Why Do Parrots Bob Their Heads To Music? How To Train Them?

If Parrots bob their heads to the music, it shows that they like it. Yes, parrots like listening to music, and they bob their heads according to the rhythm of the music they like.  

If you are a first-time owner of a Parrot, do not be alarmed when you suddenly see your pet bobbing its head for the first time. It may be just an indication of your pet getting comfortable in the house and loving the attention you give to him.

Parrots are clever creatures, and they know what to do to gain their attention.

To bob their heads is just one of the many tactics Parrots use to attract the attention of their owners. They are known for their head bobbing character which differentiates them from other birds. 

Sometimes, they bob their heads because of training given to them by the owners. They also bob their heads in order to mimic others. 

This post will help you to understand more about the reason for the bobbing of heads in parrots.

Do Parrots bob their heads for attention?

Usually, a Parrot loves to mimic its owners to get their attention. But, if you expose your Parrot to music and videos on TV every day for some time, you will notice that it develops a certain type of rhythm from the music it listens to. 

Parrots are very good at following the rhythms of music and can develop their dance moves to the songs that they like. If you browse videos on youtube, you will see so many videos of parrots that bob their heads, dance, and change their dance steps from listening to different kinds of music. Here’s a fun video for you.

The most famous Parrot that dances to music is the internet sensation, Snowball. Snowball’s video of him grooving to the tunes of a song from Backstreet boys in 2007 showed that Parrots could synchronize their moves according to the beat of the music. 

What we can learn from Snowball is that when a team of neuroscientists led by Dr. Aniruddh Patel from the Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, studied Snowball’s movements and released their study that the bird could not only dance to a certain type of music but change its moves intelligently according to the tempo of different music.

Dr. Patel also concluded that their dancing was not limited to mimicry. In fact, Parrots are pretty intelligent in creating their moves from the music they were not familiar with. This study was very important in recognizing Parrots having the ability to show that they not only bob their heads for attention but do it when they want to groove to their favorite kind of music. 

Can Parrots actually like different types of music?

There is very limited study regarding whether Parrots have different tastes in music. But many Parrot owners are convinced that their pets choose to bob their heads and dance according to the beat of the music they like. 

It’s not that hard to know which type of music genre your Parrot likes explicitly. If you look after your Parrot, the body language and gestures they show you will determine the kind of positive or negative vibes they present to you. 

According to this study in 2012, researchers concluded that Parrots are picky when it comes to songs for their dances. 

You May also Read : Do Cockatiels get lonely?

  • Some Parrots choose to dance in calm, comforting music like classical songs, while other Parrots like to dance to Pop music.  
  • They also concluded that Parrots find it challenging to bob their heads to certain types of music like electronic dance music because it was distracting with lots of musical instruments and techno being played at once.

How do I train my Parrot to bob its head?

To train your Parrot to bob its head, here are some simple steps

  • You need first to grab your Parrot’s attention and also maintain eye contact before you train him.
  • After you catch his attention, play a song or music you want your Parrot to bob its head to and then start bobbing your head. 
  • Try to speak to your Parrot as you bob your head to show him that he needs to bob his head too. 
  • If you feel that your Parrot is uncomfortable with your movements, stop the training session for some time and repeat it later after your Parrot becomes comfortable again. 
  • Since Parrots tend to have a short attention span, it is essential to have short and repeated sessions to train them instead of repeating a long session. 
  • You can also grab your Parrot’s attention by ringing a bell or dangling his favorite toy to indicate that you want him to mimic you.  
  • Please ensure to treat your Parrot with his favorite treats to make him understand that he gets rewarded for imitating you. 


Do Parrots bob their heads because they are trained?

Yes, they bob their heads because they are trained to do so. But, in some cases like Snowball, some Parrots can bob their heads accordingly to the beat of the music they listen to.

Do Parrots utilize their brain by bobbing their heads?

Yes, they may be utilizing their heads because parrots are very intelligent creatures. According to this study, Parrots can harmonize their movements according to the tempo of the music they are exposed to. They help scientists understand the neurobiology of musical abilities in humans too.

Wrapping it up

It is pretty enjoyable to see your Parrot bob its head while you turn on the music. They may bob their head because you trained them to do so, or they may be mimicking you for your attention.

As you see your lovable pet bobbing its head when you play music, be sure to join in the fun along with your family members and start to groove according to its movements. This movement will make you Parrot want to bob their head more and provide you with delightful fun.