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Brilliant postI need to vent.
Someone posted about trying an "alternative" method of getting a bird to stop screaming. It's outdated and just wrong. I'm not going to start a fire on that thread so I'll just vent here.
A Birds natural response to stimulus that scares them, is something they don't like or makes them nervous is to scream to let the rest of their flock know that there is something there that will harm them. To quash a bird using any form of punishment is just wrong. A Bird is not something that should be trained in this way where their natural instincts are taken away from them and they are made to feel scared of doing something natural. It scares me that anyone thinks that it is ok to spray a bird and or use darkness to "punish" the bird, regardless of how much praise/reward/comfort is given afterwords.
I liken this "punishment" to an abusive human situation. If a guy hits a woman that they are in a relationship with, but later makes it up to them with roses, a nice romantic dinner and apologies does not make it right regardless of the stuff that happens afterwords.
All anyone is going to do by disciplining that way is end up with a nervous twitchy untrusting bird that will eventually pluck/mutilate and become overwhelmingly depressed..
The same principles that work to hold a behavior if the reward is good are in play in a punishment situation. Punishment works for the "person" so they repeat it. What they don't see is that it does not work for the animal because the animal still does not know what to do, only what not to do in that moment. The side effects are increased anxiety and increased aggression. Down the road when the bird bites, the person will probably not have any idea why. They will just say that the bird has changed or become hormonal or any number of attempts to blame the bird without realizing how they directly limited the bird's ability to respond to a situation in a behavioral healthy and appropriate way.
When you don't like something what do you do? Do you cry, sulk, get loud, get quiet? You do something that is behaviorally significant in response to how you feel. Birds are no different but people don't ask themselves why. It is easier to punish than to teach. It is easier to do the thing which works the fastest and allows us to release our negative feelings. It seems to work in the moment and we don't connect the dots down the road when a host of side effects present themselves.
It's also used as an acceptable training method for dogs (although there are better ways to do that now too) and following the old-fashioned advice that was predominant among parrot owners for years made up by the same uninformed people who came up with clipping "for the birds safety" or putting a bird in a darkened and/or unfamiliar room to subdue aggression or the totally false height dominance crap and the "parrots can eat the same food as people". Dogs are animals that have been domesticated for over 15,000 years, belong to a hierarchical society that is genetically predisposed to accept authority and obey interaction rules, which have been bred for thousands of generations to establish traits that reinforce their desire to please us. Parrots are not like that.
It's a matter of love. If you really love birds, you will accept them as they are and will not try to change them into something they are not. The right info is all over the place and anybody who has the slightest interest in learning has all the material at their fingertips and if they don't it's because they don't want to.
This will probably fall on deaf ears to those who still live in the stone age but I needed to get it off my chest.
The screaming will get worse before it gets better. Keep ignoring it. If you ever show a reaction, you are training him to scream. But you also need to understand that all birds scream in one way or another.My amazon now scream whenever I'm at the kitchen. I don't know how to stop his desire that I must be in the living room.
I have him for 1 month. He use to the whole area at the first week. and didn't scream at all until 3th week.each time i go into kitchen to prepare my meal, he didn't see me around then start nervous. When I place his cage at a place where he could see me. He still not comfort once i left the living area.
first time its only 1 single scream. I know i can't shown any reaction. I continue my meal. next day, i go into kitchen and let him in an area where he could see me. he still scream a 4 - 5 seconds. I still choose to do nothing. Today, a week after he start the scream things. He nonstop scream for 15 second.
I do nothing seems intensify his frequently and make him scream more. Its amazon natural habit to scream for flock. But I feel that there is way to train him keep calm. I just don't know how.
I visited a bird store where is also a 'bird hotel' (owner in vacation, and birds will be in there). When i at the outside, they all yelling and whole place like 'screaming room'. Once I walk in, they aware of my existence, then whole place become quiet. They all stand still on the perch, just look at me. silence. I really want to know how their owner could train them to be calm. but that store is too far away.
There's a difference between a call and a scream. I ignore the screams. And once she makes a noise that's acceptable, then she gets attention. But I have seen hundreds of birds who's owners rewarded screaming. And that's why they are in the rescue lol. To each their own.I have a problem with never calling back when your bird calls for you ....sometimes I think thats how you make a screamer ...sometimes they just want to know where you are and if you contact call back they stop calling ....I have made a game out of it with my Grey he calls for me and I whistle back and he whistles again or he will say a word and I say one back this will go on the whole time Im out of the room ....and I think we are a much happier for it
Yep you have the right idea.thx.. I rethink after I post it. Before seeing your feed back, i figure out the similar conclusion. Right, a call is difference from scream.
I feed back, and pay too much attention to my bird. Whenever he beg for scratch, ask for nuts, saying hello. This is no difference from spoil - whatever whenever he ask, i response. For the kitchen thing, At first i assume he is calling, I will intentionally have vocal feed back when he call. But he soon start to scream. This is morning time, I not long ago walk into kitchen. He start the scream and it last longer than last nights. I force myself to ignore these scream and continue my work.
moments after I walk back to the living room. I move his cage into kitchen. and decided to let him stay in the kitchen- where didn't block his view towards me. This mean he could watch me doing my things. and I will let him be there for a while.
I can't reward him for screaming. and I can't spoil my bird by paying too much attention. He must use to my daily routine. This morning force myself to ignore him. Let him nonstop continue the "hello" voice. I let him learn that he will gain attention when he speak "hello". I now try to undone this.
I don't know about punishing him. I think birds crave routine. Bella, my tiel will yell when it is time to go to bed even when she initiates it but as soon as the light goes out, she is on her sleep perch grinding her beak. I think that if you are consistent it is a routine, not a punishment. But I do not own a too and will defer to the too owners.John love your writing and knowledge. I am the new parront of a 12 year old too named Hercules. he is the sweetest most loving bird I have ever come in contact with. He kisses and nuzzles and always wants to be with us. If I leave the room he screams. At bedtime he says nitenite. but screams lol. I also have 2 conures who I cover at night mainly because I am concerned about drafts and they rest. I have Hercs cage next to them. Last night I covered his cage too. He screamed for 5 minutes then was quiet. I don't want him to feel like I am punishing him because I'm not at all. Am I doing the wrong thing although he seems fine with it.
Birds have to suffer from various temperature changes out in the wild, so drafts honestly don't concern me.John love your writing and knowledge. I am the new parront of a 12 year old too named Hercules. he is the sweetest most loving bird I have ever come in contact with. He kisses and nuzzles and always wants to be with us. If I leave the room he screams. At bedtime he says nitenite. but screams lol. I also have 2 conures who I cover at night mainly because I am concerned about drafts and they rest. I have Hercs cage next to them. Last night I covered his cage too. He screamed for 5 minutes then was quiet. I don't want him to feel like I am punishing him because I'm not at all. Am I doing the wrong thing although he seems fine with it.
I have Hercs cage next to them. Last night I covered his cage too. He screamed for 5 minutes then was quiet. I don't want him to feel like I am punishing him because I'm not at all. Am I doing the wrong thing although he seems fine with it.