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Do birds yawn? (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Watching a pair of blackbirds on a very nearby bush, I watched one open it's bill and kept it open for a couple of seconds before closing - no sound came out, looked like a yawn! Never seen this before, suppose they get tired like the rest of us.....

Especially those of us walking round Asda at 4 am to dodge the Christmas Eve crush at the tills. Only me and a couple of others in there.... By seven probably heaving! Well planned, that was...:t:

The Raptor

Bristol City's No.1 Fan!
This image I took back in September shows a House Sparrow yawning, there was no sound at all.



  • House Sparrow 163_edited-copy.jpg
    House Sparrow 163_edited-copy.jpg
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Well-known member
Thanks for replies folks. Glad to see it wasn't just a figment of my imagination!!

Happy Christmas


Well-known member
I would imagine they would most definitely fart after all the dried fruit that gets put on the birdtable in our garden!! Never beat cat farts though, although our GSD would fart his bestest, smelliest numbers if he was sitting next to you while you ate and you didn't give him any. Usually a juicy pork chop, and sometimes if you took your eye off the plate to look at someone while talking to them , he'd nick it. If he got to actually swallow the meat before anyone could take it off him, he'd usually consider it worth the hiding he got!


duck and diver, bobolink and weaver
That's interesting, I seem to remember a New Scientist article that stated quite categorically that only mammals yawned - in fact I think it stated only orders Carnivora and Primates. Unfortunately, don't think I'll be able to relocate it. Interesting to hear if others heard the same thing...


Well-known member
My Canary sneezed when it was sick. Just soft puff-sound and some head shaking.

There was a belief that birds and reptiles don't yawn, but it was many times disproved. I seen many wild birds and some tame reptiles yawning.


Well-known member
One of my parrots will actually "yawn on cue" ... I have a little digital camera that can shine a red light to the target of the photo ... triggers a yawn from this one parrot every time!


Birds definitely sneeze. It's a very brief sound and it often accompanies and quick shake of the head.

To The best of my knowledge, birds cannot pass gas, at least not in the form of a fart. I could be wrong about this but this is supposedly why those sick people feed alca-selzers to gulls. They cannot get rid of the gas and they die.


Senior Moment
This is a great question, especially as there is so much dispute about what a yawn achieves from a physiological standpoint. I once read something that suggested that a yawn was a quick way of taking a breath because the body was starved of oxygen. It gained a life of its own because my ex-wife and I often claimed it was a lack of oxygen when yawning in the midst of a family gathering. The theory postulated that coughs and sneezes (not sure on this one) along with yawns and hiccups were ways that the body dealt with small breathing problems as infants and were remnants of ancestral responses (particularly, hiccups). However, yawning has a far older (possible) explanation in that snakes use this method to re-set the jaws after engulfing large items. Given that birds are thought to have evolved (being cautious here) from Theropod dinosaurs, it is possible that there is a partial explanation here albeit that yawning would re-set the muscles rather than the jaw bones. I hasten to add that mammals split from the Reptilian lineage at such a remote period that yawning almost certainly has a differect explanation for each group when the structure of the jaw and respiratory system is considered.



Senior Moment
Do they also sneeze, fart and belch?

At the risk of sounding like a biological geek, the fart and belch are totally different physiological responses but the sneeze is certainly related to a point. Having said that, birds have a very different physiology when compared to mammals so the concepts of expelling internal gases are not so easy to understand or explain. We often think that birds and mammals are closely related because they both employ warm-blooded circulation but this is where the similarity ends. There is no way I could adequately represent this in a forum thread but I invite anyone to look at diagramatic versions of the digestive systems of mammals compared to birds (or if lacking, dinosaurs). Blimey, who would have thought a fart was so interesting?

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