This one's body language

southshore

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Aug 15, 2014
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Came across this video when searching for Alex training videos. Now what's this weird thing going on with this birds eyes? Is this eye pinning? What are these type of eyes called in parrot body language terms and what does this tell is about this bird?
 

Owlet

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This is definitely eye pinning. Ringnecks are notorious for pinning a lot. It usually means they are excited for one reason or another. In the video this bird looks to be very engaged in the training and excited to participate. However eye pinning can also be a warning sign pre-bite. Usually the bird is showing other body language signs prior to the bite in addition to the pinning. Eye pinning is one of those behaviors you cant read on it's own, you have to take into context everything else the bird is doing.
 
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southshore

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Great info @Owlet thanks! So if he were aggressive eye pinning in pre-bite mode what other signs could he be exhibiting?
 

wrench13

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Depends on the parrot. I know my amazons body language really well, so its eye pinning , bit also lowering his head, wings down a bit and out a little and beak partially open. WHen all those are present I know NOT to try and pick him up or touch him. You gotta learn your parrot.
 
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southshore

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Yes @wrench13 I have seen parrots adopt that posture. Sure looks menacing. Anyone with good common sense should be able to tell. But again, common sense isnt common!
 

ravvlet

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My profile picture is of my OWA Kirby in pre-bite/bluff mode. His eyes were pinning, but he also was majorly poofed up and standing pretty upright. When he doesn’t want to be pet he actively sits up straighter and puffs out his feathers - if you ignore that he’ll slick them back real fast and HONK while leaning away from your hand. If you don’t listen to the honk…well, by that point he’s told you three different times to stop, and you’re in for at least a bruise.

In this case I think someone he didn’t like had come in the room, lol. I can still usually handle him when he is like this, but I make a point not to press him when he’s uncomfortable unless it is necessary. It’s just respectful, and I have found if I respect his space when he tells me to back off and it’s not an emergency, then he gives me more leeway to handle him when he’s upset when it IS urgent.
 
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southshore

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My profile picture is of my OWA Kirby in pre-bite/bluff mode. His eyes were pinning, but he also was majorly poofed up and standing pretty upright. When he doesn’t want to be pet he actively sits up straighter and puffs out his feathers - if you ignore that he’ll slick them back real fast and HONK while leaning away from your hand. If you don’t listen to the honk…well, by that point he’s told you three different times to stop, and you’re in for at least a bruise.

In this case I think someone he didn’t like had come in the room, lol. I can still usually handle him when he is like this, but I make a point not to press him when he’s uncomfortable unless it is necessary. It’s just respectful, and I have found if I respect his space when he tells me to back off and it’s not an emergency, then he gives me more leeway to handle him when he’s upset when it IS urgent.
Yes its important to give them respect. Every living thing deserves to be respected, even plants. Forcing just can't be beneficial to the bond. Just doesn't seem right. We should know that we have come a long way from that. The more your bird associates positives with you the more inclined it would be to return the favor and be at its best behavior. I suppose that forms the basis of positive reinforcement as well.
 

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