Home » Is TV Good for Parrots? [Television Shows Birds Like Watching]
do parrots like watching tv?

Is TV Good for Parrots? [Television Shows Birds Like Watching]

(Last Updated On: February 14, 2023)

A lack of stimulation stresses parrots out, sometimes causing destructive behaviors. Most owners can’t entertain their parrots all day, so television seems a good source of fun and entertainment.

Some parrots enjoy watching TV with their owners but not on their own. Other parrots have favorite TV shows they dance to or find exciting. In contrast, others dislike watching television entirely, becoming agitated when they see/hear certain images/noises on the screen.

Aside from occupying bored parrots, TV can assist with learning how to speak English. However, television shouldn’t replace the one-on-one time owners spend bonding with their parrots.

Can Parrots See TV?

Some owners assume that parrots can’t see what’s on the screen, only looking at the TV due to the different sounds, but this isn’t the case.

Unless a parrot is blind or visually impaired, it can see images on a screen, albeit differently from us.

Can Parrots See Different Colors In TVs?

Most TVs work by combining these three colors:

  • Red
  • Green
  • Blue

Humans have three color receptors, allowing us to see any color combinations that originate from them.

People who are colorblind have color receptors that don’t work as they should, so they’re unable to perceive the colors around them as effectively.

However, parrots have a fourth color receptor for ultraviolet light. Humans can’t perceive ultraviolet, so we don’t know what it looks like. As parrots have a fourth receptor, they can see additional colors.

TV is intended for human vision rather than parrot vision, but that’s not an issue. After all, humans can understand black-and-white images. What we can see also relies on the following:

  • Shape
  • Size
  • Context
  • Familiarity

So, parrots can do the same when looking at a screen that only reflects three rather than four colors.

TV shows for parrots

Do Parrots See TV As Skewed?

There’s also the matter of depth perception. Due to the position of the eyes, parrots have a wider field of view. The trade-off is that parrots lack depth perception.

Parrots are prey animals, so they must be able to see as possible. However, the world they see is flatter than ours. Despite this, parrots have no trouble seeing what’s on television.

Do Parrots Watch TV?

Parrots are much-loved because they act in human ways. For example, they talk, have amusing behaviors, some species have the intelligence of 5-year-old children, and like to watch TV with you.

Of course, all parrots are different species-wise and personality-wise.

One owner might gush about how excited their parrot gets while watching TV. Another owner may complain about not being able to turn on the TV because their parrot gets angry.

Every parrot behaves differently when watching TV, so you must never assume that your pet bird will be excited about watching your favorite TV show together.

Adding TV to your parrot’s routine has the following benefits:

Alternative Company

Parrots are very sociable flock animals. Most say that parrots need 2-3 hours of attention daily, but they likely need more. However, providing 8+ hours to one parrot can interfere with most people’s lives.

Loneliness stresses parrots out, causing them to display stereotypes, such as:

A TV show can stimulate a parrot and make it feel like it’s interacting due to the following:

  • Music
  • Voices
  • Active images
  • Interactions between people

This is useful for owners with busy schedules. You can have the TV on in the background if you’ll be gone for a few hours, and your parrot would otherwise be left by itself.

Learning To Talk

TV is a good way to get a parrot to talk when teaching them words and phrases. Parrots don’t just repeat the first words they hear; they repeat sounds they enjoy.

Are you having trouble teaching your parrot to expand its vocabulary? Maybe it doesn’t like how you pronounce the words or your tone. TV exposes parrots to words it wants to learn and repeat.

However, according to the Journal of Comparative Psychology, parrots had trouble learning from videotapes. Educating parrots worked with live tutors, so television should only supplement learning.


Socializing a parrot from a young age is crucial. When a parrot lacks social skills, it becomes aggressive toward other birds and humans.

It’s also more prone to jealous behavior. In some cases, a parrot will be anti-social due to past trauma, which makes it difficult to teach the parrot how to trust again.

One of the easiest ways to socialize a parrot is by getting it accustomed to human voices, which can be done by introducing it to new people.

However, the presence of strangers in the home may stress the parrot. Instead, you can use TV shows. The people won’t be physically present, but your parrot will learn new:

  • Words
  • Tones
  • Types of voices
  • Different languages
  • Pronunciations

This will all be in a safe, controlled environment. A parrot will learn that human voices are safe with sufficient exposure, making it easier to transition to more immersive social interaction.

Do Parrots Like Watching TV?

Certain body language will tell you if your parrot enjoys TV:


Parrots can control the size of their pupils, which is called pinning. They do this when they’re happy, interested in something, or excited.

However, they also pin their eyes when scared or to warn someone not to get closer to them. Eye pinning will accompany other negative signs if it’s a sign of aggression.


Besides shrieking when unhappy and singing when pleased, parrots may purr. However, a parrot’s purr differs from a cat’s purr, as it only happens when they’re unhappy.

If your parrot purrs when you turn on the TV, consider turning the volume down or the TV off.

Bowed Head

When a parrot bows low to the ground with flared feathers, it’s getting ready to attack.

It may have seen something on the screen that it didn’t like, and that visual caused your parrot to act aggressively, so it’s advisable to de-escalate the situation.


Parrots flap their wings when happy. However, they’ll also flap their wings when feeling hot, as the motion introduces fresh air underneath their wings.

If your parrot flaps when the TV is on, it may be having a great time. If it continues to flap its wings and the temperature is optimal, you should interpret this behavior as a positive sign.


When angry, parrots fan their tails to intimidate enemies. If combined with eye pinning, turn off the TV.

can parrots sleep with TV on?

TV Shows for Parrots

Each parrot will have its favorite shows. Some will watch anything, while others will squawk if you change the channel. Try different channels to determine what your parrot reacts to and enjoys.

Your parrot may grow fond of your preferred shows. After all, they associate watching those programs with spending time with you.

Here are the different types of TV shows that parrots often like:

Nature Programs

Parrots like watching and listening to other birds, meaning nature channels can be a good choice.

However, nature shows can frighten your parrot just as easily as entertain it. Parrots are prey animals, and nature shows often depict predators. Avoid any nature programs that feature:

  • Eagles
  • Bats
  • Snakes
  • Large cats

Many predatory animals on nature channels could trigger a parrot’s survival instincts.

Children Shows

Parrots enjoy Shows for preschool children because they’re educational, and there’s no way for your parrot to learn any swear words from those shows.


If you’re socializing your parrot, sit-coms are recommended. Depending on the genre, your parrot will:

  • Hear a range of voice types and accents.
  • See people of all shapes, sizes, and colors move around.
  • Get used to new tones of voice.

Sit-coms are more about walking around and hanging out, which is the type of interaction a parrot will need when learning to accept visiting friends.

However, the laugh tracks may happen too suddenly for some parrots.

Turn the volume down so the parrot can become comfortable around humans and other birds.

Parrots have better hearing than humans, so things that may not seem loud to us can unsettle them. Avoid horror movies and thrillers because parrots dislike hearing people shouting and screaming.