August 29, 2020 3 min read

Parrots are flock animals that need a lot of interaction to maintain their mental health.  They constantly communicate with each other in the wild, sometimes across miles of jungle. It is natural for parrots to be vocal, noisy animals.  Parrots are not quiet pets.

 

While you can expect all parrots to "scream on occasion," excessive screaming is actually a behavior problem in when a parrot squawks or screams much more than is “normal” for the type of parrot it is.

Some types of parrots are much louder than others. Research what is normal for your particular species of bird. While normal parrot noise is annoying, is not a behavior problem but a sign that your parrot feels safe and loved.   

Bird's naturally "scream" or call out at dawn and dusk.  They need to know where their loved ones are.  Create a special whistle to let your bird know that you are near that you can use in the morning and evening. A cage cover may minimize the morning wake up call.

Parrots have different screams, just like kids have different cries.  What kind of scream does your bird make when it is scared or injured?

Screaming parrots

Why Does My Bird Scream?

The majority of overly loud parrots have "accidentally" been taught to scream by their owners.  Research tells us that if we want a behavior to continue we pay attention to it.  So, when your child learns the A, B, C's you gladly sing along with her over and over again you're teaching your little one to sing the A, B, C song! If you pay any attention what so ever, to a bird that screams, good or bad, your bird will learn to scream for attention!

We accidentally teach our bird to scream when we pay attention to the bird when it's screaming.  And, we accidentally make it worse by ignoring the bird when it is quiet and playing nicely.  

It's just natural.  You're a busy person who has everyday life to attend to and it is easy to just let your parrot be when it is quiet and content.  Then, when your bird is lonely and it screams, it gets a generous amount of attention.  This scenario needs to be flipped.

HOW TO STOP YOUR PARROT FROM SCREAMING:

The solution to a screaming bird is to learn how YOU react when your bird is screaming. Good or bad, your bird must find your reaction to be rewarding.

For instance, a lot of people think that if they yell at their bird, it will stop screaming.  Bird psychology tells us that birds communicate in the wild by screaming.  If you yell at your bird, it thinks you are having a conversation with it.  Like it's bonding time! Instead, you need to ignore a screaming parrot. And, as soon as your bird is quiet, whistle or use animated tones as opposed to loud screams or yells.

Each time your bird makes appropriate noise REWARD IT!

reward your bird when it is being quiet

At the same time that you are ignoring a screaming parrot, you need to get into the habit of providing much-needed attention when your bird is using it's talking voice or whistling.  Get into the habit of generously attending to your bird at least five times a day when it is being quiet.  Use this opportunity to model talking and whistling.  Then, generously reward your bird for talking.  For detailed help on this get Train Your Parrot To Talk! by Good Bird, Inc.

Also, begin generously rewarding one or two particular pleasant sounds your bird makes, teaching it what type of sounds always result in satisfying his need for attention.

Always ignore unpleasant and loud shrieking showing your parrot that it won't get your attention with that behavior.  Expect your parrot to try harder to get your attention with screaming but it dawns on him that he can expect love and attention when he is quiet, the loud screaming will fade with time. 

Would you like to learn more about how to start your parrot from screaming?  Check out my book Why Is My Pet Bird Screaming? 

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