Do Parrots Have Ears? {How Parrots Hear}

Have you ever wondered do parrots have ears? Let’s explore this intriguing question about our colorful feathered friends. Parrots are fascinating birds known for their intelligence and mimicry abilities.

Join us as we delve into the world of parrot hearing and discover the wonders of their hidden ears.

Do Parrots Have Ears?

Yes, parrots do have ears. However, their ears are not as visible as those of some other animals. Parrots’ ears are located:

  • behind their eyes
  • on the sides of their heads
  • covered by feathers

These ear openings are small and inconspicuous, which is why they may not be easily noticeable. Parrots have a well-developed sense of hearing, which is essential for communication, navigation, and detecting sounds in their environment.

They can perceive a wide range of frequencies and are particularly sensitive to sounds in the ultrasonic range. This ability to hear a variety of sounds helps them in their social interactions and when identifying potential threats or finding food.

How Do Parrots Hear?

Parrots use their well-developed sense of hearing to communicate and navigate their surroundings. The process of hearing in parrots involves the following steps:

  • Sound Reception: Sound waves enter the ear openings and travel through the ear canal.
  • Middle Ear: In the middle ear, the sound vibrations are amplified by three small bones called ossicles.
  • Inner Ear: The amplified vibrations are transmitted to the cochlea, a spiral-shaped structure in the inner ear, which converts the vibrations into electrical signals.
  • Brain Interpretation: These electrical signals are then sent to the brain, where they are interpreted, allowing the parrot to perceive and comprehend sounds.

What Sounds Do Parrots Like?

Parrots are highly social and intelligent birds that enjoy various sounds. Some sounds that parrots particularly like include:

  1. Mimicking Human Speech: Parrots are renowned for their ability to mimic human speech, and they often enjoy imitating the sounds they hear from their human companions.
  2. Whistles and Melodies: Parrots are attracted to whistling and melodic tunes, and they may even try to replicate these sounds.
  3. Environmental Sounds: Parrots appreciate the sounds of nature, such as chirping birds, rustling leaves, and running water.
  4. Interactive Sounds: Parrots are drawn to interactive sounds, such as toys that make noise or musical instruments.

Can Parrots Hear Frequencies Humans Can’t?

Yes, parrots have a broader range of audible frequencies compared to humans. While the human range of hearing is typically between 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz:

  • parrots can hear frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and beyond.

This expanded range allows them to detect sounds at both lower and higher pitches, making their hearing more sensitive and versatile.

Some parrot species can even detect ultrasonic vocalizations, which are sounds emitted by other animals, such as rodents and insects, that are beyond the range of human hearing.

This heightened auditory perception contributes to their exceptional communication skills and enhances their overall experience in the environment they inhabit.

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Do Parrots Have External Ears?

No, parrots do not have external ears that protrude from their heads like humans or some other animals. Instead, their ears are concealed beneath the feathers and are not visible from the outside.

These ear openings are located just behind their eyes, near the sides of their heads. The absence of visible external ears is a characteristic shared by most birds and is a part of their streamlined and aerodynamic anatomy.

Can Parrots Identify Sounds from Different Directions?

Yes, parrots possess excellent sound localization abilities, allowing them to identify sounds coming from different directions.

Their unique ear placement, located on the sides of their heads, enables them to perceive sounds with a high degree of accuracy.

This skill is essential for parrots in the wild, as it helps them detect potential threats or locate food sources.

By processing slight differences in the time it takes for a sound to reach each ear, parrots can determine the direction of the sound’s origin.

Do Parrots Have Sensitive Hearing?

Yes, parrots have highly sensitive hearing.

  1. Their auditory system is well-developed and finely tuned, enabling them to pick up on a wide range of sounds and variations in pitch.
  2. This heightened sensitivity to sounds is crucial for their survival in the wild, where they need to detect distant calls from their flock members, identify potential predators, and locate sources of food.
  3. Parrots’ auditory acuity is further enhanced by their ability to adjust the tension of the muscles in their middle ear. This adaptation allows them to modulate their hearing sensitivity and protect their hearing from loud noises.

Their keen sense of hearing not only facilitates communication within their flock but also aids in understanding and mimicking various sounds from their environment, making them exceptional vocal mimics.

Can Parrots Recognize Individual Voices?

Yes, parrots are capable of recognizing individual voices, including those of humans and other parrots.

Their advanced auditory memory and cognitive abilities enable them to distinguish between different voices within their flock or human family.

This skill is particularly prominent in parrot species known for their exceptional mimicry, such as the African Grey Parrot or the Indian Ringneck Parrot.

They can mimic human speech patterns and tones, often associating specific words with certain individuals.

How Do Parrots Communicate Using Sounds?

Parrots have a diverse range of vocalizations that they use for communication. They employ various sounds and calls to convey different messages:

  • Contact Calls: Parrots use contact calls to stay in touch with their flock members when they are separated. These calls help them maintain group cohesion and provide reassurance.
  • Warning Calls: When parrots sense danger or perceive a threat, they emit warning calls to alert other members of their group.
  • Courtship Calls: During mating season, parrots produce specific vocalizations to attract potential mates and establish pair bonds.
  • Imitating Sounds: In addition to their natural calls, parrots can imitate a wide array of sounds they hear in their surroundings, including human speech, other bird species, and even mechanical noises.


The fascinating world of parrot hearing reveals a hidden aspect of their remarkable abilities.

Although they lack visible external ears, parrots possess a well-developed auditory system, allowing them to communicate, mimic sounds, and detect a wide range of frequencies.

Their keen sense of hearing contributes to their social interactions and survival in their natural habitats.

Understanding the nuances of parrot ears sheds light on the captivating world of these intelligent and expressive avian companions.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.