Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot

Grooving With Your Pack?

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When we adopted our parrots, we learned that some have great rhythm and bob to music. If you are familiar with Snowball, the dancing cockatoo, you know what I mean. They’re smart and need some tunes to groove a little, but what kind of music do our birds like? We weren’t sure, so we tested them.

African Grey parrot
Ruby was a gentle, intelligent soul and deeply missed.

We sat Ruby, our late African Grey, in front of the TV and flipped through the cable music channels way up in the big numbers. Why not the radio, you ask? I was avoiding the DJs, and the cable TV’s built-in guide listed the stations by specific genres. As a bonus, there were no commercial interruptions. Ruby sat in front of the TV as we tried a few channels. Hard rock? She turned her back to the TV. We interpreted that as a “no thank you.” We got the same reaction for soft rock, bluegrass, and country. She turned and faced the TV for soft music, with lyrics or instrumental. We deduced that she’s a sensitive bird that likes her music to be quiet and non-threatening.

Goffin Cockatoo
Sugar is smiling softly here, but he can be a real toot when he wants to be. He wants a beat and likes to dance!

Sugar, our Goffin’s Cockatoo rescue, disliked soft music of any kind. He wanted a strong beat so he could bob along. He particularly got excited when he heard I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) and Sugar, Sugar. Given his name, it could be that his original owner played these songs specifically for him. We know that Sugar is at least 44 years old, but he may be old enough that he heard these songs when they were first released in 1965 and 1969. He likes upbeat songs, but he also likes old-fashioned rock and roll — nothing too hard or acid rock. As far as I could tell, he didn’t like techno, jazz, soft pop, or folk. He seemed to dislike country, especially. We judged his music taste by the enthusiasm of his dance/bob, if he likes to bathe to it (yes, bath time requires happy music), or whether he flies out of the room whenever we played a certain genre. Scientific? No. Amusing? Yes.

Green-Cheeked Amazon Parrot
Hannah is a simple girl who loves a story in her music.

Hannah has a clear preference for country music. We learned this using a different test method. We turned on the radio and found one station that didn’t make her scream like a banshee; it was country. She spends several hours each day in her happy place listening to country radio, and she seems contented. She’s eager to go in every morning and eager to move back to the bedroom in the evening. It’s her routine, and the music is critical. I suspect that as a breeder bird, she heard no music, but the rescuer that took her in probably played country radio.

Bengal cat
I must not be playing the right kind of music here, because Nami isn’t interested. She’d rather watch the birds outside.

Our Bengal cat, Nami, often hangs out with me when I work at home, and I generally listen to instrumental music that doesn’t distract me. Nami doesn’t seem to mind, so it must not be offensive. Whenever I play my slack key guitar (Hawaiian acoustical guitar) playlist, she will run in to sit on my lap or the desk beside me. She seems to smile. Scientific? Nope, but she makes her preference clear.

parrot friends
Hannah and Sugar don’t like the same music, but they like each other. Friends don’t let small things like that get in the way.

I can’t tell if the other cat and dogs have a preference. They don’t seem offended by my musical taste, as far as I can tell. Do they even listen? I’m not sure. I would be interested to hear if anyone else has determined their pets’ musical taste and how they know. The remaining cat and three dogs haven’t shown a preference — I need some new methods!

Black dog
I think that Garnet may be a Jazz sort of girl, but so far, her music preference is a secret.


  1. Grate post Miss Karel…mee onlee lissenss to one station that playss today’ss musick an LadyMew dislikess it alot, so shee leevess radio on when shee goess out so mee can enjoy Bruno Marss an Beyonce an those sort of singerss!
    ‘Angel’ Unkell Purrince Siddhartha loved Mandarin Chinese musick from his faverite show “Ice Fantasy”…it ISS furry lyrical an purrty….
    ‘Angel Aunty Nylablue loved Reggae an Bob Marley an Capital City song ‘Safe an Sound” an SEAL…anything from SEAL!!
    ‘Angel’ Grate Aunty Mingflower liked Paul Revere an THE Raiderss music an shee even meo-yowed with him on fone!! An shee loved THE musick of band KISS!
    Wee all were so diffyrent!

    Sugar iss one rockin birdie!
    **purrss** BellaDharma

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am pleased – and not surprised- that Lady Mew let you each make your requests and honored them. She’s very in-tune with her kitties!


  2. What a great experiment, and now, as in any family everyone gets to listen to what they like as well as what they Aren’t particularly fond of. In Freestyle. We find the dog’s rhythm by walking in large circles and timing the BPM that is natural to them. Then, we play lots of different music that is that same beat while walking again in a big circle with our dog. We watch the dogs reaction. When Lexi heard a song she liked a lot, her whole demeanor changed. She stepped higher, looked more alert, held her head high and generally exerted more energy. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It is beautiful. Freestyle is the only dog sport where the dog has as much say in what is done as the person, from start to finish. Xena made up one of our moves that we took to competition where she got her first title, and it was all the judges’ favorite part of the dance routine.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We adore all the shots we see on social media of birds dancing to music. How wonderful you have a floor show to yourselves! Endlessly intriguing to know why they like particular genres but thoroughly enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like that they all have very distinctive and individual tastes. It’s not a surprise to people like us, but I know some are out there that hadn’t really thought of it before. Now, they have an opportunity!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a hard time with a group name. Pack/Clowder/Flock seems hard. The critters each maintain a mixed group than accepts each other and humans as members. Clan? I think of them simply as “family” but most people misinterpret that.

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  4. Our late, loved kitty Mr Beaumont just loved music. He was particularly fond of the Mamas and the Papas. We had to send him upstate for surgery once, and while in isolation (they irradiated his thyroid), he refused to eat. I begged the doctors to play music, but they laughed me off. Finally, my vet called them and said, “Play music! Now!” They did, and he ate. He lived many more years in blissful, musical joy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, what a music lover – and a great testimonial for the power of music. You had a great vet to advocate for his patient (and listening to you). Respect.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. After reading about music that relaxes cats, which they were saying classical music can do this, there was also another they shared in music especially for cats.
    I don’t know about a lot of classical, as at the time I didn’t have a lot other than one cd which was violinist Andre Rieu, which she liked that I noticed.
    But after playing a couple of music of the other mentioned, I decided to download it. As I like cd’s, I put them onto cd’s. I noticed when playing, that my cat Miley, who I tried this on was falling asleep after 5 minutes. She was definitely listening to the music while on my lap, as her ears were moving in a way to show she was. Even when she appeared asleep, I think she was still listening before she truley dozed off.
    This music was called ‘Calming music for cats – deluxe edition’ by Relaxing My Cat.

    As it’s been a few years I thought I’d look up the website. It’s

    I see they have changed their site since I paid and downloaded the album, as it’s a subscription now from what I see, rather than just pay fir some individual tunes, or album.
    But if you go on you tube and see if their music is on there still, looking for their logo so you know you are listening to theirs, you should hopefully still be able to play some, as that’s where I first tried it before downloading the album. Otherwise there are other music for cats on there by others claiming it relaxes their cat. But I couldn’t say for theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will look for that. I have some songs that incorporate purring into an instrumental piece, and I’ve seen Nami react to them when the purring riffs starts. She was listening, but I’m not sure she approved.


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