Help for an excessively screaming African grey parrot

screaming african grey parrot
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how can you stop screaming–excessive

Screaming is never excessive for a bird – they are merely communicating, it’s what they do. Before I can answer your question I need to know the species, age, sex, the diet and a picture of the cage set up if at all possible – thank you

Hi Mitch,

Bubba is a 30 yr, old CAG (congo african grey). dna’d male on basically harrisons with nutriberries and healthy people food,.. I don’t know how to take a pix of his cage. 2x2x4 feet – 5 perches – all different materials. at least 5 toys I try to keep changed.

He screams whenever I leave the room. I’ve tried clicker, but didn’t seem to make the connection. covering worked for awhile. now I he goes into his play/sleep cage into another room. off and on all day until I go crazy.

Also, I have a YNA (yellow nape amazon) who will start to imitate bubba. I worry that the neighbors will complain. YNA is 4 y.o., male-similar cage. on zupreem–otherwise same diet.

I put sheet across the back of cage for security and they are in a centrally located place. I have tried banging on a pan with short-term results. I’m about to give up.

Thanks for your response. I love the Sunday brunch.


Hi Jayne – And thank you for the kind words.

For now let’s put down the clicker as it is inadvertently reinforcing bad behavior.

It’s important to understand that your birds have the mental acumen of the three or four-year-old but has been relegated to basically isolation in a birdie jail with a handful of toys.

We recommend 10 to 15 to 30 toys for an African grey, so many toys you can’t see the bird because they represent the leaves of the tree that they would be living in the wild.

Toys not only offer activity but they offer privacy and parrots being prey animals live better having their own areas of privacy.

My sense is that both birds are lacking enrichment activities. They are bored out of their mind and the screaming is really nothing more than “HEY COME BACK AND TALK TO US WE’RE BORED”

Please watch this video to get a better sense for what I am talking about.

Important to create foraging/enrichment activities making it more difficult for your birds to get their food. Nobody lays out food dishes in the Serengeti plains or the Amazon rain forest. Your birds are hard wired to be looking for food all day long and right now they have no mental challenges to help them burn up the energy.

I want you to start filling their bowls to less than halfway full and then covering the food with things around the house that you can find like rolled up balls of newspaper, cut up drinking straws, parts from old bird toys. Try some mechanical toys to fill up with bird food.

It’s important to make them remove these components in order to access the food because they will feel better about themselves.

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