How do you acclimate an Eclectus to certain sounds (mine screams when she hears beeping)

Dois

New member
Oct 15, 2021
7
9
Parrots
Female Eclectus
Hello,

I have very young Eclectus (~4 months old) and she always lets out a few loud screams when she hears any beeping (turning on the aircon, microwave, etc.)

Now, it isn't much screaming and I don't mind it much, but it's very loud and I presume it's because she's afraid. Is there a procedure I can follow to get her to start accepting or not being afraid when hearing these specific sounds? (Clanging of metal on metal - e.g. spoons on forks - is another thing that seems to scare her... or at least, makes her let out a few really loud screeches).
 

Flboy

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
12,123
955
Greater Orlando area, Florida
Parrots
JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
Hi and welcome!
By loud, I know what you mean! My first elkie experience- he was sitting on my shoulder and the first sound was an ear shattering train horn honk! It was so loud, it temporarily threw me into a mild shock and I almost blacked out! AND, I was with a lady friend who I was desperately trying to impress! She was kind!
 

wrench13

Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
8,293
Media
12
Albums
2
1,780
Isle of Long, NY
Parrots
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
If you can record a few of the trigger sounds and make a loop of them, like doing it on Youtube and setting it up as a loop. Then, when you're not home or nearby, play it back on repeat, but at a tiny , barely audible volume at first and increase that ever so slightly over the course of say a month. i will bet you a cup of coffee and a donut it becomes a background noise that she will ignore.

My Amazon Salty had a trigger noise of the cupboard door that is next to his cage, squeaking when it was opened or closed. Using the above, we desensitized him to the noise,
 

saxguy64

Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Apr 24, 2018
8,375
Media
4
Albums
3
4,267
Maine, USA
Parrots
Tucker the Red Sided Eclectus
Baxter the YNA
Patches the Grand Eclectus, my best friend. RIP
Cuckoo the BFA RIP
Great idea from master Wrench. Added benefit... Your ekkie may start making the sounds herself. Mine much prefers making beeps, pops, boops, meows, woofs, whistles, and other sound effects over talking. I'll take microwave beeps over screaming any day. So funny! :)
 
Last edited:

kme3388

Active member
Sep 17, 2021
145
244
Minnesota, USA
Parrots
Jenday Conure, Eclectus parrot
Ekkies have a very loud scream. I am a new owner of an ekkie myself. Wrench13 is 100% correct. I played nature sounds for my ekkie so he has something to listen to when I'm gone. He now makes frog sounds. I'm a little disappointed that he picked up on that instead of the pretty bird sounds from the CD I play when I'm gone. I also always have the TV on, or some sort of noise in the background. Otherwise my ekkie makes background noise ha ha ha. Its never anything I want to hear.
 

chris-md

Well-known member
Feb 6, 2010
4,073
596
Maryland - USA
Parrots
Parker - male Eclectus

Aphrodite - red throated conure (RIP)
Ekkies have a very loud scream. I am a new owner of an ekkie myself. Wrench13 is 100% correct. I played nature sounds for my ekkie so he has something to listen to when I'm gone. He now makes frog sounds. I'm a little disappointed that he picked up on that instead of the pretty bird sounds from the CD I play when I'm gone.

but the joy of a mimicking bird is hearing nonbird sounds! 😊
 

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
55
11
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
The juvenile Ekkie we have grew up hand fed after the female was pretty much done with her feeding duties. He was talked to by her owner every day. She kept up a good repertoire of sayings and eventually the Ekkie baby started to talk back! The best thing was her getting a triggered response thing going. It goes like this: "Give us a kiss!" and most of the time, instead of the Ekkie repeating what was said, would reply with a "mmmmmmmmmmmmmwahhhhh!" kiss sound. Then he'd say "Give us a kiss!" and then wait for you to do the same. Of course, sometimes he says the whole phrase. But sometimes he'll kiss with you when he's the asker.

