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do parrots hate or like colors?

What Colors Do Parrots Like And Dislike?

(Last Updated On: June 19, 2023)

Vision is a survival-critical sense that enables parrots to observe and interpret different colors.

Parrots have excellent color vision because they’re tetrachromatic, meaning they have 4 color photoreceptors in their eyes. Parrots can see all 3 primary colors and ultraviolet light.

While a parrot’s reactions to certain colors reveal its preferences, most birds prefer muted and pastel shades, ideally at the middle-to-high end of the spectrum (shades of blue, green, and brown).

Any bright, intense colors, like brilliant white, can make a parrot feel apprehensive.

Red, orange, and yellow are warning colors for wild birds. This means that a parrot is likely to become afraid, especially when exposed to these colors for an extended period (cage items, wall colors, etc.)

Parrots can somewhat learn to tolerate colors they initially dislike through exposure training. Avoid forcing a bird to live in an environment with bright red, orange, or yellow walls and objects.

What Colors Do Parrots See?

The ability to process colors through eyesight is broken into 4 distinct categories based on the conical photoreceptors in the eyes.

Each photoreceptor enables the eyes to process a different primary color, which is blended to comprehend tens of thousands of color combinations.

MonochromacyAn animal has one photoreceptor and can process just one primary color. Most aquatic mammals are monochromatic.
DichromacyTwo photoreceptors process two primary colors. Many mammals, other than primates and humans, are dichromatic.
TrichromacyThe eyes can determine all three primary colors through three photoreceptors. Humans with a complete visual range, and most primates have trichromatic vision.
TetrachromacyFour photoreceptors enable the eyes to process all primary colors plus ultraviolet light. Birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects are tetrachromatic and have superior color vision to mammals.

As per PLoS One, the human eye can detect some ultraviolet light, around 300 nanometers (nm.) After this, the retina protects the human eye from seeing anything more detailed to prevent vision damage.

According to the Proceedings of Biological Sciences, parrots with tetrachromatic eyesight can detect UV light up to 426 nm. This enables a bird to determine subtle color changes, sharpening its vision.

A free-flying bird can spot a snake that may otherwise blend into tall grass or detect movement from small prey that may not be observed by monochromatic, dichromatic, or trichromatic vision.

Trichromatic sight enables parrots to identify qualities in another bird’s feathers that are invisible to a human’s naked eye. Trichromatic vision can also determine the sex of monomorphic parrots.

Do Parrots Hate or Like Colors?

Pet parrots will enjoy a range of colors in their environment because it provides stimulation. Leaving a parrot in a dull, monochromatic location will likely lead to boredom and frustration.

A parrot is likely to display strong reactions to particular colors. Some shades are a parrot’s favorite, while others cause irritation or anxiety.

Observe a bird’s body language closely to discover how it reacts to specific colors.

You may find that parrots fed a multi-colored pellet mix will pick out specific colors and leave others. In more extreme cases, a parrot may become visibly distressed when confronted by certain colors.

what colors attract parrots?

What Colors Attract Parrots?

Parrots have such intense vision that they react poorly to extremely bright colors. This can trigger an automatic startle response, causing the bird to react defensively.

The color spectrum is divided into 7 primary shades. These are as follows:

  • Red.
  • Yellow.
  • Orange.
  • Green.
  • Blue.
  • Indigo.
  • Violet.

Most parrots are happiest when surrounded by muted, pastel colors from the middle of the spectrum. Earthy tones are also popular, with mild green, blue, and brown hues preferred.

One explanation for these preferences is the prevalence of blue and green feathered parrot species.

While parrots boast a variety of colors and markings, including red, which is often a feared and reviled color among psittacines, they gravitate toward similar-looking birds.

Blue, green, and brown remind captive parrots of their wild habitat.

Gentle shades of blue resemble the sky, while many parrots feed from the ground, plucking seeds, flowers, nuts, and plants from green fields.

Brown reminds parrots of the trees they nest and roost.

Use natural shades to ensure a parrot remains comfortable. Introducing bright and garish hues like turquoise or aquamarine may make a parrot agitated or afraid.

What Colors Do Parrots Dislike?

Parrots have long memories, so a negative and prolonged reaction to a specific color could be associated with positive or negative past experiences.

For example, if a bird grows agitated when you wear a green shirt, it may have been mistreated by somebody who regularly wore this color.

No matter how many positive interactions you attempt, you may find a parrot dislikes some colors.

Red And Orange

According to Frontiers in Psychology, the subconscious deems red a dominant color.

Red is the universal color of impending danger in the wild. This means red toys, food/water bowls, walls, and decor around a parrot’s cage should be avoided.

The journal Nature claims this is an innate fear that most birds are born with, as opposed to a learned aversion developed through life experience.

Parrots can become fixated upon and afraid of bright and intense shades of red and orange. Some birds also react adversely to deep pink, but blush shades are likelier to be tolerated.


Yellow is the most visible color on the color spectrum. Unsurprisingly, many parrot owners have observed that birds find shades of yellow and gold irritating.

No formal research has been conducted on why this may be, but one theory is that bright yellow hues produce a visual intensity that can overwhelm a parrot.

what colors do parrots dislike?

Bright White

If a parrot dislikes color, you may think it best to home your bird in a room decorated with plain, white walls. With continued exposure, brilliant white can make a parrot agitated and hurt its eyes.

Use a matte finish rather than anything too glossy. Also, hang pictures or apply other decorations to the walls so the lack of variation isn’t excessive. These will give a parrot’s eyes other areas of focus.

Because parrots have colorful feathers, being surrounded by white may also make the bird feel unsafe. Bright feather colors and unique markings stand out against a white backdrop.

Overcoming Color Phobia in Parrots

You may find that certain colors and shades generate a particularly visceral reaction. While not exposing a parrot to colors they fear is preferable, this isn’t always possible.

While it’s unlikely that you’ll ever teach a parrot to love bright and intense colors, especially those in the red spectrum, you can help a bird tolerate them better.

Introduce fear-inducing colors to a parrot minimally. If red is the problem, paint a small red dot on a familiar and trusted object, or give them food like a bright red strawberry because they taste good.

Avoid placing bright red items in a parrot’s cage that aren’t considered indispensable. Also, avoid orange and red feature walls (paint or wallpaper) in the parrot’s room.