Screaming issue

Kokoriko

New member
May 22, 2017
9
14
Hi to every one, sort of have a issue on my hand and would like some guidance. I decided to take my parrot back from my parents and try to rejoin with him after many years (6 years) although my status now is different (now married with kids)

Kokoriko stayed with us me and my wife and kids for about a month and a half but managed to get himself kicked out of the house due to his excessive (constant with small breaks) screaming.

You see my parrot knows me so he is fine with me around (barely vocalizes, when I am quiet) likes to be petted will self entertain and now that I introduced him to my kids: he accepted the older one (6 years old) easily enough with head bobbing and regurgitating of food and greats my younger one (2,5 years old) with eye pinning tail wings out and allot of excitement. My children like to hand feed him allot so that went well. He didn't like my wife at all since she minded her own business and did not interact with him. And all that was ok... except the screams whenever my kids were home either they were with him or not he would scream until every one left. So it was not a livable situation at all.

Does anyone know if he can be trained to vocalize in another way instead of screaming at the top of his voice? Has any one any experience with such trainings/guidance that can help.
 
Last edited:

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,629
968
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
I've had to deal and limit screaming with a few birds.

It always starts with a whole bird, cage, home improvements. Preventing a screaming session before its started, rewarding quiet bird, ignoring screaming ( oh so very hard) and patterns.

It can take a couple of months, to reset habit, but often meetings the burds needs equal a big reduction right away.

Birds deal with stress and frustration by screaming. The individuals are usually the smarter, more social, more active ones that turn to this.

It doesn't matter the past history, you can overcome it.

The biggest step is more out of cage time period. That can drop screaming 75% right off. The cage is for sleeping, when you are gone, and short retreats. Figure out away to include, incorporate the bird into family life. These are primate level or smarter creatures.

This doesn't have to be hands time. Tho this relationship will still need your one on one attention daily. Maybe you share a half hour with your morning coffee, and a half hour watching TV after kids go to bed. Or maybe it's a short trick training session with kids watching and cheering you guys on Find what works for you and make a routine.

Turn tge outside of cafe dudes and top into a play area, with lots of perches, and chewable shreds stuff. I make use of the vertical space above the cage too . I put in ceiling hook, and use fishing line to hang a few swings and a big rope spiral a few inches higher than their head when standing on cage top. Birds very much enjoy testing their jumping, climbing, dangle and swing skills. Hide things along tge way for them to find . Enrich the environment. I also several foraging, and hunks if veggies on cage tops . This keeps mine occupied for hours. Set up an area fir them to hang out in your family room , at least one secondary area to be out sbd feel included. I find ceiling hook abd fishing ling to hang a huge spiral rope with attached toy, Chew stuff works great. Cheap, doesn't take up floor space.

Start over. Re introduce the whole family, if they can safely give a treat by hand when say hi , if not make a tiny treat only dish, they say hi put treat in dish. Repeat many times a day.

Mornings are important to birds, they want to know everyone lived through the night. Everyone should say good morning when they get up, put a seed treat in dish. Also to help parrot, everyone should say goodbye when leaving and hello on return. That is from a parrot behavior specialist that helped my friends loud screaming African grey. Flock is important, knowing where flock is , is important. It had a profound effect on her birds screaming quickly. They also said hi (birds name) when ever passing by. Have a family wide phrase or flock call. Understand that flock calls unanswered can lead to screaming. Its natural for the parrot to want to check on unseen family . Alarm calls also need to be answered. Everything else can be ignored. Tho if mine say a word I always repeat the word back, words are easier than screaming. Make sure to praise and give treats when quiet and good.

There aren't magic fixes. Its fixing what causes the behavior issues, that fixes the behavior . If you know certain times or actions might lead to screaming, plan in advance to redirect.

Watch foraging video. I like tge ones burd tricks on you tube has. It can be a group activity, and something for them to do on their own . Its git to be taught rewarded and worked on some. Before they get good at it.

