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Neighbors...

RainbowFlo

Sprinting down the street
Joined
6/23/20
Messages
384
Location
London, England
Real Name
Estella
I'm not of much help but I'm sorry you're in this situation. My friend went through something similar with her bird.She offered to buy her neighbours noise cancelling headphones which they accepted.A year down the line, they complained again so she measured the noise levels and found that according to her area's regulations they were not considered a nuisance. Eventually, the neighbours gave up seeing as they couldn't formally report it and that was the end of the matter. I hope this doesn't last too long and you can leave this situation behind you soon :)

~ Estella

Sorry for any spelling mistakes
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
You know Brian, I'm totally on your side about this. But there could be an angle or a way that walls come together that make the sound louder on her side. You might walk over there just to double check. Perhaps take your noise meter with you.

Reason I'm saying it, I live on water. One neighbor has parrots outdoors.....11 of them. Another neighbor complained. I was standing at the complainant's house one day when the birds became raucous. It was shockingly loud. Even louder than when I'm in the first neighbor's living room and they start up. It's the way sound bounces off the water.

Anyway, I don't mean to insult you at ALL and I do support you 100% but knowledge is power. You owe it to yourself to check it out.

The rest of that story though is we do not have a noise ordinance. So neighbor #2 called the neighborhood code enforcement, and eventually the police. They did show up but stated they cannot do anything. Hopefully this is the case for you as well and everything will settle down soon.

Things like this are so stressful.
This is entirely possible and I've considered it as part of the problem. Here in Arizona things are very dry, and even vegatation we have may not be dampening the noise as much as I hope. With very little to absord it, the noise travels. It's also possible that she suffers from a medical condition that causes the noise to be more of a problem for her. There is always the possibility that she's just a difficult person. Anything is possible. I drafted an email to her but haven't sent it yet. I didn't want to come across as difficult myself.

I have a house full of birds. At any given time the number hovers in the low 90's. When I have chicks it can be over 100 or more. With this in mind, I rarely sleep past sunrise, but I go to bed early to make sure I get enough sleep. I can be unpleasant when I'm sleep deprived. Sunrise this morning was at 5:48 AM, and I slept until 7:30. It was amazing. The outside macaws hadn't made a single noise before then. There were two screams at 7:40 and they have been quiet since then.

My other half noticed soemthing over the last few days. The issue with the macaws might be me. I was there when they were taken out of their previous cage, put into a carrier and moved away from a home they've known almost all of their life. I was there when they were put into the new cage, and I'm the one who replaced the support poles and cut a hole in the cage to put the nest box on. He went outside to feed them at 6am this morning and they came to the side of the cage to greet him, and said Hello. When I went into the kitchen to get coffee and get the day started, I made sure to stay out of their vision. Aside from the two screams this morning they haven't made a sound. If that's truly the issue, then I'm ok with not letting them see me and letting him feed and water them. It makes no difference to me. I have plenty of other birds to take care of.

As of today they have been here for 3 weeks. I still plan on putting a sun screen up to limit their view of the neighboring trees and the sky. This will prevent them from seeing the neighborhood hawk and cut off at least one reason for them to be loud.

I spoke to the neighbor behind us with the dog and cockatoo. She said that in the past, the previous owners of this house spoke to a lawyer about the noise and if there was anything she could do about it. They were told she has no grounds for a legal complaint. Children playing outside during the day wouldn't violate any noise restrictions unless it was an age restricted neighborhood. I looked into the city noise ordinance and there is one that mentions birds. Specifically it says "The keeping of any animal, bird or fowl which, by causing frequent or long continued noise, shall disturb the comfort or repose of any person in the vicinity." She claims they scream for hours on end, but they do not.
 

finchly

Cruising the avenue
Avenue Veteran
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5/16/14
Messages
10,900
Location
SW Florida
Real Name
Finchly
The issue with the macaws might be me.
Good for you trying to problem solve!

She said that in the past, the previous owners of this house spoke to a lawyer about the noise and if there was anything she could do about it.
.... this kinda makes me think they don't want anyone there or any sort of noise. And even though you're working to fix the problem they may continue to harass you. I hope not.
I'm wondering if the kind neighbor to the back would make some audio recordings? That way if it did become a legal battle, you have your proof.

