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So about screaming...

birdashes

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I'm a bit curious about this, because what I've read some people say has been the complete opposite of what I've done... So discussion time , perhaps? ;)

First of all, I guess, what exactly constitutes 'problem' screaming from normal screaming? Where is the line made? Is this dependent on the bird or the person? The situation? My birds scream, but I've never considered it to be a 'problem'. They scream throughout the day, usually at certain times. They do get loud, but because they have their own room and company, it never seems to be overbearing ( even with my bratty 'too :hehe:) Opinions? Thoughts?

Which leads to the second question. I've read people recommend not responding to their birds screams... Which it seems I don't listen to . I always establish a contact call with my birds and I do scream back. They'll call back for at max for a minute and then stop. I even will instigate the contact call sometimes when I'm not in the bird room, and they call back. This usually happens periodically throughout the day, but not at all constantly or too much. How does establishing contact calls fit in with screaming... Is it a problematic behavior, or does that again.. Depend on the situation?

How does everyone deal with screaming? Do you consider it a problem? If you've had a screamer, what about the screaming was bad? How did or do you deal with it? Thoughts in general?

I hope this somehow doesn't sound pompous or even silly , I'm genuinely really interested and curious about what other have to say! :)
 

Gddmsam

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Boba rarely screams, but when he does i do answer back with "it's ok, I'm here." He stops and then just talks to himself. He only does this if I forget to say bye bye before I leave the room.
 

Tyrion

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I have a screamer Ghost my Goffins Too...he screams for hours sometimes ..and sometimes not ...I think screaming when a person leaves the house or comes home ..or in the morning or at night is normal but for hours at a time is not ...it would be nice for the scream to turn into a call though loud on its own its no where near the scream ..we are trying to change the scream into a call right now ..sometimes it works sometimes not ...he gets treats for calling or other sounds anything but a scream ...for the screams he either gets ignored which doesnt really work ...or told to be quiet and I make a sound that I want him to make back which he does and gets a treat ... mostly I give him stuff to play with to keep him occupied so he doesnt scream and encourage other sounds with rewards ...its slow going but he is getting better ..like 1 step forward 2 steps back ... :)
 

birdashes

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@Gddmsam
Boba sounds pretty similar to what my GCC does!

@Tyrion
Wow, I've heard Goffins can be screamers, that certainly sounds hard! My RB2 so far isn't a screamer ( although full volume 'too screams in your ear isn't very comforting ;) ) but he is only a year old so things could change...

I hope you can make progress with him! Thanks for sharing your experiences!
 

jmfleish

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I have six Cockatoos...two are screamers, one is a HORRIBLE screamer like Ghost...that would be Reggie D2. Reggie screams because someone taught him to scream before I got him and I made the problem worse when I brought him home. I've had him for 16 years and I have no idea how to stop him from screaming. I've tried the whole reward him for being good and ignore him when he screams crap and I either don't do it right or it doesn't work...probably the former rather than the later. Reggie is very, very bonded to me and he he screams for attention and screams when he wants something and screams when he's upset and screams when he's not upset and screams just to scream. He's generally not screaming if I'm paying attention to him but if I'm not paying attention to him, he's screaming. This includes if I'm in the very same room with him but paying attention to another bird instead of him, if I walk out of the room he is in, if he is in the bird room and knows that I'm home and don't go get him, although we have gotten a lot better on this one over the years because it's easier to ignore him on this one!:) I have literally played the "Let's count how many times Reggie can scream in a row" game over the years...I think I have gotten up to about 30 in a row before he stops and goes into whine mode!

My other screamer is Fozzie Bear RB2. He was a rehome at the age of about 5 and isn't nearly as bad as Reggie but is not like my other four RB2s. He will scream when he wants something he feels he should get, generally this is his idea that he should be let out of his cage!:) It generally happens once or twice a day and he will start talking very sweetly and it starts with "Mommy" or "Let me out" and then if you talk to him back and he knows he has your attention and that cage door doesn't open, he starts screaming his little heart out.

My other four RB2s do scream on occasion when they are nervous about something or something seems threatening to them or when they are playing with something and really get excited about it. It's a different kind of scream though...it seems more like a happy scream, not a needy scream. Oh, and my RB2 pair live in the same room with Reggie and when he starts putting up a fuss, they will follow suit!:)

How to handle needless screaming...can't say as I have ever figured that one out!
 

LilSprout

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I've been told my girl screams when I'm at work, she also screams when I leave the room to find out where I am. Sometimes she screams if she thinks I'm not paying enough attention as well. Also to let me know she wants breakfast.
 

LaSelva

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Yes, a lot of it depends on the perspective of the human in terms of how they view the animal (which is based on the level of education that they have). And of course the source of that knowledge plays a huge role.

An animal that is screaming is expressing a need, on that we can all agree, and I personally don't ignore that. What we normally call "screaming for attention," for example, is probably better looked at as motivated by an innate "fear" of isolation.

