How Do I Stop My Bird From Screaming?

How Do I Stop My Bird From Screaming?
Some birds scream in the morning as the sun rises and in the evening as the sun sets. In the wild, the morning scream is fairly normal as the birds greet the day and each other with contact calls. The evening scream would be much less in the wild – although contact calls between flock members would not be unusual. The birds would not want to call too much attention to their sleeping arrangements in case preditors are near.

Since the morning scream is normal in many birds, this is usually the scream that you should just bear with. As long as it doesn't last too long, please let your bird be a bird and exercise his vocal calls.

If it does last too long, varying the time the lights go on & off as well as distracting your bird might help with this type of screaming. By distracting, I would suggest giving the bird food immediately when the lights go on before he starts to scream. If you wait until after the screaming starts, you have just taught him that he will receive food when he screams.

The best response to screaming is to ignore it. This is much easier said than done when your bird has an ear piercing scream – but it is important that the screaming not be re-inforced either positively or negatively.

If the screaming gets attention, you have just let the bird know that screaming gets him attention – even if the attention is negative, it is still attention.

When your bird is being quiet, go over & talk to him and maybe play with him or give him a treat. A bird responds best to positive re-inforcement and if you reward him for being quiet, he may be quiet more often.

Negative re-inforcement should be avoided.
  • Yelling at your bird may cause him to scream louder to play this new game with you – who can scream the loudest?
  • Covering the bird cage may work for the moment, but the bird has no idea that his screaming caused the cage to be covered and may start again once the cage is uncovered. Depending on how long you leave the cage covered, your bird may not eat or drink enough during the day to stay healthy.
  • Squirting the bird with a water bottle may get him to stop temporarily, but you may end up with a bird that doesn't trust you and may begin biting.

    Ignoring the scream and giving food and attention when your bird is quiet are the best methods to use. The screaming will not stop overnight – after all the problem did not start overnight either.

    Back to Why Does My Bird Scream?

    See Bird Behavor for more information on how your actions can encourage certain reactions from your bird.

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