Has your parrot ever screamed so loud that you feared your neighbors could call the cops on you?
Or have they started pulling out their tail feathers angrily until they are almost naked?
The truth is, this is an inevitable occurrence and you should always be prepared in case your bird loses it.
Calming down a parrot is not an easy task and there is no quick fix to this behavior.
Seeing that parrots are intelligent birds, you can teach him to calm down quickly whenever he goes berserk and embolden longer spells of quiet activity.
This can obviously take some time as well as effort and dedication on your part.
Before learning how to calm your parrot down, you should understand that you have in your hands an exotic and to some extent naturally anxious bird.
You also need to understand what it means by parrots being exotic pets and why in the jungle they are birds of prey.
What this means is that they naturally utilize their anxiety to warn their members of potential danger.
The sooner you learn this fact the easier things will be for you.
There are numerous methods to calm down your parrot, and in this article, we are going to go through some of them.
So, make sure you read it till the end.
- 1 Calming your parrot by understanding its needs
- 2 Calming your parrot by reading his body language
- 3 Tackle your parrot’s behavior rather than emotion
- 4 Make feeding your parrot a game
- 5 Get your parrot some interesting pet bird toys
- 6 Avoid boring routine
- 7 Reward your parrots positive behavior
- 8 Introducing new positive behaviors
- 9 Cue for trained behavior
- 10 Calm the environment
- 11 Use sounds and sights
- 12 Use positive reinforcement training
- 13 Maybe he is just being a parrot
- 14 Visit an avian vet
Calming your parrot by understanding its needs
As we have mentioned above, parrots still have wild behaviors since they are naturally the animals of prey – those animals that sit at the bottom of the food chain in the wilderness – you can use this knowledge to calm him down by making him feel safer in your hands.
You can do these using the following tips:
Parrots or pet birds in general, repeat a deed that has been rewarded, so make sure you reward your parrot whenever he performs a wanted behavior.
They can learn quickly, therefore you should think of teaching him wanted behaviors
Allow your parrot to be a parrot
Parrots are noisy and boisterous and if chaos occurs, there must be a reason.
The reason most of the time is you.
Yes, you heard that right.
As mentioned above, parrots repeat behaviors that have been rewarded or it wouldn’t repeat.
It may be possible that your parrot acts insane to get your attention.
So when you throw a few treats on his bowl to get him to shush or stop what you are doing to take him in your hands, you have essentially told your parrot that the next time he wants your attention he should raise a ruckus.
Calming your parrot by reading his body language
Perhaps the single most essential step to take towards successfully calming your parrot down is learning to read his body language.
This also allows you to spend a few moments with your parrot, as you are teaching him some basic behaviors like waving on a cue or turning around.
When you spent time with your parrot in learning sessions, you get to learn things like his body language, his eyes and feathers.
You also learn when your bird is about to fly off his perch, when his is distracted, or when he wants to bite.
Make sure you spent time learning these subtle cues and you will be better placed to tell if your bird is about to go crazy and understand why.
To successfully calm down you parrot, you need to know what he is reacting to.
Sometime it may take a small thing such as moving a scary big box in the hallway to calm your parrot down.
You must know how your parrot acts fearful, angrily and even when he is distracted or disturbed.
An anxious parrot would usually go into flight or fight mode very quickly.
Tackle your parrot’s behavior rather than emotion
Parrots also think, feel and therefore have plenty of emotions as well.
So can you tell what you parrot is thinking and what he is feeling?
While it can be hard to understand what our pet is feeling and or thinking, we still have to try, since it is our responsibility.
Trying to address the behavior of the parrot can yield much result than addressing its behavior.
Try to learn the why the parrot screams at the top of his voice.
If you can manage to get your parrot to stop screaming, you can train him to get what he wants in a different way.
My point is behavior can be addressed, while emotions may remain a mystery.
Make feeding your parrot a game
Sometimes parrots may start acting up because they are idle and bored.
One of the easiest ways to calm your parrot may be to keep him engaged.
While we cannot rule out your bird screaming while eating at the same time, a parrot that is thinking, playing around, and exploring will be quiet and calm.
So during mealtime, consider giving your parrot a little more to do by hiding seed treats and nuts in small boxes, crumbled-up newspaper, and paper lunch bags.
Also, try hanging vegetables and fruits from metal kabobs designed for parrots or you can simply clip them around his cage.
Put puzzle toys that require exploration and thought in your parrot’s cage to dispense treats.
Avoid a situation whereby the only way your parrot can be entertained is when he interacts with you, as this will surely ensue craziness.
So the best way to keep your parrot busy, and calm for that matter, is by providing daily foraging opportunities.
Foraging refers to when your bird has to work for his food.
Don’t forget that in the wild, parrots spend hours every day foraging for food.
They start by exploring where food sources are then figure out how to obtain the nutrition.
You can absolutely simulate this at home for your parrot to keep engaged.
Luckily there are tons of foraging ideas online you can use as inspiration.
In the end, you will realize that a parrot that has opportunities to stay busy with natural behaviors is a calm parrot.
Get your parrot some interesting pet bird toys
Continuing on with keeping your parrot busy, you should make sure your bird has access to interesting pet bird toys in his cage.
Don’t just go to the toy stores and buy hundreds of toys and then dump them in your parrot’s cage.
