Sunday, February 19, 2012

Just How Would a Parrot Do in a Poker Game?


Parrots would make great poker players due to their complete lack of facial expression.

Thumbing through Twitter yesterday we came across this post from a well known parrot writer and blogger. Being a macaw person ourselves, we have five macaws, as well as three other parrots, we knew this assertion to be nonsense. Our macaws have incredibly expressive faces. Our female Hyacinth macaw Princess Tara can crack a smile that puts Mona Lisa to shame. Our female Blue and Gold macaw Miss Bubba Boy blushes crimson red when she's excited or embarrassed. Our foster Ruby macaw Mr. Cracker can give one the evil eye when he wants to protect his space.

Hyacinth Macaw Princess Tara Doing Her Mona Lisa Imitation

This Twitter post got us to thinking. How about our other, smaller parrots? In addition to the macaws, we also live with two African greys, both female, a Congo named Arua, and a Timneh named Tillie. And one Goffin's cockatoo, Kid Kadra. A juvenile delinquent if ever there was one!

Congo African Grey Parrot Arua Expressing Pleasure at Taking a Bath

Our female Congo African grey parrot Arua can certainly be stone-faced if she chooses to. But can she show expression on her face? We think so, to some degree. Our little Timneh African grey parrot Tillie clearly shows expression on her face, especially when she's excited. Or just plain horny! And our Goffin's cockatoo, Kid Kadra? His face is harder to read, being covered in feathers as it is, but he turns decidedly pink when he gets excited. That's a form of facial expression.

Greenwing Macaw Roxanne Luxuriating in Her Cookie

How about you and your parrots? Do you discern emotion and expression on their faces? Let us know if you do, or don't. And if you have any photos, please share. We combed through our photos and videos today searching for examples. That was a pretty thankless job, since we couldn't find a whole lot of photographic evidence. We've posted a few of the best examples of our parrots we could find.


We just don't think our parrots would do all that well at poker. They'd probably end up losing their lunch money. Except maybe our Congo African grey parrot Arua. She might just do all right for herself.

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