How Birds Express Their Feelings

"My emotions are an open book."
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You don't need flowery adjectives and whimsical bon mots to describe the strong bond you share with your pet bird. Although birds certainly aren't sophisticated talkers compared to human beings, their body language often conveys all that's necessary, whether tender affection, apprehension or anything else.

"I Feel Good"

If joy is on your bird's mind, you might notice him lightly shaking his tail for a second -- kind of like a quick and carefree chuckle. He might even flutter his bill up and down. At the sight of your return from a day away, for example, an elated birdie might even shake his tongue delightedly. If he's feeling particularly cozy and content, he could even start grooming his tail. Beak grating is another way in which avians frequently express giddiness. Birds in good, relaxed moods also often produce high-pitched murmuring vocalizations.

"I'm Slightly Irritated"

An irked or mildly vexed bird might make a low purring sound to indicate his less-than-stellar mood. Although purring usually is a hint of a happy feline, it often signifies frustration in birds. Use context to determine whether your pet is bothered by something. In occasional instances, purring can also point to a relaxed bird, so look to other body language signals your bird provides to figure out what's going on.

"I'm Really Upset"

When birds are angry, and perhaps even on the verge of aggression, they don't usually hesitate to make sure that others know it. Your precious birdie might prominently open up his bill as a hint of a possible upcoming bite. The pupils of his eyes might swiftly alternate between widening and narrowing. He might quickly flash the plumage of his tail outward, although this behavior also can denote enthusiasm rather than anger. Growling and hissing are also typical signs of birds expressing their unpleasant moods. If you're ever around a bird who seems to be giving off signals of anger or irritation, leave him alone. He might just need time to wind down.

"I'm Anxious or Scared"

Birds frequently express feelings of anxiety, unease and fear by trembling -- specifically in their wing area. If you notice your bird's wings are shaking, there's a pretty good chance the poor thing is somewhat frightened or suspicious about something. Fearful birds also sometimes get slightly aggressive due to defensiveness, and they occasionally express their feeling through nipping or biting. Another key sign of a scared bird is a hunched body.

"I Love You"

If your bird regurgitates his meal in an attempt to feed it to you, then he's displaying the utmost trust and love for you -- aww. It might even mean he thinks of you as being his mate, funnily enough.

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