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Parrot Body Language – Eye Pinning

by Erica Liszewski. Parrots communicate in a variety of ways, including vocalizations and body language. Understanding parrot body language is an important part of living with a parrot. However, not all parrot body language is intuitive to us humans. In this post we’ll look at eye pinning; what it looks like and what it means.

What is eye pinning?
Eye pinning is the term when a bird rapidly dilates and/or contracts their pupil. It can last just a split second, or be held for a moment or two.

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What does eye pinning mean?
Eye pinning means your parrot is excited. This can be due to a variety of things, from anticipation of a head scratch, to eating a favorite food, to being about to bite. Knowing which of these things comes from observing what other signals the parrot is displaying, as well as knowing that individual parrot. Excitement can be a good sign for a parrot owner when is means the parrot enjoys interacting with their human flockmate. Observing what things your parrot gets excited about can also help you build a relationship, by pairing good things with your presence. However excitement can also signal aggression or potentially a bite. Not only can excitement be a direct sign of aggression, an overly excited parrot can quickly turn aggressive.

Some parrots have dark-colored eyes, which make it hard to tell when they’re pinning. Luckily, eye pinning is just one clue to interpreting a parrot’s mindset. We’ll look at more parrot body language in later posts.

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