Understanding Your Parakeet

Body language and calls are great ways to understand what your parakeet is feeling or trying to tell you. They use sounds, behavior, and actions to communicate with us. Being able to read your bird in this way comes with spending time with him and becoming familiar with normal bird sounds and behaviors. Some of the most common and well known bird behaviors are:

  • Flashing pupils/tail fanning – This is an aggressive behavior that tells you the bird wants to be left alone. You are getting too close and you need to back off. Not backing away may cause the bird to bite.
  • Beak clicking – Beak clicking is often accompanied by the bird raising one foot. It shows that they are protecting their territory or a certain object.
  • Barking – Barking is not just the bird imitating the family dog. It is generally caused by excitement or if the bird is trying to establish dominance over another.
  • Growling – Yes, birds do growl and it means the same thing as when a dog growls. You are getting too close and the bird wants to be left alone for a while. Feathers can also stand up on the back of the neck of the bird just as the hair on a dog stands up.
  • Biting – Biting in baby birds is just a way for them to try out new things. It’s like a human baby putting everything in its mouth it can find. It is a way of discovering and figuring out the environment. Biting in older birds is a form of aggression or showing anger.
  • Purring – No, it’s not the cat. Your parakeet also purrs when he is content.
  • Tongue clicking – This is an invitation for you to be friendly and to come closer for a visit.
  • Beak grinding – You may think beak grinding is a bad thing but it is also a sign of contentment. You most likely will hear this sound when the bird is calm and trying to go to sleep.
  • Chattering – Chattering is most often heard at night. In the wild, flocks of birds will chatter back and forth just before sleep.
  • Singing, talking, or whistling – These activities take place when your parakeet is happy and content.
  • Throwing up food – Believe it or not, if a bird regurgitates his food on you, it is a way of showing that he loves you.