Parrot hearing ability

I read in a book about ravens and other corvids, that their hearing ability is the same as humans. Except that their ability lies within their attention payed to different types of noises than our attention. Would this be the case with parrots? Would size of bird matter? Often, it sure seems that my parrots have zoned in on a distant noise that im unaware of, which they begin alert to. What are other peoples knowledge of or insightful experiences? Some say they believe their hearing to be less abled than ours.

The thing about birds is that there are so many different species that, unless there are studies done on a species or a very similar one to the one that we are studying, there is little to extrapolate because of the specialization [like owls having asymmetrical ears or cave-dwelling birds being able to echolocate]. Off the top of my head and going by what I remember about their hearing is that it’s only second to sight in terms of importance and that their hearing is similar to ours in terms of range [actually, theirs is smaller than ours] BUT the biggest difference comes in their recognition of different sounds [birds hear absolute pitch while most humans hear relative pitch -humans that hear absolute pitch are very rare- and are more sensitive to tone and rhythm] with birds being much, much better than us. And they not only distinguish sounds better but they also figure them out much faster than us, we do it in 1/20 of a second while they do it in 1/200! [it’s the same thing with vision, their brains don’t need as much time as ours do to figure out exactly what it is that we are seeing, they know instantly]. Hearing is essential to communication and we know that all species of birds ‘talk’ to each other and some even before they are born! Chicks learn to recognize their mother’s vocalization from inside the egg and chirp back before they hatch to the point that the mother bird learns to recognize her chicks by their chirping AND [and this is soooo cool!] quail babies actually ‘talk’ to each other from inside their eggs in order to synchronize their hatching to within two hours of each other AND pelican babies tell their mother if they are too cold or too hot in their eggs! So it’s entirely possible that your birds hear a sound at the same time you do but they are able to ‘separate’ it from other sounds AND figure out what it is before you do -if you even do at all.

While birds have great processing of sound in their brain, their actual ears are rather limited. Size, enclosure by feathers, and lack of additional inner ear bones makes Avian hearing more restricted than mammalian typically is. Birds (with owls being the main exception) need the sound to be a higher volume to be able to make it out at all than humans. Also the range of frequencies that they can hear is narrower. More details in this video and article I did: it comes to perception, it mostly depends on what we’re interested in. Birds probably pay attention to predators and calls from their flock more than anything else. We may not notice those sounds while we might take note of the ice cream truck, favorite song, of the sound of a certain engine.

Thank you, both. Now, communicating from the egg! That is fascinating!

I read that budgie parakeets have sensitive hearing. And, i can tell when something is too loud for them, like music. Because they will start cherping like crazy, then stop when i turn it down. I tend to keep, usually, some form of classical music, on light volume for my birds. Its stimulating but not over bearing. Its background sound-stimulation. And, if i were in some emergency, where they would have to put themselves to sleep/bed without me. Its light enough to fall asleep to. Again, in the background. I view parrots on youtube, rocking to outrageous heavy metal. What scares me, about the complexity of this subject, is parrot owners possible interpretation. That it is more than okay to blast and leave music blasted for their parrots that supposively hear less. In my observations, again, my parrots pick up on sounds that i can barely barely hear! Regardless of the reasons. Though, some of the reasons listed are interesting, and go along with the very nature of birds. Birds being survivalists, in tune to the subtleties of their environment, and within their conservation of energy. Parjarita, do you by any chance have resources sites, especially on communication from eggs. Im compiling reads toward a school paper.

I think you are misinterpreting the reason why the budgies vocalize louder when there is loud music on. I seriously doubt they are complaining because the volume is too high, I think it’s because this is something that all parrots do: if there is background noise, they vocalize louder so as to be heard. It’s like when you are in a nightclub and the music is blasting and you end up shouting in order to maintain a conversation. I do agree that putting on loud heavy metal music for birds is crazy but then I think that anybody who listens to it must be brain damaged Some species do love a very marked rhythm and will enjoy following it, especially if it’s a species [like some cockatoos] that actually uses percussion rhythms as part of courtship or other behavior but playing heavy metal very loud is completely unnecessary and might even be bad for them -although I would think that it has more to do with making them way too excited than actual hearing loss. This is what I have on birds vocalizations: this one is specific about babies in the egg communicating via vocalizations: … -3-141.pdf

My cockatiels are on the other side of the house. If I cough during the night I will get a contact call back. I sleep with the TV on and that does not seem to bother them. They just seem to be keyed into me.