U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Birds
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
Old 09-14-2012, 06:51 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,715,536 times
Reputation: 9581


they scream because they miss their owners AND are all "like wild and stuff"
the scream is a wild instincutal behaviour to call their "flock"...when in captivity the human becomes the flock...so instinct dictates that they would scream when they want your attention...

humans then get furstrated because that natural behaviour is undesirable and make the mistake of comming to "yell" back at the bird to get it to stop...the bird thinks your communicating back because your yelling AND says hey wait i screamed they came back...hence "spoiling" the bird positive reinforcment for a negatvie behaviour.

since these are inteligent fairly wild animals we will never completly destroy the need to call their flock in wuch ways...but they are intleient enough that we can modify those behaviours to a more desirable one...

for example jack jack used to scream when i left the room, the scream was his instinctual methofd of telling me to come back...
i didnt want him to stop calling for me its a natural instinctual behaviour, but i didnt like the scream...so instead id wait for him to make a more desireable noise then come back into the room and communicate with him...
he quickly learnt to replace the instinctual flock call with a different kind of sound...the reason being the same (to call me back) but the sound being more desirable to me...so no instead of screaming because he wants my attention...he tells me "whered you go" or "come back" of "look" i try to always respond when i hear these things to reinforce his instinct to flock call but using this much more desirable method.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 09-14-2012, 09:27 PM
2,520 posts, read 5,344,100 times
Reputation: 3502
Originally Posted by sadie123 View Post
I have a female Eclectus. She is very sweet and a good talker. Not nasty a bit. We got her very young. My husband did the training and did get bit a few times until she realized the strength of her beak. It is a lot like training a puppy not to bite. She is now a wonderful addition to our family.

Just like with puppies, it is tempting to play with new babies all the time, but it is really important to not spoil young birds with too much attention since they need to be safely in their cages when you are at work. They need lots of toys and they need to learn to amuse themselves for some hours in the daytime. She is in her cage until 3:00 when I get home and then she is out until bedtime. If they are trained from the beginning to have a regular schedule it is less likely that they will become screamers and feather pluckers later.
BBM- This is so true. We have a baby 20 wk Blue & Gold that we're still handfeeding. It's so important to stick w/ a schedule. We give him quiet down after his last feeding before being put to bed. We also rotate toys and let him watch Disney during the day. I'm sure he'll scream someday, but so far this schedule is working for us.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-15-2012, 10:20 AM
Location: Missouri
6,047 posts, read 21,611,659 times
Reputation: 5051
We have one bird, a Moluccan cockatoo. Her name is Peepers. I adore birds but I would not even consider getting another one right now. Peepers by herself is a huge committment of time and money. When we have guests who really admire her and get the bright idea of getting their own cockatoo, I tell them to not even consider it unless:

1. they are willing to spend, on average, up to $100/month on the bird (food, toys, vet expenses, destroyed household goods, etc.) FOR MANY YEARS, POSSIBLY THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES

2. they are willing to commit to spending hours every day playing with the bird FOR MANY YEARS, POSSIBLY THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES

3. they can either commit to never traveling, or are able to secure appropriate pet care for their bird while they are away, FOR MANY YEARS, POSSIBLY THE REST OF THEIR NATURAL LIVES

4. is willing to accept that they may end up with a bird who is not as loveable, doesn't play as much or talk as much as they would like. Birds have different personalities and abilities.

5. understands how long large birds can live, and is willing to make what may be a lifetime committment to caring for the bird. Peepers is 28 years old and I am 33; I expect her to be around at least until I am middle-aged and possibly much older (if we are both so fortunate).

If a person does truly want a cockatoo (or other large bird) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider adopting, rather than paying hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars to a breeder. These are challenging pets to have long-term and it is not difficult to find someone who needs to rehome their bird. There are even shelters who specialize in birds. I am against adding more large birds to the pet population we already have.

I honestly cannot imagine having multiple birds (at least, multiple large birds) unless I were a wealthier person, and also worked outside the home only part-time or not at all. If I had more time and money, I might be interested in adopting another large bird, but I know I just cannot commit to giving another bird all that it deserves. Maybe someday...

I have also come to the conclusion that birds make awful pets. They are not domesticated like cats and dogs. It breaks my heart that Peepers was removed from her beautiful home in the islands as a baby and shipped overseas to an environment she was never meant to be in. I attribute any "behavioral issues" (screaming, feather chewing, furniture chewing,, etc.) she has to the fact that she is not meant to live in a house! As much as I love her and enjoy spending time with her, the less selfish part of me recognizes this is not the life she should be living.

