If you don’t own birds and are looking to get one, and have ever wondered exactly how loud a cockatiel can get, this is your answer. These small parrots can scream very loudly, although they’re often described as very quiet. Some can be! But many are not. Mind you, a ‘tiel’s screams are absolutely nothing compared to bigger birds’ vocalisations – to put things into perspective. The thing is, even a tiny parrotlet or canary can make your ears ring.
Screaming is a normal vocalisation for parrots. They use their voices to celebrate being alive, as well as to tell you things. Most birds greet dawn and dusk with enthusiastic shouts. If you’re wondering why your bird is screaming, there could be more than one reason.
If it happens outside of dawn or dusk, it could be from boredom, sickness, tiredness, fear, loneliness, or frustration – amongst others. Sometimes they’ll use their voices to let you know if there’s a perceived threat, too.
That being said, the noises a bird makes are important. A change in your bird’s vocalisations can signal illness: for instance, if a bird suddenly stops singing or vocalising.
Birds will flock call to you if you leave the room, wanting to know where you are. It’s a good idea to respond with a special whistle just for that; you can tell it’s a flock call if a bird stops at your ‘reply.’
A talking bird (that is, mimicking human words) can signal either happiness or anger. You have to judge based on its body language and feathers. Our parrotlet also uses talking to get attention – we reward the words with scritches and treats, reducing the likelihood that he’ll scream.
Every bird has a range of different sounds. Our Mishka makes loud and quiet squawks, a kind of a honking noise when she’s happy or eating, her own song, the shriek featured in the video, and a soft hiss to tell us to back off – as well as things she mimics, like a camera noise and a laugh. She also does a kind of face-palm with her foot while making a screechy sound.
Yeah, we don’t actually know what that one is.
It’s good for birds to vocalise: it often shows that they’re confident in their environment. That doesn’t mean that a quiet bird is a bad thing. In fact, that’s probably something to be treasured.
Bottom line, if you think you need a quiet pet, enjoy silence, or live in a flat or apartment with thin walls, parrots aren’t necessarily the best choice. If you think I exaggerate, watch the video above one more time, full volume.
Still want one?