Bird Body Language

From: The BirdBoard.Com Weekly Newsletter



Standing on two feet I’m all right
Standing on one foot I’m relaxing
Standing on one foot, feathers fluffed I’m really relaxing
Standing on one foot, grinding beak I’m getting tired
Standing on one foot, half fluffed, eyes glazed I’m trying to get some sleep
Head facing back, tucked under wing I’m sleeping
Tail shake OK, I’m ready for something new
or I’m happy
Rubbing beak back and forth against perch I’m cleaning my face
Standing on one foot with head tucked under Just cleaning some feathers
Spread wings a little and rub face on back Getting ready for some serious preening
Life wing and picking at different feathers Preening
Reach back, run feathers through beak Preening, have to keep looking my best
Standing straight, staring right at you I’m ready to be picked up
Pacing back and forth on perch I said I was ready to be picked up!
Standing on one foot and waving the other Pick me up, NOW!
Head lowered, wings half raised, feathers fluffed, leaning forward or up I see something I want and if you don’t pick me up NOW I’m going to have a nervous breakdown
Flapping to the ground I wanted you to pick me up but couldn’t wait any longer
Standing on your foot OK, I’m sorry for flapping to the ground, pick me up, PLEASE
One foot shaking with claw beating quickly I have an itch against the side of my head
Beak on the ground, neck feathers fluffed up I want a scratch
Head down, left wing fully extended Big stretch!
Head down, right wing fully extended Continuation of Big stretch
Head down, both wings partially extended upward Big stretch, final episode
Mouth wide open, head extending as far up as it will go Stretch/yawn combination
Head bobbing and then regurgitating I LOVE YOU!
Grab side of cage with beak, bottom of cage with foot and scrape bottom with other foot Let me out of here!!!
Standing straight, staring right at you I’m waiting for you to look away so I can do something bad
Beak on the ground, neck feathers fluffed up I want you to try and give me a scratch so I can bite you!
Holding on to top of cage with both feet and beak I am going someplace
Hanging from top of cage with both feet I am playing
or some eclectus do this when nervous
Hanging from top of cage with one foot No problem, still playing
Hanging from top of cage by beak only No problem, still playing but trying to make you think I’m going to fall
Hanging from top of cage and falling to bottom Ooops, I guess that beak thing didn’t work too well
Head lowered and turned 90 degrees I see something on the floor that I want
Extending top part of beak and lapping with tongue Whatever it is that you are drinking, I WANT it!!!
Standing on forearm, biting shirt at the shoulder and clawing up arm I want UP!
Hanging from shirt collar by beak and waving both feet in the air I want down
Two steps back, rear-end rubbing table I need to go potty!
Lying on back with feet in the air Yeah, right!!! I don’t think so!

author unknown~
Our additions:
Leaning forward with wings slightly apart  I am going to bite you
Leaning forward with wings slightly apart and feathers standing up I am really going to bite you!
Eyes pinning I am excited
Feathers fluffed out with eyes pinning  I want to bite you
Bird’s crest all the way up scared or surprised. Can also be excited. 
Bird’s crest is flattened against the head Could be angry or mad.  May try to bite.  Could also tuck it’s feathers in and become thinner.
Suddenly gets really tall and thin Surprised or startled.  Can be accompanied by the crest going up.
Bobs his head Begging for food or attention.
Puffs out its chest Showing off or bragging.  They are happy.
Lowers his head and keeps it there. Waiting for you to pet him or give a scratch.
Bangs his beak on a object “This is mine!” 
Puts his beak on your finger before stepping on Just checking to make sure it’s safe to step onto, or getting his balance.
Grinds his beak They often do this before sleeping.  It means they are content and relaxed. 
Rubs his butt on an object Masterbating
Stoops low down and gets a bit puffy It is about to go poop
Biting The bird is young and just exploring and still needs to learn how much pressure to apply.
Bird is scared, or trying to tell you something like it doesn’t feel well or you are making it do something it doesn’t want to do.
Displaced aggression.
Hormonal or protecting it’s nest. 

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