you notice that your parrot does that, you should act immediately. Here is why!
8. Your parrot sleeps on you
Parrots are not sleepy strangers on the subway- they don’t just fall asleep on anybody. If your bird likes to take a nap in your lap or on your shoulder, consider yourself loved.
This is an affectionate behavior because it shows a large amount of trust your bird has placed in you. When a parrot is asleep it is most vulnerable. But taking a nap on you means your bird feels comfortable enough to let its guard down and knows you will keep it safe.
If you want to foster this tender behavior, continue to build trust with your bird through care, playing, and physical contact.
Make sure you make yourself comfortable to your bird by limiting rough clothing or blankets that can snag toenails or feathers. Also, keep the noise to a minimum so your bird can sleep undisturbed.
9. Your parrot flies right to you
Parrots are picky creatures. So, if you open the cage door and your bird flies to you and no one else, your bird loves you. This is especially true if it becomes a habit and you do not have to call your parrot to come.
Although your parrot may like other people in the home, if it always flies to you first, it is doing that for a reason. Of course, the reason being you are your bird’s favorite.
The reason your bird flies to you is that it wants your attention. Your company is what’s most important and landing on your shoulder means you both get to share some quality time together.
10. Your parrot fluffs its feathers
A parrot that loves you will always greet you when you enter the room. Often, your parrot will verbalize this with lots of singing and talking. Fluffing out its feathers is another more subtle way your parrot chooses to say hello to you.
Feather fluffing is a way for your bird to let you know it would like some pets. Parrots commonly puff out feathers on the head and neck region of they want a good scratching.
Fluffed out feathers can also indicate relaxation. This sensation is comforting to your parrot. If you notice fluffed feathers are accompanied by closed eyelids, your bird is preparing for a nap.
11. Your parrot wags its tail
No, your parrot did not learn this one from the dog although the behavior is similar. If your bird is ecstatic to see you, it may wag its tail from side to side. Parrots are also capable of wagging their tails up and down- another sign they are glad to see you.
Also, tail wagging is said to be the equivalent of a human giggle. For example, if you are playing with your parrot and it sips from its perch, it will wag its tail to indicate it is okay and ready to continue playing or getting pets.
Be cautious if your bird begins wagging its tail while you are handling it. Tail wagging is also a sign your bird is preparing to go to the bathroom. If you are toilet training your bird however, this can be a useful indicator to bring your parrot to its cage or designated area.
12. Your parrot acts like a baby
Parrot behavior can be reminiscent of a baby’s behavior in many ways. Often, your parrot acts like this because it feels completely comfortable with you. This type of behavior is usually associated with parrots that have been spoiled.
In this sense, spoiled is not necessarily a bad thing. It means your bird is well cared for and seeks certain loving behaviors from you.
Baby-like behaviors typical of parrots include crying for attention, making gentle squawking sounds, and wanting to be hand-fed. They will sometimes hang upside down from your hands as a way of seeking attention.
Parrots will sometimes lie on their backs and want to be cradled like human babies.
13. Your parrot preens you
Preening is a way for birds to maintain the quality and hygiene of their feathers. Sometimes, a parrot will use these same techniques on its human’s head hair or facial hair. If your bird does this to you, know that it is a loving gesture. Your bird is grooming you as it would groom itself.
Owners tend to love this intimate grooming behavior, but some parrots can preen aggressively and cause you discomfort. Remove your bird from your hair or face if you would like to discontinue this behavior.
Instead, engage your parrot in a new activity to get preening off its mind.
Moreover, if you are a fan of this behavior, make sure to keep your bird safe when it preens you. It is easy for your parrot to ingest chemicals from makeup or hair products used.
14. Your parrot flaps its wings
If your parrot sees you and looks as if it is about to fly but stays in place, it indicated a happy bird. Parrots use wing flapping to communicate with humans. This is a gesture of excitement and means your parrot is nothing but happy to see you.
Moreover, wing flapping is a way for your parrot to grab your attention. If you notice your parrot flapping its wings excitedly, don’t hesitate in giving your bird some love.
15. Your parrot uses eye pinning and eye flashing
This is a very subtle but sure way to tell if your bird has affection for you. Unlike our eyes that expand due to light, birds are capable of controlling the size of their pupils. A parrot’s pupils will change in size to match their mood.
Flashing refers to the widening of your bird’s pupils and pinning refers to the narrowing of your bird’s pupils.
Take notice of your parrot’s eyes when you are close enough. If you notice its pupils pinning and flashing accompanied by relaxed posture, it means your bird is excited to be near you.
As you see, parrots show affection in various ways. Many of them are very similar to human affection.
Do you have anything to add? Feel free to leave a comment and tell us how your parrot shows affection!