It’s frustrating and embarrassing to admit, but the reason I posted recently about the idea of rehoming is because that topic has been discussed at our home a lot in the past few months. However, I don’t give up easily and I knew we are not ready to seriously consider it. I know that the behavior issues we are dealing with, as bad and hopeless as they sound – incessant screaming, dive bombing, unpredictable biting, over preening, and anxiety – were not only correctable, but that there were several small changes I could make that were likely to at least help a little. Hopefully my experience can help you, too!
After the escape of our green cheeked conure, Koopa, in May of this year, our poor quaker, Jingo, has been so lonely. He was screeching, dive bombing, biting, stealing food from the baby…a host of problems. I am not one to recommend getting a bird hoping bad behaviors go away, but he was miserable. We debated for a long time on who we wanted our new addition to be, from the species to gender to age to tame, etc.
Then we saw this post on Facebook:
My Quaker Parrot Jingo used to be a heavy screamer. I’m not talking about chatter, whistles, squawks and the like. I mean I could easily count on a minimum of two hours of a waking day to be him non-stopping screaming. If you have never heard a quaker scream…it can be quite irritating!
Now, when this started, it was more like five hours a day, so two hours for me was a win, and it has since gone down to maybe thirty minutes a day which is just fine by me. People gave me a lot of advice like when to reward, what to reward, etc. Honestly, I found it extremely difficult and hard to really be consistent. Instead of working against the problem, I decided that it was far easier to work with him. I call it “tricking my bird to be quiet.” Aside from ear plugs if I just seriously can’t handle it anymore, here are some of the ways I’ve curbed his screaming.
Please note: ALL birds scream and you will never be able to have a 100% quiet bird. That is not my intention. The idea is to reduce the amount to a more acceptable amount. “Zero” screaming is not a goal you should entertain.