Spending time outside in a very secured cage and you are with them. Is very beneficial to mood, mine are quite tge rest of the day usually. When I wash my car work in the garden , I roll out tge cages all doors and bottom grate secured, abd out in shade. Or maybe you get them used to a travel cage and going for a walk or bike ride together as a family. Start slowly with lots if treats and praise, and short trips. Once they get the hang of it and get over the fear ( if are) tgey love it!! Burds vision is incredible, way beyond ours. And being outside and looking can't be replicate by a home or windows.

Parrots arent easy pets, they are more an intelligent companion. And a thoughtful rethink of how you make them part of your life. They become incredibly rewarding and stimulating , fascinating companion.
And yes I've taken on several screaming parrots. My focus has never been the screaming, but everything else. And that fixed the screaming. I very much emphasize, during the process, screaming is unbearable. Parrots have found an effective way to get our attention, and convey their frustrations haven't they!
 
Last edited:

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
9,629
968
USA
Parrots
Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
This is a superb article, with lots of tips.
 
OP
Kokoriko

Kokoriko

New member
May 22, 2017
9
14
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #4
Thank you for your replies, I am going to be trying something I read they do for dogs who get anxiety during storms. I am going to play a recording of my kids at a low volume and gradually increase the volume while giving him treats and head scratches.

I will increase his outside time to the whole day instead of 2-4 hours daily but the issue for screaming is with the kids, like a dog barks at a mailman. If you remove the mailman the dog doesn't bark. If I remove the kids he doesn't scream. Once they are in the picture he screams.

This is his current housing usually he goes through one or two toys per month. He usually like to chew on soft toys like ropes and straw ones but doesn't like the wooden ones allot (although they are almost the only toys I find in local stores).
He is on Harrisons High Potency coarse pellets for 3 months now, I taught him to eat them as I ate them in front of him and pretended they were delicious.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0348[1].JPG
    IMG_0348[1].JPG
    312.6 KB · Views: 18

Kentuckienne

Supporting Vendor
Oct 9, 2016
2,499
382
Middle of nowhere (kentuckianna)
Parrots
Roommates include Gus, Blue and gold macaw rescue and Coco, secondhand amazon
My better half had a blue from amazon. He would scream for attention. He was a smart bird. So when he started screaming, I would leave the room immediately. At once. Not say a word, not look at him, not react. When he had been quiet for a bit, I would come back and give him a treat. This helped, but turns out what he needed was a different way to ask for attention besides screaming. Luckily, he accidentally fell forward on his perch reaching for a treat, hung upside down briefly, then pulled himself up by the beak to complete a little parrot somersault. I made SUCH A FUSS! Ooh and ahh and GOOD BOY and here’s a treat! Then held another out…he couldn’t quite reach it…he fumbled through another somersault and got So. Many. Treats. Behavior was LEARNED. So when I was trying to stop the screaming, I got him to do a somersault, and that became the new pattern. Sometimes I would be working in the kitchen and hear a rattle sound, and after a while look over to see him just flipping and flipping and flipping, no screaming. So leaving the room for screaming is a start, but you need to figure out what the screaming is FOR, and what behavior you can get him to use instead of that. Some birds scream just because it’s entertaining to watch everyone run around, so you can’t react to it at all. Pick some other thing he does, and react to that instead.
 

