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Why do parrots scream a lot?

Why do parrots scream a lot?

Not all “ parrots”  scream.  South American birds including conures and macaw parrots as well as some Australian parrots like moluccan cockatoos can be quite noisy.  Conversely  African parrots from say the poicephalus family  are fairly quiet like senegals, myers and red bellies.

Big birds like moluccan cockatoos can scream quite loudly literally at levels that exceed the noise 747 Jumbo jet landing ( approximately 157 decibels).

Parrots scream to communicate.  The best thing you can do when a parrot is screaming is not yell “shut up”  because when you do the animal thinks it has your attention and will “squawk squawk squawk” back engaging the conversation that you just  enabled.

Parrot vocalizations can have many many  meanings. Everything  from I’m hungry to I’m lonely to please talk to me.

Generally in the wild when birds go silent,  danger is imminent.  otherwise they go about their business of squawking to each other about the daily chores of finding food,  mates and training babies.

For persistent screamers it’s best to let them have at least 15 to 30 minutes of scream time  per day  allowing the parrot to get it out of its system. To quiet a screaming bird you can use a technique called redirection.

Place a saucepan and a wooden spoon out of the birds line of sight.  When the bird starts to scream incessantly,  leave the room with a high-value treat in your hand then grab the pot and Spoon (out of the parrot’s eyesight.  Bang-bang-bang the spoon against the pot which will usually quiet the bird because it will wonder what that sound is.

Moving as quickly as possible we enter the room praising the bird in a high voice for being good while rewarding it for silence.  if you do this on a regular basis you can extend the time line that it takes for you to enter the room the extending the silence with  the bird understanding it will be rewarded for not screaming.

We  speak bird  @ Windy City Parrot  which means that we take the time to learn the nuances of our birds “voice”  in a captive environment. Screaming  triggers can  range from hunger to  other human flock members or feathered flock members.  Uneven lighting cycles throughout the year or even small environmental changes like the movement of a piece of artwork or a piece of furniture.

Our senegal Peaches has a distinct sound she makes specifically indicating she’s unhappy that her bird cage door is not open the moment her cage light comes at 8:20 AM CST.   The  sooner you learn to speak bird,  the sooner you can get your parrot to stop screaming

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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