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Old 10-04-2016, 10:16 PM
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HELP desperately needed with a screamer

Last Thursday I came in possession of a Sun conure. Long story short - This person was leaving the country and didn't make any arrangements for this poor bird before leaving. Because everyone who knows me knows that I'm a sucker. I was told about the bird, they pulled on my heartstrings and he came home with me. I took him because I felt sorry for the poor little guy.

Well, here is where my problem lies. My husband works night, YES, and I dared bring a Sun conure home without asking him! This little guy screams ALL the time, you can tell he was not taught any manners or appropriate behaviors. I found out 2 days ago that she kept him the the furthest back room of the house so they didn't have to hear him. I also learned that the girl that gave him up was owner #4 and this poor little guy is only 2-3 years old. I feel awful for him. I have well behaved and I'm deadly afraid that this little one will give my flock bad habits. I have never owned a re-homed bird before. So to be honest I don't know how to correct this behavior. He has also learned along the way that if he bites, hands leave him alone.

I'd love to make my home his very last home. However, I need to make sure he doesn't give those bad habits to my other birds (specially my cockatoo, she's a very quiet bird, and my eclectus repeates everything he hears so I'm scared of him picking up this screaming) and most of all that I control his screaming so that my husband can sleep.

He was taken to the vet to make sure that the screaming wasn't due to medical issues and he was given a clean bill of health.

Like I said earlier, I'd love to be able to keep him and give him a forever home. However, I need to correct this behavior before it ruins my flock and I don't want my husband to tell me to re-home him because he needs to sleep.

I don't even know where to begin. I feel so sad for this little guy. Will I be able to help him? or would it be best to try to find a rescue that will take him? I don't know what to do. If anyone can help me I would surely appreciate it!

I have attached a few pictures of him so you can see why I want to help him. HELP desperately needed with a screamer-2016-10-01-17.59.08-1.jpg

HELP desperately needed with a screamer-2016-10-01-17.58.50-1.jpg
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:24 PM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

I'm afraid I don't have a lot of advice for you--that's a tough situation right there, especially since the hubs needs his sleep so he can work--but I missed your first thread last month and as a fellow parrot lover from Arlington I wanted to say welcome to the forum! You have a beautiful flock.
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Old 10-04-2016, 10:33 PM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

Thanks! Nice to know someone is from Arlington also. I'm so afraid of my cockatoo learning to scream. You know how loud they can be. I sure hope someone can give me some advice.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:47 AM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

First, ask your husband if he'd be willing to consider ear plugs for a few weeks while you work on correcting the behavior. MrC wears earplugs at night because he have a couple of mockingbirds that like to sing at top volume right outside our bedroom window. Obviously there's not much we can do about wild birds, and since MrC doesn't sleep well through noise, earplugs are the solution for him (I can sleep through pretty much anything, which is a good thing in this case).

Second, training the bird to stop screaming:

Is there any time of day when he's quiet? He's probably screaming because he's bored and wants attention. To get him to stop, you need to train him that being quiet, or making noise at an acceptable volume level is what gets him attention. So the first step is to rush in and give him attention ANY time he's quiet, no matter how short a time. If he has a favorite treat, give him that when you give him attention at first. He'll learn to associate normal noise levels with getting attention, and he'll gradually stop screaming. It won't be a quick fix, but in time, you should be able to retrain him.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:57 AM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

I agree with beatrice, most birds scream when bored. Most of mine have been rehomes so they have came with their share of issues.

The trick is to not react to the screaming, while forming an environment that makes him happy and stop screaming. He's probably going to scream for at least a few weeks while you get things right, and he may go back to screaming if any changes happen that make him think things are not going the way he see's it should. Sun conures are not known for being quiet as well, so some noise from him has to be accepted.

Things that have helped me with some of my rehomes-this is just a list and not all things work with all my birds, but with at least one of them, just to give you some ideas. All time out of cage and daily events we try not to be too exact with so they are more adaptable to changes in routine. This is more effective with some than others.

