Blue and Yellow Macaw

7 Reasons Why Parrots Scream (Minimize Excessive Screaming)

Living with a parrot can be a noisy arrangement, especially for those new to the experience. Parrots are notorious for their loud personalities, and lively chatter. They can quickly fill the room with a playful ambiance.

But for some, this incessant chirping can be hard to deal with. In fact, screaming is noted among the top reasons why captive parrots are given up by their owners. Screaming in parrots is a common issue yet it is often misunderstood by many bird owners.

Parrots scream to communicate with you. They may do this for different reasons, like calling for attention, expressing excitement, stress, or fear. It’s up to you to understand what your bird is trying to communicate by observing their body language and vocalizations. By doing this, you can fix the root issue and minimize the screaming. 

In this article, I will explain in detail, the reasons parrots scream, the strategies to minimize the screaming, and also highlight the do’s and don’ts as we go along. 

7 Reasons Why Parrots Scream 

Screaming can become overbearing for people when it turns into a habit. And believe it or not, most of the time, it is a fault of our own. When we are unable to understand what the parrot is trying to communicate, we unknowingly reinforce that behavior.  We condition our parrots to scream by not addressing their problems. So the first and foremost step in countering the screaming is understanding why your parrot is screaming in the first place. Here are the 7 major reasons why parrots scream.


Parrots are hyper-social creatures that long for attention and interaction from their owners. Throughout the day, parrots do a lot of things, but sitting idle is hardly one of them.

If you are unable to devote enough time to your parrot due to work or some other obligation, it can become bored and restless

Many bird owners complain of their birds screaming just as they leave them. It is one of the more common reasons for screaming in parrots and other pet birds. 

Lack of stimulation can sometimes also lead to feelings of depression in parrots. So make sure you never let your parrot feel neglected or not cared for. 

Granted, it is not possible for any of us to constantly be around our pet birds. That is why it is important to teach your bird to engage itself with the environment and keep from being bored. You can do this by encouraging foraging, playing with toys. and other activities.   

Noisy Environment

Parrots are known to pick up things quickly, especially from their surroundings, like mimicking our way of talking, behaviors, and even our food preferences. So it only makes sense for them to make their voices heard in an environment that is encouraging such behavior. 

I once visited a bird store that was situated in the middle of a busy street. The place had a noisy setting because of its location, with cars honking and people chattering all around it. It was not surprising for me to see the place filled with the screaming calls of parrotlet, cockatiels, and other birds. Thankfully the place did not have any large birds like the cockatoo, which could have made the environment even more chaotic.

If you’re living in a noisy neighborhood or the general ambiance of your home is loud and clamorous, it is more likely that your parrot would scream. The parrot may even be triggered to match up and overpower that level of noise. 


This is one of the more common reasons why parrots scream and probably also one of the more common traps that new owners fall into when trying to help their parrots from screaming. 

Vocalizations are a clear and effective way for parrots to get their point across, but with that, they also get conditioned to scream more. Generally, when a parrot screams, most people try to solve the issue by offering it a treat, hoping it would solve the problem.

While in the immediate moment, it does stop the screaming, it also sends the wrong message across to your bird. Now the bird thinks that every time it needs food, it needs to scream at the top of its voice which was never your intention. 

However, you can avoid this problem for good with my pro tip – Just make sure you always have a full bowl of food and one of water inside your bird’s cage. 

To be a little strict, offer it any kind of treat only when it stops screaming. This will prevent you from getting into the trap of accidental reinforcement and also keep your bird from screaming. 


Parrots can be very possessive of their living environment and show anger over their cages, perches, toys, and food. 

When someone or something enters their territory, they may exhibit signs of aggression such as biting, or screaming. Some parrots may also display territorial behavior towards other birds or animals in the home.

Parrots are known to be territorial but besides that, have you ever noticed your parrot screaming particularly when there’s a person near you? Parrots exhibit protective behavior not only towards their living space but towards their owners too. 

