Cockatoos Pair

5 Amazing Facts About Parrot Emotions

Parrots have emotions just like you or I.  But, since they may not have the words to communicate their needs to us, sometimes it makes us frustrated.  Learn about your parrots emotions and how you can strengthen your bond with our pet.

Parrot Emotions: Yes!  Parrots Have a Range of Emotions

Parrots emotions are almost human like and that makes them great pets that interact with the whole family, when  the bird is properly understood. Parrots are not only smart and friendly, but they feel just like you or I.  Parrots have a full range of emotions which makes them almost human like. On the flip side, dealing with a very smart yet very emotional pet can be challenging at times.

Understanding parrots emotions is a great skill for enhancing your relationship with your bird. Learn to understand your parrots emotions for well behaved bird. Parrots emotions are recognizable, if you know what you’re looking for.  Unlike a 5 or 6 year old child’s, though, your parrot doesn’t have the words to tell you what it is thinking and feeling. These exotic pets still have a lot of their innate instinctual behaviors intact so the only way they can communicate with you is through body language.  According to Quaker Parrots Website, if you have ever experienced a toddler before language skills are developed fully, you’ll be well prepared for those cognitive abilities of a parrot too.

Research Shows That Parrots Have Great Cognitive Abilities

  • Basic problem-solving
  • How to use tools
  • Object identification – including shapes, colors, and matter
  • General safety skills
  • Working as a team – give and take
  • Communicating intent
  • Putting off desires
  • Influencing others

 Parrots Learn Words, Colors and Shapes

When you listen to your parrot talk via body language, you may be able to learn its emotions through its actions. According to Parrot Parrot, a bird learns to talk just as a baby would by repeating words over and over again until they catch on.  Timmy has learned a huge variety of words just by paying attention to what words that I say with more enthusiasm. As you can imagine, I sometimes have to watch my language!

In addition, parrots can learn colors and shapes through repetitive teaching. Some ways to teach them colors are to show them different colored blocks over and over again. Foraging and training toys like Color Cubes are a great toy for this since you can hide a treat inside of them. You can teach parrots basic shapes through the same process showing different shaped blocks.

Parrots Can Understand and Show Emotions

Plutchik Wheel of Emotions

Plutchik Wheel of Emotions

Furthermore, parrots can understand and show emotions as well. In order to show emotions people must be able to understand some emotions as well and this goes the same for parrots. states that birds show a wide variety of emotions.  

As you're learning to read parrot body language, look for a cluster of visual signs that will cue you into your parrots' emotion. Some of these emotions include:

  • Contentment: Chattering, singing, purring, talking, and whistling
  • Annoyance: Purring, pinning eyes, ruffled neck feathers
  • Requesting Attention: Tongue-clicking may show that they are staying entertained or that they are asking for more attention, leaning in toward you with head bowed, and feathers laid down
  • Anger: Growling, fluffed up feathers, perch ing low and looking up at you with pinning eyes may show that they are angry or want to be left alone



While there may be some other meanings for all of these acts of parrot emotions, these are the general meanings for them. As you can see, parrots are very emotive creatures. Sometimes they are asking for attention while other times they want to be left alone.  Sometimes they are scared and other times, angry.  And, like any intelligent creature, boredom is an ongoing concern. It’s kind of the same issues people deal with when living together.

Here are some facts about people and parrot emotions:

  1. Emotions are an electrochemical process that guide our thoughts and actions.  Through learning self-regulation skills (or teaching parrot manners), we can control our actions in our emotional states.
  2. As shown above, in the Plutchik Wheel of Emotions, there are eight basic emotions.  Each of these emotions has a range of intensity.
  3. Emotions are neutral.  They aren't good or bad.  They just are!  They tell us that we have a need that needs to be met.  What do you think your bird's angry or frustrated emotions are telling you?
  4. Emotions are a guide to help us survive and thrive.  Whether the fun emotions, or the not so fun ones, our emotions are our bodies way of motivating us to improve our current lot in life.
  5. Emotions are contagious.  Have you ever noticed that if you're happy or excited, your parrot joins in with your mood?  Same thing if your anxious or scared.  This is a clue that parrots do indeed have empathy!  

So, what important take-aways did you gain from reading this blog?  I know, for me in writing it, I learned that if my parrot is angry or frustrated, I need to step back and ask myself, "What is my pet trying to tell me?"  Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Hey, please leave a comment or share this on your social media if you love this post!