Friday, November 30, 2007

Reasons for Screaming Parrots

All parrots make noise. From the small parakeet or finch to larger birds such a macaws and cockatoos. The main and most noticable difference between the two is how loud each bird's vocalization are. Macaws and cockatoos are very loud, while parakeets and finches mostly make small chirps. A large parrots screaming is extremely loud and ear piercing. They will do this at any time of the day. It is important to understand that most parrots "call to the flock" several times per day, usually in the morning, around noon, at dusk, which is a completely natural behavior since birds are social animals. You cannot, and should not, attempt to stop this natural process. This "flock calling" is a parrot's way of determining which flock members are present or not present. It's the constant, ear-piercing, screaming that needs to be corrected. Parrots scream for many different reasons. Screaming is usually a sign of a medical problem, boredom or psychological problem. To figure out why the bird is screaming, it often helps to think back to when the negative behavior first started, and what happened in the bird's life/home environment at that time, such as loss of the bird's mate, loss/gain of a human in the home, cage location change, remodeling, addition/death of another pet, etc...Before attempting to resolve any screaming problem, you should have your exotic veteranarian perform a physical on the bird. If no medical problems found, you should look to other causes of the screaming. Improper lighting, stress, poor diet, improper cage size, lack of/not enough mental stimulation or human attention, and insufficient sleep are all other causes of this ear piercing scream. Some birds scream when they run out of food or water or when their cages need to be cleaned. Some birds scream when they see strangers outside or who come into the home, when they dislike or mistrust someone in the home. All in all, you should not attempt to discipline the bird until you know what the cause of the screaming is. Once you determine that the screaming is nothing more than a bad habit, you can put a cloth or blanket over the cage to simulate "night time" and the bird should quiet down.

Posted by Marielle Livesey (Week 10)


At 7:04 PM, Blogger PWH said...

Thats an interesting article. I have a pet bird at home. Its a small parrot, a conure, but it can make some really ear-piercing screams. The only time the bird screams is when your playing with him and he gets over excited. Mostly when you say to many phrases he knows in a short period of time. I don't think birds screaming necessarily mean something bad all the time, though. It seems that was what the article you read said. I think they can scream when they are happy or excited too.

-Christine McConville

At 1:03 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This is an interesting article. I have been wondering what causes parrots to scream so much myself, especially cockatoos. I work at a zoo with two cockatoos. One of them, has the most ridiculously loud scream. It varies in form, but often sounds like an alarm, which is why they are nicknamed the alarm bird. I have speculated that the reasons for the screaming behavior were some of the same that the article presented. He often screams if you are paying attention to the other parrots in the room and not him. He will also do funny dances, fluff his head feathers up and flip all around.

Gina Sciartilli (10)


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