Do Your Birds “Go Off” When You’re Talking on the Phone?

Do Your Birds “Go Off” When You’re Talking on the Phone?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Donna L. asks,


Good Morning Mitch and Catherine,


I was wondering if you have heard from any other bird owners or have maybe experienced yourselves that my Bird (a Dusky Conure named Terry) seems to shall we say “ Go Off “ whenever we are talking on our cell phone.


He becomes very agitated and LOUD and well basically obnoxious to where you have to leave the room if you want to have a conversation with someone.


Is there something about the sound waves that come through a cell phone perhaps?


Because he is perfectly fine when we are just speaking to one another but as soon as you add the cell phone factor in he KNOWS the difference.


I appreciate any feedback you have to offer.


Dear Donna

Funny, but there are reasons and they have nothing to do with sound waves.

Our birds don’t understand the concept of telephones, they don’t know there is someone at the other end that we are talking to.


Although if you hold it to your bird’s ear, they might like to hear the voice.



But they do notice that when we pick up these odd things and hold them to our heads that we become more animated, make interesting sounds and hand motions that they find very entertaining.


So they also want to join in on the fun and thus will also call out, ring their bells, and do whatever they can to be included.


They think this is perfectly normal behavior so yes, if you want a private conversation, you will have to remove yourself from the area.


Funny story:


Many years ago my Indian ringneck found that if he stepped on a certain button on the phone (large landline push-button phone with features, answering machine) that he would get a dial tone.


Then after a bit, there would be a recording from the operator stating to hang up the phone and try again.


Well, after a bit the phone would then go dead.


Leaving us without any way to get calls until we noticed and reset the phone.


This went on enough that he became attached to the phone and making and taking calls required us to remove the bird to do so.


We tried putting a towel over the phone but he would still try to pull the towel away and find the button to call his friend.



Eventually, we moved the phone and put a toy phone in its place.


Needless to say, he was not pleased.


Later on, he used to come to work with us and became attached to the FAX machine and would try to bite us when a FAX came through.


All very funny until one gets bit or finds that he jammed the machine by stuffing one of his toys into it.


We eventually had to place a barrier up so he could no longer see the machine.


So, our silly birds just want to be included in the party.


Handle it accordingly, remove the bird or yourself for a more private conversation.






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