A Screaming Parrot is all too common in captivity, we have to realise Parrots in the wild do call each other so this is not a "Problem" behaviour, but this does not mean your parrot should be continually screaming throughout the day!
The most common advice we hear is to cover the bird up until its stops screaming or just ignore it and it will stop eventually these will not help these will make matters worse! There are many reasons for calling and screaming including lots of different environment situations and in some rare cases a physical illness.
We as the carers for our birds need to first realise what the birds will do naturally in reference to the calling and screaming, we have to understand all birds will make noise generally morning times to regroup there flock and around dusk to again regroup with their flock, also alerts of danger they will scream. So by not recognising this natural instinct their behaviour is deemed as wrong and unacceptable.
There are many different techniques you can try for screaming birds but you need to find which will work best for your household and stick to it! Like children parrots need consistency and boundaries and they need to know that you mean what you are doing. By this we mean there is no point starting to train your bird and then give up half way through as you have got bored or it does not seem to work!
Training is a long-term commitment and will need time and patients from the owners!
You should NEVER use ANY form of punishment to change behaviours this just makes the matter worse and you will lose all TRUST from your parrot!
So what should I do?
Ok to start with you need to use positive reinforcements to teach your parrot to comply with what you are asking. So if you enter a room and he is screaming DO NOT REACT! If you react in ANY way then he has got your attention and he "wins". Just turn your back to him but stay in the room. You may feel like your ears are going to burst but just keep calm and stay there. Once he has stopped screaming then turn around to him and talk to him like you would talk to a child...
"Hello baby" "that’s a good boy" be as over dramatic as you can! This is where you need to use great acting skills.
If he then begins to scream again just simply turn your back on him again.
He will begin to realise that when he is communication with you, you will listen and when he screaming you will not!
Please remember that IT WILL GET WORSE before it gets better as he will be frustrated that you are no longer running to his calls, so he will get louder and louder for longer BUT please stick with it! It will calm down. This may take a long time to master but if you start it you MUST carry on, as the first time you go running back to a screaming bird you will have to start all over again!
We hear lots of stories about birds being sprayed with water, covered up and even shouted at and told to shut up, this will not work it will just break the trust your parrot has in you.
So stock up on your headache tablets, treats and make sure all the family are going to help with this process and begin your training.
If you need any more help or advice on this subject please give us a call or drop us an email.