Help... My quakers scream nonstop... TAT

CCChan

New member
Jul 17, 2022
2
4
Parrots
Quaker
Hello everyone! I am so frustrated and decided to seek help here coz I don't know what to do...:cry:

I have a green quaker and he is 1.5 yr old. I work full-time so I was worried that my green quaker would get lonely when I'm out for work, so I bought a companion quaker for him a month ago. The new member is a pallid blue quaker and it's around 4 months old (see pic attached). The two of them get along really really well - the green one will regurgitate food for his buddy and even tried to mate with it...

HOWEVER, they can get extremely loud in my apartment (the screaming can go up to 90-100 dB). When there was only one quaker, the noise was somewhat bearable. Now there are two of them and you know what, they will scream together as if they are in a screaming competition!! They will scream as long as I'm not in their sight. I don't know what went wrong and the screaming is driving me crazy coz I am working from home.

During day time I will let them out of their cage and let them fly and play around on the balcony. I only put them back into the cage when it's time for sleep. I'm feeding them Harrison's high potent pellets and they like the pellets very much. I also offer various kinds of vege chops and fruits on a daily basis. There are also plenty supply of toys scattered on the balcony floor and play gyms as well. From my point of view, they each have a companion, they have nice food to eat, they can exercise a lot and they can play with toys. Thus I really don't understand why they scream all the time. Do they have any other need that I have not fulfilled? Or are they lacking my attention? (But I can only spend time with them after work and maybe some short durations in between work during day time.) I wonder what other factors may have caused the screaming.

And to make it worse, my green quaker suddenly became hormonal shortly after I got the blue one. I guess he is hitting puberty. Aside from regurgitation and all the other mating behaviours, he also has this terrible cage aggression. He will bite me hard (draws blood sometimes) whenever I try to come close to his cage. I understand that I should not get angry at him and I shouldn't take it personal because this is how hormonal quakers would behave, but all the biting and screaming just make me feel so sad, tired and frustrated...

Has anyone else had the screaming issue with your quakers? Is loud screaming considered normal behaviour? Is it even possible to 'correct' their screaming behaviour? The only 'correction' method I tried is to put them back into their cage and close the cage curtains for a while if they start screaming. But it doesn't solve the problem at all - they will scream again once they are out again...

If there really isn't any solution, I will have to resort to soundproofing the balcony. But I'm not that sure soundproofing would help either because the screaming is REALLY loud...

I'll be really grateful if anyone can offer me some advice. Thank you!


quakers.jpg
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
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Aww! Such cute fluffy birds!

I have heard that multiple Quakers, I.e. a “flock”, tend to be VERY LOUD.

My Quaker is silently preening his back right now. He’s only scolding loud when I’m next to his cage and he’s being protective of it.

Maybe @Laurasea can give you some ideas how to quiet them down? It seems to me they are just loudly happy.

I discovered that my darling Lucy was actually LOUD when I got a hearing aid. I was shocked! I solved that by not wearing them at home. Otherwise, Lucy learned to imitate my “whisper” command when she was being really loud. That’s an idea—reward the bird who will ‘whisper’ quietly back at you.

Or, Maybe noise damage to your ears will naturally resolve the problem.
 

Kentuckienne

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Oct 9, 2016
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Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
Couple things happened. Your original bird hit puberty, which creates a lot of changes. Then you got them a mate, another Quaker.

Screaming is normal parrot behavior that can’t really be trained out of them. It’s how they communicate with each other, and parrots will usually try to scream as loud as whatever other noise is going on. That’s why turning up the tv/radio/music/etc doesn’t work.

Also, parrots form pair- bonds with just one other bird. Until recently, your bird was bonded to you. Now that a more suitable mate is available, he has transferred that bond to the new bird. You are now the interloper, intruder, rival for his mate’s attention and must be driven away,

I‘m sure one of the Quaker expert will chime in with advice…in the meantime, read as many threads in the Quaker forum as possible and use the search function …
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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hi 👋
Ive had 4 Quakers, currently 3 lovely DNA ladies.

Quakers are a loud boisterous vocal species, any clips of wild flocks usually makes that pretty clear quickly. They love making noise in general and are quick to turn to screaming. A quiet Quaker is the exception not the rule. Out of my 4 only one is quit by nature.

It used to be rare to find them in pet stores, because that was well understood. Unfortunately they are really the new hot species, and all of a sudden in the last couple if years they are all over.

They are very comparable to a cockstoo. In that they are prone to screaming and plucking due to highly social, and intelligent and active species . That find the demands of captivity frustrating. Are very often rehomed. For the screaming

With more work they can be an amazing companion, and obviously I love the species!

I've actually taken on non stop screaming Quakers and screaming prone Quakers twice. I've fixed non stop screaming, and lowered excessive noise. But still a vocal home, and breeding season calling is still tough and a work in progress.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Ok , now to try and help. I do think you can reduce and drop a lot of the excess.

