Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Questions About Aviator Flight Harness Answered

Scream Time by Michelle Karras proprietor of the Polite Parrot



Excessive screaming is a learned behavior that we teach our birds. Covering your feathered companion with a blanket, teaches him or her that you will cover the cage when scream gets out of hand.

Yelling at a screaming parrot gives the parrot the attention it seeks. Ignoring a screaming parrot is not the answer either. Ignoring bird’s screams could result in finding injuries too late (or water had run out). Options are to make sure all your Psittacines needs are satisfied. Large hygienic cage, clean water, fresh food, working toys. Twelve hours of sleep (uninterrupted), softwood and other materials to chew, and plenty of exercise.

Start with a signal to stop loud parrots. Make a loud noise (pot & metal spoon) in the room next to the screaming bird. They hear the bell, they stop to listen, Show up from the other room while they are quiet to praise and reward with a high-value treat (grape – peanut – sunflower seed). Set them up to succeed. Use a time when you know they are quite loud. Distract them with a new noise in the next room. As soon as they stop to listen, appear and praise and offer reward

Lengthen the time between the signal and your appearance each time. Try and take a whole day at first and only work with the parrot and the screaming. Initial rewards should be substantial, a known favorite treat. Use the same signal just before feeding fresh food. Wait until the parrot is noisy, give the signal, praise, and feed.

Not all parrots will quiet down for the same signal so you may have to try several noises before finding the one that works for you.

Note: Do not use your voice. They may try to mimic you.

Scream time is a time during the day that you allow your parrots to be noisy. This should be given somewhere between 3p.m. and 7p.m. each day. Encourage your parrots by playing stimulating music. Dance, sing or scream along with them. Scream time should last no less than 15minutes and no more than 1/2 hour each day.

Some parrots enjoy screaming to the vacuum, this is fine to encourage but play music as well. Find music that your parrot gets excited over. Use that same song every day for scream time. Change the music from time to time but be consistent overall. When Scream time is over, lower the music volume Talk your parrot down. Lower the music slowly, turn it off, and play their relaxation code music. Give them afternoon snacks when “cool down” is over.

Birds will wait for their “Scream Time” because they know they will be rewarded for their patience.

umbrella cockatoo going mad on the kitchen floor. but a happy bird

How to Put a Harness on Your Parrot | Parrot Training

 I’m having a heck of a time trying to decide.

1. Which size Aviator flight harness to purchase for my Meyers Parrot (weighs about 80 grams) for the record – Meyers parrots wear X-Small flight harnesses

 2. Would buying a flight harness help after all?

This little parrot didn’t have a great home life when I bought her last July.She has since had a full vet work up in Aug. She’s now healthy and eats a variety of pellets, seed & veggies/fruits. She was molting when I got her. She continues to have pin feathers and until about a week ago was still losing feathers daily.

many macaws on fence wearring aviator flight harneses by parrot university

Get a Flight Harness for Any Size Bird Here

I have not continued to have her wings and nails clipped as the previous owner did. However within the last 2 weeks, she has displayed nesting behavior. She won’t stay on a perch for more than a minute and continues to fly to a distant open staircase in our home. She chews the carpet on the stairs. I’m concerned about her safety. 

I’ve been reading about how to train her to stay on a perch (she used to) but, that will take time. I’m not talking about perching for hours on end – 10 to 20 min would help. If I put her in her cage after I retrieve her from the stairs of course she screams. Anywhere I put her – my finger, arm, etc. she launches and flies to the stairs. She loves my husband but, will no longer stay with him either.

So, I was thinking a flight harness might help now? I do know that I will need to train her to wear the harness and I having been considering a flight harness for outside use for a while now. Sorry for the long email but, I value your advice and check your site frequently.

PS – she has perches in different locations in the house so, she has variety and she does have toys that are rotated. I’m retired, so I’m home with her daily and try to have her out of her cage as much as possible but, it’s getting tough right now. 


Christine Brown

Hi Christine

Looks like you have your hands full.

Because your relationship is relatively new (especially in bird years) I would put the harness thing on the back burner. Harnesses are counter-intuitive to birds. They bind their body and rub the feathers. They also require a giant leap of faith in the birds part in terms of trust between the two of you. In my sense, the trust still needs some time to fully develop.

I also would not worry about trying to train her to stay on a single perch because you are rewarding her to not do something which once again is not helping further the relationship.

What I would like you to do is watch this video about clicker training “Building Trust With Your Bird” 

You don’t even need a clicker, a clucking sound with your tongue is just fine but five or 10 minutes a day will help get your birds focus improve your overall relationship. This is something that your husband can participate in as well.

The stair thing – From your description, it sounds as though you have a male because, with Meyers, the males do all the digging, with the females usually directing the male on where to put the newly acquired materials. Male Meyers parrots also tend to get aggressive once in brooding mode

He is chewing the stairs seeking nesting material. One of the things we did for Popcorn our cockatiel was to introduce a foraging box.

 We have since added vine balls and small palm shredders layering them with Lafeber Nutri-berries and Avi-cakes which does keep her focused for a while.

It’s important for your bird to have full-spectrum light over the cage with a timer set for something like coming on at nine in the morning then turning off at 8 o’clock at night. The bird should be put in the cage for those hours to get the most benefit from the light.

I would cover the area of the carpet she is trying to chew up because carbon fiber can have nasty things in it and can cause blockages. Place small foraging or treat areas near the perches that you mentioned you have around the house to give her something to do while she’s at these perching areas.

Meyers like puzzle-type toys. They like to work on rope and leather knots. Make sure he has lots of these to keep his mind occupied. If you are light on funds don’t forget to visit our free and DIY bird toy category.

Let us know how it goes and we’d love to see some pictures

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