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Old 02-13-2016, 02:20 PM
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Question How do I deter an unwanted whistle combination?

Hi there,

My 1 year old cockatiels have learned a very annoying whistle combination. It is very high pitch and is driving me a little crazy haha. I really do not know where they learned this whistle combination from. It is not one of the whistles that we done with them. The sound does not match anything in our house (ex: cell phone rings, alarm clock, etc.). I just don't know where they learned it from. I've been trying different whistles with them, as well as reviewing the whistles they already know. I was hoping that listening to new whistles would help them kind of forget about the annoying whistle, I guess you could say. I purchased feathered phonics for cockatiels and parakeets. I think the CD is awesome, it has a lot of easy whistles that I feel my babies can easily learn. But they haven't caught on to the new whistles even after listening to it a lot and me also whistling the songs.

I also thought that maybe this whistle was them looking for attention while they are in their cage. But nope. They will do this whistle all the time.. if they are in their cage, on your shoulder (right next to our ear.. it's not very enjoyable), when they are on their play stand just hanging out, they will do it no matter what. I try hard to keep them busy with fun stuff; like treats, toys, paper that is safe to shred. No matter what, they continue to do the whistle.

I'm not sure if this is a behavioral thing. From what I've read online, they go thru sexual maturity around this time. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it. Any input from fellow bird owners would be appreciated so much! I love these birds so much but wow, this whistle is driving me nuts! Some days, the high pitch of the whistle will give me an instant headache. I just don't know what else to do.

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope that someone is able to give me some advice or tips on what I should do with my Rocky and Simon.
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Old 02-13-2016, 02:28 PM
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Re: How do I deter an unwanted whistle combination?

Hi have a really good listen to things in the house and remember they hear better than we do. Is it something that you just tune out but they don't and have copied?
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:06 PM
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Re: How do I deter an unwanted whistle combination?

Is this whistle something they only do when the other bird is around? Sounds like something that will be difficult to train away.

This is just a total brainstorm, but... If they are using the whistle for the other bird's benefit, maybe you can separate them for awhile and encourage them to do other whistles. That way, they aren't being reinforced by the other bird to do the annoying whistle. Then when you reintroduce them for part of the day, wait until they are already chattering or singing appropriately. Continue this until they stop with the annoying one.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:11 PM
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Re: How do I deter an unwanted whistle combination?

When they whistle, what do you do? Try to distract them straight away?
If you respond to their annoying whistle with another whistle, a toy or even just attention, they could be associating it with a reward.
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:44 PM
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Re: How do I deter an unwanted whistle combination?

Hmmm, you could get a cockatoo, by comparison, Rocky and Simon whistles would be a pleasant treat. I'm joking, small birds can make annoying noises too.

I agree with Mekaisto, Rocky and Simon may see your reaction as a reward. Another possibility is the whistle they keep making is just fun. My neighbor's car alarm malfunctioned once and kept going off all day, my quaker mimicked the noise exactly and she kept it up for weeks. She finally stopped but if she hears a car alarm, she remembers and starts all over again. She also thinks it's hilarious to imitate our Yorkie's high pitched yap.
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