Do you ever think that your parrot is nodding and saying ‘yes’ to you? If you have a parrot, they may bob their head from time to time and it can be entertaining. A lot of owners often wonder what head bobbing really means, so we’re going to find out.
Why do parrots bob their heads? Your parrot is doing this because they are angry, hungry, bonding with you, want attention or are excited. It will be important to think about the situation and why they could be acting this way to figure out what they are trying to tell you.
Let’s take a closer look at the five reasons why your parrot may be bobbing their head and what they are trying to say to you.
We’ll also look into some other parrot behaviors to look out for.
Reasons Why Parrots Bob Their Heads
Your parrot can tell you a lot with their body language, which is why it is important to pay attention to it. You will be able to tell if they are happy, anxious or sad; they communicate with you by moving and speaking.
One way is by bobbing their head. Here are five reasons why they do this and what it means.
1. They are angry
You may find that your parrot expresses anger by bobbing their head. This may be due to something around them that they do not like or they are not getting enough attention.
The best thing you can do is try to work out what the problem is and the best way to deal with it without upsetting your parrot even further.
If you need help with that, we recommend reading our article on sudden aggression in pet birds:
2. They are hungry
Baby parrots when they are begging for food often bob their head. This is a signal to the parents that they wish to be fed now.
This is often a sign to you that they are hungry if they are an un-weaned parrot. You should use this signal to go and get some fresh food for your parrot so that they are happy again.
3. They are bonding with you
Your parrot may be bobbing their head to bond with you. Often, this takes the form of regurgitating their food. Of course, this is not something we are looking for.
But it is their way of caring for you; it is the way they would feed their chicks or mate. You do not want to disappoint your feathered friend.
The best thing you can do is let them regurgitate their food and use a pleasant voice to thank them. Otherwise, they may think they are being rejected.
However, that does not mean that it is a good thing that your parrot is regurgitating for you. In fact, this has to be stopped! We explain why in this article.
4. They want attention
Once baby parrots learn that bobbing their head leads to them being fed, they know that they get attention for this behavior. Thus, they may be head bobbing to get your attention when they are being ignored.
Perhaps it is time to spend some time playing with your parrot or socializing with them. Parrots need more attention than most people know. We explain why it is so important to give them the attention they need in this article!
5. When they are excited
You may find that your feathered friend is bobbing their head when they are excited about something. They will generally look and sound happy when they are doing this. Perhaps it is so that you will give them a tasty treat to enjoy!
Many parrots get excited when they hear music. They even start dancing and combine that with a strong head bob here and there as you can see in the video below.
Parrot Body Language and Vocalizations
Parrots do not just bob their head to communicate; they also have a variety of other things they do to sign what they are thinking. It is important to understand your feathered friend’s body language in order to bond with them and know what they want.
Have you ever noticed your parrot stretching and flapping their wings? Indeed, this can be an exercise and to stretch after sleeping.
It can also be a way to cool down if it is too hot. But it is also a way to display happiness. Parrots may look to grab your attention with this move too.
If you have just bathed your parrot, they may be drooping their wings to allow the feathers space to air dry. However, if they are suddenly doing this, it could be a sign of illness.
This is not good and it is best to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible to make sure they are healthy.
Fluffing the Feathers
Your parrot may be fluffing up their feathers for a variety of reasons and it will be important to pay attention to the context. They may be doing this during the preening process and you will notice your feathered friend cleaning to remove dirt.
If it is cold, they can fluff up their feathers to retain body heat. But if they are doing this a lot and sleeping, it could be the case that your parrot is sick and needed to be checked by the veterinarian.
Singing and Talking
When your parrot is singing and talking to you, this is usually a sign of contentment and happiness. Parrots can be quite vocal and they do love an audience. They also like to copy words that you say. So, you may want to watch what you are talking about!
If your parrot is chattering quite loud, this may be a way to grab your attention. They may feel like they are being ignored or just want some playtime.
Maybe your parrot just reached the age where some of them start talking! Read more on that here!
If you notice that your parrot is tail fanning, you want to give them some space. They often do this when they are annoyed and are angry. Tail fanning is a way to spread out the feathers and to make them look big and strong.
When a parrot displays an open beak, this can be the precursor to biting. This is particularly true if they are in a crouching position and you can hear them hissing.
This means that they are preparing to lunge and bite. If you are near and think they are annoyed at you, it is best to back away and give them some space to cool down.
Stiff and Freezing
A parrot that stays completely still and does not move a feather is very scared of something in their surroundings. They do this so that they think they cannot be seen by a predator.
If you can identify what is scaring your feathered friend, it is best to remove it from the room, whether it is another pet or an inanimate object.
Why is my parrot hanging upside down? If your feathered friend suddenly starts to hang upside down on their perch, it can give you a fright. But this is not something you should worry about. Some parrots do this as they enjoy it and find it fun. Some will do it while others will not.
Why is my parrot shaking his head? Opposed to bobbing, shaking their head from side to side is not something that has a common meaning. It could be a sign of boredom. Perhaps it is time to find a new toy or enjoy some bonding time together.