Author Topic: what are their eyes doing?  (Read 4411 times)

Offline Billie40

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what are their eyes doing?
« on: September 08, 2009, 11:36:52 AM »
My dad's GF has this bird that scares the heck outta me. I'm already scared of birds but this girl's eyes are just too creepy. I can't remember what kind she is but she's a huge rainforest bird that mimics. Mostly green with some red. She's probably about 20-25 years old and about 1 to 1.5 feet tall head to feet. When she looks at me (plotting my demise?) her pupils dialate and contract really fast and it makes an inquisitive look seem diabolical. I feel bad that she scares me so much as her owner  :heart:'s my rats but that eye thing is just too much. And I have seen what she can do with that beak and I am NO match if she wanted to take me on!

Offline JuliesZoo74

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Re: what are their eyes doing?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 10:47:30 PM »
My friend had a large Macaw that did that.  Usually it was because he was unhappy.  They can definately do big damage to you if they bite :eek:  He was only really friendly with her and didn't really like anyone else. 

Offline Billie40

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Re: what are their eyes doing?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 09:40:35 AM »
Well, she was doing it alot that day. I was her first visit to my dad's house and she just had a little travel cage to call home. She will eventually be moving in so they're trying to introduce her to the new environment. I wouldn't blame her if she was unhappy! But I still think she was plotting my death...oh, and she's a yellow naped amazon.

Offline techgirl

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Re: what are their eyes doing?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2010, 02:20:16 PM »
I know this is a very old post, but for anyone still wondering about this:

Birds eyes are not like ours.  Whereas our pupils contract or dilate depending on how much light we need in order to see, birds have full muscular control over how their pupils dilate and contract.  This can also give you a good indication of the mood of the bird: playful, aggressive, relaxed....

The fast expansion and contraction of the pupil is called "pinning."  If you notice eye pinning in a parrot it could be because the bird is paying close attention to something...such as when you are speaking to it and it is interested.  Just be aware that eye pinning can also be an indication that a bird is ready to bite.  (Read its body language: is the bird hunched, feathers fluffed up, etc...some birds, such as African Greys, will even hiss if they are displeased).  Birds are individuals, so always take caution, but do not show fear.  If a bird thinks you are afraid, it may make the bird itself afraid and the bird will react to you in fear.  Or if the bird is trying to MAKE you afraid, and sees that it is succeeding, it will not respect you but is more likely to repeat bad behavior in order to get the result from you that it desires.

And of course, never allow a bird, especially a bird you are not familiar with, to sit higher than you or to climb onto your shoulder.  (Remember that with birds, if they are high up they always assume they are dominant over you, and once one is on your shoulder it can be very difficult if not impossible to remove.  No one wants their ear or cheek bitten by a bird.)  Speak in a friendly but firm voice and make sure the bird is below eye level.

Offline Billie40

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Re: what are their eyes doing?
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2010, 03:02:49 PM »
This sounds like good advice...but personally I'd rather just never be around the bird at all :yelcutelaugh: I dread the day she moves into my dad's house. Being afraid of birds, I've never been around one long enough to get a feel for one's body language. Whenever I try to analyze one all I come up with is their intent to do me great bodily harm :P Like a lot (so I hear) of these big smart birds, she is very attached to her owner and not very tolerant of sharing her...even if it's just the phone that's got her attention. Since she's never had to really share her before it's going to be tough dealing with a doting dog and boyfriend! I intend to stay as far from the situation as possible. It takes a special kind of person to live with an animal like that! Luckily her owner is understanding of my fear and would never intentionally put me or her bird in an unnecessarily stressful situation. But hey! Now I know what that eye thing is all about!

Offline techgirl

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Re: what are their eyes doing?
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 06:03:51 PM »
He he he.  Yes, by all means, if the bird makes you uncomfortable and is really only attached to the owner, then staying away sounds mutually beneficial to both you and the bird, especially considering the bird's size and the fact that you don't think you can hide your fear.  (Birds sense your fear, like dogs do.)

I would say "maybe in time" but the thing with parrots is that once they've bonded to one particular person it can be hard to get them to come around to others, depending on the breed.  I'm not trying to make you more afraid -- you should be relaxed in your home, especially since your dad's GF knows how to take care of the bird and like you said, wouldn't let either of you be uncomfortable -- but birds are not considered to be "domesticated" just yet, meaning they are only a few generations removed from their wild ancestors and still have all of their wild instincts.  They don't realize that they are pets, or understand why, unlike dogs or cats who (at least most of the time) enjoy our companionship without question.

But don't be afraid, just be educated.  As long as you aren't antagonizing the bird (which I'm sure you would never do) then it will leave you alone.

Offline Billie40

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Re: what are their eyes doing?
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2010, 08:49:10 AM »
Well, lucky for both me and the bird I no longer live there, just visit often. I'm sure that as we get used to each other I won't get so freaked by it being in it's cage, and being an animal lover I am interested to examine a wholly new species to me. Every time she moves I'm asking "Why's she do that? What's that mean? Is that normal?" but at the same time "Argh! Keep it away!" :yelcutelaugh: Reading Alex And Me made me respect birds more as a pet/companion, and I can at least understand now why people would willingly keep one. When they do actually move in I'll probably be randomly popping in here to ask more questions  ;)