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Head Shaking

Head shaking is exhibited by pet parrots with or without medical origin.

By Liz Wilson


As the name connotes, this is a quick shake of the head. This behavior can be seen in any species of parrot if there are medical problems, such as a sinus or ear infection. It also occurs without a medical origin, most commonly in cockatiels and African greys.


While no science is involved, theory suggests the birds are stimulated by a particular frequency of noise. Owners should note the bird’s body language to see if the bird seems stressed by the noise.


If concerns exist as to a medical origin for this behavior, an experienced avian veterinarian should check the bird.

Disclaimer:’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Head Shaking

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Reader Comments
I have a peach faced love bird that started parkinsons like shake of his head. He is 15 years old.
Velda, Mertzon, TX
Posted: 6/22/2013 5:04:55 PM
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