Disappointing that the noise ordinance is so vague: frequent or long continued noise is very subjective. Like is frequent 2x daily, or 20 or 200? :cautious:

I have also had 100 birds in the past. My neighbor did comment on hearing the 'jungle.' It was finches!!!
 

jzarc17

Strolling the yard
Joined
5/1/20
Messages
104
Location
Rochester, NY
Real Name
Jackie
She sent me another email today while I was working at the bird store. I was so annoyed that I almost left to go home and have words with her. She's saying that the noise is "piercing" and it's affecting her peace of mind. I reminded her that our property lots are 100 ft wide, and from where she's sitting on the far side of her house, she has a block wall, trees, an external wall, as well as several internal walls in between her and the birds. She claims they are screaming for several hours at a time which simply isn't true. The neighbors behind us have birds and she would call me if they were to make sure everything was alright. She made it a point to tell me that she has single-pane windows. They had their house gutted and remodeled last year. The fact that they kept the single-pane windows is irrelevant, and not my problem.

I'm keeping copies of everything and I let her know that I've ordered a noise meter to make sure I'm not violating any city ordinances. With just an app on my phone, I've already determined that a motorcycle going down the street a block away was louder inside my house than the birds are. I let her know that I've spoken with the previous homeowner and it seems that they are very sensitive to noise of any kind. I won't tell her that I've had a flock of almost 50 cockatiels in the back yard for the last year. Cockatiels in large numbers can be very loud and they will scream for hours on end. She hasn't complained about them at all.
Hello Brian! I have an idea, it's kind of a combination of some of the others ideas. So if it was me I would find some kind of video observance device that also records sound. Then I would place it so that it is recording your birds all the time. Then when the fabulous neighbors make some crazy claim that your birds where screaming for hours you can review the tape and respond back to them and say, "nope! Not according to the video and audio, you must be thinking of someone else." :wtf:

It makes my blood boil when people exaggerate the truth when what they are doing is causing stress and harm to others. I really hope very much that everything works out in your favor!
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
So I revised the email I had drafted and pointed out that I'm working on several possible solutions but they will take time and I need her patience. I also pointed out that the solution requires me to spend a significant amount of time outside in the Arizona heat building it, but I'll suffer and get it done. I did remind her that there is significant ambient noise in the neighborhood that we can all hear in our homes during the day. Delivery trucks at the bar next to them, helicopters from the local municipal airport, motorcycles, and weekend landscapers.

My plan is to move the bird about 8 ft back from where they are now. This will put them closer to the block walls of our bedroom and leave less room for the sound to travel out the side of the cage. Then I'm going to put a thick bamboo screen up against the cage. It's 6 ft high, and 12 ft long, so I'll have to partially fold it over itself along the cage. I'm going to put acoustic tiles in the section that's doubled up. This will direct the noise forward towards the west side of our property. There is a block wall there, but it's covered with plants and trees. It's also about 100 ft away. I'm hoping that it will absorb a lot of the sound and leave very little to reflect back in their direction. It doesn't get horribly cold here in the winter but we do get some nights in the upper 30's with the occasional frost warning. Creating this nook for them will let me hang a tarp up in the winter when it's expected to be cool. They have been outside all of their lives, so I have no doubt they can handle it, but I covered the cockatiels in the winter and they did very well.

One thing at a time. If I eventually have to bring them inside, that means some conures need to go outside. I wonder how she would like to hear a bunch of sun conures :)
 

macawpower58

Flying along the Avenue
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
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Joined
8/25/11
Messages
8,998
Location
Pennsylvania
I hope your neighbor appreciates your efforts! You're doing much more than many would do.
I'd have you for a neighbor any day.
I do like bird noise though. ;)
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
She hasn’t responded. I’m sure my comment about talking to neighbors and the previous owner and them telling me that she a very sensitive to noise may have struck a nerve.

I’m keeping a list though. The birds had a few minutes of noise this morning but have been quiet all day. We did hear their landscapers working for 2 hours as well as bulk trash pickup in the neighborhood and a helicopter overhead today. I’m sure those single pane windows make that unbearable.
 

