Parrot has me at witts end

tab64(9b FL-Orlando)December 1, 2005

This is really off topic, but I have a Senegal parrot that is tame. I hand fed him and calls my by name. The problem is he will squawk when he is bored and not getting attention from me, I'm may be in another room or not home. This sound pushes my other halves tolerance button. Does anyone know if getting another small parrot like a cockatiel so he has a companion help? Can they be broken of this squawk habit. I do not want to get rid of him, but I may not have a choice.

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Nicki(z9 FL)

My neighbor had a parrot. Now she has two. Both are big and blue. They are really very beautiful, but all of us in the neighborhood could kill them. But with this lady, it's not just the loud parrots, she has loud dogs, loud stereo, loud horn honking, and she runs around screaming and being loud. Maybe the parrots are kind of like the straw that broke the camels back for our neighborhood...

Anyway, I don't know if this might help with your better half... but now that this woman has two parrots, I long for the days when she only had one. The second parrot is extremely bad - it screams non-stop all day. And she leaves it out on the porch all day for everyone to enjoy. Her first parrot screams occassionally - when he feels he's not getting enough attention. But for the most part, the first parrot just sits around and says stuff. At this point I'd be so happy I'd fall over if she only had the first parrot. So, get a second parrot on loan (a particularly bad parrot), then maybe your second half would beg you to get rid of the second one and he'd be happy with the first... :)

What I know about birds is limited, but I'm told they will bond with a person for life. I've been told they are the neediest of creatures, and if a person can't devote the time it takes to keep a bird happy, then it's best to have two birds so they can bond to each other. An unhappy bird will scream, bite and pull out its feathers.

Good luck - I hope you find the solution. I think parrots are beautiful and they're very smart pets.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 10:29AM
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tab64(9b FL-Orlando)

Your story Nicki makes me laugh because I had a neighbor that had a large macaw that would squawk and unreal metallic sound. I think the bird finally died. I felt bad for the bird, it was for sure unhappy. My bird is very affectionate. Will climb out of his cage (which he can not do now since a cat is now a member of the family) and would be very happy to be with me 24-7. But this is not possible, hence the problem. I just think he gets bored for attention and now is spoiled. But by your story diverting the attention may not work.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:08AM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

I feel bad for my neighbor's birds, too. They just want attention. But the screaming... uugh. It makes gardening unbearable sometimes. :(

I wonder if your bird is upset because of the new family member (cat)? Maybe he's mad 'cause he can't climb all over his cage like he used to?

I will be curious to know if you find out what makes your bird happy.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 12:33PM
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Alan_Tampa(Tampa, 9b/10a)

lots of toys, and new ones often, plus a visual barrier so that the outside is not so inviting.

good luck, but parrots are not known for their quiet demeanor.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 2:58PM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

This will crack you up. Here's a photo of my Evil Neighbor's parrot in my brugmansia. Snapping brugmansia branches as if they were toothpicks. Just happily snapping and tearing and ripping up my brugmansia. I had to shoo the darn thing back into its yard. Free range parrot I guess... grrrr.

Beautiful yes. Do I want it destroying my garden? No. And it's screaming at me in this photo.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 4:35PM
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tab64(9b FL-Orlando)

I wonder if the plant has the same effect on birds as with people?

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 10:55AM
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AmberSky(9b FL)

Maybe he had a plan for how it should be pruned?

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 9:56AM
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Solitary parrots will squawk to get attention because they are flocking birds, and you, as their only companion, are their flock. Get it a friend, and it will be quieter.

BTW, that's a blue and gold macaw in your brugmansia, and I can't believe someone would let something that valuable fly free. They sell down here for about $1500 when they're babies.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 5:28PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I cannot IMAGINE anyone letting a blue & gold loose in the yard! Believe it or not, birdnapping is quite common and a very lucrative business for thieves. And they KNOW who has the birds...they can HEAR them. So they wait until the owners are out and steal the birds, which sell for unbelievable amounts. You can get between $2000 and $3000 for a blue & gold macaw that is tame or talks at all. (Macaws aren't great talkers, but they CAN and do talk at times.) Anyway, the bird is at risk being outside like that. It could be stolen, poisoned (by eating toxic plants or seeds) or attacked by dogs or cats. Yes, I know a macaw can cause pretty serious damage to a cat, and will usually win the battle...but it will lose the war. Even a small scratch from a cat can be fatal to a bird. Bacteria will do them in within 24 to 48 hours, often.

Macaws will NEVER be quiet birds, btw. Sorry, but they are social and vocal birds, and it is part of their nature to make ear splitting calls, especially at morning and dusk. That is when the flock wakes up or heads in to roost, and they will instinctively want to communicate with the rest of their flock by calling out loudly. They also do it through the day as they forage. It's a signal...saying something like, "I'm over here...where are you...I've found some good fruit to eat...what have you found?" Breaking them of this is next to impossible, though some individual birds are better behaved than others.

Your neighbor really should have a bird room (well insulated) where they can have some SAFE out of cage time, and where their calls won't drive the neighbors insane. What a pity that she is neither considerate of the community nor concerned for her bird's welfare!

Marcia (who once had 46 birds in the house!)

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 8:15PM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I almost forgot that the original question was about Senegals. Senegals and Myers' parrots are not usually terribly least, not in comparison to many other species. You may be able to do some things to quiet your bird a bit. For one thing, don't "reward" him when he squawks. By that I mean, if every time he squawks, he gets lots of attention telling him to shut up or yelling at him, or someone taking him something to play with right away, he is being rewarded with attention of some sort. Instead, you might try covering his cage for a few minutes until he calms down. Or even removing him from the main room for awhile...taking his cage to a back room, for instance. But not for hours or anything like that. Just for a short term to see if it calms him down.

