Parrot Hormones – Is Brat Bird Season Over Yet?!

March 17, 2009

Spring is hormonal season for parrots. It’s a time for molting, crankiness and just general acting out. And Stewie the sun conure had a horrid case of the brats for the last month or more.

In the past few weeks I’ve barely been able to hear myself think thanks to all the incessant screaming. Stewie screamed non-stop and Mika always chimed in with her loudest “me too” squeak. (The “me too” squeak might actually mean “ow! my ears, it hurts! make it stop!” so you can hardly blame her.)

SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUEEEEAK! SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUEEEEAK! … repeat ad nauseam all day long. Didn’t matter if I was in the room, out of the room, if we were doing clicker training, if I was paying attention to him, if I was ignoring him, if was paying attention to Mika… or not, if it was silent or there was background noise… not even having food in his mouth would distract him from screaming.

Angry Dill in Shadow by Windelbo (Creative Commons license via Flickr)

Angry Dill in Shadow by Windelbo (Creative Commons license via Flickr)

Stewie also started trying to pick on Mika again (even if he had no reason to be jealous) and was getting nippy again with me. Stewie was being one pissy parrot.

Finally, two nights ago, Stewie did something he hadn’t done in ages… he started paying attention to his foraging toys. Then yesterday he destroyed a wooden toy and made happy noises. He started going inside his cage and hanging out and entertaining himself quietly.

Today, he’s sitting on his cage preening, and letting me mind my business for many minutes at a time.

I think our long household nightmare might finally be coming to an end.



  1. Eddie the caique and Stewie … separated at birth.

  2. Glad your baby is over his tantrums. Happens to most parrots at times, but the great companionship makes up for it!

  3. Quite jealous that you appear to be out of it! I’m hoping we’ll get there soon at our house also, and I am seeing signs of improvement, so I *think* we might be close!

    • Hi Mary – not sure if you should be jealous. Our “normal” state is still a lot worse than most people would put up with 😉 Hang in there!

  4. […] My parrot hates me. Oh, right, it must be spring. […]

  5. Parker is still a complete jerk, but it is subsiding, a little. I hope he gets over this soon, because I’m about ready to move out! I actually went downstairs and cleaned out my car, just to get away from it for a while! I also discovered the merit of turning my iPod up to full blast.

  6. I seem to get more hormone troubles in the winter, even with cutting the lighting down, so they are on the sun’s schedule. I know most ekkies get hormonal in the fall/winter, so I guess all my birds from down-under just coordinate their hormones to occur then! My quakers do start to get very loud around April or May though (something I am not looking forward too!)

  7. Hi Patricia – I tell ya, I was getting ready to box the Stu-monster up and set him on the curb with a big FREE sign (just kidding!). I think the season is over for us, because he’s not nearly as bratty any more, but he’s still being quite loud. I wonder if he just gotten into a nasty habit now that needs to be broken (again).

    Meg – hopefully Mika doesn’t decide that she wants her own hormone season too. I don’t think I could handle a second wave of whatever that was.

  8. Parrots are so sensative to their surrounding, glad to hear things are working out with your bird.

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