The term screaming, with relation to our parrots, is misused. There is screaming, and then there is screaming. The volume that these small creatures can produce is mind boggling. I suspect many of you understand what I am saying. However, we need to differentiate that which is screaming and those vocalizations which are normal and to be expected, as loud as they might get. True screaming must be observed as an undesirable behavior that is utilized for purposes of want.
Was this screaming? Undoubtedly and impressively so. But, it was a response to a fearful situation and could never be regarded as an unwanted behavior, even though I sacrificed my left ear to make it stop.
Your bird’s sunup/sundown calls are another example of a din that is acceptable. It is how your bird’s wild counterparts greet the new day and call the family home to roost at day’s end.
Also to be expected are the “just thrilled to be alive” calls, the “threats” made to toys that are being conquered and destroyed, or when your bird calls out to locate flockmates (including human ones) that are out of their line of sight.
Every time you bird issues a shrill cry does not constitute what has come to be known as a scream. Birds are vocal creatures and their vocalizations can be shockingly loud. Try to use the word screaming only in cases where your bird is using excessive vocalization to manipulate your behavior to his liking, such as demanding your attention. Such are the times when you must address your bird’s behavior. Otherwise, let your bird be who he is, and try not to cringe. A bird that does not vocalize needs to see a vet. It is a sure sign of ill health.
Patty Jourgensen specializes in avian health, behavior and nutrition and has been working with and caring for rescue birds since 1987.