There are other reasons they scream, of course, and they can depend on variables in your home such as whether the bird is caged at the time, flighted, or clipped. A clipped bird may call and call until you take it to the place that it wants to get to. This could be on you or perhaps it wants you to pick it up and move it to a particular spot. In these cases the birds screaming could be motivated by its bond to you or it's hormonal drive to nest. A common theme here is that these behaviors did not come about because you reinforced them but are from within the animal. A baby parrot will call for a different reason than an adult, etc. The general advice of ignoring is simply not good advice because it blankets behavior that can come about for many reasons.

I address the screaming one way or the other and basically have since day one - before I had read anything on the subject. It came natural to me as I am human and empathetic to an animal that depends on me. Later I learned it is actually biologically sound to give the comfort that is being sought.
 

jmfleish

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Yes, a lot of it depends on the perspective of the human in terms of how they view the animal (which is based on the level of education that they have). And of course the source of that knowledge plays a huge role.

An animal that is screaming is expressing a need, on that we can all agree, and I personally don't ignore that. What we normally call "screaming for attention," for example, is probably better looked at as motivated by an innate "fear" of isolation.

There are other reasons they scream, of course, and they can depend on variables in your home such as whether the bird is caged at the time, flighted, or clipped. A clipped bird may call and call until you take it to the place that it wants to get to. This could be on you or perhaps it wants you to pick it up and move it to a particular spot. In these cases the birds screaming could be motivated by its bond to you or it's hormonal drive to nest. A common theme here is that these behaviors did not come about because you reinforced them but are from within the animal. A baby parrot will call for a different reason than an adult, etc. The general advice of ignoring is simply not good advice because it blankets behavior that can come about for many reasons.

I address the screaming one way or the other and basically have since day one - before I had read anything on the subject. It came natural to me as I am human and empathetic to an animal that depends on me. Later I learned it is actually biologically sound to give the comfort that is being sought.
I like where you are going with this but I have to point out one thing...I find that there are certain birds that seem to scream more than others...eg Cockatoos....I think it might have a bit to do with something I call manipulation!:)
 

LaSelva

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Perhaps, and I also left out "displaying," which is something that I hear that cockatoos like to do but that I have no experience with.
 

JLcribber

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I address the screaming one way or the other and basically have since day one - before I had read anything on the subject. It came natural to me as I am human and empathetic to an animal that depends on me. Later I learned it is actually biologically sound to give the comfort that is being sought.
Funny that's how I've always approached it. Don't know how but I've always been able to read most animals pretty well. Depending on what they're trying to tell me determines how I respond.

There's a big difference between a bird that screams because it is in need and a bird that is just spoiled.
 

JLcribber

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I like where you are going with this but I have to point out one thing...I find that there are certain birds that seem to scream more than others...eg Cockatoos....I think it might have a bit to do with something I call manipulation!:)

Perhaps, and I also left out "displaying," which is something that I hear that cockatoos like to do but that I have no experience with.
:lol: Yea. And then there's cockatoos. Nobody proclaims the song of their people quite like they do. :)
 

Shinobi

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Contrary to human beliefs, parrots think yelling and screaming is a fantastic and fun response and it will actually reinforce a behaviour. Parrots really enjoy it when humans yell at them and humans will always lose the screaming match. Personally I'm always amazed how such a huge sound can come out of such a small animal. Parrots often scream simply for the fun of it so it is a fallacy to think they perceive that yelling is a reprimand. On the contrary, they generally interpret yelling as positive feed-back.

Apart from their morning and evening calls, we just talk to them in a quiet manner when our birds scream, which is not that often. We also whistle too.
 

zoo mom

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When Russell screams when I am close by I whisper to him. He then has to quiet down to hear what I am saying. It works about 90% of the time.

When Andre screams the only thing that will stop him is to cover him. Sometimes just taking hold of the cover is enough to quiet him because he doesn't want to be covered.

The worst screams to listen to in my house is usually my Pi and my Hahns macaw. Their tones and modulations and their desire to scream together is enough to make your ears bleed if you are in the room with them.

But on another note; I work nights and I can sleep through full on RB2, pionus, Senegal, Hahns macaw and 2 cockatiels. So I am not a good judge of problem screaming. Except when they do it in my ear.
 

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I have a two toos. The one screams for reasons, i.e. When something is bothering her, like a moth, or butterfly...very funny to watch.
Or if a fly lands on her...her pet hate! It's almost like she's shouting at it, saying "how dare you I've just preened myself, now I have to do it all over again!"
The other too, Poppy, we adopted because the previous owners could not take his screening.
I did ignore the screaming when we got him, which got louder and louder, but when he called in a softer tone, I'd answer or go to his cage.
I got him out of this steaming in around a week or so.
But I think it was also understanding his needs, as in he is a very needy bird. He doesn't get on with my other birds. He prefers human company.
So I moved him to a place in the house where he knows we around.
He now calls us, by name, verse or phrase.
To which we answer.
I think it has to do a lot with going about addressing the birds needs, and because they are individuals, they are all different.
And in Poppy's case also changing bad habits.
 

