"That bird is nervous.” I confidently stated to my group of students at a bird training workshop. “How do you know?” a voice from the crowd quietly asked. How do I know? I must admit I had never been asked that question before. My first thoughts were, “Isn’t it obvious? Just look at him?” But the truth is, it isn’t always obvious, especially if the person asking is new to observing parrots. It was wrong on my part to assume that everyone in the group was absorbing the same information from this avian encounter. I had just learned an important lesson: Teaching people how to successfully train birds also required I teach people how to read and interpret bird body language.
Parrot body language speaks volumes; deciphering what it might be saying is the challenge. People casually throw around words like “happy,” “aggressive,” “playful,” “mad,“ “jealous,” etc., when describing their parrots. But what does “happy” or “mad” look like? One person’s interpretation might be very different from another’s.
**For the full article, pick up the 2009 issue of Birds USA or click here to buy the issue.**