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Parrot Articles > Paula-Rick | You are here


Does Sex Matter? Male Or Female That Is …

April 17th, 2011

Male & Female Sex Symbols

So quite often we get asked,

“I’m male/female, is it better to choose a male african grey or a female, which one will take to me best”

Quite often you will hear people telling you if you’re a female then a male bird would bond with you better, sometimes you hear a female will and visa versa if you are male.

Controversially my stance is a little different on this topic, we’ve had many birds come and go through our doors what with the increasing quantities of rescue parrots we are taking on, and the occasional bird we have bred, truly and honestly the answer to the question is that I really don’t think it matters what sex your parrot is, they both have extremely similar personalities, are amiable and just as easy to bond with, given the right conditions.

When I say the right conditions what I mean to say is if you think of it in human terms, just because you’re a female/male does that mean that you can and will only bond with one sex, whether that sex be a male or a female …. I’d say no … right?

Well as we know African Greys are highly intellectual animals with the brain power of a small child, well when you see kids at school (please don’t go hanging around school playgrounds to verify this, but trust me as a parent to 5 children) that kids do not just hang/play with one sex and neither for that case will your African Grey.

So when people contact us asking to buy an African Grey parrot, it astounds me the amount of people that also have strong tendencies to want to buy a specific sex, purely on the basis of all this hearsay that parrots are more likely to prefer you if you are the “right sex”, seriously from my experience, and I don’ care if the scientists want to argue the point, the sex of your parrot really doesn’t matter.

What really matters is the amount of time you are going to spend with the bird, quite often you hear that people say my bird is a one person bird, but why is that I hear you ask, is it your sex or is it that the person your grey likes the most is the one that gives it the most attention and feels less negative towards.

These animals are seriously clever and really do pick up on negativity and if you feel negative about a bird liking you well don’t be surprised if your bird doesn’t pick up on that fact, and lets just say, not be your best friend, just like kids at school there’s always some kid that is difficult to get on with and naturally what do you do if you don’t seem to be able to connect with someone, you tend to keep clear of them, but in the grand scale of things is that the best policy or should you perhaps just work a little harder on that relationship to make it work.

So to conclude sex really doesn’t matter, the most important thing is time, persistence, having an open mind and most importantly give and take and your parrot whether it’s male or female will learn to take to you, something we can talk about in more depth another time!

African Grey Eye Pinning

March 6th, 2011

African Grey Eye

Eye Pinning

Parrots have a fascinating ability to give us a little insight into how they feel at a given moment. This is achieved through a process termed “eye pinning.” The pupils of the parrot’s eyes will dilate to show excitement, or joy, anxiety or fear. It is up to us to understand our feathered friend to learn what he is saying to us, through his expressive eyes.

African Greys and other birds are able to control their irises and you can see their pupils rapidly enlarging and shrinking. Eye pinning goes along with what is happening in the immediate environment and body posture. If your African Grey’s body is relaxed and its eyes are pinning it usually means they are interested in or concentrating on something. However, if your African Grey’s feathers are puffed out and their eyes are narrowed and pinning – watch out! They are angry or frightened, and if bothered will probably bite.

How Their Eyes Help Them

In the visual world, birds are gifted with the greatest acuity, seeing extremely well, even at great distances. As prey animals, parrots have eyes positioned on the sides of their head, providing them with a tremendous range of vision, nearly three hundred and sixty degrees, that they use for both protection and food retrieval. Parrots see in color, helping them discern predator from prey. It is also believed this ability to see in color assists parrots in the mating ritual.

Layers Of A Greys Eye

Layers of the Eye

The avian eye can be described as having three distinct layers. These layers, called ‘coats’ each house specific components of the eye. The outer coat maintains the shape of the eye, protects the eye and is the attachment site for the muscles of the eye. It is called the sclera. Like reptiles, the sclera is protected by the sclera ossicles. The second coat, referred to as the vascular tunic houses the iris, ciliary body and choroid. It is here, within the iris, where the amount of light permitted into the eye is controlled. The innermost layer, or third coat is called the retina. This is where the rods and cones are contained. Unlike mammals, the avian retina contains no blood vessels.

Third Lid

The avian eye is equipped with a third eyelid, or nictictating membrane. Located in the corner of the eye, this retractable lid is a kind of windshield wiper for the eye, allowing the bird to blink, lubricating the eye, without compromising their vision.

Eye Pinning

Simply Amazing

With respect to the size of their head, the avian eye is huge. Anatomically however, each component of the avian eye is not without specific purpose, allowing the parrot to survey his environment, secure a mate, and even express emotion. The parrot eye is truly a fascinating part of the wondrous parrot.

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