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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 01:00 PM
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My sennie is a screamer. I've been ignoring it, but it keeps getting worse. I've heard that senegal parrots are supposed to be very quiet, but mine is not. I live in an apartment building with close neighbors, and I'm sure they probably hate us. He screams when I leave, to get attention, and just because he feels like it.

Fortunately, my other two don't join in the mayhem.

Thank goodness he's not a macaw, cockatoo, or even a conure. But his scream can be heard clear down in the parking lot. I hope he doesn't scream when I'm away...

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 01:51 PM
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A bird that screams when you leave is a tough one. You obviously aren't coming back right away so the screaming isn't reinforced that way. Beeper must like to hear himself scream?

Have you tried giving a favorite treat just before you leave to keep him busy as you slip out?

Kia is becoming more vocal which means she is becoming more comfortable and confident which is great. However, a screaming M2 at 7:30 a.m. is not a welcome sound for me or neighbours, I'm sure. Getting her breakfast to her first and fast seems to help. I think I need to start doing this first and getting ready for work second as my hair dryer usually gets her going -- perhaps if she was busy chowing down, she wouldn't get started. Like Beeper....once she's excited and going, it takes a bit to wind her down. It's great to see her so happy....but not so great to hear it. Some day I'll record her as a warning to all potential 'too owners. Earplugs (or too many years of heavy metal music ) are a definite requirement!!
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 02:07 PM
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Have you tried giving a favorite treat just before you leave to keep him busy as you slip out?
Yup You know what he does? He either drops it and screams anyway, or he screams between bites while holding his treat in his foot. The bird is one strong-willed customer.

We have a contact call that sometimes helps when I'm in another room. This is what happens: he screams, I wait about 30 seconds-1 minute, then offer a contact call. He contact-calls back. I reinforce him with another contact call. He screams. We start all over again.

It's only getting worse, and I worry about my neighbors.... not to mention my own nerves. His new favorite thing is sitting on my shoulder and screaming in my ear when I'm having a conversation with someone. Of course, that means he's been spending less time up there, but it is still hard to ignore.

He knows plenty of nice sounds! I"m trying to encourage him to use those to communicate... but no.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 02:23 PM
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Posts: 23 this is going to be unpopular because its a punishment, but at the parrot club I've heard it done successfully with many apartment dwellers so I will mention it anyway.

Is your bathroom on the inside of the windows?

These folks have taken the screaming bird and put it in the bathtub in the dark for 30 seconds to a minute (a reasonable time depending on how long it takes them to be quiet) and then immediately taken them out and praised them for the quiet. It has worked for birds that will scream right in your face which is what it seems like Beeper is doing these days.

You know the possible consequences to this type of technique so you'd have to judge how Beeper would respond. However, the one fellow in particular has 6 large birds in his apartment and they are the most loving, friendly birds I have ever met -- he never goes anywhere (including to work) without one of them.

Our next meeting isn't until January, but I will ask this fellow his exact technique....I can even call him if you'd like.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 02:55 PM
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Well, that one's not in the books (I've been doing a lot of rereading on Don't Shoot the Dog and Clicker Training for Birds, looking for solutions)

I'm willing to try anything at this point. He's being good so far today...

Beep has responded well to light-handed -R and P in the past. It's how I got him to stop the dangerous behavior of chasing and biting my husband (dangerous, because hubby, as much as I love him, isn't always good at controlling his reaction) and also how I got him to stop running into the kitchen. We have a better relationship for it.

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