Birdie Onions

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In summary what I'm trying to say is... I don't think you can paint them all with the same brush. What might have worked with one, might not work with another, as they are all different individuals.
The key is to try understand what that particular individual is trying to communicate.
 

birdashes

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Oh wow , I got lots of responses here! :)

Reading everyone's experiences and thoughts is really illuminating! Thanks to everyone who's replied! I don't have the energy to reply to everyone LOL.

Adding onto the idea of screaming for a need ( either for fear, food/water, comfort), screaming positively ( displaying, happiness etc ) and trying to manipulate for attention...

Have you figured out the different calls for those? Or how did you?
I've noticed that Val the RB2 has very distinct screams when he's playing, and that those aren't a call for attention. When he first made them I though they were a call because something was wrong and I go in and he'd just stare at me so confused...then go play again. He also does have his own set of noises for ' I want you ' ( which is actually him screaming the word 'squeaky' on repeat... I think it's his name for me) and ' I don't like that icky bug/I'm scared'. Also ' I really don't like you & you need to go away'

On the other hand, when my GCC went through a period of plucking last year, I ended up doting on her as much as possible and watching her almost 24/7. When she was distressed I would come and comfort her. She after starting to recover ( her plucking was behavioral) eventually learned that if she made this awful pitiful noise... sounded like a girl weeping..., I would come charging for her. That was a perfect example of a spoiled bird ;) and her learning to manipulate me... I eventually caught on to the game because when you'd go into the bird room she wouldn't even be remotely distressed, she'd be running around playing, eating or climbing. Being a typical little GCC. And I swear she's always have this look of 'hey look I fooled you :)' although that could be me just humanizing her behavior too much ;)
She has since stopped the noise and has gone back to her normal set of calls.
 

jmfleish

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In summary what I'm trying to say is... I don't think you can paint them all with the same brush. What might have worked with one, might not work with another, as they are all different individuals.
The key is to try understand what that particular individual is trying to communicate.
Yes, I agree totally. With Reggie and with Fozzie Bear, they are not screaming because it's fun. You can tell by the scream that they are screaming because they absolutely want something and they want something right that instant. Sometimes I know what it is and sometimes I don't. Generally it's attention and with Reggie, when I first got him, I think I messed up and gave it to him because I did not know what I was doing and I made it so much worse. Because of that, I don't think he will ever stop screaming but over the years, I think it's gotten a bit better. With Fozzie, he's not that bad, but I can definitely see a difference between him and my other RB2s because I didn't have Fozzie as a baby and I did something right with the two I did have a baby so they don't show the screaming tantrums that Fozzie has. With him, I just ignore the screaming and he catches on. We'll see if I figured it out if I ever decide to get another baby Cockatoo!:)

As for the bug thing, all my Cockatoos except the mated pair are terrified of bugs which I find hilarious! They will scream a totally different scream whenever a bug is near...that "OMG! Get it away from me this instant" scream that makes me want to roll on the ground laughing! Cockatoos can be so dramatic!
 

Laylatoo

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Both my Toos seem to have been relatively quiet I think. Although I have four kids so the house is probably loud in general so maybe my loudness scale is swayed. Lol. My Jasper had a honking call for attention and yelled once a day when he was having so much fun with his toys. Layla has 1-2 5-10 minute screaming fits exclaiming her love of life. We call it Cockatoo time and most often it's right at dinner time for us. When I used to have to keep Jasper in the bedroom instead of in the main living area he screamed more frequently. As soon as I moved him out in the living room and amongst the family full time he became a different bird. So much happier and content. Layla is out of her cage in the livingroom all day. She sleeps in our master bedroom and that's basically her only cage time. Maybe I'm lucky...maybe some more screaming is yet to come. :). I've been blessed with easy Toos thus far in general.
 

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Well there is progress being made with Ghost all he did last night is call when he would normally scream ..so things can be changed it just takes allot of work ...he normally screams for attention I think and for his toys ...or just to scream... but you can change things ...every bird is different and we really havent had him for very long so I see every lil step we take forward as a huge victory ...you really have to be on top of it through rewarding the other sounds is very important I think and discouraging the bad screaming any way you can ... yet you have to allow the "normal" screaming its like walking on a tight rope ....we are really trying to encourage the calling instead of the screaming so hopefully the calling will in the end replace the screaming if we are lucky ..:D
 

zoo mom

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When Russell screams when I am close by I whisper to him. He then has to quiet down to hear what I am saying. It works about 90% of the time.

When Andre screams the only thing that will stop him is to cover him. Sometimes just taking hold of the cover is enough to quiet him because he doesn't want to be covered.

The worst screams to listen to in my house is usually my Pi and my Hahns macaw. Their tones and modulations and their desire to scream together is enough to make your ears bleed if you are in the room with them.

But on another note; I work nights and I can sleep through full on RB2, pionus, Senegal, Hahns macaw and 2 cockatiels. So I am not a good judge of problem screaming. Except when they do it in my ear.


I forgot to mention that when we cover Andre for screaming it is only for 3-5 minutes. Just long enough to calm him down and reset his volume control.
 
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