If you have never subscribed to Parrot Talk Magazine, RUN, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore/petstore/magazine rack, and buy an issue, then subscribe to it right away. It is absolutely CHOCK full of information on the proper care and training of parrots. I learned more from that magazine during my bird raising days than from any other book or source.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 11:23PM
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tab64(9b FL-Orlando)

Thanks Marcia. You are right he is not as load as a Quaker or any Conure. But he can hit a note when he wants to. It is always for attention. If he is with me he is quiet and just whistles and he can talk a few words but loves calling my name. The removing him by placing in another room or in the orchid hut may work since he can not see me. He is very tame.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 8:30AM
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I cover my umbrella cockatoo when she is out of hand, and at 9:00 pm or she will get cranky at night too. I also find that giving her plenty of things that she can tear up (her nickname is Destructor) helps...empty toilet paper rolls, pinecones, twisted wads of newspaper, sticks. It gives them something to do. Birds are made for flying around and being active not sitting in a cage by themselves with no entertainment. I also make sure mine has outside time on her perch in the garden...again with something to tear up and play with. Try to put yourself in her "shoes" would drive you mad too.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 1:20PM
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Nicki(z9 FL)

Hmmmm. Anyone want the address? The woman lets "Howard" walk the fence all the time. Right near the sidewalk... I wouldn't miss the thing, that's for sure. Honestly. It's probably not the bird that aggravates me. It's the lack of "ownership" perhaps. It's the "I have loud animals, and everyone is going to be exposed to them, and I dare you to say something" attitude that urks me.

She got rid of the parrot in the brugmansia. She said she got it from a friend and he was abused and that's why he was extremely loud and screamed all the time. Now, with just "Howard", it's much better. Howard is a happier bird, but if he's not getting attention, he's a screamer.

She left him out til about 10pm one night. It was about 50 degrees. They don't handle cold well, do they? Or do they? I actually felt bad for Howard that night. Especially with all the raccoons and owls we have. Howard may have been a bit nervous.

Wow Marcia - 46 birds! Tab, sounds like you got some great advice from her. I hope it helps.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 10:52AM
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manature(9B Sanford, FL)

I keep forgetting this forum is over here! JungleGina, you are ABSOLUTELY right! I can't believe I forgot to mention that part. One of the BEST ways to keep a bird quiet is to keep him happily occupied, and they are never more happily occupied than when they are EATING or when they are CHEWING. Toilet paper rolls are cheap and excellent. With most birds, any kind of paper is fun to shred. I used to give my little green-cheeked conure a paper bag. You fold down a rim around the top of the bag about an inch, and that keeps the bag open, then lay it in the cage on its side. Peeper would go inside and talk in there for awhile, then begin to shred the bag around the edges until it was completely gone. Popsicle sticks are another good, cheap, easily held thing for birds to work on. They will whittle them down to toothpicks in no time. And of course, they make lots of bird toys that are meant to provide hours of chewing fun. The Booda rope knots are great. They will pick at the raveled ends of the yarn for hours and hours. And while they are picking, they are not screaming. See the pattern here? Birds are very complicated and very intelligent animals. (They say parrots have the intelligence of a 3 or 4 year old child, so we are talking curious and smart.)

Nicki, I am absolutely stunned that anyone would leave a valuable and supposedly LOVED macaw out on their fence at all, much less until 10:00 pm at night. I just told Mark, and he was flabbergasted. Take it from someone who has had their house broken INTO in order to steal birds, she will be sorry one day. Either the bird will get injured and/or killed, or it will be stolen.

Remind me to tell you sometime about OUR experience with a near-napping. It was frightening, believe me.


    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 10:28AM
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Please never get another parrot if you have problems with one.Senegals are not known to be loud,she is probably spoiled they take control quick , you have to change your ways and tolerate the noise to train both of you.Put toys in the cage, change your routien. play stands are helpful as clipping the wings. Do not let her out as soon as you see her.Let her scream, do whatever you can in the same room reading , napping but ignore bringing her out of the cage until she calms down.Good Luck.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2006 at 7:19PM
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OspreySanctuary(10a FL)

Thanks for the advise all, and thanks for asking the question TAB. I'm going through with the same problem. I have an umbrella cockatoo and she is pretty well behaved, but when she starts calling "mama", etc. she drives hubby crazy and he's really pushing me to find a new home for her. She's very sweet to me, but getting very agressive towards him, as he yells at her alot to quiet down.
I'll have to try to keep her busy so hopefully he'll calm down about her.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2006 at 9:35PM
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Hi, There is one thing I haven`t seen mentioned yet. And that is water. I have a sweet, affectionate, sun conure. I introduced him to the shower as soon as I got him. After running the water to get the water at the right temperature, I take him to the bath on my finger place him in the stream. I keep him lower than my head ( so he doesnt think he is the boss) talking to him the whole time. after a minuet, I place him on the floor of the shower. close the toilet lid, turn on the exhaust fan and leave for about 30 minutes. Upon returning, I turn off the shower and leave him in there for a few minutes to "wake up ". I then put him on my shoulder, place a hand towel over him, and walk around with him for about 5 minutes. Then he returns to the cage. I call this his "tranquilizer".

I love birds and had planed on taking in unwanted / neurotic birds when I retire. but the way home insurance is going........... I may not be able to do this. But that a different subject LOL

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 2:01AM
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