By ensuring your parrot has interesting toys we mean that you should be constantly changing and mixing things up.
Make sure after a few days, you replace the toys in your parrot’s cage with new ones.
Your parrot is not that smart, and if you hide a toy for a few days, it will think it is new!
Another thing to keep in mind when providing toys for your bird is to make sure the toys are not scary.
So don’t buy just a toy because it is a toy.
Parrots get frightened as well, so if you get him Chucky or Annabelle, the screams will only get louder.
Avoid boring routine
Get out of the rut once in a while and surprise your parrot with new moves and actions.
This way, you parrot will feel special and will grow fond of you.
Sticking to one routine may be one of the reasons your parrot screams in the first place.
For example, if you always get your parrot out of his cage at 9 AM, he will develop a habit of screaming for a few minutes before and after 9 AM if you are late.
That way, he will make sure you know that it’s time to get him out of the cage.
This can be tricky because if you carve to his screams, then you will be rewarding that behavior.
Instead, try getting him out of the cage when he is quiet.
So why not get him out of the cage at 8 AM a few times or 8:30 Am sometimes.
You can do this by preparing your parrot’s favorite breakfast.
Reward your parrots positive behavior
Cultivate a habit of rewarding your parrot when he does something positive, for example when he is calm and relaxed or paying quietly.
Just stop by his cage and play with him a little bit.
Or just place a few delicious treats in his bowl.
Don’t wait until your parrot is screaming to give him a new and fun toy to play with.
By rewarding your parrot when he is quiet and calm, you are telling him that you like and prefer when he is calm and peaceful.
If you can train you parrot behaviors you don’t like, such as rewarding him when he screams, you can also train him to adopt behaviors you like.
Keep in mind that your parrot doesn’t exactly know the best way to get your attention, so you can show him the best way rather than let him develop a wrong behavior.
Introducing new positive behaviors
If you can reward positive behavior and make your parrot maintain it for a long time, you can also introduce new behavior to him.
You may have come across a lot of comments online about how training your bird is demeaning and manipulation.
These are the ways of thinking that you should avoid.
Think of this exercise as your chance to spend a little bit of quality time with your parrot.
It is similar to how you can train your child to read by reading them a picture book.
Your parrot will love this one-on-one time you spent with him, and he might just take on new behavior you are trying to instill in him quickly and positively.
It is not just humans who appreciate attention and praise, parrots do as well.
If you think your bird is about to get wound up, take him out of the cage and start training him.
Your parrot won’t scream and focus on training at the same time; unless it is not a fun training then he will keep on acting up and ignore your teachings.
Be careful not to start training when your parrot is already screaming and flapping, as you will be rewarding his behavior, which he will develop and practice more.
Cue for trained behavior
When you spend time training your parrot, you can teach him things that he can do, which stop him from doing other things at the same time.
For instance, you can train him to wave or to whistle.
Parrots cannot multitask, so he won’t scream and wave at you at the same time.
The more you give your parrot attention for performing some special tricks you have trained him, the less he will use problem behavior to demand something.
Calm the environment
Offer your parrot with a calm, passive setting and space to feel safe.
Some parrots would easily get startled when you pass by their cage when there is a piece of loud music, or if they see something unsettling on the television.
To prevent any upset, select a peaceful spot in your home far away from high traffic and other distractions such as windows and noisy devices.
Also, consider limiting his view by placing a cover around three sides of the cage.
The spot where you place his cage should be quiet but still near where he can see you regularly so that he doesn’t feel alone.
Use sounds and sights
Parrots also find soft music soothing, so before your bird’s bedtime, make sure you play a little bit of soft music so that he can associate it with the feeling of being peaceful and sleepy.
Once your parrot gets used to the sound of soft music, you can play it whenever he starts to act up, and it will immediately make him relax.
This shouldn’t be done only at night; your parrot shouldn’t be left at a completely silent place, as this can make cause him to become stressful.
So consider leaving a radio on to entertain your parrot.
You can also leave a television on for your parrot to enjoy, but you need to be careful of what programs are being shown.
Parrots are like children, so set the television to a children’s channel, which usually feature shows that don’t contain scary sounds or loud scenes.
Use positive reinforcement training
Remember we mentioned previously that parrots are like children?
Well, it is true, and therefore you need to be careful how you deal with your parrot when they start screaming.
Just like you wouldn’t yell at your baby for screaming and crying, don’t yell at your parrot when he starts acting up, screeching, shivering, or throwing a fit.
This is because such a negative reaction will inadvertently strengthen and encourage his behavior.
What you need to do when your parrot starts throwing a ruckus is to ignore the behavior.
This is closely related to training your parrots’ good behavior and rewarding him when he is calm.
Maybe he is just being a parrot
Parrots will always remain parrots, whether you acquired him from a home or the jungle.
So don’t expect him to always show perfect behavior.
You should allow for your parrot to be crazy sometimes.
Some birds would engage in some session of loud vocalization, especially at dusk and dawn.
Some may even get going when you start vacuuming.
So watch out for a behavior that is not repetitive and allow it.
In fact you can also enjoy it and join in going nuts!
Visit an avian vet
If nothing works up to this point, you may consider visiting a vet.
Your parrot’s vet can check if the behavior is being caused by an illness or an injury.
In this case, the vet may prescribe him some psychoactive medications to use along the calming techniques we have shared in this post.