When your parrot communicates by making noise, his squawking and screaming can result in sleepless nights and angry neighbors. Before you start wishing you got a cat instead, figure out why your bird is making the noise and make lifestyle adjustments to get him to take it down a notch.
Prioritize your parrot's comfort. Ensure that his cage is large enough to spread his wings. Position the cage in a frequently visited room of the house so he doesn't feel isolated. Look for a comfortable area that's not exposed to direct sunlight and away from windows that might display birds, people, squirrels or cats that might trigger him to make noise.
Provide your pet bird with different foods and treats to satisfy his taste buds, and place a variety of bird toys in his cage to occupy him so he's less likely to make an abundance of noise.
Neglect your bird companion when he's on a screaming rampage for your attention. Walk out of the room without saying anything to him. Giving into him by responding -- even in a negative way -- teaches him that his screaming worked. He'll continue the behavior each time he desires your attention. Once he quiets down, go back in the room and praise him and give him a treat. He'll associate being quiet with getting attention, and making noise with being neglected.
Distract and slightly startle your bird to stop him while he's making noise. Aim a lamp at his cage that's plugged in near a wall that you can hide behind. When your bird starts his noisy symphony, plug in the lamp for three seconds. The light will startle your pet companion so he stops making noise. Wait one minute, and if your pet bird is still quiet reward him with praise and a treat. Alternatively, use a fan.
Create a sleep schedule for your bird to ensure that he's getting at least 12 hours of sleep each day. Lack of sleep might result in a cranky, tired and noisy bird. Covering his cage at bedtime and uncovering it in the morning might help keep him quiet and can help indicate bedtime.
- Why Does My Bird Do That: A Guide to Parrot Behavior; Julie Rach Mancini
- Don't neglect an occasional screech. If your bird sometimes gets lonely and screams when you're out of his sight, call back "I'm right here!" Your voice can reassure him and quiet him down.
- Before making adjustments, consult your veterinarian to ensure that your parrot isn't making noise due to a medical condition or injury.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.