A parrot making more noise than is “normal” for that species. This is to be distinguished from an owner disliking normal parrot vocalizations, therefore considering the noise to be excessive. Parrots are, by nature, noisy animals and cannot be trained to be quiet. Consequently, people who do not like the sound of a parrot’s vocalization should not try to live with a parrot.
Normal noise levels are to an extent species specific. Macaws often vocalize for 10-15 minutes several times a day. Cockatoos tend to vocalize for 20-30 minutes every morning and evening. Noise becomes excessive when it extends beyond those parameters, sometimes continuing for hours.
Parrots learn to vocalize excessively because they are rewarded for it, usually without the owners realizing it. Accidental rewards usually entail things like entering the room to yell at the bird (which is a drama reward), or letting it out of the cage, picking it up or giving it food treats to shut it up.
For the noise to decrease, everyone in the household must cease rewarding the bird for the excessive screaming. At the same time, household members can choose a sound the bird makes that they like, and reward the bird lavishly whenever it makes that sound. They teach the bird to use that less irritating sound to get attention instead of the excessive screaming. If the humans are consistent and patient, they can reduce the parrot’s noise level back to that which is normal for that species of bird.
Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Bird Behavior Index is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.