I’m on the phone chatting with the customer and I hear the familiar noise of squawk in the background. No sooner does the bird quiet down, do I hear the woman who I was speaking to on the phone, cover the mouthpiece, and YELL “hey you hold it down” clearly referring to the noisy bird in the background. This is a sign of a new bird owner so I asked her “have you had the bird long”? “About a month” came the expected reply.
“I don’t know if you realize that yelling at your bird to be quiet only encourages your bird to be noisier? The problem is birds are flock animals and when you start “yelling” at your bird, your bird is thinking “hey this is great I finally have somebody to talk to”
Birds, especially large cockatoos need scream time during the day that is part of their makeup If you can’t deal with screaming you shouldn’t have a big bird. But a bird that screams all day long can be a bit annoying to you and your neighbors. Books have been written on the subject.
That said a quick way to help silence screaming bird using positive reinforcement here’s a quick little trick. Next time you hear your bird screaming, leave the room so your bird is out of sight. In one hand have a wooden spoon and a favored treat. On the other hand have a pot or saucepan.
While the bird is screaming and while you’re out of sight, bang the pot Wham wham wham wham. Your bird will stop screaming for a moment because he’s attracted to the new noise.
In that brief moment of silence you want to walk into the room with the bird praising the bird for the good behavior – silence – while offering them a favored treat – a sunflower a sprig millet all the while complementing the bird in a high sweet voice telling them how good they are for being silent.