Heisenberg Paradox of Parrot Body Language

January 3, 2010

For a while now I’ve been trying to put together photos of different types of body language my parrots exhibit to show people what an angry parrot looks like, a scared bird, a happy parrot, etc.

In trying to study and document Stewie’s body language, however, I invariably have to introduce additional stimulus that completely changes the nature of that which I am trying to document.

Without fail, as soon as I point the camera at Stewie he starts biting whatever he’s standing on. It’s a displaced aggression thing — he really does not like the camera. So instead of pictures of a sun conure showing flight intent or a bird happily preening and welcoming scritches, I end up with a lot of photos of the top of his head and him furiously gnawing on his perch.

Stewie Chewing on Bottlebrush

Since I can’t provide any useful photos of my birds’ body language, you might want to check out Barbara Heidenreich’s Parrot Body Language DVD, which shows you how to tune-in to what your bird might be telling you non-verbally.

*Yes, I know I’m misusing the Uncertainty Principle, but c’mon it’s a Parrot Blog! 😉



  1. The 2 pionus, Dolly and Duncan, really HATE having their pics taken and will get as far away as they can from that lens. If all else fails, they turn their backs. The only way Mom has ever really gotten decent shots is when she bribes them with a treat. Monroe (Meyer’s) and I on the other hand are complete and total HAMS and love the camera!

  2. Haha. Clever post 🙂

  3. Parker just wants to chew on the camera. After a while, he just forgets the camera is there. Maybe if you set the camera up where he can see it all the time, he’ll forget about it, and it won’t seem like such a novelty.

  4. I always want to put my camera on a tripod to get bird pics, but every time Rigel moves out of camera view when being cute. Rascally.

    Also, I ran across this cute journal made of a recycled conure training book, I thought you would like it: http://tinyurl.com/atticjournals

  5. I have used a zoom lens from across the room to get pictures of my ‘toos sans camera-defense-mode.
    Also, a big mirror can help; you photograph them in the mirror, which gives you a different angle and appears to be further away. A remotely operated camera seems to help a lot too…
    I wasn’t that impressed by some of the body-language guides I’ve seen however, so I’ve also been cataloging some of the more prominent body-languages that we see from our Too’s. I’d be delighted to share when I have a few good ones. I’ll post them on my flickr site soon.

  6. For some reason my guys HATE my little point and shoot but really like my DSLR. My Senegal actually talks to it and whistles at it. I don’t know why but it works out alot better for me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: