Anonymous asked me:
excellent post. ... could you tell me what it means when an african grey looks like he is yawning....just standing with his mouth open?
Let me first apologize for the non-answer that follows. It's hard to say without knowing your bird and the other circumstances surrounding the behavior! My greys both do a big yawn motion where they keep their beak open for a second or so afterwards, but it's not for a long time. I read an article once (can't find it again or I'd link to it) saying that's a type of stretching for them. On the other hand, Rocky will often make that same beak motion, but he's threatening me and warning me he's prepared to bite! I just thought of one other time when I see this: when the parrots spy an item of food that they really love, they'll sometimes open their beaks in anticipation of the food.
Try to figure out when the grey is doing this -- when he's agitated? Sleepy? Favorite food around? No discernible pattern? He may be trying to communicate something to you, or he just may like the way it feels. If it's something that recently started and is bothering you, you might want to take him in for a vet check just to make sure everything's OK.
I am editing this post to paste in here the comment that Tony made since I think it's really important and I know sometimes people don't check the comments:
Jasmine used to yawn lots when she was reacting to something, such as laundry fumes or cleaning products in the corridor outside our apartment. These were big yawns, lasting 10-20 seconds, not like the sleepy yawns she would sometimes do at the end of a long day.
I would suggest to Anonymous that they pay close attention to the environment, in case their bird is showing a reaction to something in it. Maybe it yawns in some rooms more than others, or on certain days of the week? Maybe it depends who is near (different fabric softeners/skin creams/lotions?). Does it happen more on weekdays with heavy traffic outside? Does it depend on the weather (and therefore the ventilation in the home?) Is there any new furniture or electronics near the bird that could be outgassing and causing it a problem?
It may well appear that the bird really is sleepy, but if there's no obvious reason for it to be tired, it's worth looking further.
I sincerely hope I'm wrong and that it's nothing to do with allergies, but I wouldn't feel right if I didn't say something.
Tony -- thank you so much for speaking up! That is not something I would have thought of, obviously, but could be very important. I'm so sorry you had to go through this with Jasmine, but hopefully your experience will help someone else.
Beloved Parrot asked me:
Does it take long to upload your videos? Do you have to condense them first or something?
It doesn't take me long at all. I upload them all into Picasa and then export the video I want. (This may be an extra step. I am not computer savvy, so when I figure something out, I usually am happy and don't try to find the easiest way). Then, I click the little film icon in blogger (it says "Add Video" if you pause your cursor over it) and find the video. It usually takes around 20 seconds maximum for the video to upload; I try to keep them under 30 seconds, though.