Why Does the Caged Bird Scream?

June 25, 2008

Despite the fact that Stewie has been extra vocal in expressing his displeasure with me in the last week and I’ve only been moderately successful in tempering his bad mood, I wrote up some tips on what to do if your parrot screams a lot for the PetKnows blog.

While we might not like that our parrots scream at the top of their (deceptively tiny) lungs, let’s not forget that they are trying to communicate something and that we need to respond accordingly. There’s no single answer to the question “why is my bird screaming?” That’s like asking: “what do people mean when they are talking?” The answer: it depends — both on the bird and the context. That means how you respond to your bird’s screaming can’t be a one-size-fits-all solution either. Your reaction needs to be appropriate to what your bird is trying to communicate.

To help you along in your bird-to-human translation efforts, here’s my interpretation of what my birds are trying to tell me when they are screaming.

What Stewie (loud sun conure) is trying to say when he screams:

  1. Pay attention to me!
  2. Pay attention to me now!
  3. Look, there’s something outside!
  4. Why aren’t you paying attention to meeeee?!
  5. Gimme, gimme, gimme!
  6. I’m a sun conure, and I love the sound of my voice, YAY!!!
  7. Pay attention to me!!!!
  8. Where are you?? I don’t see you. You can’t possible be paying attention to me!
  9. Yay, you’re home. Now you can pay attention to me!

What Mika’s (pionus parrot) screaming means:

  1. Stewie, SHUT UP!!
  2. For god’s sake someone make that conure shut up already!
  3. ME TOOOOO !!!

If you’ve got a screaming parrot, buy some earplugs and try these tips to curb excessively loud vocalization. And check out the links below for more information.

Recommended reading:



  1. WOW! What a GREAT BLOG! I’ve added you to my favorites on my blog. Thanks for your nice comments too! Since Barbara’s visit, Marcia has taught me a ne trick. It’s a small trick, but it’s a start! If I get it on video, I’ll post it! See ya soon!

  2. […] Best in Flock offers good advice about screaming parrots. (Yes, Eddie, I hear ya. The neighbors two blocks away hear ya, too.) […]

  3. THREIO SAYS, we scream because we feel like it! I am not reading your post, you go and tell Stewie I said hello and stop typing!

    Tell him I am going to post his Statue on my Site!

    (Hey, bud, finally got my baby IRN, my Parrotlet Riddler is off to college with my daughter, so its just me and THREIO. Our page is at http://www.threio.com, “Me and My Dodo”, you are already in the Blogroll, you may want to change Smartass & Riddler to THREIO, I doubt if my daughter is going to take over the page)

  4. We can so relate to this post… Nikko, the jenday, is always asking for attention whereas Pepper, our Nanday, would so much like for him to shut up 🙂 Thanks for stopping by our blog. We hope Mika and Stewie get along great soon.

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