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Is Your Parrot Screaming At Your Phone?

Parrots like to know what's going on with the flock, so if you're chatting on the phone, your pet bird might want to join the conversation. Find out ways to help your parrot talk more, without having to scream while you're on the phone.

Sally Blanchard

Q) I just got a Pionus parrot. They told me he is about 1 year old. He is very a friendly, loving bird. The trouble is that he screams anytime my wife or I are talking or if the phone rings. Why does he do this?

Pionus parrot
Psittacosis was once known as parrot fever.

A) This is a tough question to answer. Telephones seem to make parrots slightly crazy. It may be the pitch of the ring or the sound of the other person’s voice. Most parrots like to be the center of attention or at least be a part of what is going on around them. The best way to keep a parrot from screaming when you are having a phone conversation is to go into another room. Over the years, I have not found a magical solution to this question. Of course, the more you tell them to stop, the more of a drama reward they get, and this usually aggravates the screaming.

As far as working with the bird while you and your wife are talking, I think that having him nearby and letting him join the conversation in a more positive way can make a difference. My African grey, Bongo Marie, had to be a part of every conversation. At first, she made some pretty obnoxious noises but, as time passed, my friends knew that Bongo would be a part of the conversation. In the middle of the conversation, I would look at Bongo and say, "Bongo, what do you think?” Eventually instead of making her obnoxious noises, she would comment on the conversation by interjecting such words as "Who do you think you are?” or "Oh no!” It was actually pretty funny when she joined the conversation. A Pionus parrot may not talk that well, but it will still appreciate being part of the group.

Want to learn more about parrots and phones?

Why Does My Bird Hate The Phone?
Phone Etiquette Tips Around Parrots

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Posted: April 18, 2014, 12:00 a.m. PDT

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