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Do Parakeets Like Music? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Elizabeth Gray

By Elizabeth Gray

man is playing the guitar as a monk parkeet listens to music in the Park Of Barcelona City Spain

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Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Like most birds, parakeets are fond of singing and calling to each other. But do these birds like listening to music, too? Just like humans, parakeets have individual preferences, but many parakeets seem to like some types of music.

In this article, we’ll discuss why parakeets like music, what music parakeets like and how sound enrichment can benefit the well-being of these pet birds.

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How Parakeets React to Music

As we mentioned in the introduction, parakeets may react differently to music and other sounds. However, research has given us insight into how a bird’s brain responds to music. A study published in 2012 found that birds display similar activation in the rewards center of the brain when listening to birdsong as humans do when listening to music.1

Research has also shown that a birdsong follows the same patterns and structures as some types of human music, making it seem logical that a parakeet that enjoys the sounds of a birdsong may also enjoy the sounds of some human songs.2

How they react may depend on the type of music you’re playing for them, as we’ll cover in the next section.

music loving blue parakeet is looking for the source of sound
Image Credit: Piotr Kalinowski Photos, Shutterstock

What Music Do Parakeets Like?

Several bird species have been studied to determine what type of music they prefer. One study found that birds became more active when listening to classical music in addition to nature sounds and less active when rock music was played.

Other research found that the musical taste of birds can vary widely, from classical to pop to rock, although most seem to dislike electronic dance music (EDM) for some reason. One unique study allowed parrots to select their own playlist and most developed personalized music preferences within a month.

Based on this research, plus the personal experience of many parakeet owners, it seems that the musical taste of parakeets can be as colorful and unique as the birds themselves.

Can Sound Enrichment Benefit Your Parakeet?

Parakeets are active, social birds who can easily become bored and frustrated in captivity. To prevent problem behaviors like screaming, aggression, and self-mutilation, it’s important to provide your pet parakeet with plenty of environmental enrichment.

Toys, swings, perches, and ladders are all examples of physical environmental enrichment, but parakeets can also benefit from sensory enrichment. This allows the bird to use all their senses, including hearing.

Music, nature sounds, or watching television can all serve as sound enrichment for parakeets. They may also enjoy shredding paper and cardboard for touch enrichment or smelling plants and other natural odors to enrich their sense of smell. Parakeets should also spend time outside their cage each day for socialization and exercise.

parakeet bird playing with toys
Image Credit: UniqSnaps, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

While many parakeets like music, their response can vary. In addition, parakeets have wildly varied individual preferences regarding the type of sounds and music they enjoy. Sound enrichment can help keep a parakeet entertained and happy, and music can certainly play a role in this. Introduce your parakeet to a variety of music and pay attention to what they seem to like. Just remember to keep the volume low; parakeets have sensitive hearing.


Featured Image Credit: Julija Ogrodowski, Shutterstock

Elizabeth Gray

Authored by

Elizabeth Gray is a lifelong lover of all creatures great and small. She got her first cat at 5 years old and at 14, she started working for her local veterinarian. Elizabeth spent more than 20 years working as a veterinary nurse before stepping away to become a stay-at-home parent to her daughter. Now, she is excited to share her hard-earned knowledge (literally–she has scars) with our readers. Elizabeth lives in Iowa ...Read more

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