Newfie-N-Tx

Member
Sep 9, 2021
23
49
Texas
Parrots
Double Yellow Headed Amazon, 2 Cockatiels and 2 Budgies
Hi,
I’m posting a response to this because it seems somewhat similar to how it’s been in our house with our DYH. Ours is only 6 1/2 months old and screaming is something new that he’s been doing a lot more over the last month. Ours was hand tamed and we hand fed him ourselves when we got him at 6 weeks old. What I have begun to notice with him as he’s become far more vocal is that he screams a lot when the kids are around. Our boys are 10 and 3. When the kids are loud he gets very loud. In the day time I have our DYH Mummer downstairs with me while he hangs out on the play stands on top of our other bird cages or on his portable one. He’s very chatty and talks to me hours out of the day, and says quite a bit but never screams when it’s just us. Only time he really gets loud is when our kids are downstairs and are loud then the screams start. That and whenever I turn on the vacuum, and he starts to scream and yells out “help”. I think that the screaming is either attention getting (because he will sometimes scream and then call out my oldest sons name if he is upstairs) or a response to overstimulation when it comes to our Amazon. He also has gotten pretty loud when we’ve had people over (which is rare). Sometimes I think he just wants to take part in what kids are doing and screams to feel like he’s a part of it( my kids are loud and why we got an Amazon and not atype of larger parrot who is spooked easily by noise) Our smaller birds I move to other area of house when it gets loud here. My oldest son has begun to teach him to make baby crying sounds even if I told him it will get just as annoying as the screams and our neighbors might think there’s a child left home alone if we are out and he does it. I’ve been trying to teach him to sing instead of screaming, finding music he likes (only music he cares for is Led Zeppelin which now he makes Robert Plant sounding screams instead which isn’t so bad).

My guess is yours is getting used to being around kids. I’d try to watch what is going on closely to narrow it down further and try to work around it if you can. If that fails try find a sound not as bad to get him to do instead and pile on the rewards when he does.
 
OP
Kokoriko

Kokoriko

New member
May 22, 2017
9
14
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #7
I have the same screaming pattern, when my amazon is with me he rarely makes a peep not a word... but when he hears my kids or wife he gets all excited and vocal until he reaches his peak of excitement and he goes ballistic screaming at 125dB. The only thing that sort of does it is of course isolation from the kids and my wife or stopping the hype before it happens (difficult to do). At first I tried teaching him another sound which he does (sort of buys time) until he gets so hyped that he goes into scream mode. After that I have been playing my kids voices to him at low level offering treats, sort of to get him used to them it works but once the volume is raised he raises his as well. Screaming occurs also when he hears others as well... at first he is talkative and chatty and when he overloads... screamer mode take no prisoners comes on. I have also tried pretending not to hear him and leaving the room (Of course it doesn't work 100% because you cant just pretend he is not screaming and not react, it just isn't doable) I did it for a month and the neighbors always in a positive way and in their own right came over (they know I'm ignoring him to get him to quiet down) and asked how long this will go on and that they are patient but they also let me understand that I'm forcing them to endure allot of screaming. So I had to stop that tactic and now I'm rewarding him when I give the command to stop and he stops (I know that allot of people say this isn't the way to do it and maybe I am rewarding the screaming and probably enforcing it) but for now it works and the screaming doesn't have to go on for half an hour with small breaks in between. Sort of does the trick with hearing others chat, I ask him to stop screaming by shushing him and reward then reward continually until he looses interest in the background voices, so now I can leave a window open (for short periods) but I have to be with him when it happens. I haven't found a way through to him with the kids though yet...
 

wrench13

Supporting Member
Nov 22, 2015
8,134
Media
11
Albums
2
1,260
Isle of Long, NY
Parrots
Yellow Shoulder Amazon, Salty
Screaming Amazons. Lets face it, almost all 'Zons will do this at certain times of the day and with certain triggers. For my little yellow shoulder Amazon, Salty, the biggest one is when my wife starts dinner prep. He goes from zero to 100mph in 30 seconds ( if only my car had that acceleration rate!). Other triggers are loud TV sound tracks, my dog barking at something at the front door, and sometimes just cuz he feels like it. He used to scream when I left the room ( I am the fav person), but that was solved because that was just a contact call issue: once I figured that out, developed a answer back call, and always, always said "I'll be back in XXX minutes" and greet him upon return, that type of screaming has pretty much disappeared.

