How Do Conures Show Affection?

A happy conure can be a very affectionate parrot indeed. But how many different ways can a conure show their affection for the ones they love? There are quite a few to list.

Conures show affection in many ways. Some of their favorites include:

  • Preening
  • Cuddling
  • Giving kisses
  • Cooing, singing, and purring
  • Love bites
  • Falling asleep on their owner
  • Flapping, fluffing and wagging their tails
  • Eye pinning
  • Regurgitation

These are some of the most common ways that a conure might show that they really like you and they feel comfortable when you are around. In this article, we will take a closer look at what these different displays of affection mean to a conure and why they might present them to you.

How do you tell if a conure likes you? Let’s find out.

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They Preen You

To keep their feathers clean and maintained, birds groom themselves with their beak in a process called preening. By combing their beak through their plumage, they remove dust, dirt, and any nasty creepy crawlies that may try to hitch a ride.

When a conure wants to show affection to its human companion, they might try to groom them. It is a great sign that your conure is comfortable and feels safe with you if they try to give you a good preening.

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Conures love to preen their owner’s hair, beards and mustaches, clothing, and jewelry. And they are not shy about giving an ear a nibble. They mean well, but some birds can get carried away with their display of preening love. Some birds may have to be dissuaded from preening their humans if they get a little too rough.

They Might Cuddle Up

Do conures like to cuddle? They certainly do. Just like they do to others in their flock that they are close to, conures like to get close and snuggle up when they are relaxing. In nature, parrots can do this when it gets a bit chilly. Since people are way better at generating heat than birds, this works to the bird’s advantage.

Heat aside, cuddling is good for their health, and yours. Getting a good cuddle from your pet can produce oxytocin, the love drug, which can help with depression and anxiety. Cortisol levels will go down as well, which helps your body better tolerate stress.

They Give You Kisses

They might not be the same as the kisses that we give, but to a happy conure, they mean much the same. Your conure might try to rub its beak on against you, often targeting the face, cheek, and lips.

They might impart you with gentle nibbles and sounds as well. Many a conure has learned and adopted the smooch sound that comes with their human’s kisses. They might also stick out their tongue and give a little lick with their kiss.

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A happy conure might also give love bites if they’re feeling extra ornery.

What Are Love Bites?

A common sign of affection that goes right along with kissing is nibbling. Usually, a bird will be fairly gentle with their beak when they are showing you love, but sometimes they can get carried away when they are really excited. A conure might bite a little harder than a nibble and it could hurt.

 A lot of conures seem to find it hilarious when they give a love bite and see their human react to the nip. This can be all in good fun, but if you have a particularly nippy bird, you might want to give guests a heads up before they get too comfortable.

They Will Make Plenty Of Noise

A happy conure is sure to fill your home with a lot of noise. The sounds they make can also be signs of affection from a happy bird. Singing is pretty common as most bird owners can attest. They will probably also jabber when you are around. Conures might not be the best speakers in the parrot world, but they are certainly willing to share what they know with the people they love.

Whistling, clicking, chattering, singing, and screeching can all be signs that a bird is content. Conures may also purr when they are around you, much like a cat, to show that it is comfortable. A bird that has really bonded with its human might also take up Contact Calling.

What Is Contact Calling?

Contact calling is a behavior present in a multitude of birds and other animal species. Basically, contact calling is a specific sound that an animal makes in order to locate a companion. In the wild, the offspring of a conure will make a specific noise in order to call out to the mother and vice versa. They are checking in or making contact with their call.

A lot of animals do this and it helps keep the flock, herd, or tribe altogether. You may find your conure doing this same thing with you, calling for you when you’re in another room. You can check in by calling back or give them a quick visit to let them know you’re still alive.

Do Conures Like to Cuddle?

Though it doesn’t seem like much, a nap a grade A sign that your conure really loves you and feels safe in your company. It takes a lot of trust for an animal like a conure to completely let its guard down, especially around a much larger creature, like a person.

If you find that your conure is drifting off during a cuddle, that is a definite sign that they feel safe and that they trust you’ve got everything under control. Not quite as exciting as the other items on this list, but a sleepy cuddling conure means that your bond is excellent.

They Shake A Tail Feather

A conure can show a lot of emotion with their body, and their feathers in particular. If you find that your feathered friend fluffs up their plumage and waggles its tail when they see you, it is a good sign that they are happy you’re there.

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They might do a little dance on their perch. Or, they’ll flap their wings and hold them over their head. They might puff up as big as they can and shake their feathers. Much like a dog wagging its tail and showing its goofy smile, conures emote through body language and the manipulation of their feathers, wings, and tails.

They Shrink Their Pupils

Yes, you read that correctly. Birds have amazing vision and this gives them advanced control over their eyes. It’s called Eye Pinning.

When a bird is really excited to see its owner, it may dilate and then constrict its pupils. This strange display can be a sign of affection. A bird might eye pin when they see a favorite toy, snack, or person.

While it seems like an almost alien way of showing love and can seem a little odd at first, it is usually a display performed out of love.

They Regurgitate On You

Yes, you read that correctly. The weirdest one we saved for last. But, it makes sense when you think about it. When birds care for their young, they bring up partially digested food and deposit it into the mouths of their offspring. Lacking mammary glands, this is how birds feed their babies.

So, when a conure feels a lot of affection towards something, it bestows upon that something a partially digested meal. You may see your conure regurgitating on their favorite toys, mates or even you. Yes, lucky you.

They can regurgitate on your shoulder or lap and might even try to regurgitate into your mouth if they are so moved. It’s completely natural, if a bit gross, but it means that your bird loves you and wants to show you just how much. Regurgitation is just another one of those things that makes birds such interesting pets to own.

How Do You Bond with a Conure? Now You Know

A content conure is bound to display even more ways to show affection. A loving bond between humans and birds is one of the best ways to keep a conure living a long and healthy life.