Author Topic: Fluffing head Pionus body language  (Read 5984 times)

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Offline Julie T

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Fluffing head Pionus body language
« on: September 19, 2014, 09:40:36 PM »
So Raven has been doing this head (and around face) feather fluffing every now and then lately. All the other body feathers are laying flat and he's still sitting down. I don't recognize this as a body language used by any of the other parrot species I've had/have.

Since I wasn't sure if it was a friendly or not so friendly posture, I slowly went to stand by him on his swing outside the cage, and I crooked my index finger (like the motion you're telling someone to come here except with the back of your hand facing up). I do this motion to tell him I'd like to skritch his neck since I know he likes me to ask first. When I did it, he didn't bend his neck down, but he didn't act aggressive either. That further made me confused. He was also talking this whole time. Even though he didn't bend his neck down for me, I slowly reached over to his head to see if he'd be receptive. He gave me a little warning nip which was not hard at all, in fact I wouldn't even call it a bite. Just telling me I don't want to be touched now.

Anyone else see this head fluffing where the rest of the body is at rest and smoothed down? I'm just wondering why he's doing it nowdays. I've never seen him or anyone else do that before.

On a separate note, he isn't old enough to do the 'Pionus Strut' yet but I'm curious what that looks like in person lol, though I'm not looking forward to hormones.

Offline Jan

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 10:38:08 PM »

Yes, a Pionus Strut can be at any age, I've seen my 3-4 month old baby birds do it some but usually at a young age it is taken a little differently than when older. As far as feather fluffing ... I've seen not just Pionus but other birds fluff up only their head feathers and not body feathers.  Sometimes I've noticed the head fluff can be due from something catching their attention, I think it can even be from contentment, relaxation, relieving tension.  I know a full head, body fluff and shake is to get rid of dust and such in the feathers.
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Offline Dartman

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 11:31:55 PM »
Sometimes a head fluff means they are happy, many times they are upset or concerened so I'd watch the eyes and vocalizations to try and figure out which one it is. Nerd used to have a happy to be here with you fluff and maybe look happy at me and go Erk! Gently as a happy comment, plus his eyes were soft and happy looking. Lurch tends to fluff when concerened or upset so I too approach with caution, and NEVER touch them when strutting.
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Offline momazon

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2014, 01:35:07 AM »
My zon and Maxi will fluff a bit around the face when they are just talking. Different than a body fluff, I think. Not prone to biting.

Offline maxsmom

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2014, 05:42:30 AM »
Wow, Dobby is not prone to biting....lucky you!
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Offline Julie T

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2014, 09:56:00 AM »
Thanks. It's just pretty ambiguous when Raven does it. He was talking to me, he let my hand close to him, yet didn't want to be touched, but didn't bite aggressively. I just looked at him and said what in the world does that mean Raven? Lol.

It's not the body fluff and shake off that all parrots do that Jan mentioned. Also he's not strutting YET... Yes, I know not to touch if it happens! I saw vids of it now, and it reminds me of an Amazon display.

The reason I'm asking is that up until now, Raven hadn't done this. Now he's doing it a noticeable amount at 1 year old. Just curious that's all  :) most of my experience has been with several Old World species, and they don't do this. Maybe it's the South Americans who have more similar traits idk.

It could just be as you guys say, something small like an emotion, or something catching their attention, etc. but that doesn't explain why he JUST STARTED doing it a lot and not before. Nothing has changed except he turned 1 in August.

Offline momazon

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2014, 11:02:34 AM »
Wow, Dobby is not prone to biting....lucky you!

No, no, he does bite, just not so much when he is talking and only has a head fluff!  Winter is coming, and when I wear hoods or hats he will body slam my head and fly off. Biting is only one of the tools in his arsenal!

Offline Dartman

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2014, 11:41:38 AM »
AHHH YES, the EEEVIL hoodies and hats, I'm well acquainted with that one, much to my necks chagrin :shocking:
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Offline Jadebirdie

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2014, 05:03:14 PM »
Now see, my 11 yr old B/H female, Jade, struts several times a week around and around the perimeter of her cage playtop.  When I see it, I will excitedly repeat "ooh, how pretty!" which gets her going more.  At any time mid strut, I can touch her or scratch her head and she will not try to bite.  When she head fluffs it definitely means she wants a head scratch.  So, my point is that they all have their individual quirks and behaviors and in time, you learn what each movement means.

Offline Dartman

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2014, 05:21:05 PM »
I had Nerd for 31 years and I could touch him in mid strut, but I usually respected him and left him alone. If they truly trust and respect you they'll allow things nobody else will be allowed to do.
Lurch isn't quite there yet so I respect him and like you said every bird is different so you have to read em and act accordingly.
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Offline Julie T

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2014, 11:28:33 PM »
my point is that they all have their individual quirks and behaviors and in time, you learn what each movement means.

Just like I know my 20 year old Red Bellied parrot like the back of my hand! :) Yes, it really does take years to learn them that well as individuals.

Offline Julie T

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2014, 11:37:42 PM »
If they truly trust and respect you they'll allow things nobody else will be allowed to do.

Raven has that sort of trust and bond with my hubby. Raven is MY bird, and Don isn't even really a "bird person" as far as knowledge beyond playing with birds goes!

It was practically love at first sight with those two!! Birds have their preferences for certain people over others just like us. Sometimes it's not an obvious reason that you could see.

I will have to get to my phone to post a pic of Don cuddling Raven with his hands. Something I could never do.

Offline Julie T

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2014, 11:57:04 PM »
Here's an example of what Raven is willing and comfortable doing if he REALLY likes you. Look at his expression. He's truly content. Don just did it to him one day and Raven went right along. He can just grab him and play with him like a puppy (like you can with some macaws). It's absolutely unreal!

With me he's a typical hands off male Pionus, and is very particular about when and what I'm allowed to do with him. He'll very occasionally bend his neck down for a rub, and I can hold him close and pet him for just a moment sometimes, but usually he doesn't like me touching him at all, and doesn't even like to step up for me half the time. He likes me near him though in the same room, and will preen my hair if I stand close to him on his cage. He doesn't dislike me, I'm just not his favorite. I take 100% of the responsibility for him and Don has no decision making regarding him, as he's MY bird, only Raven doesn't know that haha :(




Offline Dartman

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2014, 12:05:04 AM »
AAHHH! Daddy loves me :) I could do things like that with Nerd. SOMETIMES I can do some things with Lurch besides letting him sit on my knee or shoulder and get scritches and preen but have to make sure he's calm and receptive first so I don't push it.
I used to really rough house with Nerd and he loved it too :biglaughing: Lurch would shred me if I tried at this point but sometimes he'll reach over and gently grab or nip my fingers like he's trying to figure out how to start a play fight session, but with his history I have to be pretty careful about that.
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Offline maxsmom

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Re: Fluffing head Pionus body language
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2014, 02:58:03 PM »
Unfortunate when they choose another as favorite.  Max loves to be near me but prefers me not to scritch very much. So you are not alone. Difference is I live alone. Raven's joy is undeniable in photo.
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