Why do parrots hop

Why Do Parrots Hop? (Jumping Up And Down)

Anyone who’s spent time exercising their parrots knows how excited and jumpy they can get.

Parrots are small bundles of energy, to say the very least. And when they’re feeling super excited and active, they like to release this energy by jumping around.

Many parrots hop, but this behavior seems to be more common in caiques. Usually, when parrots jump, it’s because they are happy, and want to express their excitement. Other times, this may just be a behavioral quirk.

Besides being an amusing behavioral trait, hopping is also used by parrots to convey their feelings. In this article, we’ll look at what those situations are where a parrot may hop or jump.

Why Do Parrots Jump Up And Down?

When parrots hop, most often it is a sign of happiness. However, sometimes they can also be doing it to get your attention. It’s a call for their humans to play with them. The parrot may be seeking attention because it wants to play or, maybe it’s bored.

But before we jump to any conclusions (no pun intended), we need to understand why the parrot is jumping and its body language in the situation. Here are some reasons why parrots bounce up and down:

Species Behavior

Although hopping is seen among various parrots species, it is a more common trait for caiques. In the bird world, caiques are often fondly referred to as clown birds, because of their strange and mostly amusing habits.

They are quite the character birds to be around. Caiques not only hop, but they have a repertoire of uncanny behaviors that can be entertaining to their owners. It is a joy to watch them hopping.

Most caiques learn this trick on their own, but since each of them is unique, it is not necessary that you caique will also hop. 


Does your parrot bounce like it’s on a trampoline when it sees you coming? Parrots tend to hop when they are happy, often in anticipation of your playtime with them.

I have seen this happen a couple of times when I was away from my parrots for a while. However, there can be other things that may make your parrot happy.

When your parrot jumps, it’s just that they can’t hide their excitement. They are happy to see you and know it’s time for a treat.

Releasing Extra Energy

Parrots are high-energy birds. There isn’t a time when you would see them sitting down quietly. But somehow, their energy levels are even higher when you interact with them.

Parrots are most active during the daytime. I have noticed my parrots get a little too energetic after a meal or when they get a treat. They may use hopping to spend the extra energy acquired.

Sometimes, your parrot may feel the need to release energy when it has been unstimulated for a long time. If your parrot is bored, it may use hopping as a way to keep itself stimulated and also to let go and unwind a little bit.

To Seek Attention 

Another common reason for parrots jumping up and down is attention-seeking. A bored parrot is more likely to have pent-up energy which makes it jumps up to get attention. It may be bored from being unstimulated for a while or lack of interaction with you. This might simply be telling you that it’s time for a play session.


When parrots jump on seeing you, it can be their way of greeting you. This is especially true, if you’ve left them alone for a while, say a couple of hours, or the typical 8-hour work shift. So when your parrot sees you again, it fills it with joy. If your parrot is out of its cage, it may leap and fly towards you, to tell you how glad they are.

Being Startled 

If in an instant, your parrot springs up from its position, it may have been because it is just startled. Parrots are quite skittish, so they may jump straight up if caught off guard by any kind of sudden movement.

Do All Parrots Hop?

Hopping is not a common trait among all parrots. Some small parrots, particularly caiques have the tendency to hop rather than walk or run.

It is in their nature to hop, but more so it is also because of how easy it is for the because of their light weight. 

However, hopping is a common expression of excitement in many parrot species. So you shouldn’t be surprised to see your parrot hopping around when they’re elated.

How High Can Parrots Jump?

A parrot’s jumping ability is a result of its strong legs and hollow bones. It makes the burst movements seamless and easy for parrots. 

Parrots can jump pretty high, but it is mostly a thing among small parrots. It is quite easy for small parrots to jump high because of their weight.

Is It Normal For Parrots To Jump?

It is perfectly normal behavior if your parrot chooses to hop instead of walking. It is usually an occasional thing among parrots, and they will usually get over it. 

However, some species of parrots, particularly caiques may be inclined to do it more than others. So you shouldn’t really worry much about this behavior. 

Why Do Parrots Hop Around Flowing Water?

Some parrots like their bathtime, so if you leave them a bowl of water to bathe themselves, they will probably hop around and have fun with it. Also, it is much easier and more efficient energy-wise to hop on water than to wade. 

This behavior is similar to what toddlers would do if you put them in a small tub of water. They use their hands to splash the water around.

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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