Why is my parrot yawning

Why Is My Parrot Yawning So Much? (8 Reasons)

Yawning is something that we all do, including our birds. While the exact reason behind yawning is unclear, it is commonly associated with feelings of tiredness. 

Parrots typically yawn for the same reason – when they’re tired. However, yawning in parrots can also be influenced by social cues, such as seeing other people yawning.

Numerous studies suggest that yawning is contagious among certain species, indicating that parrots might yawn in response to observing this behavior in humans.

Yawning occasionally is normal behavior for parrots, and it’s typically not a cause for concern. However, if you observe your parrot yawning continuously, it may indicate an underlying issue. Excessive yawning in birds can be due to many reasons including obstruction in the crop, unexplained tiredness, stress, or respiratory issues. 

Why Is My Parrot Yawning Continuously?

There are many reasons why parrots yawn. if your parrot is yawning frequently, it may be due to the following reasons:

Contagious Yawning 

Contagious yawning is a phenomenon observed in various species, including humans. Research shows that parrots are likely to yawn when they see their owners yawn.  

If you are yawning around your parrot, it may induce feelings of tiredness in them and they may also yawn. They may also yawn after seeing other birds yawn.  

Regulating Body Temperature

Some theories posit yawning as a way to cold the brain and protect it from thermal damage. This idea is called “the brain-cooling hypothesis.” It suggests that when the temperature inside our bodies, especially our brains, goes up, yawning might be a way to cool it down. 

A study by Animal Behavior tested this hypothesis on a group of 20 budgerigars. The birds were put in different temperature conditions: a normal room temperature (22°C), a warmer temperature that gradually increased (22-34°C), and a high temperature (34-38°C). 

The study found that the birds yawned more when the temperature gradually increased (around 4 yawns per bird), compared to when it was really hot (about 2 yawns per bird). 

However, when the temperature was normal, it was only about 1 yawn per bird. This suggests that yawning might help birds regulate their body temperature, especially when it’s getting warmer.

Crop Adjusting 

Yawning can sometimes be mistaken for crop adjusting as the two actions look very similar. The crop is a small pouch located at the base of the esophagus. It helps birds by temporarily holding onto food while the rest of the food is being digested. 

Crop adjusting is a behavior in birds where they make room in their crop to accommodate more food. They do this by extending their necks and repeatedly opening their mouths to relax the crop muscles. if your parrot keeps opening its mouth wide, it may be adjusting its crop. 

Clearing Obstructions In Crop

When a parrot feels it has something stuck in the crop, it will try to get rid of it by adjusting its crop. This involves the parrot repeatedly opening and closing its mouth to remove the irritant. The parrot may also regurgitate its food if it is unable to clear its crop in a few attempts. 

Parrots can get irritants in their crop for various reasons. This can happen if they eat dusty or contaminated food, are exposed to pollutants, or consume things that might cause irritation.

Young parrots that have just made the switch to solid food may occasionally get a piece of fruit or pellet stuck. They may make a yawning action to swallow the food properly. 

Parrots can sometimes be seen yawning after they preen their feathers. As they’re grooming their feathers with their beak, tiny dirt particles can get into their mouth and then in their crop and cause irritation. So they yawn to clear their crop and regurgitate the irritant. 


Just like we yawn when feeling sleepy and tired, parrots do the same. When we’re drowsy our brain does not receive sufficient oxygen to function which triggers yawning. Yawning allows one to breathe oxygen in large amounts. 

Parrots typically sleep for 10-12 hours a day including a few quick naps during the day. If your parrot is sleeping more than usual, it can be because it is sleep-deprived or is sick.

Make sure that your parrot is getting undisturbed sleep. If sleeping arrangement is not the issue, then this excessive sleepiness can be due to an illness.


Parrots commonly stretch their muscles when they wake up. Yawning and stretching help parrots loosen their muscles, increase blood flow, and prepare for the activities of the day. It is a healthy behavior in parrots and is observed commonly in the mornings. 

Yawning can also mean that your parrot feels comfortable and secure in its environment. During a yawn, parrots often have to close their eyes for a short period, which is equivalent to letting one’s guard down.

In the wild, even the blink of an eye means life and death, so when a parrot yawns in front of you, it could mean that it is just relaxing a bit and trusting its surroundings.

Parrot yawning


According to a study by Science Direct, yawning in parrots seems to be connected to stress. In a study, researchers mimicked a stressful situation for a group of budgies to see how they reacted. The birds were gently caught and held for 4 minutes, like when they might feel threatened by a predator. 

After this, when they watched the birds for an hour, they noticed at first, the birds yawned less, but then, within 20 minutes, the yawning increased significantly.

They also found that when the birds were stressed, their body temperature went up, and those with higher temperatures were quicker to start yawning. This suggests that yawning could be a way to tell if a bird is feeling stressed.

Respiratory Problems 

Excessive yawning in parrots could be linked to underlying respiratory problems. This can be a serious health concern. However, parrots may or may not show signs of being ill as they tend to hide their sickness. 

Respiratory problems are common in parrots and be caused by environmental pollutants, smoke, sprays, paints, or infections. It is best to take them to a vet as an early diagnosis can prevent further complications. 

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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