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What Does It Mean When Parrots Puff Up Their Feathers?

In the course of a single day, parrots may puff up their feathers to indicate a range of behaviors. While your bird may look goofy, there's generally no cause for concern. As you two bond, you'll get a better read on what's causing your pet to look like a pine cone.

Parrots

Cold or Sick

  • Birds often puff out their feathers when chilled or sick.

    Since ruffling helps trap warm air around the parrot's body, he may be doing this to get warm. Help a chilled bird warm up by closing windows or eliminating drafts. As a cold bird warms, his feathers will stop puffing out. If your bird is laying on the bottom of the cage with his eyes closed and has puffed-up feathers, he needs attention from an avian vet.

Sensory Overload

  • Some parrot species -- notably Amazons and African greys -- can become overstimulated. If your bird has puffed feathers, pinned-out eyes and excessive energy, he's experiencing sensory overload. Give him time to chill out before you approach him since birds can bite in this condition. He'll calm down eventually. This is just part of parrot behavior. When parrots are relaxed, their body language indicates it.

In the Mood for Love or a Fight

  • If your parrot's feathers are sticking as far out of his body as possible, and his tail is flared and his wings or shoulders are held at an angle, he's in the mood for something. Parrots with this body language either want to fight or they want to court. Use context clues to figure out whether a pretty lady or a potential threat that's got your bird in such a state.

Other Causes

  • When your bird puffs out his feathers quickly and wiggles his tail, he's happy. He may do this when greeting you as you arrive home or when you're returning him to his perch after a play date. You may have simply caught your bird in the act of grooming. Parrots fluff up their feathers when they are getting ready to preen. Finally, birds fluff up their feathers temporarily as a nice little stress releaser.

 

 

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