Original Quora question: What is the mechanism I would use to determine the level of a pet birds’ happiness?
Answered by Margaret Bernard, Human-Avian Hybrid, spinning flax into gold.
OP has the expertise and many good answers in parrots and birds.
I will attempt to answer for the indicator of pet birds’ happiness, and not the mechanism.
Is said mechanism physiological, or a measurement?
My birds are parakeets.
Songs, whistles, talking, chortles, clicking and “grinding” are indicators of bird happiness.
Additionally, birds chewing on toys, wood, rope, cage handles, and preening each other (and mirrors) are signs of satisfaction.
Fluffing after preening can indicate satisfaction as the debris shakes off of their bodies.
Wing flapping in place can be used for attention or exercise. (Susan Dorling, Oct. 18, a publication called “Cuteness.”)
An anthropomorphic note: when I examine my birds’ eyes in a magnifying glass, I see a patience and kindness.
Maybe these aren’t their actual emotions and maybe they don’t even have “human” emotions, but their eyes indicate pleasure or “happiness” for me.
I hope I didn’t do too much injustice to the question….