Nanday Conure Forum

Message #2690. This is a followup to #2686.

Date:Thursday February 24, 2005 4:30:56 pm MST
Subject:Re: Make the screaming stop!
Message:Hi Aaron,
I know what you mean about the screaming that you wish you could make stop. My nanday, "Ariel", has her moments through out the day, but they don't last long, and usually aren't too frequent. When they happen though, nanday's just have that ear splitting natural screech, that usually freaks people out especially if they aren't bird lovers.

I did help minimize and lessen the frequency of her screeches by doing a few things. One thing, and I believe the MOST IMPORTANT thing I stopped doing was coming to her every time she screamed. It's just like little children, if they know throwing a fit will give them attention from their parents, that will be their method and they won't stop until the parents come, because they know eventually it always works. Kids also know the louder and worse they are, it makes them come even faster. SAME THING with birds. Even if you're just giving them negative attention (telling them to hush, yelling back,etc.) it's still attention they'd rather have than none at all. When Ariel would scream for me I eventually just had to ignore her and pretend I didn't hear it, even if she was looking right at me from her cage I would give her no reaction at all, I wouldn't even look at her otherwise she would think it was working. When she realized her screaming, no matter how loud and long wasn't getting me to go to her or give her attention she stopped trying that method. It can be hard to do (ignoring a sound like that, for a while even). Also, everyone would have to play along with the ignoring that cry for it to work, if one person keeps giving her attention for it she will never drop that method. This drastically reduced the volume and frequency of my nanday's fits.

HOWEVER....This method only works when other factors are in place. Such as-

-Make sure you ARE approaching them to give them attention when they haven't been screaming. Funny noises and talking are ok-those aren't fits demanding you to come (only those should not be rewarded). Show them when they do cute non screaming things is when YOU get the happiest with them, and give them the most praise. They will soon learn that being nice is the working method for attention and fits don't work anymore.

-Making sure your nanday has plenty of toys and things to give her stimulation. Buy some new toys, and put the older ones into rotation so something she's used to is going out while a forgotten one goes back in. I always keep the favorites around though. Fresh fruits/veggies everyday gives them something to always have interest in (seeing what new foods they got that day-mix them up)

-Making sure you are in fact giving them enough daily attention. Make sure you said some nice things to her, gave her some affection, held her for a little while- I notice for my "Ariel" direct "condensed" 15 minutes of attention (direct petting, talking, playing, making her the center of attention) goes a longer way than her just being perched on my shoulder for 15 minutes, and gives her her fill for the day faster. I know that some books, etc. say they need at least an hour of attention a day- but I don't have that kind of straight time to spend on my bird, so that really helps (condensed attention).

-Make sure she's not locked up in her cage all day. My Nanday is allowed to walk down her cage and roam the house, although she chooses to stay right around her cage area and plays around there. I put some toys on the floor around there (cat toy balls, etc. work) and she does her thing then climbs back up and stays put on her own. She never wanders the house and ruins things. This might be hard for you if you have dogs/cats that might eat your bird, but making sure they have a sense of freedom ensures less stress/screaming. A playpen on top of your cage, where he can climb up to and play on (and eat fresh food on a plate) is a huge add-on in giving them something to do, and you can just leave the cage door open and he will take care of himself and feel free.

As long as they are mentally free and stimulated, and you are not their only source of stimulation and being out of their cage- the ignoring the fits will lessen them. Also, the last person to respond recommended when they are having fits to put them in a "quiet" spot and cover the cage- this also usually helps, and is something you could try. Just make sure whenever your bird is having a fit he either #1-gets completely ignored, or #2-gets relocated to his "quiet naughty" spot, covered, and left alone for a few minutes until he quiets down.

This combined with enthusiatic praise when he's behaving well, will have him change methods on how he tries to get attention and lessen the screams. Just pretend they're children and they're not that hard to figure out! Hope the helps and GOOD LUCK!! I'd love to hear how it goes.

Take Care,

Aaron wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been a bird owner for a year now. I have a lovebird and a
> nanday. Both of them are fantastic. My lovebird is just a bit
> territorial, but when she gets out of her cage, she's very
> personable. My nanday is very affectionate. I've had him since he was
> two months old so we've grown very close to one another. When he's out
> of his cage, he has to be around me at all times, either on my
> shoulder nibbling my ear or taking baths in the sink while I'm doing
> dishes. However, when I'm too busy to give him my undivided
> attention, he screams constantly. It's starting to drive me nuts.
> More importantly, it's driving my roommate and my neighbors crazy as
> well. I'm going to be moving downtown with two different people in a
> couple months, and I'm very worried that if I don't do something
> about his screaming, we won't be able to stay together.
> I am now at the point where I'm willing to try everything until I
> find something that works besides spending every waking minute of my
> life with a bird on my finger. I'm hoping some of you have some
> tricks up your sleeve that can help the situation. Otherwise, if you
> know of any video series or something like that that's very good,
> please let me know. Some of these training packages on the internet
> seem very gimmicky, so I don't really want to buy one unless someone
> tells me they are good. Please help!!
> --Aaron

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