Cage location-

some of mine need to be located where they have at least partial view of a window. They like to see the sun go up and down.

My BC needs to be in the middle of the most active part of the house where she can see me in the kitchen, in my bedroom and our computer desk. If she can't see either me or my husband for more than 1/2 hour she will start screaming.

Time out routines:

Ellie, our BC is older and arthritic and can't fly. She want's to be out most of the day and spends most of the time on her play top, which has lots of chewing and preening type toys on it. She wants to be picked up occasionally to do our kisses and games-if she gets at least 2 of these maybe 10 minutes a day of personal time she is good.

Everyone else needs at least 2 hours of flight time and this is when Ellie goes into her cage.

Our gcc, Foo likes some personal time a few times a day. Though she really wants scritches, she will also due with times like sitting on the top of monitor while I work or sitting on my shoulder while I get some housework done.

Zeki the starling wants personal time to learn more words and just wants to watch our mouths-anyone, me, my husband or my daughter. He treats it like a student at school. He will be ok if he gets at least 15 minutes, but he'll go as long as we will.

The two littles-sparrow and the parakeet just do with the all out flight time and we are just working on stepping up and basics with them.

Foods-Early morning I usually do veggies/fruit chops. This can be one of the loudest time of days, but the food keeps them busy and quieter than they would be otherwise. In fact I aim to do all the extra food times as distractions during times I know can be loud if they are bored.

Around our dinner time I do a plate for them of what we are eating, if bird safe, if not they get a little uncooked pasta, maybe one of the organic veggie squeezies made for children, some birdy bread...just something for them to munch while we are eating.

Sometime during the day I give out 1 or 2 laeber seed ball things. Usually when I'm sensing boredom is about to turn to screaming.

Entertainment: Depending on the bird different things work-can be a large hard shelled nut-like brazil for them to work on, some stripes of construction paper clipped to the cage, straws that I cut into smaller pieces and then cut up one side and attach to the bars of the cage for them to pull off, a millet spray hung up some place they have to work for it, a piece of favorite fruit can be used the same way. At some point I just do something during the day to keep their minds active and entertained.

Timing is something you just learn. Especially if you people asleep in the house. You want timing to be when they are going to scream, but not after it's already going. You don't want to reward the behavior, you want to try and avoid it.

Good luck!
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Old 10-05-2016, 09:57 AM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

It is going to be a slow process! Some good info here,
Screaming Behavior Mods

Another thought, early morning, sneak over to Pucks house, and..... Ring doorbell, run!
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:23 PM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

Quote: Originally Posted by Flboy View Post
Another thought, early morning, sneak over to Pucks house, and..... Ring doorbell, run!
LOL, that's a really good way to end up with Puck chasing you down the street!
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Old 10-05-2016, 06:22 PM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

There are so many sun conures in need of homes. I LOVE THIER personalitys. The screaming is what keeps me from getting one. My husband works nights too that is hard for sure.

Good luck I hope you figure somthing out so you can keep him poor bird. Seems like an all too common storie. Good luck do what you can.
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Old 10-05-2016, 07:38 PM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

My small contribution... this little bird has just lost its home and is in a strange new world. Maybe a big of the hysterics will fade as he adjusts to a new space? Poor thing must be heartbroken and afraid...
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:33 PM
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Re: HELP desperately needed with a screamer

I just adopted my Jenday Conure and she is a screamer too. My husband also works nights so I've been dealing with this as well.
I find it works to treat her for silence. When I first got her I would enter the room with a treat. If she screamed I stopped and turned around until she was quiet. As soon as she was quiet I would proceed to her cage, and if she screamed again I would turn around and stop again. I kept doing this until I could approach her cage in silence. Now she only screams when we enter or leave the room and we just wait until she is quiet to interact with her.
At first she would scream constantly though and in that case i had my husband sleep with the bedroom door closed and a fan over his head to drown out the sound. Maybe your husband could sleep with some quiet music playing in the background?
I was so worried at first that my husband would lost patience and make me get rid of her but now he's just as smitten as I am 😂

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