About Parrots — The Noise Level

Parrots are fascinating creatures.  They come in a wild array of sizes from little budgies to the bigger macaws and in just about any color of the rainbow, a few more besides. They can be quite entertaining with their words, sound effects, and actions, but as funny as they are, most people shouldn’t have one. Not because there’s anything wrong with the person, but rather because parrots just aren’t for everyone.

Parrots are loud.  Even my little cockatiels could raise the roof when they got in a snit.

getting ready to headbang

My African grey? Wow, she can cut loose with a shriek that I can hear a block away through closed doors and windows when I’m out for a walk.

Rebel being funny 002

Hollering at a bird to “Shut up!” is actually counter-productive. They see that as favorable interaction and just squawk all the louder.

Fortunately, some of their noises are endearing. Masika can coo like a dove, hoot like an owl, and say “Hello!” just like I do when I pick up the phone. I had a cockatiel who would holler “G’Morning!” … sometimes at 9pm, but he was adamant about how good the morning was, no matter what time of day.

Birds use the sun for an alarm clock, so to own a bird usually means that you have to be ready for the chirp festival to begin as soon as there’s enough light to see. I lucked out with Masika. She is anything but a morning bird. In fact, if you get her up too early, she’s a grouch. My other birds?  Light was a queue to start making noise, as if their personal duty was to wake up the world.

When I worked in a pet store, I ran into folks who wanted a bird because it matched their decor.  Big mistake. One lady wanted a Moluccan cockatoo because he matched the orange and peach colors going on in her living room. When I warned her about the noise level, she replied with, “He’s just a bird. Not even as big as my dog. How loud could he be?”  So, while I was showing the lady the necessary food, a coworker got the cockatoo riled up into a world-class Cockatoo Screech Alert.  The lady left without the bird, and I’m sure both were happier.

Birds are fun creatures, but just be aware that when you buy one, you’re buying a noise box you can’t turn off when you want.


2 thoughts on “About Parrots — The Noise Level

  1. Our landlords in Marysville had a Border Collie – loved that dog and she was really smart. One of their neighbors told them they wanted a “Lucy dog” so they would be encouraged to walk more. My response? You don’t get a “Lucy dog,” you get a dog with known personality tendencies that suits your situation. Relying on a dog to give you exercise is tantamount to condemning that dog to lack of it. Pets should be chosen with great care and thought of as a commitment, not a decoration or convenience. (Great job, Cindy. I think we’ve found your model).


    • Yes, it’s unfortunate when people get a pet that they expect to do what the pet can’t do … like require more exercise or decorate a room. *sigh* Humans. (Thanks! I hope it works!)


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