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Why Do Parrots Puff Up?


If you own a pet parrot, you've likely seen them puff up their feathers. They may look amusing and funny by doing so, but have ever wondered why parrots puff up? Let's take a closer look at parrot behavior and detail some of the reasons why they puff up.

Signs of Happiness

The general behavior of a parrot depends on the mood. When they’re happy and content, you will see them puffing up their features while their eyes closed. Perhaps they puff up much like a cat’s purr when happy. You can observe this situation mostly when you’re about to give them a treat or when anticipating of being petted.

When a parrot puffs up, it signals a sign of excitement and affection so this can be your perfect time for bonding as you engage them in daily training in exchange for homemade treats.

Parrots are smarter than most people think, and they know what’s happening around them.

If you have been giving your parrot the right amount of attention after coming home from work, they’ll get used to it. So when you arrive home, they’ll puff up to display their excitement on your arrival and help lighten up your mood. It may also be a time in the day when you regularly give your parrot a tasty treat; it won’t take them much time to realize the specific time for your appearance. Thus, they will puff up when the time comes anticipating for their upcoming treat.

Scare Away Predators

Most often parrots in the wild puff up for this reason to scare away predators. However, this situation is rare for domestic parrots. They also puff out their feathers to make themselves appear larger and make noise to scare a large feral cat, an owl or another large parrot. Perhaps this is their sign of superiority in their territory.

Parrots in your home are unlikely to puff for the above reasons unless you have another parrot or a cat around. But if you bring a new pet into your home, make sure to introduce them to the parrot and give ample time for your parrot to adjust. Doing so will help your parrot not to stereotype the new pet as a predator.

Attract a Mate

Humans are not the only species who needs to impress their partners of the opposite sex. In the animal kingdom, birds also try to put a show to win a mate, and in this case, parrots are no exception.

Parrots may puff out their feathers when confronted by a member of the opposite sex to look more attractive and visible. This behavior is an essential way to catch the attention of their desired opposite sex by flexing what they have to their mates.

Another common trick to win the heart of any nearby parrot is singing and dancing while their feathers are puffed up.

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Author: Budgie Parrot Love Administrator
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