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do parrots like watching tv?

Is TV Good for Parrots? (Television Shows Birds Like Watching)

Last Updated on: 29th November 2023, 10:58 am

A lack of stimulation stresses parrots, sometimes manifesting as destructive behaviors. Since most owners can’t entertain their parrots all day, TV seems like a fun alternative.

Some parrots enjoy watching television with their owners but not on their own. Other parrots have favorite TV shows they dance to or find exciting.

In contrast, other birds dislike watching television. They grow agitated when they see/hear specific images/noises on the screen.

Aside from occupying bored parrots, TV can assist with learning how to speak English. Television should never replace the one-on-one time owners spend bonding with their parrots.

Can Parrots See TV?

Some people assume that parrots can’t see what’s on the screen, only looking at the TV due to the sounds they hear. This is untrue.

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

Can Parrots See Different Colors In TVs?

Most TVs work by combining 3 colors:

  • Red.
  • Green.
  • Blue.

Humans have 3 color receptors. This allows us to see any color combinations that originate from them.

Colorblind people have color receptors that don’t work as they should. They’re unable to perceive the colors around them as well.

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 other colors.

TV is for human eyesight, not parrot’s 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.

Parrots can do the same when looking at a screen that only reflects 3 rather than 4 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 have to see well. 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, behave amusingly, show intelligence, and like to watch TV with us.

One owner might gush about how excited their parrot gets while watching TV. Another owner may complain about being unable to turn on the TV because their parrot gets angry.

Every parrot behaves differently when watching television. Never assume a pet bird will grow excited about watching your favorite TV show together.

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

Alternative Company

Parrots are sociable flock animals. Most experts claim that parrots need 2-4 hours of attention.

Loneliness stresses parrots, causing them to act out and display stereotypies like:

  • Pacing.
  • Feather-destructive behavior.
  • Chewing furniture.
  • Biting wires.
  • Route tracing.

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

  • Music.
  • Voices.
  • Moving 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 the parrot would otherwise be left alone.

Learning To Talk

TV is an effective 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, like household appliances.

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

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 an early age is crucial to its mental well-being. When a parrot lacks social skills, it becomes hostile 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 harder 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 achieved by introducing it to new people.

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 the 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 transitioning to more immersive social interaction easier.

Do Parrots Like Watching TV?

Specific body language will tell you if a parrot enjoys TV:


Parrots can control the size of their pupils, called eye pinning. It’s also called eye flashing or eye blazing. They often do this when happy, interested, or excited.

They also pin their eyes when scared or to warn someone not to get closer to them. Eye pinning accompanies other negative signs if it signifies hostility.


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

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

Bowed Head

When a parrot bows low to the ground with flared feathers, it’s preparing to lunge or attack.

It may have seen something on the screen that it didn’t like. That visual caused the 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 a 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 the parrot reacts to and enjoys.

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

Nature Programs

Parrots like watching and listening to other birds, meaning nature channels are suitable.

Nature shows can frighten a parrot as easily as entertain them because nature shows often depict predators. Avoid nature programs that feature:

  • Eagles.
  • Bats.
  • Snakes.
  • Large cats.

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

Children’s Shows

Parrots enjoy shows for preschool children because they’re fun and educational.


If you’re socializing a parrot, sit-coms are recommended. Depending on the genre, a 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. A parrot will need this type of interaction when learning to accept visiting friends.

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

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 shouting and screaming.