How Well Can Parrots Hear

How Well Can Parrots Hear?

Parrots are known for their loud and ear-splitting vocalizations. Their varied repertoire of sounds can be heard and understood by their flock mates from great distances. 

Hearing is an important sense for parrots beyond just communication. It works with other senses to help them detect dangers in their surroundings. 

Parrots have a good sense of hearing, but they have a narrower range of hearing frequency compared to humans. The hearing range of parrots is, on average, between 200 Hz to 8.5 kHz. For comparison, humans are able to hear sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. 

However, parrots are more sensitive to sound and can hear with more detail. According to the New Hampshire Public Radio, parrots and other birds actually hear in slow motion. They are able to perceive notes in a song that cannot be detected by us. 

Do Parrots Have Ears?

Parrots have ears located on both sides of their head. The precise area where the ears are located is below and behind the parrot’s eyes. Parrot ears cannot be seen because they do not have an external ear made of skin like humans and many animals. 

Instead, they have auricular feathers that protect the ear openings from dust and debris and also potential harm. The absence of external ear structures also streamlines their body for more aerodynamic flight.

The feathers covering the parrot’s face and ears are very thin so they do not impact their hearing ability. They also help in blocking wind noise when they are flying. 

How Do Parrots Hear?

Parrots have a funnel-shaped ear opening. According to Project Beak, bird ears are divided into three parts – the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear and the middle ear are air-filled, whereas the inner ear is fluid-filled. 

The outer ear receives the sound waves that travel through the ear canal to reach the eardrum.

These sound waves cause the ear drum to vibrate, which then sends these vibrations to the middle ear which has a bone attached to it called the columella. 

This bone amplifies the sound waves and sends them to the fluid-filled chamber in the inner ear.

The inner ear contains hair cells, which are responsible for converting these vibrations into electrical signals that can be processed by the brain.

Importance Of Hearing For Parrots

The sense of hearing is an important ability for parrots in the wild. While parrots rely on their sight for many things, hearing also helps them in various crucial activities. It helps parrots avoid predators in the wild. 

In the nighttime, parrots’ vision is compromised so they have to rely on their hearing ability to sense dangers.

If a parrot hears any suspicious noise it perceives it as a threat and alerts the flock members about it. They then send out alarm calls and the flock immediately evacuates the place.

Besides the function of detecting danger, hearing in parrots is also important for other reasons. Parrots also hear to recognize individuals. Studies have shown that parrots can distinguish between the voices of their flock mates and utilize sounds to recognize people. 

Blue and yellow macaw listening to flock calls

Do Parrots Hate Loud Noises?

Loud noises are really not good for parrots. Exposure to loud noises can have adverse effects on their behavior.

Parrots living in a noisy household tend to scream excessively and may even develop other behavioral problems. Parrots can also be scared of loud noises, particularly if they are sudden like the sound of thunder.  

In the wild, loud unknown noises are usually a sign of danger. If your parrot is constantly exposed to such noises, it may get stressed as it can perceive the high-pitched sounds as a threat. 

How Far Can Parrots Hear?

It is not known for certain how far parrots can hear. But given that parrots are able to communicate with their flock at considerable distances, it can be said they have long-range hearing capabilities. 

While listening to distant sounds, the position of the parrot’s head also factors in. When parrots hear a faint noise, they may tilt their head in that specific direction to receive more auditory information. 

You may have also noticed this with your parrot. Sometimes they turn their heads sideways as if listening intently. However, such sounds can be bothersome to parrots and can also be perceived as a sign of imminent danger. 

Can Parrots Go Deaf?

Parrots do not go deaf or suffer hearing loss as a consequence of aging. According to Stanford Medicine, parrots have the ability to regrow damaged hair cells in their inner ear so their hearing remains at full capacity throughout their life. 

Can Parrots Hear Ultrasonic Sound?

No, parrots cannot hear ultrasonic. The frequency of ultrasonic sound is above 20 kilohertz (kHz), which is more than the upper audible limit of a parrot’s hearing capacity. 

Do Parrots Like Music?

Two cockatoo communicating with each other

Parrots love music and have preferences for different genres. It is believed that parrots understand music better than other animals. They are capable of following beats and even dancing to the rhythm. It also works to relax them and reduce stress.

A parrot’s taste in music can differ, but generally, they enjoy music that is melodic and soothing. They might not enjoy music that is too loud like hard rock. However, modern pop songs can have parrots grooving.

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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