Jealously is another way parrots get heated up. When parrots exhibit possessive behavior, they may become defensive, aggressive, or territorial when other people or animals approach their owners.

For example, a parrot may become aggressive towards a partner or spouse when they try to get close to its owner or may attack other pets in the home that get too close. 

This possessive behavior can also be seen when the owner tries to interact with other people, or when they do not give them much attention. 

Some parrots may also show signs of separation anxiety, becoming distressed when their owner leaves the room or home. They may exhibit signs of stress such as screaming, biting, or destructive behavior.


It’s hard to predict what your pet bird may perceive as a potential threat. Since parrots are prey animals, they are hard-wired to fear anything remotely disturbing their environment. 

It can be a person they are not familiar with, another pet, or even a construction worker working blocks away.

Parrots are naturally vigilant creatures and can be easily frightened by simple things due to their sensitivity to light and noise. This is why fear is one of the more common reasons why parrots scream at night.  

In such a situation, it’s up to you to be observant and responsive to your bird’s needs by understanding and addressing its fear triggers. 

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your bird can help to reduce their anxiety and promote feelings of security. This can include providing a quiet and stable living space, as well as a consistent daily routine.


Parrots can become especially noisy during nesting season. Hormones can create confusing feelings and make them more agitated than usual. 

During this time, parrots may not feel like being petted or played with and must be treated with care, especially in certain areas, like the crotch and the tail. 

In addition to behavior changes, the nesting season can also affect a parrot’s dietary needs. To support their health during this time, it’s recommended to reduce fat and sugar in their diet. A diet high in fat and sugar will cause their hormones to shoot up and make them go crazy.  

The best food you can give your parrots during this time is veggies and fruits. This will keep their weight in check and prevent other health issues while also making them less aggressive. 


Screaming can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue. Parrots in general are quite vocal, but if you notice that your parrot is screaming more than usual or sounds like it’s in pain, you may want to give it a closer look. 

Acute infections or unnoticeable injuries can cause discomfort and pain, which can lead to screaming behavior in parrots. 

Parrots may also exhibit other symptoms of illness, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or changes in their appearance or behavior.

It’s important to closely monitor your parrot’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian if you suspect that your parrot is ill or in pain. Early detection and treatment of health issues can improve your parrot’s prognosis and prevent the development of serious complications.

How To Keep Your Parrots From Screaming? 

It is virtually impossible to keep your parrots from making any noise. Parrots are naturally inclined to be vocally active and have screaming tendencies. 

What we need to focus on is teaching them how to use vocalizations in the appropriate way thereby minimizing the noise.

Parrots tend to do exactly what you encourage them to do, which means, in order to change your parrot’s behaviors, first, you need to change how you interact and react to them. 

The best strategy to teach your parrot to keep it from screaming is positive reinforcement. Encourage the behaviors you want to inculcate and be watchful of any way you reinforce screaming in your parrot.

Ignore The Noise And Be Patient

It is not that your bird has suddenly become more “noisy” but really a consequence of a series of inadvertent reinforcements you executed. Every time you yelled at your bird to stop screaming or made a friendly plea by offering a treat, you reinforced that unpleasing behavior. 

In order to stop the attention-seeking screaming in birds it is imperative that you do not give them any. Simply ignoring the screaming noise your bird makes. It makes the bird realize that screaming constantly does not get them anything. So it makes sense to quit doing it. 

But remember, just like results don’t happen overnight, ingrained screaming behaviors do not disappear over a fortnight. You might have to wait out all of that screaming for some time before hearing the sweet relief of silence. Also, it is very important that during that period you do not give the bird any unneeded attention and ignore all of the noise it makes. 

Furthermore, you must also prepare yourself for the screaming to be intensified. In cases where the bird has a long-standing history of screaming problems, it can have a harder time letting go of the behavior. 

