Hopping or Jumping

Hopping appears in pet parrots as a normal, exuberant, movement. Jumping appears as a mode of transportation for pet parrots.


These can be categorized as two different behaviors in various avian species. What is normally called “hopping,” appears in parrots to be an exuberant play behavior. It is especially seen with caiques and some cockatoos, but also in other species like Hyacinth macaws. On the other hand, “jumping” could be defined more as a mode of transportation, with a parrot using a short leap to move from one place to another. Songbirds like canaries and finches also use hopping as a normal mode of transportation, as from one perch to another or along the ground. Careful observers of backyard birds will note that some songbirds never “walk” but only hop.


It depends on the circumstances. If a pet parrot’s jumping is getting it into trouble, then steps need to be taken to either give the parrot a good reason to want to stay in one place (by offering fabulous toys, foraging things and/or food treats, etc.) or to move the bird from place to place before it gets bored and wishes to exit the area. Keep in mind that birds like cockatoos are extremely active and are not as likely to stay in one location for very long. As a result, moving them from fascinating place to even more fascinating place can assist with this problem. As always, pet birds like parrots must be supervised at all times when they are out of their cages. As to hopping, owners should simply enjoy the spectacle, as a hopping parrot is funny to watch! Obviously, nothing needs to be done regarding a hopping songbird.

Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.

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Behavior and Training