OK, so is this a non-sequitur? Hah, no--while all of this vocabulary development was going on, there was another thing he was learning--the phone ringtone. We have a landline with an AT&T phone. It is set with a default ringtone. And the Ekkie heard it so much, he eventually started to imitate it. And... with such accuracy, one could think the actual phone was ringing. He LOVES this tone. He loves it so much, that he often does it sitting idle in his cage. It seems to soothe him. If there's a bit of a ruckus going on in the home, like loud sounds from something being done, he'll start ringing.

Another thing he learned -- the "hang up" tone on his owner's Samsung Galaxy S10. it's like a soft two tone descending "blip-bloop" tone. Sometimes he makes this tone.

Funny thing about the phone ringtone -- I found the original ringtone on a YouTube video and extracted it then loaded on my phone. I have the ringtone adjusted for several variances too, in tone/pitch. When I select it on my phone and the ringtone is played, the Ekkie will react! We sometimes have "back and forth" rings together for many minutes. I also introduced to him the concept of a the short ring (something the landline phone doesn't do). And now he'll occasionally play with that--long or short tones in response.

Anyway, TLDR; Record the sound on your cellphone and then set it as a sound in your audio library that you can play back to the bird. By controlling the volume, you can attenuate it to see if you can get a low enough level such that your bird may not find it threatening. And if you do it enough... then the loudness of the tone from the microwave might no longer disturb your bird.
 

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
55
11
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
Great idea from master Wrench. Added benefit... Your ekkie may start making the sounds herself. Mine much prefers making beeps, pops, boops, meows, woofs, whistles, and other sound effects over talking. I'll take microwave beeps over screaming any day. So funny! :)
So true.
Funny enough, in my experience with 3 Eclectus birds, the two males are generally pretty quiet. The adult can make very loud squawks when he's unhappy... and that's usually when he wants to come out and feed his brood (his mate and his son) but we're not letting him out. The juvenile can also make loud squawks, but most of the time he just loves to talk. And he's a real chatterbox!
When the female is bathing in her water dish, both males will make loud squawks. I think it's an instinct to ward off anything or anyone nearby, as the female is vulnerable during bathing rituals.
But as for screaming... that's the female. When younger, she knew a couple of words, like "hello" and "hi." Plus she'd tweet and chirp. As she got older, that changed. Now? NOTHING but SCREAMS. We found she avoids it is when busy with the adult male, her mate. Either being fed or copulating. Or if she's out of her cage. And when nesting? BLISS. No squawks. Her cage is along a wall that's near the kitchen. She can see us if she moves forward in her cage. She'll sit on her top perch, staring into the kitchen. You come in and start making just a little noise? SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWK! It's horrible.
 
OP
Dois

Dois

New member
Oct 15, 2021
7
9
Parrots
Female Eclectus
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #9
Hey guys... well it's been a little over a month. I never really did anything special, other than continue to use the microwave and she just eventually didn't care about it anymore.

Thankfully, she almost never makes any loud screams anymore... at least for now (only about 6 months old), we'll see if that changes as she matures.
 

cytherian

Member
Dec 29, 2020
55
11
Near NYC
Parrots
Eclectus
Hey guys... well it's been a little over a month. I never really did anything special, other than continue to use the microwave and she just eventually didn't care about it anymore.

Thankfully, she almost never makes any loud screams anymore... at least for now (only about 6 months old), we'll see if that changes as she matures.
That's great news, Dois!
Apparently your bird found the noise so unfamiliar and squawked in reaction, and now being acclimated it's no longer a problem or "threat."

If you want your Eclectus to talk, you should try talking to her with certain phrases to repeat and when she replies, give her a food reward. I'm just speculating, but if a bird ends up with a good human word vocabulary, it provides more palatable alternatives to the ugly noises. Our female has practically no vocabulary. She used to say "hello" when younger, but we've not heard her say it for years now. It's just this horrible squawk.
 

Most Reactions

Latest posts

Top