Why Do Parrots Puff Up?

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If you own a pet parrot, chances are you've seen them puff their feathers up on more than one occasion. Yes, a lot of us think that is lovely and amusing at times but have you ever wondered why they happen and what the gesture is for?

In fact, this is one of the most common traits among all types of parrots apart from imitating human voice and trying to solve murder crimes. But why exactly do parrots feel the need to puff out their feathers? Does it take out their stress or just simply relieve them from boredom? After all, it’s not like they are doing it to signal that they’re out of food or water, so what’s the purpose of them puffing up?

Here we’ll take a closer look at this behavior and reveal some of the reasons why parrots puff up. Read on!

Attract a Mate

Birds in the animal kingdom are always trying to put on a show to win over a member of the opposite sex, and parrots are no exception. Humans are not the only species in this world that has the need to impress.

When parrots are confronted with a member of the opposite sex, they may puff out their feathers to become more visible and attractive. This is their way of flexing what they have and giving out the extra boost to grab the attention of their desired opposite sex.

In addition, they may also sing and dance while their feathers are puffed up. This all-inclusive show is sure to win the heart of any nearby parrot who’s looking for a mate.

Sign of Happiness

When parrots are happy and content, they will typically puff their feathers up and close their eyes. Much like a cat’s purr when happy, parrot’s puff up. You may see them doing this in anticipation of being petted, or they may also do it when you’re about to give them a treat.

This is their way of signalling a great sign of affection and excitement of what may be your bonding time or daily training in exchange for healthy homemade parrot treats.

Parrots are smarter than most people give them credit for, and they usually know what’s happening around them.

If you’ve been giving your parrot a treat at a certain time each day, they will know when that time comes around the following day and may puff up in anticipation for their upcoming treat. It may also be a time in the day when you come home from work and once they notice that you regularly give them a good amount of attention once you’ve arrived, they will most definitely puff up each time and display great happiness to help lighten up your mood.

Scare Away Predators

Although you probably won’t see your parrot puff up for this reason, parrots in the wild frequently puff up to scare away predators. Whether it’s another large parrot, an owl or some type of large feral cat, parrots will try to make themselves appear larger by puffing up in hopes that it will scare away their predators. It’s their sign of superiority and not backing out especially in their territory.

Unless you have a cat or other parrots in your home, it’s unlikely they will puff up for this reason. But make sure that once you introduce a new pet in your home, you give an ample amount of time for your pet parrot to adjust and not stereotype your new pet as a predator.

For more information on whether cats, dogs and parrots can coexist, check out our recent post dedicated about that topic.

The truth is that these are just a few of the many reasons why parrots puff up. Reasons why they puff up can range to a lot more and can change at any given time. All parrots have unique personalities and traits that you’ll begin to learn after living with them for several years. Before you know it, you’ll be able to identify each and every time your parrot puffs up.

It is exciting to know and learn something new about your pet parrot daily and it is also as fun to know why these traits occur and what they’re meant for. You can try keeping a journal so you have a more detailed information whether something new comes up.You might even wonder why parrots bob their head up and down, read all about that in our recent post.

Have you noticed how regularly and why your pet parrots puff up? We’d love to hear your stories! Let us know in the comments below.


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