Why do parrots scream? Silence means danger. Suppose you have a flock of wild parrots
in trees (in their natural environment) or even a flock of local wild birds in your back yard. On any given sunny
day, a flock of birds will make a lot of noise – it’s all about FLOCK. Chirp, chirp, scream, scream. What are they
communicating about? Same things we do.
If you’ve ever seen a hawk fly over a flock of wild birds, you
swear you can hear the sound of the hawk’s wings flapping. That’s one of the reasons parrots come in so many
colours. If they’re quiet and deep in a tree they are difficult to spot. When that danger passes its chirp, chirp,
Excessive screaming is a learned behaviour that we teach our
birds. Covering your feathered companion with a blanket, teaches him or her that you will cover the cage when
scream gets out of hand.
Yelling at a screaming parrot, gives the parrot the attention it
seeks. Ignoring a screaming parrot is not the answer either. Ignoring bird’s screams could result in finding
injuries too late (or water had run out). Options are to make sure all your Psittacine needs are
satisfied. Large hygienic cage, clean water, fresh food, working toys. Twelve hours of sleep (uninterrupted),
soft wood and other materials to chew, and plenty of exercise.
Start with a signal to stop loud parrots. Ring a cowbell (or
bang a pot) in the room next to the screaming bird. They hear the bell (sound), they stop to listen, show up
from the other room while they are quiet to praise and reward. Set them up to succeed. Use a time when you
know they are quite loud. Distract them with a new noise in the next room. As soon as they stop to listen,
appear and praise.
Lengthen the time between the signal and your appearance each
time. Try and take a whole day at first and only work with the parrot and the screaming. Initial rewards
should be substantial, a known favourite treat. Use the same signal just before feeding fresh food. Wait until
the parrot is noisy; give the signal, praise, and feed.
Not all parrots will quiet down for the same signal so you may
have to try several noises before finding the one that works for you.
Note: Don’t use your voice. The parrot may try to mimic
Give them some scream time also. Scream time is a time during
the day that you allow your parrots to be noisy. This should be given somewhere between 3p.m. and 7p.m. each
day. Encourage your parrots by playing stimulating music. Dance, sing or scream along with them. Scream time
should last no less than 15minutes and no more than 1/2 hour each day.
Some parrots enjoy screaming to the vacuum, this is fine to
encourage but play music as well. Find music that your parrot gets excited over. Use that same song every day
for scream time. Change the music from time to time but be consistent overall. When Scream time is over, lower
the music volume. Talk your parrot down. Lower the music slowly, turn it off, and play their relaxation code music.
Give them afternoon snacks when “cool down” is over.
Birds will wait for their "Scream Time” because they know they
will be rewarded for their patience.