Tielygirl

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Veteran
Joined
11/8/09
Messages
1,567
Location
MN
So I revised the email I had drafted and pointed out that I'm working on several possible solutions but they will take time and I need her patience. I also pointed out that the solution requires me to spend a significant amount of time outside in the Arizona heat building it, but I'll suffer and get it done. I did remind her that there is significant ambient noise in the neighborhood that we can all hear in our homes during the day. Delivery trucks at the bar next to them, helicopters from the local municipal airport, motorcycles, and weekend landscapers.

My plan is to move the bird about 8 ft back from where they are now. This will put them closer to the block walls of our bedroom and leave less room for the sound to travel out the side of the cage. Then I'm going to put a thick bamboo screen up against the cage. It's 6 ft high, and 12 ft long, so I'll have to partially fold it over itself along the cage. I'm going to put acoustic tiles in the section that's doubled up. This will direct the noise forward towards the west side of our property. There is a block wall there, but it's covered with plants and trees. It's also about 100 ft away. I'm hoping that it will absorb a lot of the sound and leave very little to reflect back in their direction. It doesn't get horribly cold here in the winter but we do get some nights in the upper 30's with the occasional frost warning. Creating this nook for them will let me hang a tarp up in the winter when it's expected to be cool. They have been outside all of their lives, so I have no doubt they can handle it, but I covered the cockatiels in the winter and they did very well.

One thing at a time. If I eventually have to bring them inside, that means some conures need to go outside. I wonder how she would like to hear a bunch of sun conures :)

Thats really awesome! Make sure you document this with pictures, receipts, drawings if you can. SAVE IT. because you may have to show proof of what you have done to try to remedy the situation should it come to that. :)
 

Nikomania

Rollerblading along the road
Vendor
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Joined
8/9/13
Messages
3,589
Location
San Diego
Yep. Document, document, document.
Noise ordinances are very vague. When I called the county I was told that if someone were to login a noise complaint at some point they would send someone out to sit in front of the property for a very short time. If they happen to show up when all the birds were quiet, even better!

They don't have a lot of staff available to follow up on every single noise complaint, so they do the minimum.
 

Miss_sj

Jogging around the block
Joined
10/11/18
Messages
611
Location
Australia
Real Name
stacie
Gosh, I'm not much help. That sounds terrible. But surely there are also wild birds that make noise?

I'm with everyone else, document everything. I mean, I get that neighbours want peace....and if it was at 3am I'd see the point. But.....its not just birds that are noisy. Life is noisy.

I'm so lucky with my neighbours- we are in an apartment complex and our budgies are louder than we could have imagined...our neighbours have all been so good about it and say that the budgies have nothing on the Toos (we live on a bush reserve with millions of them). In fact, pre covid we even had one of our little old lady neighbours visit with Flynn regularly. Sadly now we are distancing from her due to this virus :(
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
They are at it again, this time it's the husband. The message was condescending and sarcastic. They feel as if the macaw is sitting on their back porch and screaming in their window. When I said that I can barely hear it in my home office, the husband said they were taken aback by my comment - as if it couldn't possibly be true. He also took the opportunity to remind me that they had complimented us on our birds and how beautiful they were. I'm sure he feels that gives them some leeway to complain now.

Somewhat related to this issue is something that happened last fall. I took in a pair of Patagonian conures. They went into an outdoor aviary because they were ABV positive and I did not want them inside of my house in order to prevent the spread to my flock. The neighbors sent me one email that the noise was an issue. They are loud, so in response, I covered the front of the aviary to block their vision of the yard. Once I did that they quieted down. Aside from me going in once a day to feed them, they made almost no noise. They arrived in September of 2019, spent the winter with us, and then I shipped them off to new owners in February. Not long afterward I had the aviary hauled away. Now he tells me that what I did wasn't good enough. It really demonstrates how every noise is an issue.

The macaws have been with us for 1 month. This past Sunday we spent four hours outside in the sun and 112 degree heat building a bamboo wall against the cage. We also installed acoustic tiles to help muffle the sound. This coming weekend we're going to physically move the cage back closer to the house. This will change what they can see and change the direction that the sound travels. I also ordered several sound meters so I can measure the noise level in various locations around the property. We've kept records of all of this and I have plenty of photos. I did let him know that this may be an unfortunate result of physics and the way the sound reflects and comes together. I also reminded him that keeping the single-pane windows when they remodeled their house was their choice and not my problem.

