Dealing with screaming in birds can get really annoying. And sometimes, you end up losing your cool.
Plus, noisy birds like to scream anytime they want, either right past your bedtime or in the wee hours of the morning.
As the saying goes:
“The most talented talker can also be a skilled screamer.”
Many parrot owners, for one, know how talkative these birds can get.
Do you have loud birds at home and experience the same sentiment, too? Are you desperately looking for remedies to reduce bird noise?
Well, read on to learn more about birds squawking reasons and tips to reduce one.
Dealing With Screaming in Birds: 9 Reasons Why Birds Scream a Lot
1. Birds Scream as Means of Communication
In general, birds communicate in the wild by vocalization or what appears to be screaming in human terms.
When they’re in the wild with their flock, they’ll scream in the early mornings to gather for food.
Aside from feasting, they also vocalize to socialize.
So, when your bird or parrot screams at certain times of the day, they might have considered you to be part of their squad.
2. Screaming in Birds Could Be a Sign of Threat
In parrots, screaming noise is a signal when they perceive danger. They do this to warn others in the flock or other birds nearby.
Moreover, parrots in the wild scream when they’re afraid.
Interestingly, vocalization helps other birds find their way to their flock by responding to it.
Tip: Pest-proof your birdcage to prevent insects from laying eggs on their water bowls—or worse, having parasites biting and infecting your pet birds.
3. Loud Birds Could Be Lonely
Parrots, for instance, are flock animals that need constant company in the wild.
However, they’ll start to feel lonely if they live alone at home or in a cage. And yes, screaming is one way to communicate their distress.
Moreover, parrots also scream when they miss a family member or when they see a new face in the household.
4. Bird Noise Could Be a Sign of Illness
Screaming birds shouldn’t be taken for granted. That’s because they might be in pain or suffering from an illness.
In some cases, birds like parrots scream when having seizures. So, it’s best to seek your vet’s help when they scream excessively.
5. Birds Squawking to Get Attention
Birds like parrots are super smart animals. However, these smartypants sometimes know how to get your attention, and they do it pretty well!
Moreover, various parrot species can also be associated with their noisiness.
Some of the noisiest parrot species consist of the following:
Meanwhile, the following species are known to be the quietest:
6. Loud Birds Scream Out of Jealousy
Loud birds, like parrots, scream when they see someone new at home, especially pets. This is because parrots are also emotionally intelligent animals.
Although they’re not as emotionally receptive as humans, parrots can sense love, hurt, and jealousy, among others.
Trivia: Birds can get emotionally attached to one person, too. So it shouldn’t be a surprise if your one-person bird gets too noisy when it’s jealous.
7. Screaming in Birds is a Sign of Inadequate Rest
Yes, birds sometimes find it difficult to rest or sleep, especially in the following conditions:
- Cage location
- Noise (i.e. TV)
- Crowded areas
- Inadequate lighting
It’s a bit tricky to tell how parrots react to their environment. So, the simplest way to let you know they need some sleep is to, of course, scream.
8. Some Living Conditions Make Birds Scream
Changing from one home to another can be stressful for birds. Not to mention the long hours of travel.
So, make sure to guide your bird until they fully adapt to its new home.
You can do a little experimenting at home by placing them (in a cage) in certain spots and seeing which one suits them.
9. Birds Scream When Boredom Strikes
This usually occurs when there’s a change in their routine or prolonged absence of their owners at home, such as:
- Long work day
- Going on vacation
- Extended holiday trips
So, be sure to greet your pet birds whenever you leave or come home using their favorite treats.
In cases of prolonged absence, make sure to have a close family member bird-sit them while you’re away.
Remember: Birds can get stressed out when they see a new face at home. So, it’s best to leave them with someone they already know.
Dealing With Screaming In Birds: 11 Ways to Stop (or Reduce) Bird Screaming
1. Reward Your Birds
Screaming birds can become a disturbance at home. So, you might ask: “How do you stop birds from screaming so much?”
While it isn’t going to be an easy task, you may start by rewarding your birds when they’re quiet.
Giving them positive reinforcements such as treats will encourage them to repeat certain actions that you want them to do.
You may offer them treats even when they’re quietly sitting on the porch or observing when you watch TV and hang out in the living room.
2. Don’t Give Them Attention Right Away
Avoid giving them attention, especially when they’re on their screaming spree.
Chances are, they’ll perceive it as a good thing to do when you give them attention or when they see how you react to them.
Moreover, they’ll wait for your reaction every time they do some screaming sessions.
3. Give Them Some Company
Yes, pet birds can get lonely or bored, too. When you aren’t always at home, you can give your noisy pal a companion.
However, you can choose a same-sex bird if you’re not into raising more of them.
That said, you can put them in a separate cage in the same location at home so they can interact with each other.
4. Avoid Screaming Back at Them
The truth is, birds like parrots will regard your screaming response as a reinforcement, and this will only worsen the case.
In fact, parrots love drama. Yelling back at them will fuel their urge to do it again.
5. Train Them With a Song
It’s nice to have little adventures together, like mastering a song. You can have them listen to a song repeatedly until both of you can sing it together.
Take note that always reinforce or reward them with their favorite treats.
6. Teach Them How To Talk
Aside from singing, birds like to mimic whatever they listen to, especially at home. Teaching them how to talk may look like a difficult task for both of you.
But always remember that “Consistency is key.” And, of course, you can never go wrong with some treats.
