Why do parrots eyes dilate when they talk?

Why do parrots eyes dilate when they talk?

Parrots are fascinating birds, known for their ability to mimic human speech and display a range of behaviors that can captivate and intrigue their owners. One of the most interesting phenomena associated with parrots is the dilation of their eyes when they talk. 

This behavior has puzzled scientists and bird enthusiasts alike, and has led to numerous theories about its purpose and significance. In this blog post, we will explore the various explanations that have been proposed for why parrots’ eyes dilate when they talk, and attempt to shed some light on this intriguing behavior.

Understanding Parrot Communication

Before we delve into the specifics of why parrots’ eyes dilate when they talk, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how these birds communicate. Parrots are highly social animals, and use a variety of vocalizations and body language to convey information to other members of their flock. 

In the wild, parrots use their vocalizations to establish their territory, attract mates, and warn of potential dangers. In captivity, parrots have been known to mimic human speech and other sounds, and can use these vocalizations to interact with their human caretakers.

In addition to vocalizations, parrots also use body language to communicate. They may spread their wings to display dominance or aggression, or fluff up their feathers to indicate that they are relaxed or content. Parrots are also known to use their eyes to convey information, with dilated pupils often indicating a heightened state of arousal or excitement.

Why do parrots eyes dilate when they talk?

Why Do Parrot Eyes Dilate When They Talk?

So why do parrots’ eyes dilate when they talk? There are several theories that have been proposed to explain this behavior, each with its own set of proponents and detractors. Some of the most commonly cited explanations include:

Emotional Arousal

One of the most widely accepted theories for why parrots eyes dilate when they talk is that it is a sign of emotional arousal. When parrots get excited or stimulated, their pupils dilate, just as they do in humans. This increased arousal may be due to the act of talking itself, or to the social interaction that is taking place.

For example, double yellow head amazon parrots are masters of eye pinning and dilating. If your amazon parrot pinning your eye, it means they are annoyed or scared and possibly going to bite you

Attention-Getting Device

Another theory suggests that parrots dilate their eyes when they talk as a way to get their human caretakers’ attention. By widening their pupils, parrots may be trying to draw our attention to their vocalizations, or to signal that they are interested in interacting with us.


Some researchers have suggested that the dilation of parrots’ eyes when they talk may be a side effect of their mimicry abilities. Because parrots are able to mimic human speech so accurately, they may also be able to mimic some of the nonverbal behaviors associated with speech, including changes in pupil dilation.

Genetic Predisposition

Some scientists have proposed that the dilation of parrots’ eyes when they talk may be a genetic trait that has evolved over time. This theory suggests that parrots with wider pupils were better able to attract mates and establish social hierarchies, and that this behavior has been passed down through generations.

Whether it is a sign of emotional arousal, an attention-getting device, a side effect of mimicry, or a genetic trait, the dilation of parrots’ eyes when they talk is yet another example of the fascinating and complex world of animal behavior. As we continue to study and learn about these magnificent birds, we can expect to gain even greater insight into their unique abilities and behaviors.