• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Fostering - Constant contact calling?

hev

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
5/13/21
Messages
3
Hi all,

I very recently started fostering. I grew up with a few types of birds - budgies, a lovebird, then my mom had a grey shortly before I moved out. I'd been pet-less since then, for about the past decade. Wanting to try having a bird again, I decided to foster and my husband was okay with it (he only grew up with finches). However.. This first week has been challenging.

We were given two cockatiels in a nice large flight cage. They're mostly well behaved, with one being far more introverted than the other (neither want hands near them yet). However, one thing is proving to be very difficult.. constant calling.

We live in an apartment and I'm 1. worried the neighbours will complain soon, especially since when the quiet one decides to join in he does it in a screaming way, and 2. worried about our ability to handle the constant sound (I have anxiety and misophonia when stressed). When I had bird before, I had a large house. The walls here aren't super thick and I guess I'd been expecting some bursts of noise like with my lovebird, but not a loud beep every 5-8 seconds for the majority of the day. They also like to scream right after we uncover them for the first few minutes of the morning. Is this behavour something we can decrease over time, or should we reconsidering our choice? It's tough because these cockatiels were already just in another foster for a couple of weeks so it would be another shakeup if it doesn't work out here. So far I've been trying to ignore it so that they don't get rewarded for being noisy, and only going in the living room where they are when they're quiet.

We've had them about a week now, I figured I'd try to give it at least two weeks. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Sunni Tiel

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
1/18/21
Messages
1,201
Location
Missouri
Real Name
Rachel
Welcome to the avenue!

Do they do this when someone leaves the room? Is it both of them or just one?

Parrots and pet birds are loud in general, it could just be their normal chatter that you're hearing.
 

sunnysmom

Ripping up the road
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
9/16/13
Messages
28,870
Location
Pennsylvania
Real Name
Michelle
Welcome to the forum. I would definitely give it at least another week to see if they settle down. Do you play any music for them or leave the TV on? Sometimes if it's too quiet that can be scary for them. So I usually leave a TV on for them, etc if I'm not with them. Also, some birds like windows, some don't. So if they're by a window and screaming maybe move them. Or if they're not by a window, maybe try by a window.
 

Destiny

Rollerblading along the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/6/20
Messages
2,088
Real Name
Destiny
You might try playing some pleasant music to provide some steady background noise. Not only will this help to sooth your nerves and mask some of the bird sounds, but many birds seem to genuinely enjoy music. Also, it can help reassure nervous birds, since "it's too quiet" is a legitimate sign of danger in the wild.
 

hev

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
5/13/21
Messages
3
Thanks for the responses! They do this whenever I start to walk away and leave the room, or if I'm not sitting nearby in the room. It's mostly one of them making the calls, the other joins in sometimes but not as much and often just to make a lot screaming sort of call (sounds like a smoke detector sometimes). Their previous foster (who had them for 2 weeks) told me that each bird seems to be at opposite ends of the cockatiel spectrum, based on their experience.

We have a homepod in the living room and have been playing radio and music for them. I think they prefer music to the radio. I'd turn on the TV too, but they can't see it as they're on the same wall. We're moving furniture (well, getting new furniture) that will swap the tv to the other wall but that's not until August. Hoping they'll be better as they adjust to our home. I'm hoping I can adjust as well - my anxiety is going through the roof some mornings. Was hoping my past experience would make this easier but I guess it's hard to know until it happens (and feel super guilty that I'm struggling right now).

Thinking maybe I had an exceptionally quiet bird before (lovebird).

They're near the window currently. I would try moving them, but there isn't really a better spot in the apartment for them.

One of them stepped up onto my finger briefly for the first time a few hours ago. Another thing is that they haven't been out of their cage much at all yet, as I want to be able to handle them somewhat so I can get them back in the cage.
 
Last edited:

scrape

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
5/4/19
Messages
2,504
I have had a simliar trouble. As soon as I put another tiel in the bird room, mine would not stop screaming. And a very loud, obnoxious, every-other-second scream. So I continued to keep them separate after that. They were on opposite sides of the house and he didn't scream.

That being said: they were not bonded, and the new tiel was pretty quiet and didn't call back. In my opinion, I would recommend to wear earplugs to help your anxiety. Maybe cover half the cage (maybe the part facing the window) to see if it calms them? Thank you for giving those little birds a temporary home! I hope things work out!:hug8:
 

hev

Checking out the neighborhood
Joined
5/13/21
Messages
3
Hi scrape, thanks! They don't appear to be bonded and I think more tolerating one another (enough though the previous owner got the second bird two years ago). So that could also be a problem. I'd hoped two birds could keep each other company when I'm not around, but they generally avoid each other and its clear they don't preen one another by the amount of pin feathers on their faces. They're partly covered now (took a few days for them to get used to using a cover at all). I have noise cancelling earbuds which have been a godsend the last two mornings when uncovering them, lol. Wish I could test separate cages, but our apartment really only allows for one large cage (they came in two travel cages but that's all they're really big enough for).
 
Top