Definitely a fan of scheduling and routine here...Peepers has a pretty set schedule but I can almost always count on her getting a little crazy mid-morning Saturday because Saturday the routine gets a little different from Monday through Friday, as DH and I work during the week. Same thing towards the end of the semester when I might have more late-nights out of the home than usual. So I try to keep a routine going for her as much as possible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-16-2012, 01:20 AM
111 posts, read 206,560 times
Reputation: 107
You wrote....It's interesting how some bird owners project human traits like being "spoiled" and the importance of schedules onto parrots, which are genetically wild animals. Maybe these concepts truly do prevent screaming and feather plucking, but I doubt it. I think it really comes down to healthy food and an environment where they feel safe and bonded, and where they receive adequate stimulation. What time of day a parrot "goes to bed" or the steps an owner takes to prevent "spoiling" are irrelevant, I would bed, to the bird's health and well-being, although they probably give the owner a sense of control.

Perhaps my terminology was not to your liking. If you want to say that I wish to have a sense of control over a 'wild bird' that now lives in a cage, then I am guilty of wanting to control her environment. I want to control what she eats, so that she is healthy. I want to control the amount of play time with humans, so that my pet does not pluck her feathers for lack of human interaction for the six hours I am off working and I want to control parrot screaming. Most of all I want my bird to be as healthy and happy as a domesticated bird can be.

So far it is working very well. Of course time will tell. My bird learned to whistle instead of scream. It is a really loud whistle, which may offend some, but we prefer it to screaming. My bird eats a fresh fruit and vegetable diet along with the recommended bird pellets our vet recommends, and she gets a few non-salted almonds as treats. She is sexually mature and has laid a couple of eggs, so the almonds are supposed to replenish the nutrients she may use in egg laying.

Am I a control freak? Maybe. But I currently have a seemingly happy, healthy Eclectus and I hope to keep her that way.

I do appreciate your comments since they cause me to think about if I am doing everything I can to ensure my parrots well being.

I have owned parrots for the past fortyfive years and I find there is still much for this flawed human to learn to care of them well.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-17-2012, 12:34 PM
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,429 posts, read 62,677,450 times
Reputation: 30226
Originally Posted by christina0001 View Post
It breaks my heart that Peepers was removed from her beautiful home in the islands as a baby and shipped overseas to an environment she was never meant to be in.

I attribute any "behavioral issues" (screaming, feather chewing, furniture chewing,, etc.) she has to the fact that she is not meant to live in a house! As much as I love her and enjoy spending time with her, the less selfish part of me recognizes this is not the life she should be living.


In their natural habitat they are frequently slaughtered by the thousands. They are considered pests.

They chew like mad in the wild too. One of the reasons they are considered pests.

Give her some sticks to chew. Or a barn. then it will be just like being in the wild.

Cockatoos seem to like to feel safe and comfortable. When I take mine outside, he usually wants deperately to get into a house or car as soon as possible. I am not sure a life where they feel comfrotable is worse for them than a life where they are terrified 98% of the time. I tried asking him, but he just said "errrrk" I asked his girlfrind Sopie and she merely responded "Hi guy"

I guess i will have to die and ask God. He probably knows. I doubt anyone else does.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-18-2012, 01:43 PM
26 posts, read 97,577 times
Reputation: 83
Hi all, I have 3 parakeets. I bought my baby green one at Petco. He was hanging upside down when I first saw him & I knew he was the one. He spends most of his time upside down in his cage. He makes me laugh all the time cause he is constantly falling off his toys because he is upside down on them. Don't worry, he never hurts his self & climbs right back where he was so he can continue playing.
I also have 2 other parakeets that a friend of mine gave me. She was unable to care for them & give them the time & attention they deserve.
I named them Ike & Tina. Ike is loud & proud & never (except when he is asleep) shuts up. He is constantly jibber jabbering about something. Tina is quiet & will clock Ike in the back of the head when she gets tired of his noise. They make me laugh too because they like to argue over the 2 food containers they have. I have had all of them since June of this year. I leave their cage doors open but they have never once come out. They are still shy & skiddish except for my little green one. (I named him Petey) My other 2 are blue female & a blue w/white wings male. I am in the same room with them everyday & talk to them all the time but they are in their own little world most of the time. I really enjoy them but wish they would come out & sit on my shoulder every once in a while. maybe someday they will.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-25-2012, 12:26 PM
5 posts, read 5,621 times
Reputation: 16
I couldn't choose because of love them so bad. My husband asked me what do i think about giving up the birds because he never gave them any attention. I said no way because i love them to much to give them up.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-02-2012, 04:24 AM
Location: Arkansas
4 posts, read 16,362 times
Reputation: 17
I rehomed a Timneh African Grey, whom his previous owner named Congo. The name has stuck. He was two years old, a a bit nippy, when we adopted him. We still prefer to give him his "tickle head scratch time" with a pencil or pen..... as he has the habit of suddenly deciding to snap at it and chirp like a bell being rung and then he puts his head down on my leg and begs for more head scratching. He is a card and calls out our ittle dogs name for her to come over to him. he then rewards her with throwing of some food to her and laughs and dances when the doggie catches it in mid air. Talk about entertainment.