For the others, I use a couple of things to defuse the screaming. One very effective way is to wait in between screams and WHISPER something to him, in a stage type whisper, so louder than like whispering a secret to someone. THat almost immediately stops the screaming jag, and allows a different type of engagement. I will walk over to his hanging play chain ( his preferred spot during the day) and see If I cant entice him to play with a chew toy or even play fight/wrestle with him for a bit. Parrots scream mostly because they are bored, or want something. Figuring out what they want is important in minimizing the noise. Could be food, fresh water, a bath, a favorite toy, a scratch, or just attention. The sympathetic screaming from loud kids, dogs barking or loud TV is easier to control, you need to work on reducing those triggers. THe parrot is just reacting to his environment. Loud household usually have loud parrots. An finally, Amazons love to just sound off because they are just JOYFUL to be alive! And I wouldn't want to stifle that. Salty has learned that singing when he is joyful gets him praise and sometimes treats, so his exuberant outbursts are usually his version of singing.
 

AmyMyBlueFront

Supporting Member
Apr 14, 2015
6,170
Media
4
819
Connecticut
Parrots
Amy a Blue Front 'Zon
Jonesy a Goffins 'Too who had to be rehomed :-(

And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
Screaming Amazons. Lets face it, almost all 'Zons will do this at certain times of the day and with certain triggers. For my little yellow shoulder Amazon, Salty, the biggest one is when my wife starts dinner prep. He goes from zero to 100mph in 30 seconds ( if only my car had that acceleration rate!). Other triggers are loud TV sound tracks, my dog barking at something at the front door, and sometimes just cuz he feels like it. He used to scream when I left the room ( I am the fav person), but that was solved because that was just a contact call issue: once I figured that out, developed a answer back call, and always, always said "I'll be back in XXX minutes" and greet him upon return, that type of screaming has pretty much disappeared.

For the others, I use a couple of things to defuse the screaming. One very effective way is to wait in between screams and WHISPER something to him, in a stage type whisper, so louder than like whispering a secret to someone. THat almost immediately stops the screaming jag, and allows a different type of engagement. I will walk over to his hanging play chain ( his preferred spot during the day) and see If I cant entice him to play with a chew toy or even play fight/wrestle with him for a bit. Parrots scream mostly because they are bored, or want something. Figuring out what they want is important in minimizing the noise. Could be food, fresh water, a bath, a favorite toy, a scratch, or just attention. The sympathetic screaming from loud kids, dogs barking or loud TV is easier to control, you need to work on reducing those triggers. THe parrot is just reacting to his environment. Loud household usually have loud parrots. An finally, Amazons love to just sound off because they are just JOYFUL to be alive! And I wouldn't want to stifle that. Salty has learned that singing when he is joyful gets him praise and sometimes treats, so his exuberant outbursts are usually his version of singing.
I have a weirdo Amazon.. 31 years and he has never done Amazon screams. He does get boisterous around 10am with words..hello's and what'cha doing's,usually meant for BB coz BB gets all tweety and chirpy in the morning. Sometimes Amy's vocalizations can go on for thirty minutes. If I answer back he keeps it up but never is it irritating...kinda funny actually lol.


Jim
 

Newfie-N-Tx

Member
Sep 9, 2021
23
49
Texas
Parrots
Double Yellow Headed Amazon, 2 Cockatiels and 2 Budgies
I have a weirdo Amazon.. 31 years and he has never done Amazon screams. He does get boisterous around 10am with words..hello's and what'cha doing's,usually meant for BB coz BB gets all tweety and chirpy in the morning. Sometimes Amy's vocalizations can go on for thirty minutes. If I answer back he keeps it up but never is it irritating...kinda funny actually lol.


Jim
Haha that’s so funny! Ours does yell quite a bit and it sounds really human and we all get a kick out of going back and forth. Half the time I don’t know if it’s our zon or one of our kids! One of my favorite joys in life is when I take him on car rides and he yells at other cars from inside his carrier, which I have rigged so he can see out so he yells at cars and it sounds like the voice of an older women yelling out. The reactions of other drivers is priceless when they look over and see it’s not a ranting woman with road rage but a parrot. I don’t mind the yelling as much as a lot of people. I’m used to lots of noise so the screams I don’t mind as much (I’m also hard of hearing from growing up in house full of musicians with loud instruments always being played so its not as loud for me as some)I thought I was weird because like you I find the yelling funny.
 

Most Reactions

Top