If you’ve never had a pet, you might not understand the importance of animal bonding. But for those of you who have had or do have a pet, the value of bonding with your animal is easy to understand. After all, you spend day in, day out with your pets, so bonding with them comes naturally.

But what about birds? They’re different in terms of bonding, especially when compared to cats and dogs. Because of this, it’s a good idea to learn your bird’s body language and behaviors. In doing so, you’ll find that bonding becomes much easier.


If you notice your bird is perching on one foot, this simply means that he is comfortable with the surroundings and environment. In fact, lots of birds tend to sleep while being perched on one leg.


Just the same as you sneeze because of nasal irritation, so do birds. If you notice your pet bird sneezing and there is nasal discharge, you’ll need to take him to see an avian veterinarian.

Wing Drooping

For younger birds – chicks – who haven’t learned how to properly hold or tuck their wings, wing drooping is quite common. This behavior is also seen in birds right after bathing. However, if you notice wing drooping and your bird is sitting in the bottom of his cage, this is a good indicator that your bird is sick and possibly needs to visit an avian veterinarian.


Your bird may seem to get a bit chatty right before bed. If so, this is perfectly fine. Lots of birds sing a few tunes or even say a few words before settling in at night.

Beak Wiping

There are several reasons that your bird might partake in this activity, and you need to carefully evaluate the reason why your bird is doing it. If in the presence of another bird, beak wiping usually means the other bird needs to back off because he’s getting in your bird’s personal space. If your bird is alone and takes part in this activity, it probably means that something is lodged in his beak. Finally, it could be a sign of jealousy.

Beak Fencing

When two birds are beak fencing, it could mean one of two things: either they are playing or they’re flirting.


When your bird regurgitates, this is usually a good thing. It means that he likes you. This is also the way that mother birds feed their chicks.

Craning the Neck

If your bird looks as if he is looking around – craning his neck – this is exactly what he is doing. It’s simply an act of curiosity, as he’s trying to see what all is going on in his surroundings.


What happens when you get overheated? You usually pant, and your bird will do the same thing when exhausted or overheated. Birds who are learning how to fly for the first time tend to pant quite excessively, but it’s nothing to be worried about. If your bird sits in a cage in direct sunlight, you might notice him panting. If so, make sure your bird has plenty of water to drink.

Wing Flipping

If you notice that your bird is flicking/flipping one of his wings, this is a strong indicator that something is causing displeasure to your bird. You’ll need to investigate both your bird’s body and his surroundings to determine what it is that your bird is having a problem with. It could possibly be that one of your bird’s feathers is out of place. If so, you’ll need to help your bird realign the feather.


Your bird will either march with his head up or down. When the head is down, this is an aggressive behavior, and it means that your bird is sensing an intruder. With the head up, this means your bird is happy and wants to play.

Tail Bobbing

Some people think that tail bobbing means their birds are sick, but this isn’t necessarily true all the time. Some birds simply like to bob their tails when walking along or singing.


Just the same as you like to stretch, birds do, too. In fact, stretching helps them to improve their blood circulation, and it’s a great way for them to refresh their muscles.

Standing on Two Feet

If you notice your bird simply standing around on two feet, this is a sign that he is content. As long as no other signs are noticed, such as excessive inhaling or exhaling, then standing on two feet is an excellent behavior for your bird to perform.

Head Bobbing

When your pet bird gets hungry, he will likely let you know by bobbing his head. And, if you choose to hand feed your bird, there’s a good chance he will bob his head quite erratically the entire time he’s eating.

Wing Drumming

If your bird stays in a cage for extended periods of time, once released, he will probably drum his wings. This wonderful exercise allows your bird to stretch the muscles in the wings. Sometimes, birds drum their wings so fast that they actually elevate or take flight.

Tail Wagging

Another behavior that means your pet bird is content is tail wagging. This behavior is very cute and should be seen as a sign that your bird likes you.

Lowered Head

Birds that are fixing to take flight will often lower their heads. If you notice your bird walking around with a lowered head, this could also mean he is seeking attention.

The Takeaway

Your bird is likely to exhibit lots of behaviors. From the time he wakes up until going to sleep, these behaviors can give you great insight into what your bird is thinking and/or needing. It’s important that you understand your bird’s needs, as this will help the two of you bond with one another, and it will also enable you to realize when your bird needs to see a veterinarian.

View more articles written by Whitney Cann.

About The Author Whitney Cann

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