UnderstandingParrotsVitText_edited.png

EXERCISE 3 - FIRST THIS, THEN THAT

Now that you've practiced looking at parrots and describing what you see in isolated snap shots, the next step is looking at sequences of body language. Some body language and behaviors are likely to happen before or after others. Practicing looking at sequences is a great way to learn how to spot the often very small changes in body language that might preceede "big" behavior like biting or flying away, and building fluency for observing parrots in real life.   

By using the same principles as earlier, try writing down what you can see the parrot doing in the sequence of pictures below. What is the bird doing in picture 1? What is the same and how has the body language changed in picture 2? 

1

2

Cockatoo behavior sequence


Under construction - check back soon!




Greenwing macaw sequence


Under construction - check back soon!




Blue and gold macaw sequence


Under construction - check back soon! (Note that this macaw has been severely clipped. This doesn't just influence the birds physical and psychological wellbeing; feather condition and physical alterations in an individual is also a factor we need to consider when observing body language. More on this in part 4.)





Next it's time to start looking at some birds in action! Try describing the sequences of body language that you see happening in the videos below. Feel free to pause and rewind as much as you want. It's often a good idea to start looking at one part of the bird at first, write down what you see, then rewinding and looking at another area of the body to build fluency in noticing the changes in different body parts. Feel free to use the observation checklist as a guide. Below the videos you'll find some suggestions to compare your observations with.

1.

1. Wild Kakariki


We can observe the Kakariki moving it's head, first from side to side and then tilting it down slightly a couple of times. The movements are relatively fast and almost appear twitchy.
At first, it's weight is evenly distributed and it's sitting low on the perch. It then stands up tall, shifts it's weight slightly to the left (our right), turns around on the branch, jumps down and quickly walks in the opposite direction of the camera.
The feathers look relatively relaxed on more or less the whole body throughout the video. Other details like pupil size are not discernable.