Photo by Dave Location: Sedona, AZ Freeflying: Blue throat macaw "Jinx"
When we moved from Saipan to our house here in Florida all we cared about was space for our birds. Our house has a bird room that is 200 square feet and tile floor, and room for 3 6-foot diameter aviaries outside in our backyard. We back up to 100 wooded acres of nothing-ness with neighbors on either side of our fence. We kind of didn't think about the whole "having neighbors" thing as our flock began to grow...
As all parrots do, ours would make noise as the sun came up and as it went down. We would often feel guilty about this knowing that many people around us were attending classes and studying, only to sleep in whenever they possibly could and we were sure our birds were hindering that ability.
As it turns out, all our neighbors love our birds and love the natural noises coming from the backyard (and unnatural ones too!) and luckily master bedrooms are on opposite sides so they really hardly ever hear a thing unless a stranger cat hops the fence and the birds want you to know about it.
However, this didn't stop me from getting clever on how to naturally quiet down our flock.
I began learning their behaviors at night, since in the morning they were alright but compared to the night time they would get really loud as the sun went down. I began to think about what I could do to prevent the screaming. I didn't want to have to be out there training them or working with them because it's a terrible time to train (just before bed, bad idea! All they care about is roosting.)
But I had to think of something, an incompatible behavior - something they couldn't possibly do at the same time as scream that I could occupy them with. So I thought... eat! They can't eat and scream at the same time, right?
That's when I started serving them dinner and in the time it would take them to eat, it would be dark and there was no longer any sun to holler goodnight to. Ta-da! Tricked!
I was rather proud of myself tonight actually for remembering to do so. I don't like to have a "routine" with my parrots because then they can get pissed off if you don't always follow it. If there's no routine to follow, there's no reason to get mad at me for not following one, right? So between certain times at night is when I try to feed my birds, tonight it was just pellets, and sometimes I will even toss them on the ground of their aviaries to make them work just a little harder and also so that they miss the sun going down as it goes down behind the fence and once they've looked up - it's gone. No time to have the last word!
Just another reason it's a good idea to have an outdoor aviary for your pet parrots! I get mine from www.CagesbyDesign.com.
Article by Jamieleigh Womach. She has been working with parrots and toucans since the age of 17. She isn’t homeless but is home less than she prefers to be. She travels the world with her husband, daughter, and a flockful of parrots whom she shares the stage with.