A parrots eyes. Why do their pupils pin and dialate

Free as a bird

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Quoted from wiki
"Eye pinning, also known as eye flashing or eye blazing, is a form of body language used by parrots. The term that refers to the rapid and very conspicuous dilation and constriction of the pupils of the bird's eyes in response to an external stimulus. Unlike humans, parrots are able to control this reflex and use it as a form of nonverbal communication.

It can be an indication that the parrot is feeling excited, angry, afraid or is interested in something. In some circumstances, it may also be a warning that the parrot is currently in a state of being where it will bite if touched"

cgjr.jpg

Such a tiny pupil i don't know how they can see out of that.

I've seen this on YouTube but cockatiels have such a dark iris that their eye just looks black.
Now I see this eye pinning in my princess parrot and it makes me wonder what their vision is doing when they do that.

In human eyes and automatic camera lenses the pupil in the eye (or aperture in the camera) goes small in bright conditions to restrict light entry. In dark conditions it gets larger to let in more light.

If our pupils are too small in the dark we won't see well, if their too large in the light we won't see well either, same with a camera but seemingly not so with parrots. How can that be possible?

Also the parrot can control its pupils. WHAAAT THE HAIL. Ours are automatic, they go big or small depending on light condidtions. But we can't control them, that's weird.

I'd love to see what their vision is like, I think it's very different to ours and we don't really know, we can only ponder.
I'd love to be a bird for a day or more to find out that along with a few other things.

What are your thoughts? Do you understand how their eyes work?
 

texsize

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I have seen two of my Amazons (Merlin and Bingo) communicating by way of eye pinning.

From what I have observed it’s used as a preliminary way of ….. testing the waters.
If Merlin gets the right signal from Bingo he starts crawling across Bingo’s cage, if he doesn’t like the response he takes the high road and keeps his feet away from Bingo.
 

wrench13

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So we know parrots have a 4th cone in their eyes (we have 3) that allow them to see in to the ultraviolet range of the spectrum. That alone makes it hard to viualize (pun not intended) what they see like. Science can in fact tell exactly what a given animal sees like - they can show what a bee's vision is so parrots cant be as alien as that. Peolpe do change iris size too when they are interested in something, good or bad. Old card sharp trick is to sit so you can clearly see the iris' of the other players - when they are dealt a good hand they get bigger. The iris, not the person! Not that I ever used such a tactic, Ahem! With out doing any research, I will bet pinning in parrot eyes allows their so-different-from-our brain to focus attention on the subject matter. Birds in general have very good eyesight in daylight, but are shitte at night or low level (except owls- but really are they even birds??). Salty is able to spot and pick up even the teeny tiny bit of crumbs of pine nuts, but driving at night with him gets him scared of the flashing lights as they whizz by. And if he flies at night he is more likely to end up in a corner somewhere.
 
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Free as a bird

Free as a bird

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I have seen two of my Amazons (Merlin and Bingo) communicating by way of eye pinning.

From what I have observed it’s used as a preliminary way of ….. testing the waters.
If Merlin gets the right signal from Bingo he starts crawling across Bingo’s cage, if he doesn’t like the response he takes the high road and keeps his feet away from Bingo.
That's amazing how they actually communicate like that
 

SailBoat

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There are two different discussion here.

What Parrots see when they view the World around them and when they choose to communicate their emotions, what are they saying.

As my good friend above so well stated, Parrots have an additional sight cone type that allows them to see the very unique World of ultraviolet. Humans have no sense of what that additional view of the World brings. Yes, our science allows us to know it's there and their 'belief' as to what a Parrot is seeing. It is believed that ultraviolet allows Parrot's to see the variations in temperature /emotion of another Parrot. Our scientist's do not know what they see in that spectrum when they look at us.

So, assuming they see the emotion of another Parrot, it would allow them to see (as stated above) if passage is allowed or not! Amazons clearly use their eyes to communicate and it becomes important for Humans to learn Amazon Body Language (which includes their eyes) as they expect that the Human understands it! The 'Big Hot Three' Amazons can be dangerous during Hormonal Season if their Human does not pay clear attention to the Body Language.

Because they see in ultraviolet, we really do not know why they adjust their eyes, but one can 'guess' that because of that additional cone, they are using that ability to better define the response of another. I.E., They are looking for a specific emotional response and if not 'seen' their response maybe to attack!

Only a fool moves in rapidly to a Parrot and especially the larger ones and not taking the time to understand what the Parrot is telling (saying) with their Body Language!

 

PrimorandMoxi

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I believe that my Macaws eyes do not pin like my Amazon's eyes.

It's a much more rare show of excitement with Max now that I think of it
He will do a little happy dance
His pupils become tiny
He sits up nice and tall and gives the most beautiful cat call whistle.