First on cage protection behavior. It's kicked in for you at about the same time it did when my babies grew up. I'm sure you've read Quakers are very prone to this , tho many species or individuals can be cage protective. I haven't wasted my time trying to eliminate this. I simply have them step out of the cage before I do food, water, cleaning, or touching them. All of my cage doors swing open and I have a perch on the door , so when they swing out on the perch they are fine. I also have perches attached on the outside of the Cage, near the door, and on the outside top of cage. If needed during high Hormonal times I ask them to step there and give a treat. Wait a moment till tge chill. Then have them step to me abd I move them to a perch area away from the cages. No stress , no hassle, no birds getting worked up, or me either@

It sounds like you are providing lots of great stuff. But increasing foraging will help. Foraging has to be learned , and you have to start easy, teach, and work up to them foraging for their food instead of just treats. But it starts with treats, or a a few shredded papers on top of their pellets. I even have mine work for the veggies a little , that they see as fun. Those metal cage squares you out veggies in, or I stuff the veggies in millet holders, or in the sea grass cargo nets . I use junks of veggies, easier to use for foraging,,because they need to expend beak time tearing them up. My morning veggies give me about 2 hours of quiet busy time. In the after about a half hour. Millet soray is high value around here! So that is put in stuff and hung so they really have to work at it to get it. Also I move it around so they have to find it at one of their hanging perches play areas. My bird are all flighted ( are yours?), I have several areas for them to fly too and enjoy looking for stuff.
I have examples here, plus our members examples. Lots of fun interesting stuff to climb around on helps mind and body.
https://www.parrotforums.com/threads/enrichment-ideas-share-yours.91635/

Bird tricks has a nice foraging video. I read some trash talk on Bird Tricks, sure I never agree with everything or always think they get everything right , same as feel about most resources. But I think they have shared lots of great videos that are helpful to many. I love this one!


Personally in dealing with rescue screaming birds, I found ignoring screaming did nothing to stop screaming. What was successful was preventing and interruption and redirect. Lot of praise and treats randomly when quiet and telling them you are being so nice and quiet here is a treat. And creating a routine and building on thier nap time into an extended quiet time. For me as I'm home all day and they are out, it became a mid day caged time of between an hour and 2 hours . We had to work up to that and conditions that , but now us our pattern and they seem to look forward to and enjoy. Works because they also have tons of out cage time , flying foraging and snuggle time. Burds seem to like a routine, its not rigid, but they know what to expect at different times during the day.

Identify your burds screaming triggers. And try to prevent a session of screaming from getting started. If they can be on the balcony for a half hour before screaming starts. Then before a half hour is up go out there and give them something to do, food...food works well fir me. So hand them one of those rubber balls with holes stuffed with pop corn. In the beginning I use more high value food distractions as I am creating a new pattern and habit. It also takes more work and time and commitment from you in the beginning. But oh what a sweet pay off!

So if your treat foraging buys you another half hour of quiet, go back before they start up again. Maybe now it's bath time. Really encouraging a bath, a bug shallow casserole dish or serving dish works great for mine. Splash around with your hand , mist above them with a spray bottle letting mist fall gently back down on them. A good bath, then back in their cage to dry off and preen...can be another good half hour to an hour quiet. Never do in late afternoon or evening, they need plenty of time to dry.

If screaming starts. I just walk up and have them step to me , I dont talk to them. Then I move them some place different ( one of my hanging perche play areas) . Then I ask them to do a simple trick, even just walking the length if the perch to me and give a treat. Moving them seems to re set their brain. Then having them do something fir a treat. Doesn't reward them for the screaming. Most are going to connect doing the trick with the treat. Moving really seems to help reset tge screaming clock....even tho they can fly to different spots in their own.

Also, getting them to say words or phrases or whistle. Really reward that. I will listen to a hundred " what are you doing?" Than squawking! Often just saying some over their favorite words will have them switch to that instead!

Lastly find something soothing to play and you can link to nap time and just at bedtime to create a pattern. Then once that link and pattern is established you can play it just when vocals are reving up, with the hope( sbd can work nicely ) that they quiet down relax sbd listen. I use toddler nursery songs. Mine love those. Especially magical for mine us Twinkle Twinkle little star. Ha! All my Visitors know to start singing that to quiet them down.

Click this to take you to my thread page with a great article on stress in parrots. Covers lots of great stuff and talks about the patterning to music.
Post in thread 'Ornithology: Share and discuss scientific articles on parrots!' https://www.parrotforums.com/thread...entific-articles-on-parrots.82369/post-833523
 
Last edited:

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,507
10,372
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Oh and tip, you have to jump and immediately and stop redirect even single screech or scream type vocals as soon as they start. Don't wait till they annoy you act immediately.
But you need to allow regular happy quieter type vocals , answe flock calls and investigating alarm calls. Praise and repeat back talking words or whistling.
Remember to treat and praise when silence.
 

HeatherG

Well-known member
Apr 25, 2020
2,380
4,544
Yes!

I got a Meyers parrot, hearing they were quiet, and found out he had a whistle alarm call that aggravated my migraines .

I started reassuring him once I figured out that it was an anxiety call. Just calling out “hi, jasper”. or “It’s ok” helped a lot.

Now the Meyers makes this call so much less that it’s not really a problem. But for a while it was really hard to have him in the apartment.
 
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CCChan

New member
Jul 17, 2022
2
4
Parrots
Quaker
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Thank you sooo much for all the advice! I'll definitely try! Hopefully I can still save my hearing in time... (there r already hearing damages lol)
 

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