Then we rehomed a Quaker and my husband and he are best pals. Of course, he hangs out with me all day since my office is at home. But when "daddy" walks in the door.... he calls for him and flies down the hall after him if he doesn't get picked up to take a shoulder ride first. He chuckles in mimicry of us whenever we laugh.... and we just explode further with laughter. Cant imagine our ife without him.

Lastly, we got a call from a Vet concerning a Cockatoo who had suddenly lost its owner due to an auto accident. Yes, we adopted him as well. He is a cuddler, always wants to cuddle with "mama" and even runs down the hall ahead of me straight to our bedroom and manages to climb up into the bed and await my arriving there at my nap time every day. Yep... he is a keeper. He would sleep with us under the covers if we let him. Often he does get under the covers when I nap... and I awaken with this white fluff of feathers laying on my shoulder with his beady black eye looking up at me waiting for a kiss on his beak. He "clucks clucks" when I give him oatmeal, rice, or something he adores. He barks like a tiny lap dog and this really is funny when my little dog barks.... because he soon joins in. Then, the african grey begins to call out the dogs hame, telling her to "be quiet", and we really have a rucus when the Quaker joins in with whisting "twinkle twinkle", or the theme song from "bridge over the river quai".//// dont ask me why as I don't know.. guess the former owner taught him.

So, yes, we have a house full.... but I couldn't even begin to contemplate who I would part with if I had to go down to only two of them. After all, they have become like our children. How could I choose who to give away? I just can't. I made sure I could take care of each before we adopted them.... but yes, I know that peoples circumstances do change..... sometimes it is unavoidable. So, always have a back up plan. And, ask yourself what you would do if you actually had to make that type of decision. Perhaps that would be letting you know not to adopt or own a new addition. I don't know. It is so very hard to find good homes. And they do need good care and socialization.

Our African Grey lets out a "cry", like a throaty nasal "whaaa" whenever I leave the room.... and I have to tellhim Ill be right back baby. And the cockatoo (umbrella) will chew a tail feather down on one side of the feather if he has to stay in his cage all day.... happend twice when I had to go out of town to the doctor and was gone all day. So he is very needy. Now, I have put a day cage for him in an extra fully tiled bathroom so I can keep the cage door open and he can get out and play with his box of special toys during the day should I need to be gone. He is a very active bird and loves to toss plastic whiffle balls and small stuffed toy squirrels up over his head with a jerk and send them across the room. Then he runs after them, gets them, and shoots them across the room again and repeats, repeats, repeats. I do play his favorite music or cartoon for him on a tv if he must stay in the day cage for entertainment. That seems to help. I do the same for the African Grey. He has never picked a single feather.... but he is so smart..... so he gets Billy Joel or Jimmy Buffet on the stereo when Im out of the home office to keep him engaged. He dances dances dances. Also loves to hang upside down on the rope I put up and do upside down situps and he counts numerically out loud for each one he does..... up to ten. then he begins his count again. Hysterical.

How could Ipart with any of them?? Ive even made arrangements for their care should either of us need to go in the hospital or in case we might pass away. They will, after all, outlive us both.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-05-2012, 07:27 AM
Location: Charlotte county, Florida
4,196 posts, read 5,230,836 times
Reputation: 12201
I have a 13 year old peachface lovebird named Peaches. He was hand raised by me by spoon and syringe.
He did have a mate, also hand raised at the same time. She turned evil though and I offered her to my vet, who still has her.
He has not had his wings clipped in years, rides in my shirt pocket in stores, in the car.

He's a girl magnet
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 10-05-2012, 06:39 PM
14 posts, read 25,818 times
Reputation: 10
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
In our experience, bird lovers tend to go overboard. We do. Sometimes people have only one, but frequently more than one.

Right now we have two lesser sulfur cockatoos, ten finches, one cockatiel and eleven chickens. We have always had one bird and frequently three or more. Most friends who like birds have lots (too many?). One family (who took our cockatoo for us for a while) had 14 birds for a while. Is everyone like this, or do most of you have only one bird?
Many years back I had several finches in an aviary I made myself. The cage held zebra finch, society finch and one black steele finch. The steel finch was the prettiest of all. The society finches were very friendly. The zebra finch were my very first and they lived to be 10 years. We lost our 21 year old cockatiel "Pretty Boy," four years ago. That was a heartbreaker! Now, I have one dusky conure and six cockatiels; two females and four males. I've sold one and three others I gave away to my friend -a bird lover. It's a lot of work, but I love them all!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Pets > Birds
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:50 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top