How to stop that bird from Screeching!

Parrots are great pets.  They can be great companions and will amuse and amaze you through their daily antics.  However if you happen to get a “squawker” or “Screecher” it can be quite unnerving.  Most of us can stand just so much loud noise in our households. If we have kids plus a screeching or squawking bird that will just ramp up the noise level.

First of all what did you expect?  Many parrots are known for their vocal nature.  Some species are more prone to screeching or squawking than others like Amazons, suns and conures. Before you purchase a parrot be sure to do you homework.  If it’s too late for that step then just read on.

Screeching is a Learned Activity!

First of all parrots learn very early that if they employ screeching or squawking most owners come running to chastise them or see what all the fuss is about. The first rule of thumb is not to fall into this mistake.  If you bird is raising a ruckus using squawking or screeching wait till it calms down before you rush to it’s side.  The only exception this rule is if the noise it is making is different from its usual screeching. In this case it might be something that is threatening the bird like a neighbors cat, or the bird has gotten itself into a situation where it is trapped or caught in the cage.

Secondly, when you are out of the house be sure to greet your bird upon your return.  If you come in and resume your daily activities and ignore the poor guy he might feel he needs to use a screeching noise in case you forgot about him. It’s good practice to establish a basic routine to greet the parrot when you come into the house.  You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this just a friendly “hello Jake” to let the parrot know you are aware of him.

Many screeching parrots do it out of boredom.  I believe it is important to provide parrot “safe” toy for you bird.  If they are engaged with a toy they most likely will not use screeching in an effort to get your attention. I have a set of 12 toys that my bird will play with and I rotate them 2-3 at a time to keep his interest level up.

How would you feel it you spent all your time in the closet?  Birds are no different.  If you have a perch in another room take you bird with you occasionally.  If you cage is small enough move it to where you are working.  You will be surprised how this can stop a lot of the screeching of most birds.

Substitue Screeching for Another Sound

Defer the screech with another sound.  If you have a bird that talks use on of those words to interrupt the screeching of your parrot. My bird can whistle and when he becomes agitated or excited the screeching can drive me nuts.  I found that whistling distracts him and he will many time imitate my sounds and this reduces the amount of screeching. I always try to reward him when he stops screeching and imitates other sounds. Most parrots are intelligent.  They will learn what word phrases mean.  For instance, If I am going upstairs for something I might tell my bird “Hey Jake, I’ll be right back” and after a while the bird stopped squawking to get my attention because he realized that combination of words ment I was not going to be gone all day.  Conversely, I use another combination like “Good by Jake, See You Tonight” when I go out for the day.

Squawking is a negative activity.  How long did it take your bird to learn to say a few words?  I have found that retraining a bird takes longer than to train them on a new activity.  Be patient.  Reinforce good activity with rewards. Do not raise your voice, cover their cage or respond in a negative nature. Patience is a virtue with parrots.  Parrots intelligence levels have been shown to be as much as a two year old child.  Think about it how long did it take your two year old to listen to you?  Get the idea!

I have had many parrot owners say that the bird seems to screech more when they start this training and this is not unusual.  The bird might be confused at first but if you persist you should find the in the long run it will stop the sheer volume of screeching.  You will never totally eliminate it but in this case less is better.

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