Green Indian ringneck parakeet flying.

Tools to Communicate with your Parrot

Tools to Communicate with your Parrot

Relationships come in an infinite number of definitions, with time as the core ingredient. The quality of time spent together along a timeline of history. That being said, my relationship with our UPS delivery person isn’t like my relationship with my parrot. The relationship I have with our delivery person is transactional. If I order something, they bring me my order. Nothing more, nothing less. We spend an equivalent amount of time on our transaction. Just enough to complete that transaction. 

What does a parrot want with a human in a relationship?

Excellent flocking skills. Excellent flocking to a parrot is together. Parrots communicate constantly. From the moment the flock wakes to the moment they perch to roost, they are in constant communication. A parrot wants communication, together. Excellently. They form groups of like-minded, socially fluid communicating individuals who are more interested in the health and welfare of the flock than their own desires. They will choose flock health over their own wants. There is no such thing as a rogue parrot in a flock. Socially, parrots think synergistically. We often talk about having trouble seeing parrot body language, or catching their ques. They communicate through nuance and finite.

Humans herd. We are self-motivated and have no problem watching a group member get eaten by the hyenas knowing we’ll be okay. Humans are also lousy communicators. 

There’s a massive gap between a companion parrot and a human. Both in communication and social drives. That’s the gap we have to mind. As my British friends are oft to say, we’ve got to mind that gap.

We need tools to improve us, not them. We need to rethink their definition of a relationship, excellent flocking skills, and create communication tools to upgrade our skill set. This brings us to behavior modification. Human behavior modification. We only need to improve ourselves inside this lifestyle, allowing excellent communication together.

Tools to improve communication during the day:

  • Food. We all need it. Food is a group event shared all day long in a flock. Hunting, scavenging, sharing, separating, collecting, categorizing. It’s a big deal! How can we harness that event in our human lifestyle? Thanksgiving. What comes to mind when thinking on Thanksgiving? Family, love, food, laughter? What is it about Thanksgiving that is so universal? The visceral communication in the food via tradition delivering generations of memories. That’s what. A parrot would call that excellent communication. Food helps deliver more than our words can. I share a meal with our flock whenever I can. Literally sit at a table with a plate specific for this moment. It will be messy. It will require my full attention. And it will be excellent communication together.
  • Materials and toy are another tool for communication. Parrots manipulate, separate, identify, and play with materials (toys) throughout the day. What can we do to simulate foraging, playing and such? Play with your parrot and his/her toys. Engage together. Now these toys aren’t just something hanging there. These toys are more than toys, they are edifications to our love and relationship. They mean something more. They are memories and moments.
  • Locations, settings and views? It’s something we live inside and laid out already. But is it communicating together excellently? Views for stimulation and communication. Parrots ponder and appreciate the best views. Felix’s neighbor view is exciting. “What a weirdo!” He says. We laugh and watch his weirdo do weirdo things. Butters watches for turtles and sounds her turtle alarm when they approach (or when they don’t). Snickers watches for turkey vultures and lets the world know they’ve arrived. We share a secret between each other at the moment of looking at neighbors, turtles or turkey vultures. Watching the world pass together.
  • Humor. You will laugh. You will become superb at laughing if you’re doing this relationship with a parrot correctly. Parrots like a punch line and prioritizing their relationship with you. So that in comparison, no matter what, that other thing is laughable in value. Together, the flock is impenetrable.

Where do we put all these tools?

In a toolbox to take with us to be ready to fix any situation. A toolbox of consistency, schedule, and routines.

Routines, schedules, and all the little things that create totems and steppingstones of excellent information sharing. I call them the Flock Code. Routines not only calm parrots at home, but they also offer ways to communicate on the road. Because on a long enough timeline, something will go wrong, and it’s the deep communication and excellent flocking skills that will get us through. As in any great relationship. Life will bring troubles for sure; it will happen. Inside a deeper communicating flock there’s a truth that carries you through it and out the other side. In great relationships you may even laugh at that trouble as it heads your way. Because it does not understand who it’s messing with, it has no hope of staying power. Your relationship timeline proves it.

Kathy LaFollett is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

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