Quiet They Ain’t

One of the most well-known features of parrot behavior is their vocalization. I’ve seen terminology like “quiet voices” and “shrill voices,” and I’ve even seen this trait included in descriptions of particular species’ “suitability as pets.” That one really got to me. Screaming is what parrots do. It’s their job, and they do it well. Some people shout more than others. The level at which a parrot screams has no bearing on its suitability as a pet; rather, it is a question of personal taste depending on how loud you (and your neighbors) can tolerate. A parrot may scream for a number of reasons, some of which are innate in the bird and others which are the consequence of negative reinforcement or over-bonding. If your parrot cries incessantly, it is most likely due to a behavioral issue. There are various excellent publications produced by avian experts on how to deal with this scenario. It is entirely natural for your parrot to scream now and again.
When you leave the room, for example, a parrot may screech. Cockatiels are prone to this. Consider what the bird is doing in this situation- They are a prey animal in the wild, which means that if they are not cautious, they will become food while seeking for meal. When one parrot cannot see another, they will call back and forth to reassure themselves that everything is well. When you leave the room, your parrot is unable to see you and becomes “worried for your safety.” It calls to you to make sure you’re okay, and it fully expects you to respond. If you don’t, the little man will clearly get more worried. One tactic I do is to respond with a faint whistle or sound. Our cockatiel Doodles will softly whistle to us after we’ve been out of the room for a long. Everything is alright with her as long as we whistle back.
Another situation when parrots may shout is when you are in the same room but focused on something else, giving the bird the sense that it is being neglected. Consider them in the wild- parrots are a flock species that does almost everything together. Parrots do not wander out on their own and conduct things on their own; it is considered disrespectful in their thoughts. Just before your parrot begins yelling, he will normally go through his charming rituals to gain your attention. If it doesn’t work, he’ll resort to yelling. Personally, I believe he is disciplining you at this point for committing such a serious breach of proper flock etiquette.
Most parrots are most loud first thing in the morning and last thing at night. This is an example of natural flock behavior. I’m not sure why; perhaps it’s some sort of avian roll call or something. Parrots also scream to warn other flock members of potential dangers. Again, this is innate action. If your parrot notices anything out of the ordinary in his “territory,” he will notify you immediately.
Another reason parrots scream is simply because it is enjoyable for them. Another factor to consider is that most parrots reflect the energy level of their surroundings. A loud parrot is usually found in a loud household with the television on. The same parrot in a relatively quiet household with the television set at normal listening levels will be much quieter.

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