Did You Know: Talking birds can learn and retain a vocabulary of up to 5,000 words.
7. Understanding Why They’re Screaming
When planning to stop your bird from screaming a lot, always bear in mind that some screaming is completely normal.
However, correcting them when they misbehave is a great step. Your goal shouldn’t focus on eliminating this behavior but on minimizing and reducing them.
One important step is to understand why your parrots are screaming. This could mean they’re distressed, bored, or in pain.
Moreover, you may want to glance at your lifestyle at home as well. It could mean that the environment that your bird is living in might need adjustments, too.
When you have screaming kids at home, this could be one possible reason.
8. Provide Them With Their Basic Needs
For optimal physical and mental health, birds need the following:
A mix of good-quality pellets, fresh or dried vegetables, and fruits make up your bird’s ideal diet.
Note: Some birds also prefer homecooked food more than commercial feeds.
Birds need adequate housing that will enable them to move around. You may need to opt for a toxic-free cage material for them, too.
RELEVANT READ: Setting Up The Bird Cage: A Step-By-Step Guide
Perch or Branches
You can DIY bird perches by using a sturdy branch to provide them with comfy feet rest.
Also, be sure to go for the pesticide-free ones, or you can buy them directly at a local pet store.
Water and Food Bowls
When providing them with water and food bowls, go for the ones with good quality material.
Also, make sure to supply them with fresh water daily.
This is to ensure that the cage is clean and dry at all times.
Moreover, you may opt for paper towels or newspapers to collect their droppings easily.
A Hiding Spot
You can place a nest or cardboard box near your bird’s cage to make room for their privacy.
You can entertain your birds to keep them active by adding the following enrichment objects:
- Pine cones
- Soft white pine
- Natural fiber rope
- Leather chews for pets
However, be sure to avoid the following:
- Balsa wood
- Pressure-treated pines
These materials emit oils that can cause respiratory inflammations in birds.
First Aid Kit
This is a must to ensure your bird’s safety at all times.
Tip: You can prepare a styptic pencil or powder to quickly stop bleeding in cases of injuries.
9. Keep a Record
For a more holistic approach, you can try recording your bird’s screaming sessions with the following inputs:
- Time and date
- Your mood before, during, and after the event
- Your environment before, during, and after the event
- Your parrot’s mood before, during, and after the event
This will help you and your vet assess things should you seek professional help.
10. Never Restrain Food
Restraining food as a way of correcting their behavior isn’t a great idea. Chances are, your birds may only develop stress and anxiety.
Take note that some birds (i.e. parrots) can sense and understand emotions. So, be sure to be gentle when reprimanding them.
11. Avoid Isolating Them
Isolating or banging their cage when they scream is a big no-no, too. This may trigger feather picking in some birds.
Feather picking is a phenomenon when birds pluck their feathers out.
This occurs when they’re suffering from medical conditions, such as:
- Poor diet
- Skin infections
Meanwhile, feather picking can also occur as a behavioral response to the following:
- Inadequate sleep
- Sexual frustration
- Lack of interaction with owners or pet companions
Dealing With Screaming in Birds: 7 Different Sounds Parrots Make
Parrots are naturally noisy animals. So, it’s important to distinguish the types of noises they make, such as the following:
1. Sound Mimicking
Parrots mimic various sounds from their environment, such as:
- TV sounds
- Telephone ring
- Pets or animals
- Family members
Some parrots make noises when they celebrate sunrises and sunsets. So, that’s why some alarm clocks are shaped like mini birdhouses!
Note: Squawking sounds can also signify that your parrot is bored or angry.
Growling in parrots is usually a sound of warning or aggression. When parrots are growling, they’ll likely bite anyone near them.
Moreover, you may notice the following signs of aggression in your parrots:
- Dilated pupils
- Raised feathers and neck
Happy parrots usually sing a lot. And as bird owners, this moment lives in your core memory rent-free.
You can give them treats or verbal rewards when they sing.
This helps program your parrots that singing is good because you’re rewarding them.
Just like singing, a whistling parrot exudes happiness. Some of the great whistlers are the following:
- African Greys
When your parrots are making purring sounds, it means they’re happy.
It may sound a bit like growling, but you can notice your parrot’s body language when they purr. They’re usually relaxed and calm when they do.
Parrots make chuckling or laughing noises when they also feel something funny.
Naturally, parrots can easily copy human sounds, and they’re even aware of when to use them.
Dealing With Screaming in Birds: FAQs
Can birds be trained to be quiet?
Birds can be trained to be quiet. You can teach them to whisper or make soft noises by giving them treats during regular training.
However, you can’t completely stop them from talking. Birds make noises to communicate with people or other birds and pets around them.
What bird screams the most?
The White Bellbird has the loudest scream reaching 125 decibels, according to scientists. In a study published in Current Biology, the White Bellbird’s scream is almost similar to a gunshot or a rock concert.
This usually occurs during mating season when the male bellbird tries to attract a female.
Dealing With Screaming in Birds: In a Nutshell
As pet owners, dealing with screaming birds requires a lot of patience and understanding.
That’s because birds scream in lots of different ways and reasons. It could mean they’re excited, happy, or simply getting your attention.
However, screaming birds might try to send you a signal that they’re in pain, stressed out, or threatened.
With these possibilities in mind, you can do regular training and enrichment activities to reduce bird noise at home.
You can also seek your vet for professional advice if the bird screaming persists.