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Music And Your Feathery Friend

Do you and your feathery friend have the same taste in music? Not if you like heavy metal or electronic dance music. No matter what kind of bird you have, chances are good that he isn’t a fan of either one. In fact, those two types of music probably scare the poor little fella.

It doesn’t matter what kind of bird you have. If you’re looking for a way to enrich his life, try various styles of music. All birds are individuals with their own tastes and preferences, just like people.

Tunes To Get Them Dancing

If you want to encourage your cockatiel’s natural dancing ability, hold him on your finger and sway your hand gently along to the music. Or hold a treat in front of him that you raise and lower to the beat of a simple 4/4 beat. He might start whistling his own tunes or mimicking the ones you play while dancing along with them. Offer a treat as a reward.

Parrots are known as great mimics, but scientists have discovered that they have varied musical tastes. Some prefer middle of the road pop, while others prefer louder songs. The horns in a Frank Sinatra jazz arrangement might excite your parrot so much that he sings along, while the brass section of the same Sinatra tune might frighten a different bird. Parakeets, like many other pet birds, are calmed by music that is serene, peaceful, and quiet. Test out a Bach tune and if he likes that, try some Chopin or Beethoven.

If you’re unsure where to begin, test different types of music and take note of what your bird seems to enjoy. Try some classical songs and New Age music. Maybe move on to a lilting Irish tune or light pop. If he seems to enjoy the pop, raise it up a notch to something a touch more raucous—light rock or jazz.

Similar Tastes In Music

The one thing all of these birds have in common is they enjoy a peaceful or fun sound. Build Me Up Buttercup, that catchy tune from the 1960s might become a favorite of yours and your bird’s. By the way, the music you play doesn’t have to be melodic. Your bird might also enjoy nature sounds. Anything that is easy on the ears—waterfalls, flowing rivers, gentle waves, lightly falling rain.

And the thing all birds don’t like, aside from the electronic and metal music? Human arguments. That’s right. Even the wild birds out in your yard will fly away if they hear this.

No matter which style you try, start by playing a song softly and watching your bird’s body language. Does his head tilt? Does he make a sound that you recognize as happy chatter? Raise the volume a bit. Watch and listen. Take notice once more of his body language and sounds. Does he whistle, talk, sing, chatter?


The next time you listen to music for your own pleasure, watch your bird to see if he appears stressed or scared. And if you never thought of yourself as the type to like classical music, give it a try. You might find you love it. Who knows? Maybe trying to enrich your bird’s life will enrich yours as well.

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