He sent me several articles about pet macaw behavior and how a noisy bird is an unhappy bird. I told him thanks for sending me information. I'm already aware of all of that, but what he doesn't understand is that these are not pets, they are breeders. They are not screaming pet macaws who are lacking interaction and enrichment in their environment. They are not socialized with people and really do not want any interaction with us. As it is, I have limited my own interaction with them as I seem to be the target of their screams. They were noisy yesterday until about 11 am, but were quiet until I returned home a little before 7 pm. Previously they had gone 10 hours between their sunrise screams and sunset.

It really does appear that nothing is going to satisfy them and this is going to be a constant issue. We're planning on moving to Florida in a few years, so hopefully, I can find a way to keep them at bay until they become someone else's problem.
 

macawpower58

Flying along the Avenue
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
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Joined
8/25/11
Messages
8,998
Location
Pennsylvania
Have you reached out to your city council, animal control, or whoever deals with this?
Perhaps advise them of the issues, your methods to alleviate noise, and your neighbors inability to coexistent with you.
See if they have a protocol, suggestions, or even methods to decide whether the noise is unlawful or not.
Having them on your side would help immensely if things take a bad turn.
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
The sound meters arrived today. I did a brief test while they were screaming to see what the noise was in my kitchen. The cage was about 15 feet away from where I was standing inside. Between where I was and the cage is a double pane window and the exterior wall of our house. While distracting, the screams registered at 63db. That's the upper end of the range for normal conversation. I'll do more testing in the yard to see how it measures in various places.

I'm going to do some more research with the city to see what the exact regulations are. The ordinances are vague so maybe I can get some clarification.
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
We moved the cage back where we wanted today. The additional acoustic panels will arrive tomorrow and I can finish that. We've got another 2 or 3 weeks of this infernal heat and then it should start cooling off a little. After this rude summer, 98 degrees is preferable to 115. Hopefully the lower temps will help.

In other news, a retiring breeder has asked me to take a large part of her flock. If I was an evil and petty person, I would leave them outside in the yard for a few days just because I could. Instead, I'm working to find appropriate homes for a bunch of breeding macaws.
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Patience pays off. After moving the cage and adding the rest of the acoustic panels, things have quieted down. There are still a few screams during the day, and while the neighbors said it was a constant thing, it really was only sunrise and sunset with a few outbursts during the middle of the day. Now they are much quieter throughout the day. We've added a pair of African Greys to the flock and the green wings don't seem to care at all.

We try to feed the green wings first thing in the morning right at sunrise. We have an extra set of bowls so we just swap them out. The less to disturb them, the better. This morning I went outside to replace the food dishes and I caught them mating. They separated when I opened the door, but it was pretty obvious what had been going on. I quietly replaced the dishes. The male came to eat and the female sat where she was for a while and then went into the nest box. I've suspected this was coming, and that they may have already mated at least once. Let's see what happens...
 

finchly

Cruising the avenue
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5/16/14
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10,900
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SW Florida
Real Name
Finchly
Glad things are calming down with the neighbors. Good luck with future hatches!
 

BrianB

Jogging around the block
Joined
2/22/17
Messages
772
Location
Phoenix, AZ
It's official - we have eggs. Well, we had one yesterday when I was able to check the box. Both birds were eating and I snuck around the side of the cage to peek in the side door. Neither of them paid any attention to me, but I won't be doing it again. They have both been eating like pigs, and the male has been really aggressive. He throws the food dishes in the afternoon and then tries to kill me when I go to take them out to refill them. They are proven and the previous owner said they consistently give 3 - 4 chicks per clutch. Now we just wait. Aside from a scream or two in the afternoon, both of them have been very quiet.... so has the neighbor.
 

budgieluv3

Meeting neighbors
Joined
9/8/20
Messages
69
As long as the noise is within the bylaws, you`re fine, we live in a townhouse with good neighbours, and have never had any complaints. :budgie2: Good luck with the eggs, make sure to feed the mother lots of calcium and protein, otherwise she may eat the babies.
 
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