There’s something called the “Extinction burst” which basically means a last burst of fire before a behavioral problem is finally extinguished. Since the bird has clenched on to the behavior for so long, it does not give up easily.

When the bird notices that it is not getting the attention it is screaming for, it will give one last go at it by screaming even louder and more frequently. 

This is where you need to be most careful. You can’t give up on your bird. If you give in to your bird’s extinction burst, it can reinforce the screaming behavior even stronger.  

Typically, extinction bursts tend to stay for about a week before the intensity fades away. So you need to hang in there while your parrot is going through it.

Encourage soft vocalizations 

Birds need to communicate, and it’s natural for them to vocalize. However, the loudness of those vocalizations should not exceed our hearing capacity.   

So you must teach your bird alternative ways of communicating without resorting to loud, disruptive noises.

Teaching your bird to engage in soft vocalizations can be accomplished through positive reinforcement.

Start by talking to your bird in a gentle tone to make them feel calm. Encourage them to mimic your soft vocalizations and reward them with praise and treats when they do so.

Positive reinforcement is a key component of teaching your bird desirable behaviors. When you hear your bird engaging in soft vocalizations, respond with emphatic verbal recognition such as “Yes! Good Job Buddy”. This will inculcate your positive feedback as the reward for correct behaviors. 

Over time, your bird will associate soft vocalizations with positive reinforcement and will be more likely to engage in this behavior. This will require, consistency, positive reinforcement, and some level of patience in order for your bird to develop desirable vocal behaviors 

Encourage Foraging

While serving food to your bird in an easily accessible manner is not necessarily bad, providing treats in a more interactive and stimulating way can be more beneficial. 

By hiding treats around their environment, you encourage your bird to be more active and engaged in their surroundings.

Hiding treats can be as simple as placing them inside foraging toys, scattering them around the cage, or tucking in different parts of their surroundings for them to easily find. 

You can also create DIY foraging toys using simple materials like cardboard, or paper. These toys can be filled with treats or food, which your bird will have to work to obtain, promoting mental and physical stimulation.


One of the easiest and quickest ways to press the mute button on anything is to remove its battery. What I mean by that is, you need to work your little pal out a little to drain its energy.

Parrots are extremely social birds that are always looking to have a fun time and interact with their owner. A good 20-30 minute play session with your parrot is enough to lower its energy levels and simultaneously uplift its mood.

Parrots love it when you spend time with them. Providing them with a variety of toys and activities can help prevent boredom and encourage exploration and learning.

Balanced Diet

Certain dietary factors can also impact the way your parrot behaves or uses vocalizations. A diet that is high in fat and carbohydrates will not only make your bird fat but also raise their blood sugar which can make them ecstatic and noisier. Without much activity, your parrot will not know when to expend the excess energy. 

To help keep your parrot healthy and less prone to making noises, a well-balanced diet will be one of the key areas to focus on. The diet should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods.

In particular, fresh fruits and veggies should make up a significant portion of your parrot’s daily diet, as they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can keep them calm and happy, especially during the nesting season. 

Form A Bond

A fun and loving relationship is all the more important when it comes to training your bird. When your parrot trusts you, it is more likely to obey you. 

To form a strong bond with your parrot, you need to spend quality time with them on a regular basis. This can include activities such as talking to them, offering treats, playing games, and engaging in training sessions.

As you spend more time with your parrot, you’ll become more attuned to its behavior and body language, which can help you better understand its needs and preferences. 

Dorson Joseph
Dorson Joseph

I'm Dorson, a bird enthusiast who's had a lifelong fascination for the avian world. I am a parent to my beloved Senegal parrot and budgie, which has deepened my love for avian creatures and taught me a lot over the years. I co-run a bird store and care center with my friends, where we work with experienced professionals to care for our flock. Now, I find great joy in sharing my knowledge with others, hoping to assist fellow bird keepers and enthusiasts in understanding birds and helping them live happy lives.

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