Lovebirds are some of the most beautiful parrots to have around. A joy to watch and own, these grey-headed beauties can often become a menace when they scream. And yes, some of these screams could be unnecessary and unprovoked – making it all the more annoying. So you wonder: how can I stop my lovebird – and other bird pets – from screaming my head off?
When lovebirds scream, they are often not sufficiently mentally and physically stimulated. You can stop your lovebird from screaming by adequately exercising it, giving it company (or allowing it to socialize with people and family), resting properly, and feeding it well. If, after doing this, your lovebird doesn’t stop screaming, it has likely developed a negative behavior. Consequently, avoid reinforcing this behavior by rewarding your lovebird with your attention anytime it yells.
The first step to effectively stopping a lovebird from screaming is understanding why it is screaming. Once you accurately ascertain this, you can know how to assuage it.
So the question comes in: why would your lovebird or just any other bird pet scream?
Reasons why Lovebirds scream
Let us start by establishing that screaming is an inherent part of a lovebird’s behavior as a parrot. Vocalizations from lovebirds are often used in communicating among themselves.
But it becomes a problem when such screaming becomes excessive and with no genuine trigger. In such situations, excessive screaming is commonly symptomatic of something wrong.
Lovebirds – just like other bird pets – scream to communicate stress.
Therefore, when your lovebird excessively screams, chances are it is ill. Lovebirds can also scream irritatingly when they are poorly fed.
Aside from physiological stress, your lovebird could also scream when mentally stressed. This is typical when grieving the loss of a family member or welcoming a new addition to its family.
More commonly, lovebirds scream when there is insufficient mental stimulation. This is expected when you don’t give it enough attention or have no friends to socialize with.
Do you know lovebirds get jealous? Yes, your lovebird is smart enough to know when someone else is stealing you away from it.
If it notices you having another preoccupation when you are supposed to be with it, expect your lovebird to scream almost violently.
Lovebirds – as typical of humans – also communicate fright through grief. When a lovebird feels threatened, it will scream to get its owner’s protective attention.
Lastly, your lovebird can resort to screaming if it is not getting enough rest. This can happen when its supposed quiet time is disturbed by surrounding noises or activities.
For example, loud music or TV noises close to your lovebird when it wants to sleep can cause it to scream.
How can you stop your lovebird from screaming?
Alright, we have educated you on the likeliest reasons why your lovebird screams. Now, the next question would be how to stop it from excessively screaming.
Allow your lovebird to see something new
Lovebirds are natural explorers. In the wild, they brim with curiosity and a knack for adventure.
Therefore, don’t expect it easy from your lovebird if you eternally incarcerate it in its cage. Your lovebird could be screaming from being stuck in the same place forever.
Therefore, feel free to take it out once in a while. For example, you can take it along in its birdcage when driving around.
If you don’t want to go outdoors, you can relocate your lovebird’s cage to another section of your house.
The overall idea is to provide something fresh for your lovebird’s bottomless curiosity.
However, ensure you don’t excessively move your lovebird from place to place. These birds are keen on routines.
So if such constant relocation distorts their routine, it would only aggravate their stress. This would, in turn, worsen their screams.
Ensure your lovebird is sleeping enough
Your lovebird terribly needs to rest, especially at night. This is core to refueling themselves as they would have spent loads of energy in the day.
Your lovebird should be sleeping between 10 and 12 hours every night. Your lovebird becomes a noisy troublemaker when it doesn’t get enough sleep.
You can, at this point, expect to be overloaded with its screams.
Don’t rush to your lovebird anytime it screams
Lovebirds are really smart – a bit even cunny. They can intelligently discern if you constantly reward them with your attention anytime they scream.
Once assured of this, you can expect them to scream you to insanity. Therefore, it makes sense to deliberately ignore your lovebird when it screams with no provocation.
Aside from avoiding their cage, avoid eye contact with them. To even send a stronger message to the lovebird of your disapproval of its screams, leave the location (where its cage is situated) when it screams.
When your lovebird notices that its screams are not getting your attention, it will learn to stop screaming. Instead, it will resort to a more productive (more convenient for you) method of communicating its grievances to you.
This brings us to the next tactic.
Replace the screaming with a more positive vocalization
Characteristic of parrots, they are smart enough to learn positive habits. Instead of screaming, you can systematically teach your lovebird to whisper, whistle, or talk.
You can reinforce this behavior in your lovebird by rewarding it anytime it makes this preferred sound instead of screaming.
These rewards could include toys, treats, or even a lovely cuddle. Consistency is vital to cultivating these positive behaviors in your lovebird.
When training your lovebirds, keep the training short. You can enhance their training with verbal praise or even positive facial approvals to show your approval.
Upon successfully replacing the screaming with more positive vocalization, you can terminate this training regimen.
Overall, you can investigate your lovebird’s screams to identify if there are triggers or patterns to them. When you find legitimate triggers like boredom, hunger, and lack of sleep, address them.
But when you notice your lovebird’s screams arise from negative behavior, ignore them or train your lovebird to adopt a more convenient vocalization.
What you should never do when your lovebird screams?
Aside from rewarding your lovebird with attention when it screams, there are other abominations you should never commit if you want to stop your lovebird (or any other bird pet) from screaming.
How about we tell you about them?
Never scream back at your lovebird when it screams
Let us face it, lovebirds have piercing screams. This can be traced to the high-pitched nature of a lovebird’s vocalization.
Therefore, it is not unnatural for such screams from your lovebird – especially when unpremeditated or when you badly need quiet – to annoy you or emotionally unsettle you.
Of course, there is the strong temptation to return fire for fire and scream back at your lovebird.
But never do this!
Your lovebird could interpret this as a signal to raise its screaming pitch. Yes, it could get even more excited and scream louder.
Believe us when we say you don’t want to get into a screaming contest with a parrot, you will surely lose.
Never hit your lovebird when it screams
We have already established how irritable lovebirds’ screams are and how you impulsively want to react violently.
However, never hit your lovebird when it screams.
Aside from being small and delicate parrots, lovebirds are very emotionally sensitive birds. Sustained physical aggression toward them will quickly murder their trust in you.
What is more, hitting your lovebird may instill fear of hands in it. This means they will fight back when you – or someone else – attempts to handle them.
You may notice such a lovebird biting at any hand stretched towards it.
Don’t shake the lovebird’s cage when it screams
Lastly, don’t physically upset the lovebird’s cage when it screams. Don’t shake it or even kick it.
There is the risk of this even getting your lovebird more aggressive, screaming even louder.
If the screams affect you so badly, try to exit that location, or better still, get your earbuds on.