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Display Behavior

A bird's display behavior is designed to convey information.


According to animal behaviorists, a display behavior is a behavior designed to convey information. Used in terms of parrots, this term is generally used to identify sexual and/or territorial information. If not heeded, display behaviors are often the precursor to a bite.


A specific description varies between species, but generally the bird raises its nape feathers, flexes its wings slightly away from the body and fans its tail feathers. Bird’s eyes might also be flashing (see “Eye Flashing” for a detailed explanation).


The bird is trying to attract a mate (parrot, human or otherwise), or the parrot is signaling a warning to someone not to encroach on its territory.


Heed the likelihood of aggression and do not reach for a parrot that is displaying!

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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