Shout to be heard
Screaming is the first form of innate communication for the parrot. Whether in nature with its congeners or with us in our homes, a screaming parrot ( read howls ) always tries to communicate, to express something.
One of the learned forms of communication is learning link calls. In its natural environment, the young parrot learns the vocalizations which will serve as signals to keep in contact with its social group. These vocalizations are learned by listening to and imitating parents and members of the social group very early in the socialization of the young parrot.
If bonding calls to keep in touch are part of the bird’s innate behaviors, the vocalizations that compose them will be acquired. These will be part of the individual baggage of the bird and will depend on what it learns and retains from the environment in which it will evolve, according to the answers it obtains. Many different modulations and sounds will thus be assimilated ( if they are relevant, if they allow communication ) in order to be able to maintain close relations with the group.
It is in the nature of the parrot to want to communicate by vocalizations and it is therefore normal that this acquired part of liaison calls is also transposed in a context of domesticity.
He will learn the everyday, familiar sounds that serve to attract attention, stay in touch or communicate a desire or frustration and will naturally remember … those that work well ( for him ).
The parrot expresses itself and you must try as best you can to decipher this language by understanding that it is a call, a communication, and trying to understand what your bird is trying to notify you … No small task! If you ignore these vocalizations it may escalate and that’s when the link calls will turn to screams, what am I saying – link howls.
There are a multitude of sounds ( calls ) that define your parrot’s moods. The modulation of the call or cry will be different depending on the circumstances or the emotions involved.
- Locate the members of his social group. The parrot will make link calls in an attempt to locate its human pet or members of its party in the house. Sometimes a simple answer will suffice and he will return to his occupations. Other times, he will simply want to come join you and he will know, by your answer, where to find you ( if he has the possibility of course ).
- Alert or distress vocalization. A normal parrot screams when suddenly confronted with what seems threatening: a new object, a stranger, a sudden noise, etc. This is not abnormal behavior, it is an ancestral alarm situation transposed into a domestic context which serves mainly to warn one’s group of a probable or imminent danger. We are not talking about behavioral problems here. These types of calls are very defined and circumstantial ( fear of dogs or large birds outside, the arrival of a car in your parking space, a walker on the sidewalk in front of your home, etc.). On the other hand, if your parrot frequently emits this kind of alarm call, you will have to reassess the bird’s environment; it is not normal for a parrot to be in constant distress.
- Exclusion. Nothing worse for a social animal that depends on its group for survival. The bird is isolated from the group, and it tries to locate you or let you know its position in the house. The parrot being a gregarious animal, it simply does not support exclusion. At this time, he will make small liaison calls ( usually the words he knows: hello, how are you? Are you coming from? Kisses, etc. ). If he doesn’t get an answer to those repeated calls, he’ll slowly raise his voice, and if the gentle method doesn’t work, he’ll use the full-bodied… the one that works every time. If you wait until this extreme to react, the bird will remember ( stupidly) that he must scream at the top of his lungs so that we deign to come and take care of him a little. He just learned to shout to communicate or have your consideration, since that’s when he caught your attention.
Environmental influence. You should never minimize the very strong empathy of parrots. Often the atmosphere or the ambient animation in the house has a ( very ) direct impact on the sound level expressed by the bird. Your parrot cannot remain impassive in the face of bickering children, the TV or radio playing at the top of their lungs, the dog who keeps barking in the yard. If there is action in the household, the parrot will be sure!
Also, never forget that screaming is a natural means of communication for the parrot and that if you go overboard by yelling at it in an attempt to impress and silence it … it will simply conclude that you are communicating with it and he will try to imitate the power of your voice… In this game, believe me, you are no match for the competition.
- Taxi. A parrot with trimmed flight feathers needs a means of locomotion around the house. So what is he doing? He calls his taxi! And if the taxi doesn’t arrive quickly, the parrot isn’t the type to give up; it will call for as long and as long as it takes… Better to leave Coco its natural modes of locomotion ( wings ), it will gain in autonomy and you will gain peace of mind!
These calls, which are used in normal situations, can quickly escalate depending on the responses you offer the bird. Indeed, as an intelligent animal, the parrot runs the risk of quickly understanding how it can influence the behavior of those around it … to its advantage, by using strategic sounds in order to receive benefits. Make sure you send your parrot the right messages, the ones you want them to remember … Many parrots learn pretty quickly to get what they want from their human by howling, since some people would do anything to do it. silence the bird by giving it exactly what it wants the moment it runs. Indeed,
Usually, the parrot does not cry for nothing. There is always a reason ( at least, according to his point of view ), all his actions resulting from very specific motivations. Sometimes it can be difficult for us to discern what makes our bird squeal: what may seem very harmless to us may have a whole other dimension for our parrot.
A sporadic squeal is perfectly normal, remember that it is an innate means of communication and that even the most socialized of parrots will occasionally use this means as a link call to locate you. At that moment, a simple answer, such as: “I am in the kitchen”, will know how to satisfy your bird, as long as you have taken the trouble to show him around and know his territory beforehand.
The important thing here is not to unduly reward this behavior by giving the bird the desired attention. If we react to this kind of behavior either by shouting at him more beautifully or by responding in a positive way in his eyes ( coming towards him, offering him a treat to silence him, and … etc. ), we confirm it in this attitude and he will only retain that: if he wants attention ( or anything else ), he has only to express it loud and clear!
Of course, you have to put things in perspective. Whether it’s a very young parrot or a crying baby, the situation calls for immediate attention – a cub never screams for nothing; on the other hand, your reactions to a behavior of this kind coming from a more “experienced” parrot will require more reflection on your side before making THE unfortunate gesture … Only a poorly socialized parrot, “insecure”, anxious, dissatisfied, even overwhelmed, will cry loudly, persistently, repetitively for no apparent reason or even because he does not know how to react in the face of even the most mundane situation. Up to you!