This happens when he, for example, sees you open a bag of chips or something.
 
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Free as a bird

Free as a bird

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There are two different discussion here.

What Parrots see when they view the World around them and when they choose to communicate their emotions, what are they saying.

As my good friend above so well stated, Parrots have an additional sight cone type that allows them to see the very unique World of ultraviolet. Humans have no sense of what that additional view of the World brings. Yes, our science allows us to know it's there and their 'belief' as to what a Parrot is seeing. It is believed that ultraviolet allows Parrot's to see the variations in temperature /emotion of another Parrot. Our scientist's do not know what they see in that spectrum when they look at us.

So, assuming they see the emotion of another Parrot, it would allow them to see (as stated above) if passage is allowed or not! Amazons clearly use their eyes to communicate and it becomes important for Humans to learn Amazon Body Language (which includes their eyes) as they expect that the Human understands it! The 'Big Hot Three' Amazons can be dangerous during Hormonal Season if their Human does not pay clear attention to the Body Language.

Because they see in ultraviolet, we really do not know why they adjust their eyes, but one can 'guess' that because of that additional cone, they are using that ability to better define the response of another. I.E., They are looking for a specific emotional response and if not 'seen' their response maybe to attack!

Only a fool moves in rapidly to a Parrot and especially the larger ones and not taking the time to understand what the Parrot is telling (saying) with their Body Language!

Good one. I'm watching the eyes of my princess parrot more closely now to better understand his body language. I never had to do that with cockatiels as their eyes are usually all black, their cute crests do most of their body language
 

kme3388

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Ive always wondered if my Ekkie knew I was a female because I knew parrots seen in ultraviolet. He try’s to mate with me, feed me, and what he should be doing to a female Ekkie. I did nothing to “lead him on”. He’s is not the biggest fan of men. Not to be biased or anything. My female friends can hold him. He always tends to lunge at men. I can’t come to any other reason of how he determines who’s a male or female.
 
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Free as a bird

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Ive always wondered if my Ekkie knew I was a female because I knew parrots seen in ultraviolet. He try’s to mate with me, feed me, and what he should be doing to a female Ekkie. I did nothing to “lead him on”. He’s is not the biggest fan of men. Not to be biased or anything. My female friends can hold him. He always tends to lunge at men. I can’t come to any other reason of how he determines who’s a male or female.
Secret parrot wisdom unknown to man
 

Nolgi

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Nov 1, 2023
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Male Ekkie named Yoshi, and several parakeets.
My ekkie pins a lot, and it’s never the indicator for aggression. Excitement, affection, surprise, nervousness, but aggression is much more of a body stance/nape feather puffing thing for him. He’s so cool to see how different birds use their communication outlets differently!
 

LoveMyFids

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Aug 19, 2023
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Quoted from wiki
"Eye pinning, also known as eye flashing or eye blazing, is a form of body language used by parrots. The term that refers to the rapid and very conspicuous dilation and constriction of the pupils of the bird's eyes in response to an external stimulus. Unlike humans, parrots are able to control this reflex and use it as a form of nonverbal communication.

It can be an indication that the parrot is feeling excited, angry, afraid or is interested in something. In some circumstances, it may also be a warning that the parrot is currently in a state of being where it will bite if touched"

View attachment 58350
Such a tiny pupil i don't know how they can see out of that.

I've seen this on YouTube but cockatiels have such a dark iris that their eye just looks black.
Now I see this eye pinning in my princess parrot and it makes me wonder what their vision is doing when they do that.

In human eyes and automatic camera lenses the pupil in the eye (or aperture in the camera) goes small in bright conditions to restrict light entry. In dark conditions it gets larger to let in more light.

If our pupils are too small in the dark we won't see well, if their too large in the light we won't see well either, same with a camera but seemingly not so with parrots. How can that be possible?

Also the parrot can control its pupils. WHAAAT THE HAIL. Ours are automatic, they go big or small depending on light condidtions. But we can't control them, that's weird.

I'd love to see what their vision is like, I think it's very different to ours and we don't really know, we can only ponder.
I'd love to be a bird for a day or more to find out that along with a few other things.

What are your thoughts? Do you understand how their eyes work?
You may be able to find info. in a book related to parrot physiology, or specifically on eyes, but not sure how easy it is to find. There are specialist eye veterinarians though. My parrots always start pinning when they get excited. When you talk to them, play with them, etc. They will also pin when they get mad & are about to bite as well. My Meyer's will pin flash any time I talk sweet to her. It's so cute. I believe it's a silent way to communicate between birds, as they are prey animals. Cephalopods do similar communication by flashing their skin & changing colors & patterns (see cuttlefish, squid & octopi).
 

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