When Your Bird Screams

Are you inadvertently reinforcing your bird’s screaming? With our busy lives, we sometimes look for easy solutions to problems, solutions that could exacerbate the problem.

My daughter’s Sun Conure, Shemesh, has learned that if he screams (and he’s very loud), he’ll get the attention and treats that he wants. Taking the path of least resistance, when company is present and/or we sit down to a meal, Shemesh knows if he starts screeching, he’ll get his favorite treat, a piece of bread. Needless to say he’s well trained, but not in a preferred way.

Sometimes birds will scream in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. It could be hormonal or due to something frightening him/her. You should sneak a peak to make sure your bird is okay. If you approach the cage more than once when this happens, your bird will be getting the attention s/he is looking for and it will become a habit. We’re sure you prefer not to be awakened every night by a screaming bird.

But in order to avoid this behavior from becoming habitual, train your bird with words. Try an expression such as go to bed or quiet. Daytime, when your bird is quiet, reward with a treat. Your bird will soon get the message that quiet brings good things.

If you know what precedes the screaming, try calming your bird before it happens.

Be consistent in your training and your bird will soon understand which behavior is rewarded.

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