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Axemusica's avatar

In birds (Parrots specifically), why does speech effect their eyes?

Asked by Axemusica (9430points) February 8th, 2010

I just recently moved in with my brother and he’s got quite the zoo here.

Jay Jay (their macaw), took a little bit to warm up to me, so he was a little shy at first. Now, I hear him speak all the time. I’ve noticed that the iris of his eyes contract a high degree when he says something. I asked my brother why they do that and all he said was, “It takes a lot out of him to speak.”

I know there’s got to be a more scientific or biological, reason and I was just wondering why. Care to share your thoughts?

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8 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

how very interesting. are the birds messy? I want a bird- Im just going to get one

Axemusica's avatar

@trailsillustrated well I will say this…. there will be poop. lol

jaytkay's avatar

@trailsillustrated Birds are very messy. If you love birds you don’t care. I say go and get one!

squidcake's avatar

Well, all I can think of is that in humans the pupil can be dialated after taking drugs (therefore not a lot of brain activity going on) so maybe in parrots if there’s a lot of brain activity going on (i.e. formulating words) it has the opposite effect? But I really have no idea, it’s an interesting observation.

syz's avatar

Pupil dilation and contraction are a form of body language for birds. Their eyes vary when they are excited (as in when mimicking and playing), when they’re angry, ect.

6rant6's avatar

Parrots’ pupils tend to dilate when they are happy – they see someone they like, or they have the prospect of something delicious on the horizon. Perhaps the pupil constriction is extra effort like squinting.

Axemusica's avatar

@syz oh cool. So, he’s just showing how excited he is to be speaking to me, haha. He’s such an awesome bird. :)

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