Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Body Language On Video

Observing, correctly interpreting and appropriately responding to my birds' body language plays an important role in my relationship with them. In reality, I find it to be one of the most fascinating aspects as well!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words as they say, I wanted to take a moment to point out the body language demonstration Coco provided during yesterday's video. (I've placed the video at the bottom of this post as well to make it easy to access.)

In particular, I want to draw attention to a specific 5 second segment of the 4 minute video. This occurs during the time when you hear me say that she is 'interested' in the camera (in other words, to my eye, she was expressing some signs of being unsure around the camera and the general situation).

Why did I make that statement? What did I see? It is easy to say "watch your bird's body language", but what does that mean, and what does it look like?

We all see the more obvious - pinning eyes, flapping wings, poofed heads, a bird flying away or moving away, but what are some aspects of body language that might not be less obvious, perhaps more subtle, and possibly easier to overlook?

The Diva comes to the rescue by providing an excellent example of some of her unique subtle body language in the video below. Subtle is a subjective term, and to me, what is seen on this video is anything but subtle. Perhaps because I know her. But I will use the term subtle only in comparison to some of the more bold examples of body language that a bird might display.

When the video begins, the time displayed is 3:53 and it counts down to 0.00.

The 5 second segment I want to focus on begins at approximately 3:20, peaks around 3:18, and is over by 3:15.

Now, we're talking 5 seconds, and the most obvious part of her body language actually lasts less than 2 seconds. However, there is a great deal of information being transmitted in those fractions of seconds.

Had I ignored that body language and moved closer to her with the camera, we would have seen a completely different display of body language.

I see that her body becomes uncomfortably stiff.

Her left shoulder moves back and away from me.
Her entire body turns ever so slightly away from me.
Simultaneously, she lifts her right shoulder slightly.
Her head moves to the side, back and away from me.

It is perhaps not too dissimilar to what we might imagine in a human saying, ""Whoaaaa, Nelly - hold on there a minute!"

Upon the crinkling of the muffin paper, her body language drastically, and instantly changes.

This sets into motion an entirely different dynamic and brings about a new set of body language examples:

She leans forward toward me.
She lifts her foot signaling that she wants a treat.
She realigns her body to face me more directly.

Fascinating - for sure!


1 comment:

Eriisu-chan said...

I totally missed it the first time, but looking back at the video, I can see her getting stiff as you said... and when I'me "paying attention" the stiffening part seems obvious (the shoudlers and such, not so much).

Amazing what a simple muffin paper treat will do, eh? =D

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